“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

‒Nelson Mandela

It goes without saying that every online business — big or small — knows the impact digital marketing has on building brand awareness, connecting directly with customers and, more importantly, “bringing home the bacon”; or in other words, generating leads and increasing sales.

However, when it comes to global marketing, it’s a completely different ball game. One of the best strategies for online marketers to reach bilingual speakers and to target audiences more effectively is by entering the realm of multilingual marketing.

It’s important to keep in mind that in order to localise your digital marketing efforts across global borders, you have to ensure that it’s accessible and accurately communicated to the right countries, cities and regions. To achieve this, companies must aim to speak to their customers in their native language, otherwise your business could be potentially missing out on a HUGE opportunity for exponential growth.

Before delving into how multilingual digital marketing is beneficial for businesses, let’s start by looking at the statistics. In total, only 67 nations out of 195 countries in the world speak English as their primary language and that most web content is dominated by English, it’s clear that multilingual digital marketing can open up an entirely new audience for businesses on a global scale.

Want to look beyond English as the primary language of of your web content?

Here are some languages you should be considering as part of your targeting with your multilingual digital marketing campaigns (Stats as of June 2016):

Chinese: 751,985,224 users worldwide (20.8%).
Spanish: 277,125,947 users worldwide (7.7%).
Arabic: 168,426,690 users worldwide (4.7%).

Are you wondering how multilingual digital marketing can help your business succeed as a growth strategy? If so, then read on…

Invest in relevant languages

1. One of the best ways to grow a loyal customer base, is to invest in other relevant languages that will help you effectively reach your target audience. This is key for building a strong brand reputation and will help you expand into new markets or territories.

Speak your audiences language

2. The majority of international users are hesitant to trust any brand whose content is not in their native language. Succeeding in translating your digital marketing content puts you in a position to create compelling experiences among potential customers in different areas of the globe. Fact: Translating content such as blog posts, product descriptions, press releases and news alerts is just as important as your main website, if your ranking in search engines is important for your business. Being a company that employs these multilingual digital marketing strategies will help you gain new customers abroad.

Multilingual website & Social media campaigns

3. Unlike other forms of marketing, multilingual digital marketing is cost effective. For one, multilingual digital marketing has the potential to reach audiences that are difficult to reach with traditional marketing techniques like printables, TV, and radio ads, etc. Unlike non-targeted marketing channels, multilingual email marketing relies on sending the right marketing content to the right audience which can lead to higher return in your investment rates.

In regions where the markets main language is not English, launching a multilingual website or social media promotion in local languages is easier to operate than opening new outlets in more than one location. Also, retargeting your digital marketing content will increase growth and improve your company’s SEO position. Just in case you’re in doubt, SEO is still alive and relevant in 2018, and there’s plenty of statistics to prove it.

So how many searches are made each year?

According to Smart Insights, in 2017 46.8% of the global population accessed the worldwide web and by 2021 this figure is forecasted to grow to 53.7%. Which shows that the number of people using internet search engines is going up year on year.

Multilingual email marketing

4. Email marketing is important for building rapport with prospects, leads, existing customers, and even past customers — especially because you’ve already managed to reel them into the conversion funnel. All you need to do now is pick the right opportunities to engage with them and send out emails into their inbox at a time that is most convenient for them.

So, what can you do to make your email marketing even more effective if you are marketing to an international audience?

To achieve a more global position it is equally just as important (if not more) to start implementing an effective multilingual email marketing strategy. Of course, they both go hand in hand, but multilingual is thought to be an extremely powerful tool for access to potential global markets with a reliable return rate on investment (ROI) if executed well.

So how do I go about creating effective multilingual email marketing campaigns?

In case you were wondering how you do multilingual email marketing, then follow some of our tips below:

(i) First and foremost, you must make sure that multilingual email marketing is the right option for your business. Before you get started, you must ask yourself whether there’s enough consumer demand in those different countries, regions or cities to justify putting any effort into your multilingual email marketing campaigns?

One way to measure whether multilingual email marketing meets your businesses expectations is to use Google Analytics. Google Analytics will provide you with an even richer understanding of how your users interact with your site based on the location you are targeting. A high volume of international visitors suggests that you have customers who are already interested in your products or services. That insight alone, is enough for you to decide whether you should go multilingual or not.

(ii) Once you’ve established which audiences you’re going to target with your multilingual email marketing, then it’s time to begin the recruitment process and bring in professional translators to aid your campaigns. Despite how fast technology has grown, machine-translation still falls short behind human translation by quite some distance. Bear in mind that it is an extremely delicate process, where a single misinterpretation can skew entire proceedings. It doesn’t boil down to simply rendering one language word-for-word into another language. Instead, the work of translators, involves analysing the meaning of words, and how to express that meaning in such a way that it is both readable and comprehensible.

So, contrary to what many people might think, the only people who are able to capture the meaning of each word are real human translators. While the quality of machine translation is constantly improving, machine translators do not properly account for the grammar, idioms, conventions and the meaning of a piece of text. And while they may seem as though they are cost-effective, they are not the right solution when it comes to translating a business’s marketing content. although the process can be very slow, the best way of accurately translating your businesses documents into another language is to hire human translators.

5. Once you’ve identified the right language to target your email marketing content and hired expert translators to cater to your international audience, it’s important for you to update your email marketing strategy. To expand your global email localisation, you need to consider a few factors, including the most optimal times of the day to send out email campaigns. You won’t, for example, generate more conversions from your Chinese audience if they are receiving late-night emails.

Cultural localisation is also extremely important when targeting international audiences via email marketing. But you have to be careful when localising into another market. When localising your brand you must take different cultural values and languages into account. Some countries will resonate with one thing and other countries won’t.

For example, Nokia failed miserably when launching its Lumia phone in Spanish-speaking countries. Lumia, vaguely connotes “light” in English, but it translates to “prostitute” in Spanish. Nokia did not check what associations the word would have in other countries, and as a result, received condemnation for failing to check.

If you’re marketing your services internationally, its important to adapt and optimize your content or product to specific locales, otherwise you might end up getting lost in translation; or end up doing more harm than good.

Want to take your business global with multilingual marketing? If so, then visit our website to book a free quote today.