Reaching foreign markets has never been easier than now, thanks to the growth of the global digital landscape. But according to DigitalPortal, 31.9% of the world’s users from the ages of 16 to 64 use translation tools when searching online. This data shows that language barriers are an ever-present problem despite the advancement of technology.
Translation tools are handy, but they’re not always accurate. To learn more about how you can use translation services to enter any market through digital marketing, keep reading!
A Global Multilingual Approach: Why Translation Services Are The Key
The role of language in marketing is crucial. Communication is critical in promoting a business and enhancing the buyer’s journey.
To discuss how essential translation is for any business planning to expand globally, we interviewed William Mamane, the Chief Marketing Officer of Tomedes, a translation services company that assists SMEs and Fortune 500 companies with their international marketing campaigns. As an international marketing expert, we asked him about the common ways companies fail to communicate to their international customers.
“Many people believe that translation is just replacing one word in another language. It’s more than that. It’s about having a goal for your multilingual content, which includes understanding your core message and adapting it to suit your target audience’s preferences,” Mamane explained.
Mamane then stated that due to how competitive the global market has become, businesses could differentiate themselves from others by creating a multilingual digital marketing strategy. In recent years, more consumers have favored personalized content, making multilingual content very appealing. It’s because consumers want to understand the content right away without mentally translating it.
Now, you might be thinking that having English-only content will be enough to promote your business internationally. After all, English is the language of business. But the data I’ve listed below might make you reconsider:
- The international language services market is forecasted to grow 21.67 Billion from 2021 to 2025. (Global News Wire)
- 72% of international customers spend time on websites in their native language. (Think with Google)
- 82% of global shoppers said they would most likely buy from promotional content in their mother tongue. (Think with Google)
- About 1.4% of Chinese online content is found in the top 100 million websites. This supply is very low for 14.3% of the world’s online users. (Visual Capitalist)
- The Arabic language is the sixth most spoken language globally, but only 1.1% of the world’s online content is in this language. (Visual Capitalist)
There’s a clear demand for more multilingual content from the data I’ve presented, but there’s not enough of it. Because of this, the best course of action to globalize your business is through creating a multilingual digital marketing strategy.
Increase Business Sales through Globalizing
In broad terms, Globalization refers to the unregulated flow of ideas, technology, and products across borders. Where businesses are concerned, Globalization is how they build an influence internationally. This also means more involvement in bringing operations to other countries.
Globalization has increased the business sales of many small and medium enterprises through the internet, which has made it easier to promote and adjust their prices based on their customer’s preferences.
There are other benefits for companies planning to go global. Here are some examples:
- Bring down production costs. For example, the cost of labor in countries like Vietnam or Bangladesh is lower than that of the United States. The lower production costs ultimately mean bigger profits.
- Expose them to new markets. The export of services worldwide makes up 29% of the world’s GDP. With the increase of Globalization, that number is bound to go up.
- A wider talent pool. Your company will no longer be limited to hiring people in your local area. You can find talents from other locations and other countries.
- Innovation. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Globalization is how it opens up a wider range of possibilities for a business to develop itself. Globalization allows the entry of new ideas to both the country and the company entering its market.
But everything’s not positive with Globalization. There are also drawbacks, which businesses must learn to navigate:
- Recruitment issues. While many companies benefit from accessing the global talent pool, they’ve also cited that expansion of operations and attendant issues are the biggest challenges in international recruitment. There are special considerations for global recruitment, such as legal and cultural aspects that vary from each country.
- Regulatory compliance. To do operations in another country, you will need to comply with local laws, such as labor, production, marketing, shipment, and more.
- Homogenization. Globalization can also contribute to the lack of identity among companies. It goes the other way around too.
Because of this, many businesses seek out translation services to increase business sales and be in legal compliance to trade in a foreign market.
5 Tips on Creating a Multilingual Digital Marketing Strategy
The challenges to Globalization that we have cited can all be resolved by taking a strong and well-thought-out multilingual approach through the support of professionals, like translation services and international marketers.
Through our interview with Mamane, we gathered some advice and insights on creating a successful multilingual digital marketing strategy written below:
1. Know and Understand Your Core Message
As a company, what is it that you are trying to bring to the table? What is it that you are offering your customers? What can you do for them?
Mamane advised that you can start by writing down your company’s main message. Regardless of the language, your brand can remain consistent by keeping track of your main message in each market you enter.
It solves the problem of diluting your company’s branding and main message. It can also help the translation services you’re collaborating with have a better picture of how you want your brand to be promoted in several markets.
2. Make Sure Your Content is Easy to Adapt
When creating your digital marketing content, you need to adapt it to other languages and markets. The content should be easy to translate. The easiest way to do this is to work with translation services right from the start.
You can create content that’s easy to adapt by refraining from using cultural idioms, localized jokes, figures of speech, and complicated phrases. All of those might be hard to translate, and if you include those in the core message of your content, then you might end up with the wrong kind of messaging.
3. Decide Whether to Seek Out Professional Translation Services or Not
When planning your multilingual strategy, you need to decide on the multilingual content’s languages. Even if you’re marketing to English-speaking countries, you might still want to seek out professional translation services to ensure that your content can relate to your target users. But if you are very familiar with your target audience and have a clear understanding of their linguistic preferences, like their slang, tone, humor, etc., you don’t have to hire one.
If you’re unfamiliar with the language and market, it’s best to work with professionals to ensure that your brand’s message is not mistranslated.
4. Adapt Your Content to Your Target Market
On the other end, you might decide that it would be a worthwhile investment to adapt your content for a target audience. You will need to seek out the assistance of professional translation services to translate content that is in tune with your target audience.
According to Mamane, adaptation is about considering what is appropriate for the culture. Many well-established brands failed in their international campaigns because they weren’t sensitive to these nuances.
For example, some phrases might be inappropriate for one culture, while a color might carry a certain meaning in another. Translation services have experts who know how to adapt your content in the best possible way.
5. Integrate Your Multilingual Strategy
Another consideration is to adapt to the different cultures and countries you’re targeting. Creating this strategy and integrating it into your digital marketing is researching your target market.
You need versions of your website in the languages of the market you are targeting. Just how beneficial is a multilingual strategy?
When Neil Patel translated his website into more than 80 languages, he saw an increase of traffic by 47%. You probably don’t need to translate into many languages, but it shows that translation is not something to overlook in marketing. Part of your multilingual strategy will include translating social media, ads, packaging designs, blog articles, and more.
Leave no stone unturned—that’s how you create an effective multilingual strategy for direct digital marketing.
When you plan to globalize your company, it goes beyond translating your website. It also means building a connection with your target users. How you go about establishing it with your international customers is a challenge that even well-known brands can mess up from time to time. Hopefully, through my tips and insights from working in translation services, you can effectively promote your and increase business sales internationally.
Bio: Clarriza Mae Heruela has worked as a content writer for four years. She has written several articles that discuss content creation, digital marketing, and the language industry.