3 Powerful Ways to Pair Translation and Automation

The machines are winning — and marketers don’t mind. Automation helps them manage teams more effectively, scale programs more efficiently, and track results more easily.

In short, it rids their to-do lists of the repetitive tasks that make marketing feel like a chore.

Machine intelligence isn’t just for the operations side of the department either. From generating social media updates to coordinating email nurture campaigns, automation now has a hand in some traditionally “creative” assignments as well.

Yet when it comes to content translation, process automation has been conspicuously absent.

Marketers copy and paste individual text strings into spreadsheets, create endless email chains with translators and reviewers, then hold onto completed translations until their developers deem website updates a priority.

With more brands looking to foreign markets to fuel revenue growth — and counting on content marketing to lead the charge — these inefficiencies can no longer be ignored.

Now is the time for translation to join the age of machine-driven marketing, and here we’ll examine three of the smartest places to start.

Capture Content In An Instant

Marketers may know what content they want to translate, but getting that text into the hands of a translator can be surprisingly difficult.

Website internationalization takes many months, as developers must manually extract the text from their source code and package strings into a separate file. Alternatively, marketers might paste the desired text into a spreadsheet and plan on manually uploading completed translations via their content management system.

Neither process is particularly efficient, and both become unsustainable for marketers who hope to publish fresh content on a frequent basis. Thankfully, modern software offers several solutions.

Utilizing a translation proxy is the simplest way to accelerate your content preparation process. The associated software automatically scrapes text and HTML elements from the presentation layer of a website, eliminating the need for code-level alterations and quickly queuing strings for translation.

While proxy tools operate as a software layer that sits between users and websites, some teams may prefer to forge a closer connection between their source text and translation utilities. An API-based approach, for example, is often favored by tech-savvy companies with readily available developers and a desire for granular control. And depending on the chosen translation management platform, connectors to popular content management systems may already be available.

In each case, making small configuration changes upfront creates an automated exchange mechanism that accelerates all future translations without any ongoing IT support.

Take Collaboration To The Cloud

crowded email inboxMarketers don’t want to be middlemen, but many resign themselves to this role in order to facilitate translation team communication. They email spreadsheets to translators, forward Word documents to reviewers, and share feedback from SEO consultants.

All along the way, days and weeks worth of productive time is wasted waiting for collaborators to catch up on their email and pass the baton back to whoever is running the next leg of the translation relay.

When work is centralized in a cloud-based collaboration environment instead, jobs suddenly speed through the translation process. Automated alerts let colleagues know exactly when their skills are required, customized triggers push projects into their next phase, and comprehensive visibility makes it impossible for tasks to slip through the cracks.

This restyled workflow results in leaner processes, faster launches, and cleaner inboxes. And when combined with the right translation management software, the cycle can be automatically initiated whenever source content updates are detected.

Keep Publishing Under Marketing’s Control

From refreshing homepage copy on WordPress to launching landing pages via HubSpot, marketers are getting increasingly comfortable in the role of webmaster. And within most companies, developers have been happy to hand over the keys and allocate more attention toward their primary innovation projects.

Once content marketing expands into multiple languages, however, the perceived complexity of website localization often pushes developers back into the role of gatekeeper.

Their consultation is certainly appreciated at the outset, when teams are first deciding how to extract source text from the main site. But after the proper bridges have been built, translation jobs can travel a developer-free path to publication.

The proxy tools, APIs, and connectors that automatically pull source text toward translators are the same utilities that can automatically push approved translations onto a localized website. That means audiences see new content when it’s ready — not when developers can carve out time for a website update.

As a result, companies that initially pursue automation for efficiency gains may find themselves pleasantly surprised by the agility that seeps into their marketing mindset as well.

Learn More

To better understand how Smartling’s automated innovations support the global marketing strategies of companies like SurveyMonkey, IHG, and Uber, download the Translation Management Platform product brief today.