September 19, 2023
By Blog Team
In the world of global business, language and cultural sensitivity have become the linchpins of successful expansion.
And as we move further into 2023, it's clear that multilingual marketing isn't just a 'nice-to-have' but an essential strategy for brands seeking global resonance.
We’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to maximise multilingual marketing's potential.
But First, What is Multilingual Marketing?
At its core, multilingual marketing involves crafting and tailoring international campaigns to resonate with audiences across different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
It goes beyond direct translation, delving deep into the cultural, social and behavioural nuances of each target audience.
The Benefits of Multilingual Marketing
- Diversifying Markets: Multilingual marketing opens doors to a plethora of markets, reducing the dependency on a single demographic and spreading risk.
- Driving Global Growth: By resonating with a global audience, brands can tap into international demand, boosting sales and expanding their reach.
- Enabling Trade: Language is at the heart of business transactions. Multilingual marketing paves the way for smoother international trade by building trust and understanding.
- Authentic Audience Connection: Full localisation or creating content from scratch ensures that the message isn't just understood, but deeply resonates with the target audience.
The Power of Marketing Localisation Over Direct Translation
While direct translation can be a starting point for brands with tighter budgets, the real magic lies in localisation and content creation from scratch.
Direct translation runs the risk of misinterpreting cultural nuances or missing out on colloquialisms, potentially alienating audiences or, worse, causing unintentional offence.
On the other hand, localisation – adapting content to a specific region or market – ensures that the brand message is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
Investing in unique content, transcreation (the blend of translation and content creation), and localisation can significantly elevate the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, ensuring that it's not only linguistically accurate but also culturally compelling.
Steps to Successful Multilingual Marketing
- Research Your Target Markets: Start with thorough market research. Understand the linguistic nuances, cultural sensitivities, buying behaviours and preferences of your target audience.
- Opt for Localisation or Transcreation: Wherever possible, lean towards localising your content or using transcreation. These strategies ensure that your content aligns seamlessly with the cultural and linguistic intricacies of the target market.
- Incorporate Generative-AI: In 2023, AI has become indispensable. Use generative-AI to quickly produce content drafts or translation. However, note that AI isn't perfect. More on this below.
- Prioritise Postediting: Postediting, especially after AI generation, is crucial. It ensures that the generated content is accurate, culturally sensitive and free from potential cultural faux pas. This step is non-negotiable, especially for multilingual content.
- Engage Native Professionals: Use native marketing professionals or consult with local experts to review your campaigns. Their insights can provide an authentic touch to your marketing strategies.
- Test and Iterate: Run pilot campaigns to gather feedback. Use this feedback to refine and perfect your strategy, ensuring maximum impact.
- Stay Updated on Cultural Trends: Culture isn't static. Regularly update yourself on cultural trends, holidays and significant events in your target markets to stay relevant.
Multilingual Marketing Channels: Engaging Global Audiences in Their Native Tongue
The digital era has revolutionised the marketing landscape, offering brands an incredible range of platforms to reach a global audience.
Central to this shift is the emergence of multilingual marketing. This approach not only acknowledges linguistic diversity but also pays homage to the nuances of regional cultures, tapping into a potential gold mine of consumer engagement.
Let’s explore the concept and why businesses should consider integrating multilingual marketing across various channels:
The Power of Multilingual Marketing
As globalisation brings the world closer, it has become increasingly important for brands to resonate with audiences in a language and context they understand.
- Consumer Preference: 75% of internet users converse in a language other than English. Interestingly, a significant 75% of online shoppers have a strong inclination towards purchasing products detailed in their native language (Source).
- Enhanced Customer Relations: Offering customer support in one's native language can build deeper, more personal brand relationships.
- Market Reach: Dr. Donald A. DePalma of CSA Research emphasises that businesses risk sidelining nearly 40% of the potential market by not localising the purchasing experience.
Given these compelling reasons, let's explore the five primary channels for running multilingual marketing campaigns.
1. Multilingual Content Marketing:
- Why It Matters: Quality multilingual content, whether in the form of blogs, podcasts, or webinars, showcases a brand's dedication to its audience. Wise, an international money transfer platform, for instance, successfully manages blogs tailored for 43 different countries, each featuring content in the respective local languages.
- Best Practices: Beyond mere translation, it's crucial to focus on multilingual SEO. This ensures your content reaches audiences based on their location and language preferences.
2. Multilingual Email Marketing:
- Why It Matters: Many consumers prefer their brand communication via email.
- Best Practices: Transcreation over mere translation, timely delivery considering global time zones and understanding device preferences are essential to ensure email relevancy and engagement.
3. Multilingual SEO:
- Why It Matters: Each region, even those speaking the same language, might have different search behaviours. The distinction between UK and US English, for instance, can influence search results significantly.
- Best Practices: Alongside keyword localisation, brands should focus on elements like hreflang tags, alt text for images, and meta descriptions to boost SEO efficiency.
4. Multilingual Social Media:
- Why It Matters: Social media is a primary connection point between brands and global audiences. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer potent tools for localisation, helping brands craft region-specific campaigns.
- Case in Point: Spanish pet care brand Sanicat effectively leverages localised Instagram and Facebook accounts, curating campaigns tailored to its key markets.
5. Multilingual PPC:
- Why It Matters: The UK, being a multicultural hub, hosts a wide array of languages and cultures. The high number of foreign-born residents, including those from EU countries, highlights the need and potential for multilingual PPC campaigns. Just as the US sees a huge advantage in targeting the Latinx community, the UK can tap into its diverse linguistic groups for better reach and engagement. Of course, campaigns can also target international regions too.
- Best Practices: Start by setting up distinct campaigns tailored for specific languages prominent in the UK, such as Polish, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, and more. Investing in thorough keyword research ensures that your PPC ads resonate with these linguistic groups. Moreover, make sure that your ads are not just mere translations but are crafted to be culturally and linguistically apt, ensuring maximum impact and relevancy.
While the potential benefits of multilingual marketing are immense, implementing it across multiple channels requires significant effort, expertise, and nuance. Collaborating with professionals, such as local translators, SEO experts, and marketers, can streamline this process, ensuring your brand's voice resonates globally while maintaining its core essence.
The Future of Multilingual Marketing: A Blend of Technology and Human Touch
Generative-AI has revolutionised content creation, enabling brands to quickly draft and adapt content for various markets. However, the human element – understanding, empathy, and cultural awareness – remains irreplaceable.
Brands in 2023 should see AI as an ally, a tool to streamline processes, but post-editing by human experts is where the true alignment with target audiences happens.
By understanding this balance, brands can position themselves for unparalleled global success, connecting deeply and authentically with diverse audiences worldwide.
To summarise, multilingual marketing in 2023 is more than just speaking multiple languages. It's about resonating, connecting, and building trust across the vast tapestry of global cultures.
With the right approach, brands can unlock untapped potential, ensuring sustained growth and lasting impact in the international arena.
And Wolfestone is here to help.
We offer expert localisation and translation services that consider every detail, from cultural sensitivities to local regulations. Together, we can bridge the language gap and connect your brand to your global audience.
Get in touch with us today, and let's take your business to the next level.