Anna Rubio is the Marketing Manager at iLovePDF, a document management service that allows users to read, convert, annotate, and sign PDFs online, on desktop and mobile, free of charge. In this blog, Anna talks about bringing digital marketing insights into localization, and iLovePDF’s strategy of bringing their products and services to millions of users worldwide through localization into 25 languages.
Digital Marketing from Communications to Marketing and Content Localization
With a BA in Advertising and PR, and an MA in Digital Marketing, where else would an aspiring digital marketeer wish to start their career but in the MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona? From the world of art, Anna’s journey took her to one of Spain’s largest banks, CaixaBank, working in communications and marketing. And from banking, Anna moved on to creating social media, content, and communications for online communities of two pharmaceutical companies.
At iLovePDF, Anna took charge of customer support, marketing and localization, bringing the principles of customer-centric digital marketing to the localization process, and expanding from 11 to 25 languages.
“I spent the early part of my career in large organizations, but when I joined iLovePDF, it was a jump right into a growing start-up company with two developers and a graphic designer – working in a basement office with views towards the parking exit,” Anna laughs. At iLovePDF, Anna took charge of customer support, marketing and localization, bringing the principles of customer-centric digital marketing to the localization process, and expanding from 11 languages to 25.
Localizing Content into the Most Used Languages Globally
iLovePDF does what it says on the tin: it’s a suite of document management tools that allow users to merge, split, compress, convert, rotate, unlock, and watermark PDFs with just a few clicks. Originally a web solution, iLovePDF’s products have been developed to include mobile apps for iOS and Android, a desktop tool for Mac and Windows, as well as an API for developers.
iLovePDF.com is one of the most visited websites in the entire world, hitting rankings in the top 100 most months, with over 60 million monthly visits in 2021.
No surprise then that localization forms a huge part of iLovePDF’s business strategy. “Our vision is to make our PDF service available to everyone, in every country of the world, and that’s why we are localizing our content into the most used languages globally,” says Anna. “Some of those languages don’t yet give us a direct return on investment, and we do make strategic decisions about localizing some content like our blog, but our services, mobile app, and tools are always available in the 25 languages we support.”
iLovePDF’s product development and localization pipeline is led by product-owner developers working in close collaboration with Anna, who manages the localization team and workflows.
“Product and marketing content has always been localized into 25 languages, but our blog has only existed in English. Strategically, it’s very important for us to have content in as many languages as possible for SEO purposes, so I am now working on the localization of the blog.”
This year, Anna has also kicked off a totally new localization project, the iLovePDF blog. “Although our product and marketing content is always localized into 25 languages, our blog has only existed in English. Strategically, it’s very important for us to have content in as many languages as possible for SEO purposes, so I am now working on the localization of the blog from English into French, a big market for us, and later on in the year also into a few more of our other most popular languages,” Anna explains.
Localization Is All About People
Anna manages a team of 25 translators, one per language, working exclusively in Crowdin for all content: web, marketing, app, and desktop. To Anna, digital marketing is about the people, but so is localization.
“Our team communicates in Crowdin, and two of the most important functions for me are the reporting feature for any issues, and the screenshot feature for context.”
“In the same way as I think about what the users need when I design digital marketing campaigns, I want to give our translation team the best possible working environment. Our team communicates in Crowdin, and two of the most important functions for me are the reporting feature for any issues, and the screenshot feature for context. In Crowdin, I show the entire flow of a new tool or a feature through screenshots to make sure the translators understand it from the beginning to the end.”
“Now I really want to try out one of Crowdin’s new features, translating directly in screenshots through editable fields, which would add even more context for the translators, and enable them to improve on user experience.”
A Maturing Localization Model
Successful localization for Anna is about user experience. One of iLovePDF’s guiding principles for the development of their brand and products is ease of use.
“We want to make sure that everyone can use our products easily and comfortably, and localization plays a big role in enabling that.”
“Our users come from lots of different backgrounds, cultures, and age groups, and have varying technical abilities,” explains Anna. “We want to make sure that everyone can use our products easily and comfortably, and localization plays a big role in enabling that.”
Even with an established team of translators, up until recently Anna has road-tested all content to control usability by localizing nearly everything herself into Spanish, before releasing it to the rest of the translation team.
“Our products are seen and used by millions of people worldwide, so any issues with localization are quickly flagged up and fixed.”
“Our translators understand our products and services really well, and we also have a very close relationship with our user base. Our products are seen and used by millions of people worldwide, so any issues with localization are quickly flagged up and fixed,” says Anna.
“This year, we are adding another layer of quality control in our workflow through proofreading by another linguist. Our internal team has also grown over the years, and I now have colleagues who come from different cultures and speak different languages, so we’re able to establish internal review loops.”
With millions of users globally, iLovePDF’s total focus on user experience clearly does the trick.