The localization of SaaS products requires a thoughtful strategy. The effort demands scrupulous attention to detail and ongoing attention throughout the life of the product. How is it done successfully?
SaaS products are partially defined by the quality of being current, a live service rather than a static product. The expectation is that they will be immediately available, adaptable, and flawless, meeting the client right where they are in the moment. And while it’s challenging, it is 100% possible to successfully translate and localize your SaaS for new target markets if you develop a strategy built on your core business goals and the following steps:
- Target markets – Carefully choose which countries and demographics you wish to reach and take them on at a rate that allows you to thoroughly prepare and test the product for each language market. This may mean thoughtfully analyzing markets with the intention of expanding slowly, perhaps one new target market at a time.
- Market research & research translation – Develop questionnaires, focus group studies, and whatever additional research tools are appropriate to your product, to uncover the authenticate tastes of the people in the market you want to reach. Have those market research tools and the resulting data translated by experienced translators who are native to your target market.
- Localization – Adapt every aspect of your website and your SaaS for the new market, from multimedia to payment methods to sales slogans. Take nothing for granted, be ready to translate and alter every word and element of your content for your new target audience and do so in a way that stays true to your brand. Professional native linguists and localizers will know exactly how to accomplish this. And remember that “localization” also refers to the mindset shift taking place when you and your team develop the target-market version of your SaaS product. From now on, if you make all product choices with the possibility of multiple markets in mind, localization will get easier and easier.
- Maintenance and content updates – Figure out how you will allocate the resources of time, human talent, technology, and money to the demanding task of making sure your SaaS is providing what your clients expect every single day. The team you assemble to handle this may be a combination of your staff and outside experts like translators and technicians. It’s also helpful to utilize the assistance of software and technology when it can help, like putting machine translation in place to handle the steady flow of translation that will be required for tasks like answering client questions.
- Study user behavior and client feedback – Develop a strategy for tracking the use of your product. Request and pay attention to client feedback and questions. When it comes down to it, UX is everything, and in various ways users will let you know what’s working and what isn’t. When something isn’t working, it’s wise to have the resources in place to create new types of content. For instance, if your SEO content isn’t bringing in the level of users you want, be ready to course-correct with new subtitled videos, articles, and graphics.
- Learn and expand – Watch closely and pay attention to everything that’s happening with your localized SaaS. Allow the experience of localizing and translating your SaaS to expand your view of your product, your audience, and your business goals. In the broadest sense localization requires you to think outside your original home market and your earliest ideas about your product. When you take on the challenge of localizing your SaaS product you will benefit from adopting on ongoing awareness that the world is your market now, and the best business choices will leave room for the inclusion of many cultures and languages.
Localization and translation of SaaS products is a demanding process. If it sounds daunting, remember that this is in part because of the high level of sophistication of such a product. Inevitably it is complex to maintain dynamic products in multiple markets. Skrivanek is equipped to handle every aspect of this type of localization and translation. Contact us to arrange a discussion of your business goals and we will help you develop an effective globalization strategy for your SaaS.
J. V. McShulskis