Expanding your business across international borders opens your company to a range of professional relationships, with regard to both global partners and clients. According to the World Trade Organization's International Trade Statistics 2014, an increasing number of businesses are expanding their operations abroad. In 2013, world merchandise exports grew by 2 percent while commercial services exports increased by 6 percent.
"Investing in professional translation services can ensure content is accessible across language barriers."
As more companies continue to operate abroad, small-business owners seek ways to adapt their services and products for international consumers. One way companies have sought to accommodate these consumers is by investing in professional translation services, which can ensure any content is accessible across language borders.
In fact, several businesses have seen impressive success immediately after investing in website translation, noting significant improvements in both revenue and relationships following a heavier emphasis on internationalization. Consider three such companies, all of which saw global success after developing translation endeavors.
Music-streaming service Rdio has made impressive strides through its international market over the past several years. While the company was only founded in 2010, it currently operates in 85 countries across the world. But part of what propelled the business to global success was its emphasis on translation – the website is currently available in 24 different languages, but the company continues to translate its website across myriad regional dialects.
In an interview with CNBC, Rdio's CEO Anthony Bay explained that the company will continue to expand globally over the next several years – a venture that has already proven to be successful, as the business recently tapped into the Indian market by opening its second-largest office in the country.
"There's only about three companies offering this kind of service on a global basis, so in that category, it's our goal to be the best," Bay said. "A lot of our emphasis is on the global market."
What helps Rdio stand out among its competition – and no doubt contributed to the company being named one of Time magazine's Top 50 Websites of 2014 – is its insistence on quality translation. In addition to the 24 language settings already available on the site, the company uses its range of international listeners to help translate pages into languages not yet available. While community members can suggest translations, no sites go live until the content has been reviewed by the experts who can ensure the pages are accurately localized. Rdio even has a page where visitors can learn about the translation process and how it can expand in the future.
Rdio is not the only newer venture to see success in its international efforts after translating website content. Wickr is a mobile messaging app that allows users to send encrypted messages or media to one another, then immediately deletes sent information after it has been opened. The company was founded in 2011 and since then, it has expanded to more than 200 countries and now operates on both mobile and desktop devices. Similarly to Rdio, Wickr places a heavy emphasis on translating its content for international audiences. In October 2014, the app announced it would support 22 different languages to accommodate its millions of global users.
This emphasis on high-quality mobile app translation has helped the business further gain international support. It was named the Official Secure Messaging App of the Oslo Freedom Forum in 2014. Co-founder and CEO Nico Sell explained that the app has been instrumental for those living in countries that do not support freedom of speech or those where governmental unrest is rampant.
"As the number of Wickr users based outside of the U.S. continues to grow, this new offering will enable millions of people around the world to communicate securely, using their native language," Sell said.
And the company has no plans to slow down anytime soon – over the next several years, international users can expect the company to continue developing and refining its global language efforts to improve communication among these individuals.
"WhatsApp reached 600 million users last year, thanks in part to its quick global adoption rates."
Another messaging app that has integrated a content translator into its operations is WhatsApp, which allows users to communicate with their smartphones without having to pay standard texting fees. The company was acquired by Facebook in spring 2014 – a partnership that has only contributed to the international success of the app. The app reached 600 million users at the end of 2014, thanks in part to its expansion in countries such as Brazil, Russia, Mexico and India.
Similarly to Rdio, WhatsApp has its own translation website where users can help localize the app's language based on their region. The company asks native speakers to help translate the pages, then notify the brand if any language or setting is incorrect. WhatsApp is presently available in 40 different languages on its website, but as it continues to see success in different countries, the number will continue to rise.