Having the skill set needed to create a mobile app does not guarantee instant success. The mobile app market is competitive. It is not an exaggeration to say that, every single day, thousands of active gaming companies are submitting hundreds of applications to app stores. In 2016, a study by Khaled Shaalan from Game Gavel showed that 73.1 percent of game developers felt that the biggest threat to the success of the mobile game industry was the overwhelming competition.

Many failed apps are actually quite inventive and would meet the needs of many people. However, in order to stand out, you need to identify marketing strategies that can lead to success. The following are the top five marketing methods for  mobile apps.

Make Your App Stand out in the App Store

If you want your app to sell, people have to see it. This means that you must optimize your mobile app so that it ranks higher in app store search results. This process is called ASO. Here are six elements that can help improve your ASO:

  • App Name– Success depends on thinking outside of the box. Include your brand name and also try to include a keyword or two. Apps that have a keyword rank 10 percent higher than those that don’t.
  • App Description– Keyword research is essential during this phase. The description is where you are going to use your targeted keywords. Remember, your description will be read by potential users, so it has to make sense and should not be keyword stuffed.
  • App Logo– Your app logo is going to be the first and largest thing that users see. It needs to make a good impression. You need to do some testing to make sure that it’s right. You want to communicate the quality of your app through the logo.
  • App Category– The app category that you select should describe the main function of your app. Your app might fit into multiple categories. Do some research and find out which one people search for more.
  • App Screenshots– This is where you get to show what your app is all about. Make the screenshots exciting, not boring and predictable. The screenshots should take viewers on a journey through your app.
  • Localization–- A number of brands ignore this point and lose customers. If you have customers who speak Spanish, German, or Chinese, then your app description should be available in those languages. Prices should be shown in the applicable currency.

Create Viral Content

You want your mobile app to generate as much buzz as possible. Apps that go viral bring in a lot of money. One way that you can do this is by creating eye-catching demos of your mobile app. These videos should show off multimedia elements to grab your users’ attention. Publish these short videos on YouTube. Then, they can be embedded into your site and other sites. Remember, YouTube is a Google partner. If your video is hosted on YouTube, this is going to improve the SEO of your app.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

You can have the greatest mobile app in the world, but if no one knows it exists, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes you need to give your app a boost to get those first few hundred downloads. If your app isn’t free, why not give out a discounted coupon code? Or why not have a nice giveaway for the first 50 downloads? It’s best if your giveaways can be custom designed to meet the interests of potential customers. 

You don’t want to give away so much that you hurt your bottom line, but you want to be sufficiently generous so that you can get the ball rolling. Word-of-mouth advertising is another great way to impact mobile app marketing.

Reach out to Numerous Markets

The Apple Store is not your only option for marketing your app. Google Play is the big player in the world of Android. There are a number of third-party distribution sites that can list your app. Some of these include Appland, Aptoide, Café Bazaar, F-Droid, Cydia, and GetJar.

Take the time to read the fine print before you list your apps with these companies. Some of them are free, others ask for a small fee, and some take a percentage of the download purchase price. You want to find the stores that are going to attract the audience your app was made for.

Take Control of the Narrative by Getting Good Reviews

You can do a lot to optimize the appearance of your app store page. But this alone does not guarantee that people are going to purchase your app. Users want to hear about the app and want to know what other people think about it. This is why reviews are a critical part of the mobile app marketing strategy.

This is especially true if you are offering your app for a price. It is not unusual for people to research their potential purchases. If you have made an app and you know people are going to enjoy it or find it useful, encourage them to say so in a review.

What you say about your product is going to impact potential buyers. But, they already expect that you are going to promote your product. However, if they hear positive things about your product from a random review or even a professional review, this is going to lend more weight to the usefulness of your product.

Social media plays a role in this. Facebook and Twitter should always be used in conjunction with word-of-mouth methods. Once people start talking about your app, those people and their followers will start to give your app traction.

As always, we love hearing from our readers. Are you an app developer? Or have you localized or marketed an app? What suggestions do you have on ways to improve the visibility of an app? Let us know in the comments section below!

Our buying habits have taken a drastic turn because of new technologies that are competing with brick-and-mortar shops. Products and services are now within easy reach, and companies are taking advantage of that by implementing omni-channel strategies. Without further ado, let’s have a look at how these strategies are put in place. 

What is omni-channel retailing?

Nowadays, customers have a wide range of choices when it comes to buying a product. Between brick-and-mortar shops, digital marketplaces, social media, e-commerce websites and apps, they can simply choose between the many options at their disposal. This is called multi-channel retailing.

However, omni-channel retailing takes the multi-channel strategy one step further. Instead of a company choosing just one of the multiple channels, they can choose them all. Omni-channel marketing is another approach to commerce in which businesses focus on providing a cohesive user experience across their multiple channels, both online and offline.

How to implement an efficient omni-channel strategy?

The channels must be consistent

As the customer will be using different channels to purchase his product, all these channels must be consistent with one another. Let’s take design as an example. Usually, a website has a certain style guide. If its owner decides to launch a print campaign using flyers, he should use that same style guide in order to create a graphic link between these two completely different channels. This ensures that customers will associate these graphic components (colors, fonts, etc.) to the brand’s identity.

Omni-channel marketing works exactly the same way. All the different channels must be consistent, not only in their design but also in the tone they use to address their target audience, in order to make sure that the customer associates all these different channels to the same brand.

The channels must be linked to one another

The customer must feel that all of these channels are working together in one, homogeneous customer experience. In order to do that, omni-channel businesses must make sure that the products or services provided on one channel are provided on the other channels as well. That way, customers can interact easily with all the different channels, fluidly switching between them at will.

You might have already come across omni-channel retailing yourself without even knowing it was omni-channel. Check out some examples of brands that succeeded in implementing a clever omnichannel strategy.

Why opt for an omni-channel strategy?

The presence of omni-channel in current user experience trends is not random. The main goal of omni-channel strategies is to enhance customer experience, thereby improving a brand’s reputation and sales. If done well, omni-channel makes the customer experience easier.

However, the continuity between all channels must be such that customers don’t even notice when they switch from one channel to another. Every channel is incorporated into the same buying experience. Using omni-channel can be a great way to improve customer satisfaction and stand out from other brands by offering a unique experience your customers won’t forget. Indeed, customer retention rates for companies that have implemented an omni-channel strategy are 91% higher than companies who don’t.

You can now understand how omni-channel retailing and customer experience are closely linked, if not inseparable. In fact, omni-channel retailing works to provide a unique and pleasant customer experience with the help of multiple, carefully thought-out, connected channels

Thank you for reading, we hope you found this article insightful.

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“P.S. I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail.” 

This is how Hotmail (now Outlook) succeeded at reaching 1 million users within 6 months and became one of the earliest growth hacks on the web back in 1996.

What is growth hacking? 

The notion of growth hacking was first coined by American entrepreneur Sean Ellis in 2010. On his blog, he defines a growth hacker as “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.” Quite different from traditional marketing, growth hacking is a marketing technique fully based on data and experimentation to identify the most effective way to grow a business. Every decision, every strategy is driven by growth only. 

Why “hacking”? You might think the word “hack” is negative or even illegal… but in this case, it means hackers will find creative shortcuts or tricks to meet their expectations. Startups are usually the ones turning to growth hacking techniques as they are looking for rapid growth but do not necessarily have the budget for it; however, bigger companies are not excluded.

Growth hacking and marketing… same but different? 

Marketing uses traditional media channels to promote their products, but growth hacking involves science, data and process to find out which method works the best for each product or service. The main difference between marketing and growth hacking is the aim of it. Traditional marketing focuses on achieving continuous growth, whereas growth hacking focuses on exponential growth. 

Growth hacking has yet to be taught in marketing classes as it does not revolve around methodologies or guidelines. It must be done using innovation and ideas. That is why a growth hacker is more than a simple marketer. He also is a designer, a programmer, an SEO expert, an anthropologist… It can differ from one to another. That is why it would be difficult to define a growth hacker by just the tools he uses, if not by his objectives. 

Perfect businesses that have succeeded at growth hacking 

As mentioned above, Hotmail succeeded at growth hacking without knowing it. Instead of traditionally promoting their service through billboards or ads,  Hotmail had the idea of putting a simple HTML code at the end of each sender’s mail. Another example is LinkedIn, which used SEO to generate more traffic just by putting your LinkedIn profile at the top of Google when searching for your last and first name. YouTube used backlinks to generate more traffic as well. It allowed the embed function so users could integrate their videos on their website. As for AirBnB, it might be one of the greatest hacks ever. It succeeded at hacking the website Craiglist. Each time a user posted on AirBnB, the post was automatically published on Craiglist.

You can learn more about growth hacking on the official website of the creator, Sean Ellis.

How do you think growth hacking will change the marketing industry? Let us know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, we hope you found this article insightful.

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According to numerous studies, consumers are more likely to react positively to digital marketing if it is presented with high-quality visual content. It is therefore essential to incorporate visuals in your digital marketing strategy to ensure that prospective (and existing) customers read and absorb the information posted online. Otherwise, they may simply glance at your content without really paying attention. The key question, therefore, is how to use visuals in your digital marketing strategy.

The power of visual content: a biological reason

The effect of images on our actions has a biological origin. Humans are visual beings with nearly two thirds of our communication being non-verbal. Clearly, what we see has a great impact on our thoughts, feelings, and therefore our decisions. We can even extend these notions into marketing: visuals can have a powerful influence on the way your company or product is perceived. In addition, they have an impact on the engagement of your social media audience or site’s visitors, as they make it easier to understand the content you are offering them.

Visuals make it possible to better remember information, as 90% of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual. This means that there is a direct and proven link between our brain and images, which has a strong influence on the way we learn, embrace concepts, or even act.

Therefore, visuals certainly have a role to play in your digital marketing strategy. But how can you use them accurately? And how can these principles be applied to achieve real financial gains?

What can visual content bring to your digital marketing strategy?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” But this is only when it is properly conceived. For visuals, it’s the same thing. You have to ask yourself the right questions: What will it bring me? Who is it intended for? This requires a strategy and analysis to increase your results.

It has been proven that text blocks without visuals are not as effective as those with visuals. The choice of content is so extensive on the web that surfers will move quickly from one site to another if they are unable to perceive the value of its content. Content with images will have 94% more views than content without any! And these visuals will also increase the number of clicks, shares, conversions, and, ultimately, sales!

Examples of visual content on the web

  • Illustrative pictures: these can be images, graphics or any other visual information that  illustrates your blog articles, and also any content present on your website. The more intuitive your images are, the more likely your content will be read, understood and retained. These images are often photographs, but they can also be illustrative drawings, montages, or screen shots, for example.
  • Videos: surfers are very fond of videos that not only offer this visual aspect to the content, but also privilege a dynamic format which can elicit emotions, thus generating a brand attachment. 
  • Computer graphics: computer graphics are more technical visuals because they offer relevant information or statistics. Presenting this information in a visual way makes it easier to understand and remember.
  • Quotations: on social media, one of the most common types of visual content is the visual quotation, i.e. the act of putting a quotation or a statistic on an image. These are visuals that have the ability to really capture the attention of web users as they scroll through countless posts.
  • Memes: often humorous, memes are also very popular on social networks. These are types of visual content that are generally widely shared, although it may be more difficult to apply the principle of the meme to a company’s image.

A visual content strategy has become a major asset to generate additional traffic on websites, blogs and social media. By making a simple change, you can improve your company’s image, interactions, commitments, and conversions.

Is your visual content inspiring, engaging, “thumb stopping”, high performance, and easy to find? 

Let us know below!

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Just a few years ago, online gaming was considered nothing more than a pastime, an addiction or even a waste of time by some. However today in 2019, online gamers – or streamers – are taken more seriously by brands than ever before. And with good reason! Livestreaming on websites such as YouTube or Twitch.tv are bringing in millions of viewers every day. But how exactly did this social platform become so popular and how does it continually change the format of digital marketing?

Twitch.tv is a social and interactive platform for live streaming video games. Created in 2011, it currently has 15 million unique daily visitors. On Twitch.tv, players and video game enthusiasts can broadcast their games and watch some of the world’s best players live from their computers. Once on the platform, users can interact directly with the players and influence the games played by commenting and advising live streamers.

More than just a platform for gaming culture and video games, Twitch.tv has radically changed the way communities exchange, create and communicate with each other. As the website and its communities evolve, consumers’ expectations of advertisers are also changing as regards communication and digital marketing.

In 2015, the famous American TV presenter and comedian Jimmy Kimmel gave his point of view on Twitch.tv and expressed his confusion around the phenomenon of video game live streaming, i.e. watching someone else playing video games. That YouTube video received more than 150,000 dislikes in a matter of a few days, as well as a…stream of negative comments from the gaming and Twitch community. Just a year prior, Amazon decided to buy Twitch.tv For $970 million…in cash! The Jimmy Kimmel incident seems like a prime example of mainstream-media-turned-digital not quite understanding how the Internet works.

Contrary to popular belief, video games have always been a part of pop and social culture. From the arcade halls of the 1980s, to cybercafés and now Twitch, gaming communities are coming together to play and watch the best players rank the highest scores. It’s the same goal, only on a different platform.

Twitch users are so active and committed that actual careers are born through it. Young professionals are emerging and even reaching “star” status, initially thanks to YouTube, which has made this type of content more accessible and popular. A few examples come to mind: PewDiePie, one of the most watched players and the most subscribed person on YouTube, or Faker, a member of the SK Telecom pro team and League Of Legends world champion.

Twitch.tv in the Digital Big League

Many brands have realized the marketing potential of Twitch and its communities. Amazon’s purchase of the platform in September 2014 for $970 million truly marked Twitch.tv‘s entry into the world of digital advertising.

Twitch’s statistics are enough to show the importance of this platform:

  • 100 million unique visitors per month
  • 16 billion minutes watched on Twitch per month
  • 1 million streamers and active content creators

In addition to a massive audience and active use of the platform, Twitch.tv is particularly diverse and innovative when it comes to the possibilities of connection and live interactions it offers between content creators and their audience. This has truly fostered a sense of community and co-creation on the platform: the audience interacts with the streamers in real time, creating for an ever more engaging and collaborative experience.

A true testament of crowd source gaming on the platform is Twitch Plays Pokémon: for 15 days, Twitch users were able to play the 1996 version of the Pokémon Red game live and collaboratively. Viewers and players connected to the stream could control the player’s actions live via the Twitch chat. The experience brought together about 1.16 million players for a total of 55 million views over 15 days. It is this opportunity for live social interaction that makes Twitch so attractive to audiences.

Innovative Advertising through Gamification

These new social dynamics are also appealing to advertisers, who see it as a platform where brands can advertise in an innovative way.

The American deodorant brand, Old Spice, seems to be one of the companies that see Twitch’s potential. For their “S.Q.U.U.I.D” campaign, Old Spice invited thousands of users to connect to twitch.tv/oldspice stream. Out of them, 8 people were selected randomly from the Twitch chat to control a giant octopus by moving one tentacle each to produce music. This campaign allowed the brand to create a unique experience for its audience and reach gaming communities in an authentic way.

Advertisers can also combine their efforts on Twitch for large-scale communication operations and address multiple communities simultaneously and in real time. For example, for the launch of the Kyrie 2, its new signature shoe with the famous basketball player, Kyrie Irving, Nike collaborated with the NBA 2K16 video game to create brand new content. Players were invited on Twitch to play together with Kyrie Irving in an exclusive NBA2K16 game. The brand got to introduce the shoe model, while the users got to test a new mode in the game with the basketball star. Those who could beat Kyrie Irving’s team won a pair of Kyrie 2s signed by him. This innovative event brought together three completely different communities: video game fans, sneakerheads and basketball fans.

Twitch’s Future

Twitch.tv is still a relatively new platform and form of entertainment, and its popularity is ever-growing. One example of this is Twitch Creative: it now welcomes illustrators, graphic designers, story tellers and chefs who create and broadcast live content to audiences around the world.

These new types of social interactions in the digital space allow brands to target specific parts of the market and interact with them live, creating an engaging and innovative digital advertising experience. In an era where content and live events are becoming pivotal to successful marketing online, Twitch.tv offers advertisers a new set of tools and methods to reach their audiences.

Thank you for reading, we hope you found this article insightful.

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Marketing trends are rapidly evolving, and every business needs to keep up with new technologies if they want to strengthen branding. Time has run out for printed advertisement, traditional TV advertising, shop signage, radio messaging or internet banners. 360-degree and VR video are actually the new strategies in communication providing an immersive insight into many services and boosting traffic on Websites.

Why 360-Degree and VR Improve User Experience?

360-degree and VR video redefine the way people live an exciting experience and bring more reality into the digital world. As a user, you no longer view something from the outside but play the main role of the story. In fact, you explore more resources and have access to infinite information. The immersion is real and unlimited opportunities enhance your awareness.

Moreover, these unique functionalities give you control, increase your engagement and lead to higher conversion. You are freed from all intrusive advertising or presumptuous posts and can now enjoy authentic, real and more accessible marketing content that suits you. It deals with capturing an experience in thousands of pictures in one video for millions of users like you, showing everything that happens. The brand is finally building a deeper connection with the viewer.

Travel for Free with 360-Degree and VR Video

360-degree and VR video already have a great influence in travel videos, product insight, music promos, documentaries, property walkthroughs, fashion shows and virtual training. Gaming, sports and entertainment also have a significant impact within the industry. As a sports fan, you can for instance rewatch great sports moments in up-close 360 and if you love to travel, you have the possibility to go underwater with National Geographic 360-degree and VR videos. This new technology is changing how people buy and use the products or services they love. As a matter of fact, Business Wire reports that VR is predicted to worth 34 billion by 2023 and grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33,94%.

360-degree and VR: the Video Revolution

Digital Marketing Experts want to be seen as an innovative industry leader and attract attention on social media. 360-degree and VR help them to create buzz and share-worthiness on the Web. A Google advertising campaign has revealed that 360-degree videos make more views than a standard video version. Indeed, the interaction with the viewer is different, more efficient and costs less. For information, more and more devices and platforms are actually equipped with this technology such as Facebook and YouTube.

Today, 360-degree and VR video are highly influencing the way business operates and emerging consumer needs lead to new creation efforts. When brands work hard in marketing with new technologies to make life easier for the users, the project will always be part of the future progresses.

Thank you for reading and learn more about web technologies, digital Marketing and artificial intelligence on our blog, or join us following TCLoc Master’s on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thank you for reading, we hope you found this article insightful.

Want to learn more or apply to the TCloc Master’s Program? 

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“Is 360-Degree and VR the Future of Marketing?”, Marketing Tech

Information on digital marketing and online advertising has become full of noise. Learn how to build masterful campaigns just by slightly changing your approach.

If you want your advertising to work, don’t burn the witches. In 1589, Anne of Denmark sailed to Scotland to meet her new husband, King James VI. During the crossing, a violent storm forced her boat to cruise away, and delayed her arrival by a few weeks.

King James was convinced that witches had summoned the storm to sink his wife’s boat. So began a series of famous witch trials called the North Berwick trials.

People used many advanced criteria to find potential witches. Including having red hair, a strange birthmark, or being left-handed. This resulted in over 70 people tortured and burned at the stake. Now, you see, “intuition” or “common belief” is not always the best bet.

The Problem With Digital Marketing

Why am I telling you this? Because in today’s digital marketing world, “intuition” and “common belief” is the norm. Shady best practices and so-called experts have led to confusion and poor advertising.

“Make that button green! No, make it blue, green is so overrated! Wait, we should put some hot women in our new car commercial, I’m sure it will help the sales. Nah, we must put a baby face, that’s the real secret.”

That’s pretty much how it works today. People making assumptions, and then wondering why the results are not there. May it be in digital marketing in general or in online advertising.

People come up with an idea that sounds good. Next, they write a 200 pages business plan to prove it can be profitable. Then they launch the product only to find out nobody wants it. Because they were too smart and their idea was too good to look at the data.

Without data, you can’t isolate the cause and effect relationships of things, and so you can’t understand why some things work, while others don’t. And when that happens, people see witches. They start thinking marketing is all about luck, that it is some sort of obscure dark magic. Though it isn’t.

“A blind pig can sometimes find truffles,” said David Ogilvy, “but it helps to know that they are found in oak forests.”

The Cure to Digital Marketing’s Aches and Pains

In modern times, data science is becoming increasingly accessible and cheap. Anyone can do a quick and easy market research using simple tools like Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner.

Surprisingly, no one seems to use them. Few online advertising theories are backed with solid evidence. And most market research is actually more something like market guessing. So advertising effectiveness drops, and costs shoot through the roof.

If you want your digital marketing and your online advertising to work. Or if you want to do effective market research, you must have proof. And if you want proof, you must test your theories using scientific methods.

Unless you test your theory, one variable at a time, on a statistically significant sample, you don’t have proof. You have opinion.

In most occasions, it’s always worth looking at the best in the world, to see how they do things. Not only in your own industry, but also across industries. Here we will talk about both: Formula 1 and Google.

Learn From the Best #1: Formula One

Formula 1, or F1, is considered the Queen of motorsports. The 20 best drivers on the planet, driving for the 10 best teams in the world. All competing with each other on the smallest margins you could possibly imagine.

In F1, a mere 1/1000th of a second gained per corner, results in 0.015s gained on a 15 corner lap. Enough to win or lose pole position. Or on a 70-lap race: 0.825s. More than enough to win or lose the race.

The battle is fierce and only the best of the best can taste victory. No more than 3 of the 10 teams have won races in the past 5 years: Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes (Jan. 2019).

And during those years, Mercedes has won 74 out of the 100 races. It is also the only team that has won at least one race in each year. So we can assume they know what they’re doing. And what they do is testing.

Every part of the car has sensors. They measure virtually everything, down to the wheel gum. Is it worn at the right angle? If not, adjust it. There is no guesswork involved. No “I saw a YouTube video where the guy said we should paint the front wing yellow cause yellow paint is lighter.”

What they do is they isolate every part of the car. Then they take one part, and they tune it. Then they go on track and test it. Back in the garage, they look at the data, adjust it, and go back to testing. And so they iterate, until they find the best setting for that specific part and for that specific track.

Learn From the Best #2: Google

Let’s go back to the digital marketing and online advertising industry with Google. Google is the leading search engine in the world. It is used for more than 80% of searches from desktop computers, and 95% of searches from phones and tablets.

If Google has reached such a dominant position in its market, it’s certainly not a fluke. There was a debate at Google once, about which color ad links should be. In that sort of situation, people would usually go to the marketing manager who would choose the one he considers best. But not at Google.

To settle the argument, they split tested 41 different shades of blue. They assigned each color to random users, and measured their profitability. The best color was chosen based on hard data, not opinion. And the new color also happened to increase Google’s yearly revenue by $200 million. Seems like a good deal. I am sure that I have convinced you of the importance of data. But how do you get good data?

Getting Good Data for Digital Marketing, Online Advertising and Market Research

When Google decided to improve the color of their links, they didn’t try a whole new interface at the same time. What if Google had changed the color of their links, plus the whole interface at the same time? How could they know where the money came from? Was it the new color, or the new design?

Logic, right? Yet, when people go about measuring things, they tend to change several key components at the same time. They don’t isolate the variables, and they base their entire work on false data. To measure something, you must keep other parts constant. Otherwise you will not be able to know what produced the outcome you observed.

You must also use a sample large enough. Take a dice and throw it five times, you may have five 6s in a row. That’s what people do. They do one thing, it works, and now they strongly believe this is the right thing to do, and the rest is bad practice.

That’s like thinking just because you threw five 6s in a row, the dice always falls on 6. Without a large amount of data, the data you have may not be representative of the reality. To be as close to reality as possible, you need a lot of data. There is no point in killing your Facebook ad because no one visited your website in the first hour. You don’t have enough data.

But remember, large data doesn’t mean good data. You need it to be neutral too. If you want to know whether maths are important, don’t ask the maths teacher.

If you want to sell to the general public, ask the general public, not the specialist. Otherwise the answers will be biased and your data worth nothing.

Conclusion: Your Online Advertising and Your Career on Steroids

I will leave you with this quote from Claude Hopkins:

“Again we come back to scientific advertising. Suppose a chemist would say in an arbitrary way that this compound was best, or that better. You would little respect his opinion. He makes tests — sometimes hundreds of tests — to actually know which is best. He will never state a supposition before he has proved it. How long before advertisers in general will apply that exactness to advertising?”

This was in 1923. So, how long before advertisers will apply that exactness to online advertising? And marketers to marketing? It seems they never learn. But that can be your opportunity to gain an unfair advantage and win by a large margin. If you think it’s time to stop burning the witches, and start producing actual results, check out TCLoc’s Master Program.

TCLoc will boost your professional career by giving you knowledge in technical communication, localization, project management, web technologies, and visual communication.

Don’t wait to apply, seats are limited.

Click here to apply now

Books Mentioned:

  • David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising, 1983
  • Claude Hopkins, Scientific Advertising, 1923

Quentin Richert

Businesses today are able to reach a global audience. But when targeting different markets, they should be aware of the importance of content localization.

Most businesses today aspire to reach a global audience. Thanks to the Internet, potential customers can be in Delhi, Lima, or even Sydney. Undoubtedly, this offers incredible opportunities to expand your business but it also poses a variety of challenges.

While differences in language are quickly recognized—people want to buy and use products available in their own native language—, a key fact is often forgotten: If you want to go global, you need to stay local.

A successful global marketing campaign should pay attention to specific aspects regarding the target market. A simple translation, in which the content of a marketing copy in source language A is transferred to target language B, is rarely enough. Cultural references, imagery, and humor play a vital role in marketing campaigns, and can determine its overall success or failure.

Here’s an example: Imagine that a food delivery app creates a successful marketing campaign in the UK, the main idea is to satisfy customers’ curry cravings without needing to leave the couch—one click on the app and they can order a delicious spicy curry. It works well in the UK, where chicken tikka masala is a food staple. This means that the target audience can easily relate to the campaign and find it appealing. But if we transfer the same example to a Brazilian audience, you will find out that instead of attracting customers, you might end up alienating them: Most Brazilians are not familiar with Indian cuisine, meaning much less would have curry cravings. Ordering a fresh ‘out the oven’ pizza would be considerably more likely and relatable for that market.

One thing is certain: To reach a global audience, you need to make sure that your content stays relevant and engaging across cultures. Frequently, that can only be achieved by localizing content. Content localization is about more than translation: it is about adapting or changing content in order to ensure it is relatable, culturally appropriate, and appealing to the target audience.

Marketing translation and transcreation are two interesting ways of approaching content localization. Both require a similar set of expertise: professionals who are extremely knowledgeable and proficient not only about their target language but also about their target culture. Also, having strong writing skills is extremely important. However, it will depend on the type of content as well as your marketing goals in order to determine which approach fits best.

Marketing Translation: It’s all about adapting

Marketing translation could be simply defined as the translation of marketing material. However, it entails many more aspects than a straightforward, word-for-word, translation.

In fact, marketing translation is, in large part, an adaptation. While the meaning should stay the same, its delivery might change according to target market. The key point is to convey the message in an appealing and relatable way: it should read fluidly and be as engaging as the original copy.

To achieve this, it is important to take into account the overall aim (build brand awareness, attract new customers, engage with the target audience, etc.). The type of content (blog post, press release, newsletters, social media post, etc.) also determines the translation process—blog posts should be fun and interesting, sometimes allowing for more creative adaptations. Press releases, on the other hand, bring a clear message that needs to be faithfully communicated.

A good marketing translation should always respect the tone of voice, style, and context of the source text. It is fundamental to stay on brand, that is, to preserve the brand’s identity. The outcome should be close to the source in meaning and style, while making it appealing to a new target market.

Transcreation: It’s all about recreating

Many things that are true for marketing translations are equally true for transcreations: it should be relatable, aware of cultural differences, engaging, and loyal to the style of the brand.

But transcreation goes one step further— by recreating the original. The original version is used both as a reference and as inspiration, but the transcreator (a highly creative and specialized linguist) is free to reimagine and reinvent.

Once again, preserving the brand’s identity and the core message is crucial; however, transcreation gives the possibility of changing the content (e.g., references, humor, idioms, metaphors) in order connect and engage with the local market. That is why transcreation is ideal for slogans, taglines, and other highly creative and localized marketing material. Imagery and colours might also be altered in order to improve acceptance or respect cultural sensitivities.

A successful transcreation should be preceded by a creative brief: the transcreator has to understand the creative concept, the desired style and tone of voice, the target audience, and the end goal of the campaign. Only a well-detailed creative brief can result in a transcreation that works both for the brand and for the target market.

To go global, stay local

As businesses go global, it’s important to remember that the key for success is to stay local. It is true that our globalized world feels smaller every day, but one size does not fit all. When deciding to buy a new product, people need to feel an emotional and cultural connection—they want a product that feels like it was made for them.

Whether you choose a marketing translation or a transcreation, content localization is a vital stage of your marketing strategy. The Internet can bring your business to tens of dozens, even hundreds of countries. However it isn’t only only when you speak the language, but when you show that you understand and respect their culture, that you can really reach out and build a global audience.

About the author

Catia Pietro is a Berlin-based Brazilian Portuguese translator and copywriter specializing in non-fiction literature, marketing, transcreation, and localization.

Before you start writing or even planning to write content, you need to understand who you are writing for. A successful content marketing strategy is tailor-made for your target audience. So, when you decide to go global, cultural differences come into play.

There are many factors that shape your target audience. For instance, the well-known buyer persona technique is based on information like demographics, psychographics, education, career, interests,  challenges, habits and many other factors that could characterize your audience. But what about culture? The cultural background of your target audience plays an important role in determining their expectations and interpretations. Adapting your content marketing strategy accordingly will increase your customer engagement and your profitability.

Why do cultural differences matter?

Culture affects how someone thinks, reacts and processes information. Knowing and understanding the cultural-specific aspects of your target audience will help you meet their expectations. But why are they so important? There is no better way to demonstrate this than using some concrete examples:

  • Color: In Western societies white represents purity, cleanliness and innocence. It is associated with happy events like weddings. However, in some Asian countries, such as China, white is linked to mourning and death – and wedding dresses are red.
  • Symbols and pictures: Images including hand gestures can have a very positive or a very negative (even offensive) meaning in different cultures.
  • Formats: Is 04/06/2018 the 4th of June or the 6th of April? A European would understand the former, but an American the latter. Also, how many pounds a kilo is? Or how many liters a gallon is? Well, a UK gallon is 4.55 liters, while a US gallon is 3.79 liters. Wait, is it 3.79 with a decimal point or 3,79 with a decimal comma?
  • Language & style: In English we use “you”, but is it “tu” or “vous” in French, “du” or “Sie” in German? In other words, does the reader expect us to address him in a formal or informal tone? That also depends on language and culture.

All the above-mentioned elements –and many more– will have to be localized, to ensure that your message is conveyed to your reader effectively. Marketing, localization and transcreation industries are in charge of adapting such differences.

Cultural differences in cross-cultural models

There are many cross-cultural models developed by various cultural anthropologists that can help you determine the tone of your communication with each target audience. One of the most recent is the Lewis Model developed by Richard D. Lewis. It is based on previous models, like E.T. Hall’s “cultural dimensions”, and classifies cultures into three categories based on behavior: linear-active, multi-active and reactive. Linear-active cultures, such as the German and Swiss, are well-organized, task-oriented and do things step by step. Multi-active cultures, such as the Italian, Spanish and Greek, put the emphasis on relationships and feelings and do many things simultaneously without following a strict agenda. Finally, reactive cultures, such as the Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese, are calm and polite listeners.

 Cultural differences according to the Lewis Model. Image from crossculture.com
Cultural differences according to the Lewis Model. Image from crossculture.com

In conclusion, whether you decide to expand into new territories or you already have an international presence, one thing is for sure: in order to keep and increase your clients, you need to localize your content and develop a content marketing strategy that reflects their cultural background and differences.

If you want to learn more about this or similar topics on localization and technical communication check out our blog or stay updated by following TCLoc Master’s on Facebook and LinkedIn.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to London to attend two seminars on digital marketing hosted by Chris Raulf and Josh Steimle.

First of all, who are Chris Raulf and Josh Steimle?

Josh Steimle (on the left) is the founder of MWI, an international marketing agency. He has written over 300 articles for Forbes, TechCrunch and Entrepreneur, and other publications in the business world. His goal is to make you a thought leader, help you develop your personal branding and help you find the right leverage to attract talent and prospects.

Want to know more? Make the most of Josh’s expert advice by signing up for his next conference, by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter, or by visiting his personal website.

Chris Raulf (on the right) is the founder of Boulder SEO Marketing, a lecturer in digital marketing for the University of Strasbourg, and an expert in internationalized and multilingual SEO. His company offers SEO services and courses on all levels of digital marketing. His personal goal is to travel the world while teaching.

Would you like to benefit from Chris’s experience, be up to scratch with the latest SEO trends, or take one of his courses? Find Chris Raulf on LinkedIn and Twitter, visit his website, or read a previous interview with him on the TCLoc Master’s blog.

Top 3 digital marketing tips that stood out for me

Now that you know these digital marketing experts a little better, here are the top three points I hope you will take away from reading this article. Please note that these three points are equally important in my book.

1 – Keyword research is an essential element of optimized translation

The basis of any good SEO strategy is to start by ensuring the technical strength of a website and the user experience associated with it. However, in the context of the internationalization of a website, the cornerstone of SEO is effective keyword research. Indeed, within the same language there may be dialectical differences. It’s therefore very important to effectively determine the types of keyword Internet users will search for in the market you want to conquer.

For example, you are a French telecoms company and you want to sell your services in Canada and Switzerland. French is an official language in both these countries. However, it will still be necessary to localize terms depending on region, since Swiss Internet users will not use the French term “téléphone portable” when looking for a mobile phone, but will rather use “natel”, while Canadians will prefer “gsm”. If you don’t localize your site depending on the region you wish to target, your site will never appear on the results page of Internet users in that region.

It’s essential to localize a website even between two dialects of the same language. In fact, it’s even more important to have versions of your site in other languages, and therefore to optimize their translation as well. And there’s a real demand for these translation services. At the conferences I attended, 75% of visitors were localization professionals. Customers are increasingly asking language professionals to not only translate, but also to optimize translations for SEO. The success of an SEO optimized translation in a given country depends a lot on the keywords searched for by its Internet users. To be sure of the type of keywords internet users will search for, you have to have the right tools. So here are some of them: Rankwatch, SEMrush, or Moz.

2 – PR is useful in all areas of business

Often PR firms designate people responsible for the external communication of a company. But in the digital context, you can apply techniques used by these people to promote your company, or to target and prospect for new customers.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it’s common practice to contact journalists, influencers or online newspaper columnists to talk about your company. Well, it’s a little more subtle than that. For someone to agree to talk about you, or a subject that’s important to you, it is still necessary to approach that person in the right way, and to get him/her interested in your project. This strategic approach is also known as a pitch. And this is where prospecting and canvassing of journalists come together. The important thing is to choose your target well.

3 – Getting to know your target

This may seem obvious, but there’s no point in contacting journalists/contributors who won’t be interested in your talking about your topic. And how can you tell in advance? Well it’s simple, in every online magazines article, author’s names link to list of previous contributions. It’s all about targeting those who are already talking about the topic you want them to talk about. The goal here is to cut to the chase and save time.

But it doesn’t stop there, it’s not just about targeting the right person, it’s about making that person aware that you understand them. It’s much easier to make allies when you have a common cause. You need to find out more about the person, find common ground, and personalize the message when contacting him/her. Then he/she will understand that you are on the same side. Your target should have something to gain from this relationship, otherwise he/she will ignore you. This is totally normal, since no journalist has the time to carefully consider every request they get.

And the same goes for potential customers. Imagine you were working for a digital service company. So far you only have one recurring type of customer, let’s say SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in the construction industry. It will be much easier for you to approach other construction companies by showing them what you can do for them, or other SMEs by showing them that you know about the issues they’re having. The point should not be showing off your skills, but pointing out your client’s potential blind spots and how you can help them.

Because you’re always someone else’s fool, the important thing is to know more than your neighbor. Yes, you can get hired without being the best in the world. Yes, you can start a business without considering yourself an expert. The most important thing is to know more than your customers! You have to be confident, work hard, and never stop learning. Tell yourself that as long as you have something to bring to the table, you have value!