Strategy Archives | Rubric

Rebecca Metcalf
September 2, 2019
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For companies with growing product portfolios, keeping track of product information can be a major headache. When you have content related to hundreds or even thousands of products spread across multiple systems and countless deliverables, it becomes all too easy for inconsistencies and mistakes to slip in.

This is where Product Information Management (PIM) systems come in. A PIM system acts as a single source of truth for all product-related information, helping businesses ensure that all of the data and content they publish is consistent and up-to-date.

Among the most valuable benefits of PIM systems – and perhaps the most compelling reason for adopting one – is that they can drive immense savings through content reuse. Modular content can be authored once and then redeployed in any context that requires the same information, and that also means it only needs to be translated once.

 

What is a PIM system?

PIM systems are essentially large databases for centrally storing, managing, and updating information at a product-specific level. A PIM system isn’t just for technical data, it contains all of the content associated with the product – including names, feature and benefit descriptions, product images, specifications, pricing, and more.

Other authoring and content management systems in your infrastructure can integrate directly with the PIM system and dynamically pull the most up-to-date information on-demand. This takes all the complexity out of managing product info. There’s no need to author or update the same thing multiple times, and there’s no risk of publishing inconsistent or inaccurate content. The latter is particularly valuable in industries such as manufacturing, where the accuracy of technical documentation goes hand in hand with user safety.

Last but not least, by enabling businesses to author and translate content just once (rather than multiple times across content types), PIM systems can lead to significant time and cost savings for global content strategies. Content authors can work far more efficiently since they don’t have to spend time tracking down or rewriting content. And for localization, the ability to reuse text that has already been translated can massively reduce the overall translation volume – which is the primary contributor to cost.

 

Creating content and authoring for a PIM system

To make the most of a PIM system, it’s crucial to bear reuse and localization in mind from the get-go when structuring and authoring content.

First and foremost, writers should always refer to the appropriate style guide and glossary. The PIM system is the golden source of information for your products, so it’s paramount that content structures, terminology, units of measurement, and tone are internally consistent. Following a style guide and glossary will make text easier to understand for consumers and translators, leading to a better end user experience and higher quality localization.

Secondly, to maximize reusability and reduce the potential for linguistic issues to occur when content is used in different contexts, we recommend authoring content in small, standalone components. These small chunks of content are easier to fit into different contexts than longer sentences or paragraphs. Bear in mind that whilst numeric content or measurements may be suitable to insert in flowing text, textual content is better suited to use as standalone fields. These considerations should be factored into the structure of PIM content and the authoring of all content that will use PIM data.

 

Example

Without the use of a PIM system, product features may be written as an independent statement. For example:

Bore Size from 8” to 16”

When using a PIM system, however, PIM fields should be structured to allow the statement to be broken down into smaller, reusable chunks. This maximizes reuse and ensures the data works in different contexts. The above statement could be broken down as:

English Content PIM field
Bore Size {Bore Size_name}
8″ {Bore Size_Min}
16″ {Bore Size_Max}

The new statement would then be created by combining fields and automatically pulling in the relevant data:

{Bore size_name}: {Bore size _Min} – {Bore size _Max}

Which would produce the following in English:

Bore size: 8” – 16”

The same data could also be used in different contexts. One example is in product specifications tables – PIM data that is re-useable and internationalized ensures time savings and the use of accurate information.

 

Choosing a PIM system

PIM systems are rapidly gaining popularity, and the number of solutions on the market is growing fast. The best option for your business will depend on your specific needs, but regardless of industry, we believe that there are two core features that you should always look for in a good PIM system:

  1. The ability to integrate with your authoring and content management systems. As explained above, this will eliminate the need to manually update product information in each system. Instead, they will all dynamically pull data from a single source of truth. Once you have a PIM system that integrates with existing processes and technologies, you can maximize ROI by ensuring that all your content teams are using it. PIM systems deliver the greatest value when they are used throughout the business as part of a holistic strategy.
  2. The ability to export and re-import content for translation. Exporting text in a structured, editable format (such as XML or XLIFF) will enable your LSP to work on your content using their preferred tools, leading to faster turnaround times and lower costs. Once translation is complete, it should be easy to import the new content into the PIM system.

 

Learn more

Whether you’re already facing challenges managing your product information, or whether you’re looking to take control before things get out of hand, adopting a PIM system can be an excellent way to reduce complexity, cut costs, and unlock new growth opportunities. Subscribe to the Rubric Blog to learn more about PIM systems and discover other ways to optimize your global content strategy. Our next article will dive into translating HMI Apps and hardware translation.


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A Translation Management System (TMS) aids localization by automating parts of the translation process, centralizing resources, and simplifying workflows. But establishing what features you really need and considering the many options available, it’s difficult to choose one that ticks all of the operational boxes. From file format and user access, to translator visibility of context and CAT compatibility, the considerations can seem endless.

 

Gather key stakeholders early on

Identify the stakeholders and understand what is the problem you are trying to solve. Collect data on the scale and cost of that problem. Stakeholders should agree on who will use the system, what’s required of it, and whether the business actually needs one. It’s a fine balance of cost, functionality, and interoperability:

  • Do you need your TMS to function both offline and online?
  • Can the TMS integrate with your CMS?
  • How will the integration of glossary checks and customizable QA tools affect compatibility with the existing CAT system?
  • How much support will your internal team need from the TMS suppliers?
  • Do you have the budget and resources necessary to operate on your own?

Taking on TMS administration is a complex endeavor that could cause workflow bottlenecks and drain resources. Consider enlisting the services of a Global Content Partner. Typically, these professionals will be expert at using an internal TMS, allowing you to leverage their skills and experience.

 

What are your operational requirements?

The translation files and what the system is expected to do with them are crucial factors in selecting a TMS. For example, can content be translated in its native format? By minimizing the need for file conversions, you reduce the risk of compatibility glitches.

It really boils down to a business management decision: do you utilize a traditional, developer-friendly localization process, or do you need an advanced set of features that make the translation process easier for non-technical stakeholders, like content marketers?

 

What level of support do you need?

From the outset, companies should identify and prioritize their needs against the costs of development and maintenance.

Weigh up the value of each feature against your localization process to better understand potential ROI and total economic impact (TEI). A crucial consideration is whether you can afford to take on the management and maintenance of a TMS yourself, or if your business would be better served by enlisting the help of a Global Content Partner and their own TMS.

Because a range of TMSs are available — each with varying degrees of development and configuration support — it’s incumbent upon the business to assess each tool and decide if the “out of the box” features suit their content ecosystem and budget. As the system is provided by an external supplier, IT maintenance and software updates may be infrequent or fall short of a business’s requirements.

 

Complete support relies on trust

When in doubt, trust your Global Content Partner and their tried-and-tested TMS.

A Global Content Partner offers full support in establishing a managed and easy-to-maintain translation process, bringing their expertise and experience to the table and taking much of the burden and stress from your plate.

By weighing up the costs and features of a TMS against your needs and wants, Rubric can help you make an informed decision. Partnering with us means reduced overheads, as you can leverage our skills, our knowledge, our own TMS, and our bespoke process-building capabilities. We take pride in supporting our clients and giving them a better understanding of their localization needs.

Subscribe to our blog below and receive the latest updates on translation, localization, and how TMS solutions can affect your organization’s strategy.


Rebecca Metcalf
July 29, 2019
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If you’ve ever been involved in the content authoring and publication process, you’re probably already familiar with how quickly costs and timelines can get out of hand once you factor in localization. Even for a short document, when you’re translating into 10 or more languages the workload can be immense.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. If you take localization into account right from the outset when you approach global content authoring, it is possible to drastically streamline the process and make major cost savings.

The key here is writing English content that is both easy to translate and easy to reuse. When your original text is clear and concise, it will be cheaper to translate. And if your content can be reused across multiple deliverables, you only have to pay for that translation once. It’s far more efficient to optimize the English version at the beginning of the process than it is to fix individual translations that were based on unsuitable source material.

As with most simple ideas, following these principles is easier said than done – so we’ve put together this article to share our best practices for authoring with localization in mind. Applying these tips should help you save time and money on translation, while maximizing the quality of your localized content.

 

English as one of many

When writing your initial English content, think of it as having two purposes: it’s not just for consumption by English readers, it’s also the master template for all the other localized versions you’re going to create. It’s important to balance both of these purposes, and that means creating content that is both effective in English and easy to translate.

In practice, writing translation-friendly content comes down to clarity and concision. The shorter the document is and the easier it is to understand, the faster and cheaper it will be to accurately translate. And as the potential for errors drops, the quality of the content will rise. Keep it simple with these guidelines:

  • Avoid ambiguity – Try not to use words or phrases that could have multiple meanings. For example, “manual” could be both a noun or an adjective, but “user manual” and “manual pump” leave no room for misunderstanding. Ambiguities can easily lead to misinterpretations and translation errors.
  • Be clear – Ensure content is easy to follow by avoiding long, nested sentences. Even when multiple thoughts are closely connected, it’s best to separate them into simple, discrete sentences. In particular, it is essential to ensure that the subject of each sentence and clause is clear, since in many languages the subject directly influences word formation for the rest of the sentence.
  • Keep it consistent – Don’t use synonyms for their own sake. If you mean the same thing, use the same word or phrase. Keeping terminology consistent will make the content much easier to follow for both translators and readers. (More on this later.)
  • Short and sweet – When it comes to translation, every word costs money. With that in mind, you should ensure that each word in the English version is delivering value and deserves to be translated. Avoid using many words when a few would do. Modern content typically aims to inform readers rather than overtly sell to them, so there’s no need for flowery language – the goal should be to clearly convey meaning in the most concise way possible.

 

Writing for reuse
The value proposition

Before going any further, it’s worth taking a closer look at how translation costs are typically determined. The primary factor is word count, and the best way to reduce the number of words that need to be translated is by reusing existing content that has already been translated in the past.

Translation memory software stores all your previous translations, so if you employ exactly the same English phrases or sentences that you’ve used before, there won’t be any translation cost. That being said, the match has to be perfect. The smallest inconsistencies – even as minor as a single space or capitalization – will turn a precise match into a “fuzzy match” that still needs to be translated (albeit often at a reduced rate).

ORIGINAL CONTENT RE-USED CONTENT CHANGED CONTENT
46 words in English =
598 words in 13 languages
Exact matches 18 new words in English =
234 new words
28 edited words in English =
364 edited words (fuzzy matches)
$140.78 $0.00 $100.20
The motors are reversible and come in 12V DC versions with a choice of speeds. The motors are reversible and come in 12V DC versions with a choice of speeds. The motors are reversible and are available as 12V DC and 24V DC versions with a choice of speeds.
They are robust but very lightweight and are easy to use. They are robust but very lightweight and are easy to use. They are robust but very lightweight and are easy-to-use.
The motor weighs 2.6 pounds with a maximum rotational speed of 50RPM The motor weighs 2.6 pounds with a maximum rotational speed of 50RPM The motor weighs 2.6 pounds with a maximum rotational speed of 50 RPM
Simple installation with simple instructions. Simple installation with simple instructions. Simple installation with simple instructions.

In this example, we have 46 English words that need to be translated into 13 languages. The first time we translate this content (column 1), it will cost $140. In a subsequent project (column 2), we have an opportunity to reuse the original content word-for-word, so there is no translation cost at all. However, if we had instead rewritten the original content with minor changes (column 3), rather than exact matches we would have 18 new words and 28 fuzzy matches. As a result, we would have to pay $100 to translate the changed content – effectively paying 70% of the cost again due to trivial differences that add no value to the new copy.

Consider your content landscape

From a mechanical perspective, using the DITA content authoring framework is an excellent way to simplify reuse. DITA encourages a modular approach to writing, where sections of content are designed to stand alone and can easily be pulled into many different documents. But this is only one piece of the puzzle. DITA is a great tool for content reuse, but it won’t work without the right mindset.

In our experience, authoring in a vacuum is the most common mistake among businesses creating global content, and it’s the biggest obstacle to effective translation reuse. Content doesn’t exist in isolation. It’s part of a wider landscape that spans different deliverables, products, and brands – and authors should always consider this landscape when working on new projects.

This comes back to the point we made earlier about consistency: if a customer starts by looking at a product brochure, and then decides to read the datasheet for that product, they should encounter the same terminology and messaging. This is a perfect opportunity for content reuse. A datasheet author that is aware of the wider content landscape will know that they can leverage a significant amount of text from the existing brochure. By reusing the content, they will improve their own productivity and cut hundreds of words from the translation workload.

To maximize consistency when it comes to product details, we recommend treating your product information management (PIM) system as the single source of truth. Whatever type of content you are creating, you should be able to pull the same data and copy from the PIM system every time. Errors in technical details are unacceptable, so having a master version to draw on is invaluable for both accuracy and localization efficiency. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where we’ll dive deeper into the best ways to leverage PIM systems.

 

Send us your content!

If you’re curious about the potential improvements and savings you could make in your own localization process, why not send us some of your collateral? We’ll assess your content for repetitions, and we’ll get back to you with advice on how you can optimize your approach for ease-of-translation, reusability, and quality.

At Rubric, our specialists have almost 25 years of localization experience, and they are ready to provide their best practice expertise to help you transform your content strategy.


Ian A. Henderson
July 15, 2019
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When it comes to managing your content, there’s more choice now than ever. Dedicated Content Management Systems (CMSs) have become exceptionally popular and diverse, giving organizations a wide range of both open source and proprietary options to choose from. What’s more, there’s a vast array of non-traditional solutions that can meet the needs of structuring content – especially from a localization perspective – for whom a full-blown CMS would be overkill.

Choosing the right content management approach for your organization can yield major efficiencies and cost savings; but at the same time, committing to a CMS that does not meet the needs of all your stakeholders can complicate your operations and lead to even greater expense. That’s why it’s crucial to evaluate your requirements as early as possible when designing or modernizing your content management processes.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the key factors to consider for choosing a content management approach that supports both your localization strategy, and your business as a whole.

 

What is a CMS, and do you need one?

Content Management Systems are software platforms that aim to streamline the creation, editing, localization, and publication of content. CMSs have traditionally been associated with website content, but modern solutions are often designed to support multi and omnichannel content strategies. An enterprise CMS will enable users to manage and repurpose content across numerous outputs, such as press releases, brochures, and other marketing collateral.

This brings us to the first and most important consideration: do you need a CMS?

Using a CMS is increasingly becoming the status quo, even for small businesses – but you should think carefully about whether you would really benefit from the technology. If you aren’t pursuing a multichannel strategy or frequently updating a complex website, then a full CMS might well be unnecessary.

Instead, consider other options such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, a Product Information Management (PIM) system, or even a social media platform. Each of these can provide a convenient environment for creating and managing content on a smaller scale, while also delivering a host of other benefits to your organization.

And when you factor in localization. If you are only managing content for a small-scale, static website, it is perfectly viable to just translate the HTML rather than processing the content through an enterprise CMS. HTML is a format that most translators are very comfortable working with, so skipping the CMS effectively cuts out the middleman. New technology can be appealing, but older, proven approaches are often simpler and cheaper.

 

What do you need from a CMS?

Once you’ve decided to use a CMS, the next step is establishing what capabilities you need. CMSs come in all shapes and sizes, and we recommend looking for one that satisfies all your requirements right out of the box. Some solutions will offer numerous plugins for additional functionality, but relying on these can lead to complications down the road – especially with community plugins that lack guaranteed, long-term support.

While our focus is on localization, we can’t stress enough how important it is to consider the needs of all stakeholders when choosing a CMS. This will likely be a mission-critical tool not only for your translators, but also for writers, engineers, and project managers. In our experience, selecting a system based on the requirements of only one group is the most common cause of CMS-related issues.

Typical capabilities that you might look for in a CMS include:

  • Content storage
  • Content authoring and editing
  • Translation management workflows
  • Templating and layout creation
  • Publishing tools
  • Content syndication

It is also worth considering a headless CMS, especially for multichannel content strategies. Headless CMSs are back-end only solutions that separate authoring from publication. Instead of publishing to a front-end view layer built into the application, a headless CMS serves as a central repository for content that can be published to numerous channels through a RESTful API.

 

Import & export – the most important CMS features for localization

You may have noticed that one feature is conspicuously absent from the list above: direct content translation. Many CMS platforms advertise support for translating content directly within the CMS itself. On paper this might sound like a good way to streamline localization – but in reality, it often has the opposite effect.

Translators work best when they are able to use their preferred applications. Working within a CMS typically requires training to get to grips with an unfamiliar environment, and can limit access to essential computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, such as translation memory. This issue is so severe that external translators sometimes charge a higher price-per-word if they are required to perform translations within a CMS.

So if direct content translation isn’t the answer, what should you look for?

We recommend choosing a CMS that enables you to easily export content in an editable format (such as XML or XLIFF) for translation, and seamlessly import the localized text back in. Although this approach requires extra steps, we find that it still delivers by far the most efficient and cost-effective results. Without import/export support, you might have to resort to manually copying and pasting content, which is both time-consuming and prone to error.

Last but not least, you should ensure that your CMS makes it easy to view and manage localized content without needing to understand the language it’s written in. For example, engineers should not need to know Greek to correctly publish Greek content.

 

Consult your Global Content Partner

Clearly, there’s a lot to think about when selecting a content management approach to support your business and localization goals. Your Global Content Partner will be able to help you assess your CMS needs and choose the ideal solution for your business. We’ve seen far too many organizations pick ill-fitting CMSs that have to be replaced after only a few projects – seek guidance early to avoid costly mistakes.

Rubric can help you choose your CMS and make localization easy and cost-effective from the get-go. Contact us today and work with our experts to build bespoke localization processes tailored to your business needs; or subscribe to our blog for upcoming articles that dive deeper into related topics such as headless CMSs and PIM systems.


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As beneficial as an acquisition, consolidation, or merger (M&A) can be for an organization, they can cause a great deal of instability and stress. This is particularly true for managers and others who are trying to oversee the process.

Even under the best of circumstances, you’ll need a plan to help navigate the merger. And even then you are still likely to come across challenges. Considering the M&A process can have an impact across an entire company, in what way is this likely to affect the processes, scope, technology, and staff involved in localization projects? We unpack this further with a brief look at one of our clients who underwent multiple mergers.

How multiple mergers impacted a client

Our team was brought in to assist a multinational software corporation that had undergone several mergers. With each merger, new products with new languages were added to their portfolio. What had started out as a single-language human resources management product, ended up requiring translation into 43 languages. As each merger added a new layer of complexity, our client ultimately decided that it was more cost effective to create a new product from scratch — one that was designed with localization and multiple languages in mind. A new strategy was also required to deal with the growing complications, the most notable being the inconsistent use of terminology.

Even changes that may seem insignificant, such as referring to employees as staff, colleagues or teammates, can have a huge impact on a company, or in this scenario, the relevance of their multilingual HR product.

Understanding M&As and localization teams

During M&As, affected teams may ask a number of questions, including:

  • Which markets shall be prioritized moving forward?
  • Which brands and products will be marketed where?
  • How much are we going to translate for each market?
  • Which languages will the newly formed company focus on for localization?

These M&A questions are affected by the degree to which the prospective companies are merging, which is in turn determined by whether an acquisition, consolidation, or merger is taking place.

Tips for localizing after an acquisition, merger, or consolidation

Once you have established the extent of the M&A, you’ll need to implement these four steps:

  1. Any knowledge about the brand should be documented and stored in one place for reference. Information about a product can often be fragmented and scattered, even within an organization. This is equally applicable to the language and terminology used for a product. When a merger takes place, this information must be centralized to avoid problems further down the line.
  2. Once information is stored in one place, a review will be required to compile a comprehensive cross-company brand glossary and style guide. Both organizations will bring their own preferences and style, so the review will ensure there is no misalignment between the two. Make sure to involve product owners, writers, legal, marketing, and translation team managers to achieve a consensus.
  3. Translation memories will also be impacted, and the newly merged company will need to assess if legacy translation memories should be penalized moving forward. In our blog, From a Million Words to Fifty Thousand, you can learn more about the purpose and benefits a translation memory offers your organization. In this context, penalized refers to the match rate a term or phrase may have with another term or phrase in the translation memories’ systems. In translation memories, if a term or phrase has a 100% match, it can be pulled through automatically to replace the term or phrase. However, if the company has decided post-merger that the term or phrase is potentially no longer relevant, it can be penalized within the system so it no longer reflects as a 100% match, allowing a translator to step in and assess the situation.
  4. The newly merged company will need to assess which tools and suppliers are kept on board for the new translation process. You can learn more about adding new systems to your company here. Companies often rely on different tools to get work done. To ensure that no problems arise during the translation process (for example, incompatibility between tools), companies need to identify which tools and suppliers will be used, and then standardize their systems. Clients should seek the assistance of a trusted global partner to help them with this process.

Implementing these steps will help ensure that a merger or acquisition doesn’t dramatically impact the performance of your localization teams.

A localization and translation partner to help you through the M&A process

While these steps will help your localization and translation teams transition through this period, it’s always better to avoid or minimize these problems beforehand. The right content partner with experience in the global arena can help you achieve this. Rubric is a customer-centric Global Content Partner with years of experience developing and managing localization and translation strategies for multinational companies.

To find out more on how we can ensure your content localization and translation proceeds smoothly, no matter the circumstances, contact us today. If you need to keep up to date with the latest on localization systems that can help your business navigate mergers, be sure to subscribe to our blog.


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We’re swimming in more ‘Big Data’ than we know what to do with. Here’s the good news: the sheer amount of information on-hand can give you an accurate idea of who your customer is, and what should drive your globalization strategy. Both now and in the future.

Define your data goals from the outset

A good question to ask is: what content are people using, and where? With so much content being consumed digitally, businesses now have a number of data-rich channels to analyze. These include eLearning resources, eCommerce platforms, and website content. Usage data can be a treasure trove of information, but if you don’t know what to look for it can be overwhelming. To use Big Data effectively, define the questions you want the data to answer from the outset, then set a baseline from which you can measure the impact or change. From then on it’s an iterative process, whereby the success of your content is reviewed and localization strategy adjusted with each new metric gathered.

Get to know your user profiles

What content are your users consuming? Where are they based?

A user profile is a set of data that gives you an overview of browsing habits, as well as personal specifics such as gender, age, and location. This information provides an accurate idea of who is consuming different pieces of content. Additionally, by monitoring the success of existing translations and how they affect product sales, a business can ascertain which localization strategies work in a specific region, and which do not.

For example, a business may launch a campaign with the express purpose of gathering data about the user base in a specific market. This rich data could then be used for further expansion, as you would have a good idea of what content is received well and what doesn’t resonate with the audience. You can then localize accordingly, selecting which content requires translation into which languages.

Ensure your global strategy doesn’t overreach your budget

When it comes to budgeting for localization, you need to consider the value of your content.

For example: if a company finds that users only look at 20% of their product content, it would not make budgetary sense to translate the remaining 80%. So while high-value content demands high quality translation, it may be sufficient in terms of user experience and expectations for the remaining 80% low-value content to be machine translated using a service such as Google’s machine translation.

Gauging opinion with social media

The internet revolutionized the consumer–brand relationship. So much so, that entire careers are now built on managing, analyzing, and reacting to social media metrics. Where in the past a business would have to send out a survey for feedback, opinion is now easily gleaned, tracked, and measured from consumers’ comments and shares.

This insight is invaluable for brand expansion, gauging an audience’s opinion of competitors, and identifying ownable, niche areas. For brands that are already entrenched in a market, audience opinion and sentiment is crucial for growth. For example, should your organization offer a full multilingual customer service, or would simply localizing online product reviews be of greater benefit?

Back up your data-driven decisions with a trusted Global Content Partner

When it comes to localization strategy, a good rule of thumb is to have a baseline in place, with a target in mind, and to adjust as you go. Collecting usage data can help to determine which content (web pages, user manuals, and product information) should be localized, and into which languages. Tracking data also helps to identify which content is delivering results. It’s an iterative process that can be improved with the help of the localization expertise of a Global Content Partner, like Rubric. Check out more in our blog that mentions Facebook data.


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According to We Are Social’s Global Digital Report 2018, the number of social media users worldwide is up 13% year-on-year, with a total of 3.196 billion people having logged into their channel of choice last year. This unprecedented usage is fertile soil for brands looking to reach previously inaccessible audiences.

But with opportunity comes obstacle. In the past, language barriers have proven costly for businesses trying to penetrate new markets. Whether cultural or linguistic, your content translation could be the difference between a message landing or falling flat. And with the market as competitive as it is, where innumerable brands vie second-by-second for consumer attention, you can’t have your voice disappearing into the noise. To keep your organization at the forefront of social media, here are the trends that are expected to dominate our feeds this year:

The state of social media in 2019

In 2018, greater connection speeds and accessibility saw over 360 million people gain access to the internet for the first time. And when you consider a person spends an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes per day on social media, it’s not hyperbolic to call it the beating heart of the internet. To actively engage your audience across these digital touchpoints, Hootsuite advises that brands focus on the following three areas this year:

  • Rebuild trust:

    Consumer confidence took a knock in 2018. Cambridge Analytica and fake news dominated the headlines, making internet users weary of mainstream search engines and social channels, most notably Facebook. In 2019, brands and businesses need to be transparent and honest about how they are collecting and using customer data.

  • Say goodbye to silos:

    54% of businesses reported that departments beyond marketing have started using social media. By implementing KPIs across departments, marketers can help drive this digital transformation and reach new consumers, fostering brand growth, revenue, and user retention.

  • Unify your data: 

    In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to believe that people have enough time on their hands to manage 8 different social and messaging platforms. But it’s true! Brands can take advantage of this cross-channel usage by bringing together audience data for a unified, 360-degree view of the customer.

Connection speeds and accessibility weren’t the only areas to experience exponential growth. Voice search, AI, and augmented reality advertising in social media evolved into viable tools that audiences have quickly adopted.

  • Voice search:

    Thanks to Snapchat’s voice recognition lenses and Facebook’s testing of voice commands for its Messenger and Portal apps, voice-based search is on the increase.

  • Augmented Reality (AR):

    Last year, Facebook introduced its AR Studio, where users are encouraged to “create and distribute new, rich AR experiences with ease”. Snapchat recently released Shoppable AR, a tool that allows users to try out products via a lens. Retailers can then funnel said user to a purchase platform.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI):

    The explosion of consumer data across social media channels has given AI and machine learning unprecedented information to work with. In fact, a paper released in January describes an AI system that will soon be able to pair brands with the perfect influencers for specific campaigns.

  • Video is (still) king:

    Video is the most consumed form of content on the internet, with easy-to-digest one minute variations proving to be the favored length. Surprisingly, posting a one-minute video to LinkedIn gets you 400 to 500 percent more reach in comparison to Facebook.

  • Bookmarks and a new interface:

    Twitter’s once cluttered web interface has been cleaned up and a ‘bookmark’ feature introduced. Users are able to save tweets for later without liking or retweeting them, making for a more anonymous form of personal content curation.

Global Social Media Content. Global mindset.

Global Content is about more than creating content for people around the world — it’s about ingraining an international mindset into every business process, strategy, and activity. This philosophy of cohesion links each department and every office — no matter where in the world — to a global business mindset. With social media, consumers now have a real-time window into this organizational philosophy, from anywhere in the world.

Global Social Media Content — what do audiences want?

“Managing a global brand doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. With some planning ahead, a lot of documentation and everyone on the same page, you’ll be marketing in multiple countries in no time.” Sprout Social

Global audiences crave authenticity — it’s not enough to write a post in English and plug the copy into Google Translate. While it has its uses, such a tool doesn’t possess the contextual understanding needed to provide accurate translations for multilingual markets. To resonate across language barriers and international borders, consider the following:

  • Is your messaging aligned to the market you’re targeting?

    An extensive audit of your existing assets — from logos to catchphrases — is needed to determine whether your messaging translates. A great example is how Samsung — a South Korean company — went about entering the French market in 2010. They targeted the country’s love of all things art with an exhibition held at Petit Palais in Paris. The genius twist was that the pieces were screened on the company’s cutting-edge HD televisions. In its first month, the exhibition had 600 000 visitors.

  • Colloquialism and cultural sensitivity:

    While certain references may have been a hit state-side, the same phrases could fall flat with non-English speakers. Take some time to research the country’s culture and consider working with native speakers to ensure your content truly resonates with its intended audience. Take KitKat’s successful efforts to cater to Japan, for instance. Not only did they change their slogan to “Kittu Katsu” (Surely Win), but they introduced matcha green tea, soybean, and wasabi to sate the country’s appetite for savory flavors.

  • Consider multiple profiles if you can:

    The number of social profiles is dependent on your budget and the size of your team. A small team with a single profile can target messages by location — Facebook offers a multiple language functionality that does away with the hassle of having to repost multilingual content. If your team is bigger, consider implementing a number of location-specific accounts. These teams and profiles are by no means siloed, either: each plugs into your primary social media hub to ensure that all work is vetted and aligned to your Global Content strategy.

Solid, considered Global Content expands and strengthens your brand presence in key international markets and social media. And the right partner can guide and advise your messaging to ensure the optimal execution of your strategy.

With the above information as our guide, Rubric is broadening our reach and sharing our global outlook with more organizations.

If you think your organization might benefit from our managed Global Content services, be sure to sign up for a two-day workshop. In the session, we’ll use actual data and examples from your business to show you exactly what’s working in your processes and what can be improved in your social media strategy and beyond.


Françoise Henderson
October 19, 2018
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As a Global Content Partner, we often help our clients with a variety of translation and localization services. In doing so, one question always tends to rear its head: “What is your turnaround time?”

It’s fair question to ask, especially when a client has been burned in past — all it takes is one translation company to miss a deadline and then pile on the excuses for a client to err on the side of caution from then on out. The thing is, there are a lot more factors at play than one might realize, especially if you haven’t worked with each other before.

With this in mind, this blog post should help you manage expectations when it comes to translation turnaround times from a localization services provider.

Communication and transparency are non-negotiable

While unexpected issues may arise that delay or prolong a given translation job, you should never be left in the dark. Leaving a client hanging when an agreed-upon deadline as passed is never acceptable, no matter what. Even if a delay is inevitable, your service provider should notify you as soon as this becomes likely — and always well in advance of the deadline.

In our experience, clients are very understandable when a problem arises, and a solution needs to be found. As long as you’re fully transparent and it’s clear that you’re working with them and not against them.

Turnaround times generally improve over time

The first time you work with a localization service provider, the initially provided turnaround time is a lot harder to accurately predict. This is because time needs to be factored in to find suitable linguists, who can then be used for future translation projects. It’s also important to have a comprehensive style guide to inform and guide the translation process; however, this can take time to develop if you don’t have one readily available.

A glossary of key terms and their equivalent translations plays a key role in any translation process. This will inevitably be a work in progress, with new terms being added as the need arises, but its initial compilation phase can be an unpredictably lengthy and exhaustive process. That being said, once the glossary is up and running, the entire translation process will speed up.

Another key factor to remember is that the translation memory needs time to build up. This will progressively reduce the time needed to translate, as well as improve consistency across translations as previously approved translations can be reused.

How to get the most from a Global Content Partner

The best way to ensure a clear turnaround time without any surprises is to give your provider as much notice as possible ahead of the translation job. This is because great translators need to be booked well in advance; while they might have space for small projects at short notice, larger projects need significantly more time and planning.

Source content usually takes some time to create, so it’s important to let your Global Content Partner know about your translation requirements. This will allow them to plan and allocate resources appropriately. If there is a genuine rush — we know these things can happen — a trusted Global Content Partner will bend over backwards to make it happen; and if not, at least suggest a viable alternative.

If you’re interested in building a relationship with a Global Content Partner that you can trust to deliver, get in touch with a member of the Rubric team today.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash


Françoise Henderson
September 28, 2018
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In today’s increasingly competitive international business climate, market leaders need to always be on the lookout for new ways to cut costs and boost ROI. In our extensive experience helping companies optimize their Global Content, we’ve identified a simple way for multinationals to do just that: and it involves their technical authors.

Tech authors are specialists at creating content about an organization’s products and services that’s easy for the end-user to understand. This information — in the form of instruction manuals, training guides, or online help tutorials — greatly reduces the burden on the customer support team. The thing is, the value of a technical author can be far greater than a multinational organization might expect. For instance, an author can actively increase company ROI by taking international factors into consideration when writing content.

Easily translatable content means higher ROI

Including the following content requirements in the briefing process will help maximize the value of any content created by a technical author:

  • Local technical constraints and standards
  • Language support
  • Legal issues
  • Language reuse
  • Ease of manipulation (appropriate file formats)

The above points are integral to cutting costs in the translation process for increased ROI. Reworking content isn’t as simple as just changing some text. In some cases, the entire asset — video, audio, or visual — will have to be adapted accordingly. By identifying key areas of content that will need to be translated down the line, the process will end up being far quicker, smoother, and free of expensive delays.

For example, Rubric recently quoted a client who’s been using content by different authors. While this helped vary the tone and style of the content, making it less monotonous for readers, certain content ended up being repeated across each author’s work. This unnecessary repetition quickly adds up when content needs to be translated and localized, leading to higher costs and a slower process. We calculated that by removing redundancy in the text, the company could reduce costs by 30%.

A Global Content Partner will help you analyze your business’ markets and come up with a gameplan to ensure your valuable collateral is translated accordingly. By integrating translation into the process from the beginning, you can avoid the unnecessary costs of having to reconfigure documentation further down the line. The Global Content process doesn’t end there, however, and Rubric will provide your company with a framework to monitor progress as you strive to improve your business processes to maximize your market potential.

Get in touch with one of our specialists today and find out why Rubric is the perfect Global Content Partner for your business.

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


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