The Internet has made it possible for companies of all sizes to do business with people anyone in the world. However, many restrict their audience to only a small proportion of the 7.6 Billion people on the planet. Why? Because they don’t give much emphasis on multilingual internet marketing.
Taking the English language as an example, one might assume that marketing a business in solely English means that business has enormous reach, and never think about translation and localization services.
In a way, that assumption about enormous reach is correct. According to Wikipedia, there are around 356 Million native English speakers in the world, including the vast majority of people in the US and the UK.
However, a more surprising statistic is the fact that only just over 5% of the global population speak English natively. In fact, English is only the third most common language in terms of native speakers.
You may be wondering that a slightly larger number of people speaking Spanish, and almost three times as many speaking Mandarin.
So, what can you do about this when it comes to internet marketing? Like so many things in business, the first step is to do some research.
Research – Internet Marketing
A good first port of call for this is the Google Analytics data for your website. This will allow you to see where people are visiting your site from. Moreover, it helps you to know what language they have set by default on their devices.
The chances are this will reveal you have plenty of potential customers in those countries. So, you can focus on those people where the native language doesn’t correspond with that of your website.
Some of these people may use plug-ins to perform a “machine translation” of your website content. However, most people know, these translations can throw up plenty of mistakes and inaccuracies.
Armed with your analytical data, you should be able to identify some opportunities for marketing to potential customers. Suppose you have a website in English and discover you are seeing visitors from France and Spain.
So, it’ll be better to have a French and Spanish version of your content that may likely to pay dividends.
Over the years, plenty of companies not getting their translations quite right for the international market. These cases emphasize the importance of a human, native speaking eye when localizing marketing materials.
As an example, KFC once used a sloppy translation of their American “finger-lickin’ good” slogan, without realizing it would have cannibal-related associations for the Chinese market. They ended up advertising that they would “eat your fingers off!”
Similarly, due to a lack of this kind of attention to detail, Green Giant made their sweetcorn rather less appealing to Arabic customers when a translation turned their “jolly green giant” into an “intimidating green monster.”
It’s important to note, at this point, that translation and localization are about more than just words. Cultural differences between countries can also mean that a “straight up” translation without thought given to culture could result in misunderstandings or even unintended offense.
Thanks to the ability to configure websites for multi-language use, and facilities to target social media advertising at different global markets. It is relatively straightforward to get started with internet marketing in more than one language.
It’s also something that can be done in comfortable stages, by branching out into the most promising markets before spreading this approach out more widely.
So, once the research is done, it’s easy to dip one’s toe in the water of marketing to people who speak other languages.
Everyone likes being addressed in their native language, especially if it’s done with enough sensitivity to recognize or even capitalize on cultural quirks. Just try not to involve monsters or cannibalism!
I hope this post let you know how much it’ll be effective to do internet marketing in more than one language. If you like this post then do share it on your social networks.
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Published On: Jan 17, 2018