In today’s digital age, internet users are growing by the minute and only 25% of them speak English, with Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic slowly gaining popularity. Adopting a multilingual digital marketing strategy can be key to broadening any business scope.
According to a recent study, 56% of internet users wished to have the ability to do their online search in their native language rather than English. This number is significant in showing the number of people who can benefit from seeing online information targeted to their language.
Even though a multilingual strategy can have its drawbacks, but the benefits are higher. Once a company starts investing in building a multilingual strategy it can start seeing better results farther than their targeted demographic.
Users reported that finding content in your native language can improve customer retention and brand awareness. However, the misconception that English is the language of the internet still prevails. English is only common in English search engines such as Google and Bing, but countries such as China and Russia have their own search engines. Other countries may have a large English-speaking population but prefer to conduct business in their native language such as Japan.
Expanding Target Customer
The most important aspect of this strategy is getting new business prospects. For e-commerce businesses especially, this can bring in even more users since websites won’t be limited to a single language.
Limiting your content to one language can put a limit on the audience you bring in to your business. Users want personalized content directed to them to feel involved in the strategies. Therefore, global customers can feel included and fully understand the service a business provides if it was in their own language.
An important thing to remember is to research the different dialects a target language might have which can help customers remember the brand and improve loyalty. Content can target one or more language depending on the budget.
A multilingual marketing strategy can put any businesses on the map. Especially if competitors are still focusing on one language. This content can give a competitive edge in the market; by being one of the few businesses who provide users with their own languages. Competition will soon become limited and this will put a brand in the lead for the most diverse and inclusive brand. Visibility in the audience’s target language is key to putting a business ahead of the competition.
Any brand that wishes to be found online needs to optimize for its audience. Optimizing is done through careful keyword research however simply translating the keywords into the target language is ineffective because words can have different meanings in other languages. An extensive research on the target audience needs to be done before translating content. Having localized SEO for different countries can help increase ranking for your website. Content designed with SEO in mind can greatly improve ranking. However, choosing an English domain name for your site is more effective. SEO can still work with multiple languages and it is encouraged. Localized Meta tags and URLs can greatly improve SEO, especially by helping users who search in their own language to find your site easier.
Things to remember before starting a multilingual strategy
Never use machine translation
Machine translators such as Google translate have proved time and again their inefficiency when it comes to making a professional translation. It may be tempting considering its affordable features but they are prone to errors. Creating content that moves human emotions cannot be possible with the use of machines. Investing in a proper team that can create multilingual content can be costly but the results this yields are higher.
Localize rather translate
Localizing content to a select region or country can convert better than word-for-word translation. It is about the culture of the language rather than the language itself. Idioms, sayings, and other emotionally charged content can be hard to translate but the general context can still be conveyed even if not translated literally. Literal translation can be ineffective to the overall message; so it is important to find content that reflects your message within the context of a different language and culture. Copies which are translated too literally or too loosely can become meaningless.
Adding a new language to your Digital marketing strategy can be challenging. Yet, marketers need to research the market well before going through any new strategy. Finding the right audience and the right copies for this market is essential for digital marketing growth. Also, focus on different time zones; find a common ground time to post. If you have used your resources to go through translating copies, there is no point to use them during a time when your audience is sleeping. With social media algorithms, by the time they wake up your post would have disappeared on the rest of the timeline.