Marketing your brand worldwide without delving into translation can be difficult, especially in markets that are used to localizing everything. People from countries such as Germany, Russia, and China like to see marketing content in their language instead of English. According to Smart Insights, 72% of people spend their time using websites in their languages, with 89% of internet users being outside the US. Additionally, 71.4% of Fortune 500 companies localize their marketing content to appeal to markets with fierce local competition. Investing time and resources into marketing for a global audience will always pay off based on reach and engagement alone. Let’s discuss how you can customize your marketing strategy to appeal to audiences worldwide in 2021.
1. Pick the Right Languages to Cover with your Brand’s Content
There are dozens of languages that you could potentially translate your content into. However, you should aim to cover as much territory with as few languages as possible to make your marketing strategy easier to manage. Based on Just Digital, 75% of customers only purchase goods in their languages. Likewise, 56% state that the availability of their native language on a website is more important than the price.
Which languages are we talking about? The standard assortment of English, Spanish, German, Italian, and French is always a good idea, and you won’t make a mistake by choosing whichever ones. If you want to reach customers in Asia or South America for example, you need to do research and pick a set of languages first.
2. Make the Distinction Between Translating and Localizing Your Content
Before you get started on translating your content into other languages, you need to make the distinction between translation and localization. Translation involves 1-for-1 translation of content into another language with very little cultural context in the account. On the other hand, localization represents a more complex albeit rewarding process where the translated content is more appealing to native speakers.
If you’re not sure about which approach is better suited for your business, ask for professional help before committing. Reaching out to language translation companies can give you a good idea of how you can get translation and localization services from professional native writers. Roughly, translation is best used for B2B marketing while localization should be used in B2C to appeal to ground-level customers.
3. Take your Website’s UX into Account When Marketing Internationally
Marketing goes beyond simply publishing content or sending emails to your customers. Whether you run an eCommerce business or a SaaS company, odds are that you will have customers from around the world visiting your website. On that note, it should be easy to swap between languages on your site with a simple drop-down menu in the corner of your UI.
Instead of geo-targeting different language territories, set your homepage in your native language as default and direct users to switch if they so desire. Any content you create in, say, English, should also be translated into others. Avoid being selective about which languages you prefer and treat all of them equally.
4. Set Up a Social Media Presence Separately for Different Languages
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are some of the best marketing channels you could use to reach global audiences. Once you start translating your content, it will be difficult to keep track of what you posted and in which language on a single page.
Instead of posting status updates and posts on a single business page, create several pages for different languages with “Country” or “Language” as a subtitle. For example, if your brand is called “Pro Design”, it would be “Pro Design US” or “Pro Design France”. This will help you manage different audience bases and make posting new content much easier. Most importantly, it will give your customers the choice to follow whichever page they prefer based on their native language.
5. Prepare to Optimize SEO for Each Language Individually
To reach as many people as possible, you will have to look for local SEO keywords in each language to better optimize your content. Tools such as Google Ads and SEMrush will allow you to break down each language’s keywords and phrases and find the right ones quickly.
Optimizing SEO for different languages is tricky if you are not a native, so it might be good to work with native speakers. Trying to DIY SEO for different languages can appear crude and robotic in the eyes of customers, not to mention how Google’s algorithms will respond. Optimize your SEO in whichever language is your native one and look for international assistance to better optimize others before publishing your translated content.
Managing a Global Marketing Strategy (Conclusion)
Choosing to market to international customers is one of the best decisions you could make for your brand. Keep in mind however that you will have to take your target audience’s culture, habits, and lifestyle differences into consideration. What seems perfectly fine in the West may be seen as taboo or utterly inappropriate in Asian territories. Take time to find native speakers to work with remotely or in-house and your marketing strategy will become that much better for it.