Consumers are hungry for relevant content and a deeper experience with their favorite brands. Google's statistics show that its total number of indexed pages grew from one trillion in 2008 to 30 trillion by 2013. There is more content available than ever before, driving the need for companies to ensure their content stays relevant among all the noise.
As the amount of content generated by enterprises continues to grow, so do the challenges faced by global organizations that must effectively translate that content into languages their customers understand. A 2012 survey by Content Wise found that marketers alone have increased their total spending on content development by 45 percent between 2005 and 2012. Without an investment in translation, these efforts will be less impactful and serve only a narrow audience.
Today's language translation solutions have to not only translate content, but also act as a vehicle to help deliver an informative, relevant, and consistent customer experience that helps increase sales and drive brand loyalty. Solutions such as machine translation help meet those needs by providing scalable and cost-effective ways to expand the types of content that can be translated, including chat, email, and social media.
Enable a global customer experience
There are many new innovations in the language translation space, as well as solutions that can provide companies with a global competitive advantage. Machine translation is an ideal solution for global companies looking to deliver a positive customer experience and translate big data on budget and within a tight timeframe.
The foundation of any global customer experience is the ability to communicate in the user's preferred language. Fortune 500 companies have admitted that while they deliver product information in up to 35 languages, they often only provide support in one or two languages. Because customers prefer to interact and consume content in their native language, this gap quickly breaks down the experience.
Machine translation solutions allow organizations to expand their communication and listening channels to effectively fill multilingual communication gaps.
For example, translating social media in real time allows companies to keep an ear to the ground at all times. This means that if someone is tweeting in French that they have a customer support inquiry or product question, representatives from the organization can translate that content and instantaneously reply to the customer in French. The same goes for inbound emails and live chat conversations. Being knowledgeable about what your customers are saying is a great foundation, but being able to communicate with them and respond in real time is what turns one-time users into brand advocates and loyal fans.
Don't play favorites—translate it all
Historically, deciding what content to translate has been difficult, particularly if budgets are tight and the content shelf life is short. However, because machine translation automatically translates content from one language to another, it provides great value for businesses that constantly churn out new content that needs to be translated, have the real-time communication requirements described above, or want to increase productivity within existing localization solutions.
Here are two examples of how translating more content has added business value for companies:
TripAdvisor, a popular online travel site known for its hotel and destination reviews, uses machine translation to translate reviews into the languages of its users. Because these user-generated reviews are most valuable when they are new, automatic translation allows visitors to get the information they need faster. By expanding the content translated, TripAdvisor has been able to deliver the content users want (in their native language), realize additional value from existing content investments, and reduce bounce rates on foreign language pages.
Dell leverages machine translation as part of its knowledge base publishing cycle to dramatically reduce the turnaround time for multilingual support content. As a result, the company has been able to increase the amount of content translated and ensure customers have access to the right information, at the right time, for their needs—all across more communication channels.
Your users are hungry for content. And with machine translation, your content selection no longer needs to be limited by factors such as budget or the time required to translate. It is important to translate and publish as much content as possible to increase the customer experience and allow your users to find the information they are looking for when they need it.
By giving consumers relevant content and a deepened experience with brands they enjoy, you are encouraging trust, inspiring brand loyalty, and showing them that customer experience is at the forefront of your business values.
Keith Laska is CEO of SDL Language Technologies, where he leads the effort to drive the growth and distribution reach of SDL's innovative automated translation and language management technology to customers around the world.