Many companies often perceive translation as a cost center. But the reality is different: when you translate user-facing training materials, you can actually increase your company’s revenue.
In this article, we will explore three key goals that training materials translation can help you achieve. Then we will go further into how training materials translation benefits a variety of industries.
What Types of Client-Facing Training Materials Can We Translate?
You can—and should! —translate anything that helps users understand how to use your product. These might include:
- Training videos
- Recorded webinars
- Technical manuals
- LMS platforms
- Quizzes and other assessments
Translating text-based content is only the beginning; successful training materials translation also includes multimedia elements such as images, videos, and even GIFs.
Goal 1: Increase Your Market Share
If your market share is lagging behind your competitors, training materials translation can be the boost you need to get ahead.
A Common Sense Advisory survey of Fortune 500 firms found that companies who invested in translation as a way of getting an edge over their competitors were 2.04 times more likely to see increased profits.
Not only that, but as we have reported in previous articles, customers will actually pay more for a localized product. In other words, training materials translation may make you competitive even if you cannot offer the lowest price.
Goal 2: Decrease Customer Churn with Translated Training Materials
There is no shortage of statistics about the importance of customer experience when it comes to keeping the customers you already have. And increased customer retention has a direct effect on your bottom line—a Bain & Company study once suggested that improving retention rates by 5% can drive profits up anywhere from 25% to a remarkable 95%.
Just as importantly, it is always cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to go out and get a new one.
Training materials translation provides you with an easy way to improve the in-language customer experience. The answers to their challenges are just a quick search away.
Goal 3: Become the Touchstone in a New Market
In business, the “first-mover advantage” refers to the idea that the first company to reach a market will have a significant advantage over its competitors.
It starts with hiring an in-country team, translating your marketing material and product content, and laying the groundwork for your launch. But training materials translation can help cement the advantage by delivering a stellar customer experience—and making those customers less likely to switch when competitors emerge.
Well-translated training materials can also prevent you from losing your first-mover advantage to a local company that invests heavily in in-language content.
How Different Industries Use Training Materials Translation to Generate Revenue
Let’s explore how companies in a range of industries have used training materials translation to create new streams of revenue and solidify their position in new markets.
B2C Software and Tech Platforms
One great example of using translated training materials to increase revenue is Airbnb. The company’s success depends on balancing demand (the number of users looking for an apartment in Paris, for example) with supply (the number of hosts renting out their apartments).
To achieve an ideal balance, additionally to UI Localization (translating their interface), they have invested heavily in training materials translation. French-speaking hosts have access to a knowledge base with dozens of articles, video guides, and a regularly updated blog with tips and news on hosting policy.
When multiplied across the dozens of markets that Airbnb solves, this strategy has been rocket fuel for their growth. Today, Airbnb is available in over 60 languages and has hosts in nearly every country.
Duolingo is another case study: a Brazilian user can learn English using the app. But they can also access dozens of translated articles in the help center, including screenshots of the translated UI. They also have access to an English proficiency test administered specifically for Portuguese speakers—with its own translated help center.
While Duolingo can be secretive about its user statistics, they have grown from 8.5 million daily active users at the start of 2020 to 14.9 million by the end of 2022. More importantly, their quarterly revenue—generated when users subscribe to a premium version—has more than doubled in the same 3-year period, from $37 million to $96.1.
B2B and Enterprise Software
Implementing the software that large companies use to handle operations—known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software—can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then there are monthly subscription fees on top of that. In other words, converting just a handful of new clients can be highly profitable—but the sales cycle is long, and prospects are concerned about how smoothly such a costly adaptation will go.
Companies such as Oracle and SAP invest heavily in training materials translation. When prospects see that their employees will have access to in-language training, it increases their confidence in the final outcome. As part of their eLearning translation effort, these companies translate knowledge bases, training videos, and entire LMS platforms to make sure customers feel like they will have support during a costly transition.
Project management company Asana also invests strategically in training materials translation. For example, Spanish-speaking users can find e-books, blog posts, eLearning courses, and tutorials in their language. This gives Asana an advantage over some of its main competitors, who translate their user interface and/or their website but do not offer in-language support.
Offering translated training materials could nudge just a handful of users to switch. Since Asana’s software-as-a-service model relies on monthly and annual recurring revenue (MRR/ARR), getting these users to sign up with them initially can yield a high lifetime value.
Training materials translation can also drive growth for manufacturers and companies that produce and sell heavy machinery.
Suppose your potential customers have a multilingual workforce. In that case, it can also be easier for buyers to make a business case when they know that they will have access to translated training materials.
A good example is the pool supply industry. Proper installation of pool pumps, water filtration devices, and other devices is critical for safety reasons. But manufacturers may be selling to hotel chains, theme parks, and other groups that have a large and diverse employee base. By committing to training materials translation, a company increases its chance of signing a contract with one of these partners.
Companies such as the Germany-based Speck and the U.S.-based Pentair Pools offer bilingual or multilingual manuals as part of their global strategy. (As we have discussed before on our blog, your technical manual translation may be a regulatory requirement before you can sell your product in a new market.)
Osmo sells educational iPad-based games for children that pair physical game pieces with a digital app. As they have localized their games for other markets, they have also chosen to translate training materials that show parents and children how to use the games.
In addition to translating how-to guides for families, they have also translated guides for teachers, including in-depth information on how to incorporate Osmo games in the classroom.
Similarly, the toy company Moose has also localized user-facing videos. One of their most popular toys, the Magic Mixies cauldron, requires children to perform several steps in the right order to work. In order to make this easy, the company creates video user guides, as well as text-based user guides with GIFs showing each step.
For customers in Germany and France, the company has dubbed the videos and added in-language text to make them easy for parents to follow. Similarly, their website also offers localized versions of the GIF-based guides.
Japanese manufacturer Yamaha is famous for—among many other products—their musical instruments. By investing in training materials translation, they have been able to gain a foothold around the globe. A Brazilian customer who buys a mid-range digital piano will have access to a translated Owner’s Guide, Quick Start Guide, and multiple other reference documents in their language.
A new clarinet owner in Montreal, meanwhile, will have access to a French-language owner’s manual that includes warnings, care guidance, and more.
How Art One Can Handle Your Training Materials Translation Needs
At Art One Translations, we have extensive experience in translating customer-facing training materials. We work with subject matter experts across a range of industries to ensure that our translations are accurate and culturally sensitive, no matter what market you are targeting.
We work with many different file types, including eLearning content, and provide eLearning localization from platforms such as Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline.
We can also create subtitles or voice over services for your training videos.
No matter what format your files are in, you will benefit from our large pool of expert translators as well as our signature three-step QA process.
Contact Art One Translations today to discuss how we can help increase your company’s revenue through training materials translation.
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