How do today’s major global brands develop a digital presence and compete organically in local markets throughout the world?
It’s called glocal.
No, that’s not a typo – glocal is a sophisticated combination of global and local influence fueled by modern localization technology and strategic international marketing implementation.
With the help of localization technology, global brands can be relevant and attractive on a local level, too. It’s the modern secret to building a global brand’s local staying power.
When done right, the glocalization process taps into the power of content localization and SEO. This strategy ensures brands are easy to find and well ranked in local SERPS. Check!
FYI Trend: International Brands Earn Local Trust
The [local loyalty] trend isn’t new.
Since the inception, large international brands have attempted to compete on a broad global market to increase their sales potential.
According to The Harvard Business Review, the early ’80s experienced a boom of companies creating products through economies of scale and then marketing them internationally. Although the idea made business sense, customers were not won over by these generic, global products. While many consumers viewed international brands as synonymous with quality, local brands remained in higher demand.
Going Glocal Scales Global
This problem led to what many marketers refer to as a “glocal” strategy. The strategy means products are created globally but customized to suit each unique market.
Glocal marketing strategies create a bridge between a global company and local culture.
For example, while McDonald’s can be identified by its fast food structure, the ubiquitous “Golden Arches” and other international brand symbols, recipes are tailored to meet the tastes of each specific market. McDonald’s’ menus across the world reflect those regional preferences.
But going glocal today means digging even deeper.
Glocal PR Taps Into Media, Messaging, and Branding
According to creative agency Fabrik Brands, a glocal strategy is not as simple as specifying certain product features. It means paying attention to elements as diverse as
- Tone of voice.
- Social media strategies.
- Brand name and colors.
- Corporate storytelling.
- Word choice – and so much more.
Authentically Reaching Local Audiences
The ecommerce channel is made for glocal strategies. When you are online, it doesn’t matter where you are located – just that you communicate with your audience well and you deliver a meaningful product to each local consumer.
To achieve this, smart ecommerce companies localize every aspect of their interaction with their customers – from content and SEO) to item descriptions, billing, and customer service.
This mountain of content creates challenges for businesses; specifically, it requires time and expert resources to translate. Working with language professionals can quickly push many companies outside of their budgetary bounds.
Localization technology plus machine learning, data analysis that automates analytical model building, can enable companies to efficiently scale internationally.
Machine Translation to the Rescue
Localization technologies are platforms where the source text is entered and almost instantly translated into the desired languages.
These location platforms are highly sophisticated, with many language vendors supporting as many as 50 different languages while also checking, tracking, and editing work in real-time.
As cross-border online sales increase worldwide, localization technologies have become even more advanced, with modern options powered by both machine translation.
These service offerings greatly exceed simply inputting text into Google.
An enormous amount of text is translated using machine learning techniques to improve accuracy and tone and produce high-quality content quickly and efficiently.
Human language specialists then review materials for additional quality control.
The ability to effectively localize content at a reasonable cost removes a massive barrier to entry for companies, expanding the international stage for customer attention.
Glocal Fine-Tuning SEO for Local Visibility
So, an ecommerce company can build a localized website and compete anywhere.
But how can ecommerce companies get discovered in new markets?
Using the correct product search terms and listing information can be critical to increasing a brand’s popularity in a given region and language.
Localization technologies, however, can pose two significant obstacles to implementing a successful SEO strategy. When materials are translated, they may not always yield the exact keyword necessary to achieve strong SEO.
Another roadblock: not all keywords are created equal – and not all keywords translate.
So while “faded ripped faded boyfriend jean” may be a perfect long-tail keyword for jeans if you are in the U.S., a website seeking to receive SEO love from France for the same product may need to select a varied title for the same product listing.
Addressing this requires SEO research that is implemented on a per-region basis. An ecommerce company’s localization vendor will use machine learning and localization technologies to translate product listings at scale.
They will then rely on human know-how to tweak the materials and insert relevant keywords in titles and listings popularly searched for in each given “glocal” region to ensure local search visibility.
“Humanizing your message, voice, and visuals to meet the local culture where they are will proactively help set an international brand up for public relations success,” said digital public relations expert Sarah Evans. “Strategic glocal content marketing focused on earned media and local SEO bridges the gap between global and local for a smother runway into new markets.”
Inspiration: Glocal Strategies in Action
An end-to-end localization service provider with a global presence supports over 120 languages and top international brands worldwide.
BLEND works with an international Chinese ecommerce seller assisting them in transcreating millions of product titles, descriptions, and product reviews into eight languages, reaching millions of glocal users worldwide.
Using a precise machine translation and international SEO oversight strategy, the Chinese ecommerce company taps into local market search engine results.
Language professionals take quick and accurate machine translations and fine-tune them to include popular keywords for each local market while also ensuring specific and targeted messages to the local consumer.
This strategy won them top billing as one of the most successful ecommerce marketplaces in the world.
An iconic example of a glocalization strategy catapulting a company to success.
The international booking platform’s strategy is to leave user-generated content – both home descriptions and reviews – in the writer’s original language, which is then machine translated at the reader’s request.
Their in-house created content is localized per region in which they operate, using localization technology and their team of localization experts to ensure top search engine rankings for popularly searched terms in those regions.
This is a British luxury watch brand that saw a 31% YOY increase in cross-border sales within four months of working with localization technology.
They achieved this success after custom targeting their messaging to increase international search visibility and individualized glocal market appeal. Not only did their products become more visible in international search rankings, but global sales skyrocketed, and global customer satisfaction levels improved.
An online platform that lets users easily create beautiful graphics, has localized into 104 languages in an impressive feat that combines design and language.
Canva professionals and LSPs localize over 40,000 words per month and their template content, which adds hundreds of thousands of words to that number.
“Neuroadaptive machine translation has been critical to our success in being able to achieve a high quality, high volume localized template library in a short amount of time,” said Rachel Carruthers, Canva’s Head of Localization and Internationalization.
She explains that language professionals also review Canva’s marketing content for the best results.
According to Carruthers, getting the company product translated and visible in as many languages as possible is part of the Canva company ethos.
Brands from Any Global Can Compete Everywhere
Tapping into international sales is no slam dunk in today’s global economy.
Leveraging localization technology is imperative for any international ecommerce brand looking to scale and is a critical factor in a company’s localization success factor.
Think globally; act locally has a whole new SEO and content meaning.
Go glocal – and don’t get lost in translation.