Mine the gold of online customer buzz with user-generated content translation


Your worldwide customers are creating valuable content about you in multiple languages—are you turning it to your advantage through user-generated content translation?


Studies show that content—such as customer reviews, chats, web discussion forums and blog comments—has become a huge influence in buying decisions. According to Nielsen’s 2011 Global Trust in Advertising report, which surveyed more than 28,000 people in 56 countries, 70 percent indicated that they trusted online consumer reviews.


Unbiased and persuasive, user-generated content is a powerful force in the marketplace. It can improve sales and lead to stronger customer engagement and brand loyalty. How great is that?

There’s just one thing you need to do to take full advantage of this type of content on a global scale: translate it. After all, not doing so would be a lost opportunity.


Considering how this content is ballooning faster than ever before, translation is no easy task. You need a strategy that scales to this fast-growing content. Before you wish the Internet had never been created, check out these tips on managing user-generated content translation.


Translate with care


Why do consumers put their trust in user-generated content?  The fact that it’s honest opinions from actual shoppers—not a company—is the cornerstone of its appeal. Trusting the source of the content is just as important as the message itself. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain the integrity—the personal elements—of the content.


User-generated content translation requires finesse. Today’s savvy consumers will be put off by blog comments and customer-written product reviews that don’t seem genuine (ever stumbled on a user review translated by a free online translation tool that didn’t get it right?). No one wants to feel duped. Customer skepticism will reflect poorly on your organization and hurt your credibility.


Here are two important aspects we address to preserve and translate this vital content:


1)  Allow the author’s unique voice and personality to shine through


User-generated content is written by a variety of people, so it should sound that way. During translation, linguists take great pains to preserve linguistic nuances and other elements that give the message personal flair.


2)  Maintain the emotional core


This type of content is more than a collection of words. It’s written from the heart. People are passionate about products and services they love, so it’s important to keep the emotional aspects of the message intact. Linguists are skilled at making sure translated content sounds human, not corporate.


Plan a translation strategy for this content


The number of user-generated content creators is projected to reach 114.5 million this year in the U.S. alone, according to eMarketer. That figure is obviously higher worldwide.


You need an efficient language translation strategy to keep up. Here are some pointers.


Establish a protocol for near real-time translation


Which content is worth translating? What are your company’s standards for translation quality? Make decisions, establish a standard for your team to follow and set goals for near real-time translation.


Consider a high-quality machine translation tool


Free online translation tools are not consistently accurate. For higher quality content translation, consider building custom machine translation engines. YBD Translations can train your machine translation engine with terminology and content that’s specific to your company and industry. Along with human-performed post editing, we can ensure your user-generated content is accurately translated within just a few hours.


Think about crowdsourcing


Translation crowdsourcing is the practice of collaborating with individuals—possibly volunteers—to complete translation work. In this way, you can benefit from contributions from native speakers around the globe.


Crowdsourcing can be a more affordable way to translate this type of content. Also, it may be your fastest option. To decide if translation crowdsourcing is right for your organization, read about the pros and cons.


User-generated content is a golden opportunity


Thanks to the digital age—and the explosion of social media—customers are flooding the web with content. The world is talking about your products and services on Facebook, Twitter, Epinions and your own website. Prospects in every country are influenced by user-generated content, so make sure you take advantage of the globe-spanning customer buzz around your brand.


When all’s said and done (or tweeted and posted), this type of content is growing faster than you can plus-one it, pin it, scoop it, dig it or tag it.  It’s no small challenge to translate it all in a reasonable amount of time—and that’s why we’re here!


A workable strategy can help you integrate user-generated content into your existing language translation program. We’re happy to work with you to help devise the right plan.


Have you given the green light to user-generated content translation? Do you have any questions around this task? Let us know how we can help.