If you want your product to reach your target demographic, you need to market it. Simple enough. However, reaching potential customers in the modern global commerce landscape is more complicated than placing a few ads.
Nearly 20% of the global population is proficient in English. However, the world is occupied mostly by non-English-speaking consumers. Research shows that over 75% of online consumers prefer to shop from websites in their native language.
If you’re trying to expand internationally, bridging the language gap isn’t just an option – it’s a necessity. Today, we will tell you about multilingual marketing – what it is, why it’s so important, and how to implement it properly.
Let’s dive right into it by answering the central question.
What is Multilingual Content Marketing?
Imagine entering a store where everything is in a language you don’t understand. While you may recognize some of the products, you’re unsure about their ingredients, prices, etc. It would be rather confusing, right? That’s how many customers feel when they visit your web store.
Luckily, multilanguage content marketing can help you change this. By using multilanguage marketing, you can create content that will resonate with people in different languages, from different backgrounds, and with different cultural norms.
There are several different ways to implement a multilingual content strategy. You can adapt your existing content to fit various cultural contexts. Or, you can build a unique content strategy for each international market you’re targeting.
The idea is to craft a message that will resonate with your customers, no matter their nationality. This can take many forms, including:
- Translating website and blog content for global visitors.
- SEO optimization of your website content for local searches.
- Social media content for international audiences.
- Hiring customer service agents for local customers.
- Dubbing video content in multiple languages.
Why is Multilingual Content Marketing So Important for Businesses?
As a business, you want your message to resonate with every person interested in what you offer. Multilingual content marketing allows you to broaden your reach and appeal.
You must understand that multilingual content marketing is more than just translating content. It’s actually about creating a consistent, culturally relevant customer experience worldwide.
A recent study showed that out of the top 450 European eCommerce websites, three-quarters have been losing customers and money due to inadequate translation at checkout. A simple mistake like that is costing these businesses millions.
Let’s take one of the biggest brands on the globe as an example. Apple’s success in the global market stems from consistent customer experience. The look of the brand, its messaging, and its purpose – all remain the same in different locations across the globe.
It’s one of the main reasons why Apple is valued at nearly $3 trillion at the time of this writing.
10 Tips for Implementing Your Multilingual Content Marketing Strategy
If you made it this far, you want to adapt your content into multiple languages. But where should you start? Should you just contact a couple of translators and let them handle everything? Not quite. You need to come up with a strategy yourself.
Here’s what you need to do to form a multilingual content marketing strategy.
Understand your global audience
Knowing your audience is the #1 priority in marketing. According to HubSpot’s annual survey of over 1,200 marketers, nearly 60% don’t have the basic demographic information about their target audience.
Research different demographics in different parts of the world. Recognizing cultural differences will help you tailor your content, ensuring it’s not just translated but relevant and engaging for specific audiences.
First, you must realize that translation and localization are different. Translated content mainly refers to text converted from one language to another. It’s straightforward and simple. On the other hand, localized content involves adapting content to suit cultural nuances, idiomatic expressions, and even humor.
It allows you actually to create content that will resonate with a local audience. But can you localize content on a large scale? Today, using translation memory software, professionals can now translate large volumes of text.
Use native professionals
Since you’re trying to create authentic, compelling content, you don’t want to hire just any translator. Hiring a non-native translator can lead to misunderstandings, offended customers, and harm your brand.
That’s why you need to work with professional translators who understand content marketing, translate both modern and traditional wording, and present your brand to local audiences.
Maintain brand consistency
Speaking of branding, you must ensure that your brand remains consistent across cultures and languages. For this to work, you need to hire translators who deeply understand your brand’s personality.
That will require a collaborative effort between marketers and translators to ensure that each translation communicates the intended message and aligns with the overall brand identity.
Optimize content for multilingual SEO
If you want international audiences to find you online, your content must be properly optimized. In this case, it means having SEO done in multiple languages and, sometimes, for different search engines.
If expanding to China, you should optimize for Baidu or Zandex in Russia. Adapting your SEO strategies to these platforms is key to capturing the attention of a diverse global audience.
Create original content for each language
When you adapt your content for a certain region, it’s important to convey your message accurately. The cultural references need to be appropriate and resonate with the local audience.
If your content is technical in nature – manuals, guides, etc. – precision is key, so you might need to work with local experts to ensure every detail is correct. The attention to detail in crafting original content for each language can enhance your campaign’s effectiveness.
Adapt to local social media
Without social media, one can’t hope to have an effective content marketing strategy. However, social media habits vary greatly from country to country. Different platforms are popular in different regions. Instagram and Twitter might be widely used in the West, but in Europe, some countries prefer Weibo or VKontakte.
Promote cultural diversity
Multilingual content marketing is all about resonating with the cultural sensibilities of your audience. This is where promoting cultural diversity becomes pivotal. Make sure that your brand comes across as accepting of different cultures.
Celebrate the holidays of the country you’re creating the content for. If you have any workers from that region, celebrate them as well.
Implement multilingual A/B testing
Over the course of your marketing campaign, you’re bound to make mistakes. You will try accurately displaying and handling local-specific formates like dates, currency, and measurements.
But you won’t always hit the mark. Experiment. See what works and what doesn’t. Be ready to fine-tune your content throughout your campaign.
Measure and learn
Of course, you can do nothing without properly tracking the results of your efforts. You need to keep an eye on your content and learn from its success or failure.
When figuring out ROI for your content efforts, you need to think about different aspects: the cost of translating, advertising, and hiring social media managers, for instance. Set up some KPIs that will help you make sense of the data related to your localization strategies, and you should be fine.
Multilingual Content Marketing Case Studies to Inspire You
Before you embark on your multilingual content, you want to see what a successful campaign looks like. Below, we’ve l
Global Reach of Rock Content
In the first five years of its existence, Rock Content managed to acquire 1,600 customers, employ 350 people, and become the largest content marketing company in Latin America. While their marketing blog was the biggest in Brazil and Portugal, they wanted to expand.
By creating a Spanish blog and localizing its content, the company attracted 400,000 new monthly visitors and generated over $1 million in business.
- Expanded the company blog and localized it for Mexican and Spanish audiences
- Increased to around a million visitors per month.
- The Portuguese blog grows at 100% per year and Spanish 500%
Efficient Localization for Motorcycle Manuals
A Harley Davidson seller needed to translate manuals into multiple languages for their growing customer base. The company’s biggest problem was translating manuals correctly in a timely manner.
A custom system was developed to improve the translation and do it automatically. It allowed the seller to maintain content uniformity across languages and decrease costs.
- Enhanced translation efficiency and consistency.
- Reduced costs by focusing on updated content.
- Streamlined content exchange and issue resolution.
Zendesk’s Enhanced WordPress Translation
With over 1,200 complex pages, Zrendesk has a massive website. They wanted to expand their offer and localize their website for 17 different languages. Working diligently with digitized content and translation project creation, the solution made the complex task seem trivial.
- Automated translation for a large, multilingual website.
- Simplified content management and publication process.
- Enabled more focused project management.
SmartRecruiters – AppLocalization
SmartRecruiters, one of the leaders in recruitment software, operates in 42 languages, so translation accuracy is crucial to their success. That ensured maximum consistency of the best talent and translation consistency.
- The autopilot framework was used to assign tasks to the best translators
- A system was put in place, ensuring terminological consistency
- The SmartRecruiters app works perfectly in more than 40 languages
The power of multilingual content marketing shouldn’t be underestimated. It can bring your product or services to dozens of new markets and millions of customers. Despite its potential, roughly 60% of businesses have yet to embrace this global marketing approach.
They might be missing out on the vast potential of the non-English speaking market. But that doesn’t mean you should follow in their footsteps.
Of course, creating multilingual content is a substantial investment. It requires time, money, and specialized talent. And as your business expands, the endeavor will become increasingly intricate. Nonetheless, the potential ROI is too big for you to ignore it.
Head of Marketing at Bureau Works with over 17 years of experience in SaaS, digital marketing, product management, SEO, PPC, CRM, and Analytics.