Ahead of our webinar on translation next month, we talked to our guest speaker Nick Evans from ExtraMile Communications about what they do, the webinar and some of his top tips for first-time exporters.
What do ExtraMile do and how does this relate to first-time exporters?
ExtraMile Communications Ltd is a multilingual digital marketing agency. That means that we do all the usual online marketing things, such as websites, email marketing, SEO and so on, but we do them on behalf of companies that want to reach an international audience.
There aren’t many companies that are able to do this sort of work consistently and well – we’ve been doing it since July 2000 and we count some very big names among our clients. Our understanding of the multilingual context is something that has developed over many years and we aim to share that with first-time exporters through events such as the Open to Export webinar and through articles on the website. We also have a significant number of international topics on our own blog too.
What will you be talking about in the Open to Export webinar?
Essentially, we shall look at the priorities for companies wanting to talk to their customers and prospects in a language that they’ll understand. That includes the strategic decisions you need to make about your website, the challenges of localisation and translation, issues relating to design of websites and email, common pitfalls and how to avoid them and finally, ways to collect data about your audience and how best to address them.
What are the biggest pitfalls exporters can encounter when going about international communications, digital marketing and website copy?
Many people think that using Google Translate to provide the multilingual content for their website will solve all their problems. A quick test – take a piece of technical or specialist copy from your website and put it into Google Translate. Change it to Chinese. Take that translation and translate it back into English. That’s why it doesn’t work! Language, idiom and tone are the biggest pitfalls for anyone wanting to communicate well
What tips would you give to first-time exporters?
Keep it simple, but aim to build a multilingual website – you can add translations as you spread your wings. Focus on your best-selling products and do a good multilingual job on those.
Working internationally or with international clients, can you name an experience you’ve had which has, more than any other experience, shaped how you think about international business and communications?
Working with one of our biggest clients, we were presented with an email campaign to promote some consumer electronics. It used the title of a film as the clever strap line for the piece, fitting beautifully with the context in which the product was being sold.
It was really clever, but it only worked in English. Why? The film was called something completely different in every other language and the cleverness of that device was lost. Tune into the webinar and you can see what the issue was, first-hand!