My 3 Top Tips for expanding into German Market

My 3 Top Tips for expanding into German Market

 

Your are ready to bring your mission, your product or service to German markets and front center to a German speaking audience and customers? You were gathering information all over the internet and you came across this article? Great! Take my 3 cents, a.k.a. 3 tips for expanding into German markets that increase your revenue.

 

Define what you want, need & can handle

There are countless possibilities & options between both ends of the spectrum of translating it all —and— doing nothing and assuming “everybody speaks some English anyway”. However, making key decisions will help you create a plan without blowing all your budget on translations alone.

Ask yourself: How ready are you, your staff to respond to German language inquiries? Do you want, will you need, and can you handle:

  • Full-scale localization: a foreign website as fully functional as your English website
  • Partial localization: translating only key pages and stating clearly for your visitors that you don’t yet provide all the information in their native language
  • An abstract: a one- or two-page summary with the most important information about your mission, your product or service

Then take a look and check on individual features and see if they are truly relevant for your goal, e.g. news & company updates, blog posts, local events … are they relevant for your German audience? Tweaking and adapting your website and content to the target market and the German people you like to reach is called Localization.
While analyzing your online presence that way, consider regular website updates and their translations, the marketing efforts and campaigns you consider for the translated content, the customer support and feedback loops on each scale.

And keep in mind that you can grow into your second business in German language.

 

Team with a translation partner

Whether you hire a person to manage the whole project in-house or out-source to a contractor, here are a few points essential to a successful partnership and project:

  • Communicate well and regularly, via email, phone or in person
  • Make sure that all translators and editors translate into or edit and proofread their native languages only, German in this case
  • Use translation technologies to manage your budget efficiently

Invite the translator to be a team member, their work shouldn’t be an afterthought. The more your translation partner know about your business, the better they can help with small or fast-needed updates.

And a translator’s work is worth beyond word—think about keyword research and integration, email marketing, tracking reviews, surveys, customer communication…

 

Integrate marketing from the start

You find yourself having translated your website and now what? Marketing and sales are essential to get a return on your investment, so why not bake marketing from the start in your translation processes. There are many ways to start a conversation with your German speaking audience at any time:

  • Create a valuable info-sheet, e-book, mini-course, etc. in German language in exchange to an email address and start a German-specific email list
  • Add subtitles to a video of you/your brand, again ask the viewers to join your German language email list
  • Ask German customers for their reviews (in German) or to fill out a short survey (in German)

I compiled a document with “16 ways to connect and start a conversation with German visitors on your website” to get your marketing going right from the start and test the waters with expanding to the German markets.

These are my 3 tips for expanding to the German markets in German. I know it is a hell of a journey and by now, there are tons of information on the internet that might trigger tons of new questions on how to translate your brand and online business into German and for the German markets. If you feel some overwhelm and think about throwing the whole thing back on the shelve, check out my 10-day-workshop ‘The Website Translation Roadmap’ where we create a strategic plan, so you know how to go about website translation step by step. On November 9, we start the last “Roadmap for this year.

21 Ways to Get Known, Liked and Trusted Internationally

21 Ways to Get Known, Liked and Trusted Internationally

Most business owners and marketing and sales executives don’t listen to their customers or communicate with them – unless those customers speak some English.

Many proudly announce themselves as a global company but when it comes to language translation and providing information in the foreign audiences’ native language, the answers I receive are less inclusive.

Did you know that over 50% of internet users at a research study said they would not buy a product online if the information is not presented in their native language?

The world is getting smaller, calling, emailing, messaging, and traveling goes faster across the globe. Websites are born internationally and can pop up in search engines globally, right? Advertisement algorithms are so sophisticated and social media is reaching every worldly corner to post easily. With reviews and social proof everybody can find the best options. But does this global access creates enough trust in consumers to pop in their credit card info and click buy?

Today, everybody can make themselves known, liked and trusted – so important to make sales and good profits. Many companies simply ignore the importance of making their content available in their customers’ language(s) and initiating two-way-conversations.

Don’t let the language barrier scare you and let sales slip away.

Here you can find 21 ways to master the Know-Like-Trust factor to make yourself found and known and liked and trusted beyond your immediate fan circle and become a real international company – and making more sales overseas.

Stand out and become KNOWN with the following strategies:

  1. Get clear on your audience: Same as in your country, define your target audience or narrow down and focus on a group to test the waters of foreign language communication.
  2. Learn some customs and cultural significances of that target audience (such as holidays, gestures and logistic exceptions).
  3. Translate relevant content pieces for that target audience in their native language.
  4. Translate your lead magnet into the target country language to stand out with your offer. And not only that, you get email addresses in exchange and can potentially communicate directly.
  5. Interview an expert of that country, translate the questions and answers.
  6. Write a guest blog for a relevant blog in that country (translate your guest post).
  7. Not just translate keywords and SEO-alt-tags – allow some research to adopt them to your business and goals, so the right people can find you.

 

Following are ways to make yourself ‘LIKED’ beyond that ‘like’ button

  1. Respond to reviews (in the reviewer’s language) to make them feel heart.
  2. Build relationships and engage actively to nurture likeability (in their language – yes, find this translator to partner and be your voice in another language).
  3. Show your face, be visible – even with subtitles on videos, people can relate better that way.
  4. Be nice, be customer service … yes, in German, French or the language that your customers speak
  5. Listen – research – ask questions in their language.
  6. Consider traveling in a foreign country and get in person with your Likers and Fans
  7. Attend international events outside your native country

 

Trust, being TRUSTED, the secret ingredient for people to buy into your services or products

  1. Don’t disappoint or frustrate your website visitors – deliver what you promise or communicate what is in their language and what not
  2. Be consistent: even if you can’t translate your complete brand, marketing material, etc. – yet show consistency across one channel
  3. Post those foreign language testimonials
  4. Translate one or so case studies to show your expertise
  5. Don’t use Machine Translation uncontrolled
  6. Translate at least key elements such as shopping carts, show their currencies
  7. Offer guarantees and trials (translate that info)

Yes, all those ways mostly relate to and involve strategically translating your voice, your message, your copy, your brand into your customers’ native language.

Is that approach new to you? Did you think about but are not sure how and where to start? Are you not trusting Google Translate (that’s in most cases a good thing) or even not any human translator to find your voice in another language? Are the costs of translating your content too high?

Our website and blog is dedicated almost entirely to shine a light on the aspects of growing your business beyond borders, communicating authentically with your foreign language audience, getting more customers and making more sales.

Come back regularly or stay in touch with signing up for our newsletter Translation-Marketing-Connection on language translation and marketing beyond borders.

“Customers buy experiences, not products.” – Is that also true for Germans?

“Customers buy experiences, not products.” – Is that also true for Germans?

 

We all heard the saying “Customers buy experiences, not products.” And what seems so obvious when everybody around you speaks the language you are reading right now, is not so obvious for the over 90 % of internet users whose first language is not English. After the visual first impression, the second impression is the words you are reading on a website. Then, the focus is directed toward your product or service. With bridging some cultural customs and language gaps you can stand out in a busy marketplace.

Observing

During the first quarter of this year, we were consumed by new wonderful clients launching their products and services in Germany. Working frantically on translating and localizing their website, email campaigns, optimizing content for search engines, reviewing video documentation and subtitles – all the while understanding the deep impact their powerful messages would have on people and the trust they put in us with translating their messages into German…

Reflecting

Reflecting on the work in the evenings, I made notes on what worked well during the day’s activities and what less, on observations with clients and thoughts on their customers and solutions – massive realizations that usually flow through me, especially when I am very involved in activities.
All that gave rise to the idea of creating a new email series that would focus on essential areas of a website or online presence that – due to cultural reasons or basic human reactions when consuming information in order to know or buy – are key for nurturing an audience… and when optimizing those ‘sweet spots’, they can increase sales.

Hypothesizing

However, that is a hypothesis. A hypothesis that I would like to test with business owners that currently already sell products or service in Germany (or other countries), or that would like to carve out their market share in a foreign country.
How can I test that? After all, it’s America and ‘time is money’ and usually scarce…

Testing together

Well, I thought, I could create something that even when the hypothesis is incorrect, would not be a loss but still a win.
So, we would spend some quality time together, we would both or all gain more knowledge on a topic of mutual interest and if the hypothesis is correct, increase sales and profit of our businesses – each individual one.

That sounded pretty good to me.

Therefore, I invite you to join in!

I created my new series in the form of a challenge! Why? First, I like challenges, especially those together with others. The energy of a challenge is one that accelerates efforts. There is a goal to reach, in the near future.
Let’s do that.

If it resonates with you and your current business, I invite you to sign up for the challenge and receive 10 emails over a period of 2 weeks (no emails on weekends). The content will be short and actionable. You can share your results and thoughts with me, of course, ask me questions and receive answers.
Every week, I will have a live Q&A session that you might join or watch as a replay on my Facebook page.

Do you like to get informed when we run this challenge again? Then contact Katrin @ translationpurpose . com or simply sign up for our newsletter The Translation-Marketing-Connection.