I’ve been thinking increasingly about developing multilingual marketing for Passle, particularly in response to our French clients. As a half-French marketer, I know that while many French people are fluent in English, nothing quite beats reading content written in your native tongue.
The article below is therefore incredibly useful in highlighting some of the do's and don’ts of multilingual marketing. Some key points are:
Only do it if it makes sense to do it
This sounds obvious enough, but to do multilingual marketing justice you are going to need more resources. This includes hiring proper translators to avoid embarrassment (no, Google Translate isn’t going to cut mustard!)
Beware of false equivalents
I’m very aware of that for French in particular where some words, while seeming similar on the surface, mean actually very different things. Marketing in a different language requires careful research so that you are using the most accurate keywords, and are aware of trusted resources in that language.
Filtering is everything
Being spammed in different languages is sure to annoy your customers. With that in mind, it seems logical to have different social media accounts for different languages. Again, this is a drain on resources, so it’s worth going back to that first point: only do it if it makes sense to do it!
The global numbers of multilingual speakers are growing, with the number of people speaking more than one language outnumbering monolingual speakers drastically. As of 2012, in Germany 67% were bilingual, 88% in Denmark and 99% in the Netherlands, with the European Union in total having 56%. In the USA the percentage of the population who speak another language at home has almost doubled since the early 2000s. Targeting a bilingual online audience is a daunting task but one that is definitely worth it. US Marketers ignoring such a large percentage of potential consumers are missing a huge opportunity. One of the best ways to reach bilingual speakers and to target audiences more effectively is by entering into the overwhelming world of multilingual marketing.