Achieving a brand tone of voice that has consistent appeal in your home country is difficult enough, given the multitude of platforms on which most businesses now communicate. But at a time of global digital communications, you’re now under pressure to appeal to an even wider range of audiences – representing all manner of locations, cultures and languages.
Fortunately for those in the UK, the English language is still relied upon as a popular means of business communication, so you’ll be able to attract overseas clients with an English website. But all the same, it’s important to ensure that your communications follow certain guidelines if you want to effectively engage with clients whose first language isn’t English.
To give your content global appeal, follow these simple tips:
- Remove local or cultural idioms. Statements like ‘you’ll never feel under the weather’, ‘our consultants offer pearls of wisdom by the dozen’ or ‘product X is worth its weight in gold’ are likely to confuse and deter international clients. The same applies to colloquialisms from other languages translated to English.
- Maintain your chosen tone of voice. The principles that you want your brand to be remembered for will usually remain the same, whether your client hails from Barnsley or Tokyo. An exception would be if you are looking to target a specific foreign market, in which case your tone may need to be adapted to a certain business culture.
- Translations are never completely precise. If you have a strong base of content and are looking to convert it to English, you’ll have to accept certain words and phrases being adapted to get your brand message across.
- Be concise. A general rule for online copy, this one’s even more important when targeting international clients. If your first language isn’t English, a large block of dense copy is likely to have you clicking through to the next website.
If you need help writing international copy for your website, Stratton Craig offers international copywriting services. Contact us to find out more about our international copywriting experience >
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