How to Measure the ROI of Marketing Translation
Marketing translation – and related disciplines, like multilingual SEO – are powerful tools that can help your business reach new heights. This makes them an essential part of doing business in a global marketplace. As such, it’s important to understand their return on investment (ROI).
As marketing translators and consultants, we often get asked to explain what clients can expect in terms of financial ROI. In this blog post, we’ll give you an overview of what marketing translation can do for you – and how you can measure its ROI.
In this post:
- What is marketing translation?
- How can you measure marketing translation ROI?
- The importance of a compelling offer
- The role of CX and UX in marketing translation
- Setting benchmark KPIs for marketing translation
What is marketing translation?
First, let’s define our terms. Marketing translation is the process of translating your marketing content into another language so that it can reach people who don’t speak your native language. This includes everything from webpages and ad copy to social media posts and email campaigns. It also includes transcreation and SEO translation.
How can you measure the financial ROI of marketing translation?
The truth is that there’s no surefire way to measure the financial ROI of marketing translation in terms of sales growth. Marketing in any language is typically a long-term game – the goal isn’t necessarily immediate sales, but rather for people to think of your company when they’re ready to buy. Often, those people won’t even be looking when you first place your brand in front of them.
If you’re after immediate sales, you need a sales team – an entirely different function focused on chasing each prospect.
Fortunately, there are numerous other ways you can measure ROI regarding marketing translation services:
- Increased brand awareness
- Higher reach
- Better rankings in search engines
- More page views and website traffic
- Lower bounce rates
- More engagement and community building
And you achieve all of the above with less time investment on your part. This frees up resources, which can then be used towards activities that directly generate revenue, such as proposal writing and client work.
The importance of a compelling offer for marketing translation success
As with any type of marketing activity, having a compelling offer will increase your chances of successfully converting leads. Whether that’s providing exclusive discounts only available in certain markets through certain channels, or some other irresistible form of added value, you are the one with the power to increase conversion rates across all markets.
In other words, while hiring professional marketing translation services can bring people and leads TO you, it’s ultimately up to you as a company to have a compelling offer that will encourage customers to complete the purchase. That means having more than just amazing translations; it also requires good branding and a strong customer experience overall.
The role of CX and UX in marketing translation
Finally, any successful marketing campaign should take into account the customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX). After all, if people don’t like what they see or can’t find what they need quickly and easily, then it doesn’t really matter how great your translated content sounds – your customers will simply go somewhere else.
A real example of poor UX
As an example, one of our clients had some poorly translated landing pages from a questionable agency that had provided terrible work. They hired and retain us to fix all the errors and translate new content properly. We conducted a full audit, indicating exactly what needed fixing, but our client could only fix a few of the pages due to time constraints.
The result? We brought impressive traffic to those landing pages through our work (multilingual keyword research, SEO translation, ad localisation, transcreation of social media posts), but dwell time stayed low, bounce rates stayed high, and conversion didn’t improve for as long as the UX was neglected. It turns out, people weren’t sticking around because they didn’t understand what the website or landing page was offering – not because of language barriers.
The bottom line is that marketing translation is a complex process and, while it can result in improved brand awareness, website traffic and possibly even sales, it’s not a silver bullet. You need to invest time to ensure you have the most usable and user-friendly products for each language or market. Without these elements in place, your marketing translation efforts may not provide the desired results – no matter how great the translation quality is.
Setting benchmark KPIs for marketing translation
For businesses attempting marketing translation efforts to accurately assess their ROI investments better over time, it’s a good idea to set up benchmark KPIs that take into account both current traction plus industry standards across different variables.
While these KPIs will vary from business to business, they share that they won’t consider sales numbers to measure success. These KPIs will have to factor in customer satisfaction, website traffic, engagement and other metrics that indicate whether the translation efforts are having an impact or not in terms of brand awareness, visibility, reputation, etc.
These KPIs can also be useful in tracking progress over time and making sure that marketing translation efforts are paying off. For example, if you’re seeing a decrease in website traffic or engagement rates after launching your translated content vs. the original language content, you can A/B test translation adjustments to ensure you’re providing the best possible user experience.
Ultimately, marketing translation is a great way to reach more customers and expand your business into new markets. However, it requires careful execution, ongoing monitoring, and an understanding that translated content can’t do the job on its own.
Author: Maria Scheibengraf
Maria Scheibengraf is an English-to-Spanish marketing and SEO translator specialised in software (SaaS, martech, fintech), and Operations Manager at Crisol Translation Services, which she co-founded in 2016. With a solid background in programming and marketing, Maria has an in-depth understanding of the technical intricacies involved in software programs, websites, and digital platforms. Maria is also the author of The SEO Translation Bible.