Money may talk the same language everywhere, but your customers don’t. It doesn’t matter how impressive your product is, or how slick your branding is – if customers can’t understand you or relate to your marketing materials, they will head elsewhere.
As a result, companies are finding that expanding across borders is increasingly difficult. Without the ability to connect with speakers of local languages, many enterprises fall flat. That’s why savvy multinational businesses have started to invest in multilingual content, enabling them to localise their presence in key markets.
However, if you aren’t Coca Cola or Microsoft, do you have the resources to create this kind of localised marketing strategy?
Although it might seem out of reach, creating an effective multilingual copywriting strategy is within anyone’s grasp. But, you will need the know-how. Here some key tips to ensure that your content is speaking the right language, and is primed towards bringing new customers on board.
1. Be Clear About Your Target Market
Before you start creating multilingual content, you need to understand your audience.
Obviously, it’s essential to know what language to use. But, it’s arguably just as important to know how to use that language effectively. Recruiting skilled writers with a mastery of local idioms and cultural references is essential to connecting with any digital audience.
Couple that with market research to understand local trends, and digital research to discover which sales channels are favoured by local consumers, and you’ll be en route to a killer localisation strategy.
2. Focus on Transcreation, not Translation
At greatcontent, we constantly make the distinction between “transcreation” and “translation” – and it’s a difference that all marketers need to master when expanding to new audiences.
Translation is literal. It seeks to convert a text from one language into another, and nothing more. That might seem fine for launching product catalogues or blogs, but it’s nowhere near enough for digital marketers.
Transcreation goes further. It seeks to ensure that the meaning of a text is retained, but that the forms of expression used are appropriate for a completely different culture. It uses creativity and cultural knowledge to reshape texts, resulting in much more compelling results.
So, when formulating a copywriting strategy to expand abroad, bear that in mind. It may be tempting to use cheaper translators, but to really connect, transcreation is essential.
3. Extend Multilingual Research to SEO As Well
A solid multilingual marketing strategy can’t just focus on creating great content to showcase your brand. It will also need to adopt a multilingual SEO strategy to ensure that the content is easily accessible online.
Familiar keyword research techniques apply here. However, be alert for keywords that are specific to regions or demographic groups (which is somewhere a local content creation team comes in really handy).
Remember to localise everything SEO related, from meta tags to HTML. And, be on the lookout for country-specific search tools. For instance, Yandex is a huge search tool in Russia, while around 20% of French web users rely on Bing, compared with 9% in Spain. Knowing those variations is an important ingredient of SEO success.
4. Source Content from Specialist Multilingual Copywriting Teams
If you aren’t confident about recruiting staff or freelancers to carry out a multilingual contentstrategy, you’re not alone. It’s a daunting task, and one that demands a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.
That’s why many companies bring in outside assistance to expand abroad. For instance, at greatcontent, we work with numerous companies on cross-border projects, providing product descriptions, blogs, and landing page copywriting services. By pooling international writing talent, bringing in SEO experts, and carefully overseeing projects, we can ensure that localisation is done well, and minimise the stress of opening up new markets.
You could go it alone, or continue to concentrate on your local market. But, if you want to expand abroad and want high-quality multilingual content creation services, get in touch. We’ll find an approach that makes expansion smooth and painless.
Text: Sam Urquhart