3 Tips for Multilingual Marketing

woman with speech bubble

The world has never been more connected than it is today, and we have technology to thank for that. The Internet doesn’t understand much about borders and the more social media invade our lives, the more possible it becomes for your brand to be transported abroad.

See Also: 7 Ways Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Strategy Is Failing

The key to transporting your brand abroad is being able to maintain the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, and this can prove to be quite tricky. Marketing managers spend a lot of time and effort getting to know their target audience and finding a way to communicate with them effectively. When you are expanding your brand to a new country, it’s important to do that all over again.

For example, if your target group is teenage girls, and you’ve found the means to communicate your brand’s message to them, that does not necessarily mean that you’ll be able to use the same method to communicate with teenage girls in another country. Sure teenage girls are much the same in all western countries, but it’s important quite literally to speak their language to effectively communicate your message to them.

According to Common Sense Advisory, 60 percent of the 3,000 global consumers surveyed said that they never buy from an all-English website while a 75 percent say that they simply prefer to buy from a website in their own language. These numbers demonstrate the significance of having a website that transcends your own borders and makes the effort to understand its customers. Multilingual marketing can be effective without going to too much trouble or spending too much money. The tips below will help set you on a path that will speak to your customers’ no matter what country they live in.

1. Use a Professional Translator


One of the most common mistakes business owners make when they are trying to expand their business abroad is that they think that hiring a professional translator is unnecessary. Many believe that because they have an employee who speaks the target language or because they themselves know a bit they can do the same work that a professional translator would.

However this is incorrect, professional translators have skills which make them invaluable to businesses. For example, not only do they speak the target language but they are also trained to modify the content so that it does not offend the cultural norms of a the target country.

2. Transcreate Your Marketing Strategy

girl in paris

If you’ve taken the effort of developing a marketing strategy that works for your target audience, I’m sure you know that a lot of things need to be factored into each creative decision and each creative curve your marketing strategy takes. Finding a marketing strategy that works can be challenging and it can take a long time. The same goes when you are translating your marketing strategy into another language.

Translating your marketing strategy into another language is not about translating your campaign’s slogan in the target language for example. Words do not have the same strength across cultures and sometimes the message will need to be altered or optimized to better fit the target culture, and this is what marketing people call transcreation.

Transcreation is about keeping the core of your marketing campaign but making creative changes in order for your message to come across as strong in all your target markets. Sometimes it’s just words that will need to be changed, but there are times you may need to change your entire marketing campaign as it would be inappropriate for the target culture.

Investing in transcreation can really make your brand so don’t cut corners when it comes to hiring marketing people who are specialized in transcreation.

3. Do Not Allow Your Brand’s Personality to Be Lost in Translation

girl reading a board

As we discussed above, embracing linguistic and creative changes might prove to be necessary when expanding your brand to another country. However, that doesn’t mean that you should allow your brand’s voice to be lost in translation.

Without a doubt finding the right balance between the two could be a fine line, but you need to find it if you want your brand to have longevity in the target culture. If you are trying to win over a market, you want to keep in mind that you are there to stay and in order to ensure that your brand will survive the passage of time you need to invest in its uniqueness.

In other words for your business to succeed abroad you have to keep its voice loud. To do that give specific guidelines to the team that will be working on your brand. Set the tone of the campaign for them and go through every creative decision that needs to be made as this will ensure that you maintain a consistent tone for your brand.

See Also: How to Develop a Business Development Growth Strategy in 2015

Expanding your brand across borders is a difficult task to undertake, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give your brand a shot in another country. Remember that so long your voice is consistent, and your brand is distinguishable, your marketing campaign will be successful.  

Have you ever tried organising a multilingual marketing strategy without a professional translator? What happened? Your thoughts and comments below please...




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