You've got questions.
We've got solutions.


3 Tips for Localizing Your Marketing Collateral

Once you decide to launch your product or service in another country or region, it is time to focus on localizing your content. Localization should be a top priority for a successful launch. However, this is only part of the process. 

3 Tips for Localizing Your Marketing Collateral .png

Here are three tips to help you when it comes to localizing your marketing collateral for an overseas market.

1. Account for text expansion to maintain the visual appeal of your marketing efforts

Translated text rarely, if ever, takes up the exact same amount of space as the original text. French or Spanish text, for example, may take up to 30% more space than English to convey the same ideas. This will likely impact the layout and design of your brochures or web copy. If there was not enough space left in the English copy, the translated text may be too crowded to fit. Conversely, if the translation happens to be shorter, there may be too much white space on the page. Multilingual Desktop Publishing teams can assist with making the text fit your space in a way that maintains visual appeal.

2. If you plan to print, consider the size of paper in other countries.

Paper sizes are not always the same in every country. For example, the standard paper size in the U.S. is 8.5”x11”. However, in many other countries throughout the world, that standard changes slightly to approximately 8.3”x11.7”. While this may not seem like a huge difference, it can make an impact in how your design team handles print marketing materials for an international audience. Your materials must be resized before printing for your international market.

3. Remember that different countries and regions utilize different numerical formats.

If your marketing copy includes product measurements or volume, the correct unit system must be used. In the U.S., we use the imperial system. We measure length in inches and feet, and volume in pints and gallons. However, the vast majority of the rest of the world uses the metric system. When localizing your content for customers outside of the U.S., your units must be converted to the metric system, utilizing centimeters and meters or liters and grams, for example. 

When it comes to phone numbers and postal codes, each country has its own distinct format. In some countries, a phone number may be 10 digits like we see in the U.S., but the area code may be just 2 numbers and the phone number 8 digits, instead of a 3-digit area code followed by a 7-digit number. Postal codes also vary by country. An Australian postal code is only 4 digits, as opposed to our 5-digit postal codes in the U.S., for example. Similarly, some countries have shorter or longer phone numbers and postal codes, but it is important to make sure your content reflects the current format in these local markets so that customers are not confused. 

Moreover, online forms should accept the correct versions of these items when someone is ordering from a foreign IP address or has chosen another country as their shipping location. Your website should not force someone with a 4-digit postal code to enter 5 digits, or your customer will be unable to order from your site.

If you have already localized your products or services, what is one thing you’ve learned about the process that you hadn’t thought about before you got started? We’d love to hear about your experience!

4 Tips for Working with Influencers to Market to Your Foreign-Language Audience

Engaging multilingual customers is becoming increasingly important in a world that is constantly connected. Brands must find ways to engage customers online and make a real connection in order to earn their business. You may be asking, “How do I market to a multilingual audience?”

4 Tips for Working with Influencers to Market to Your Foreign-Language Audience.png

When it comes to marketing strategies, traditional ads are becoming less valuable and relevant for many consumers. Around 30% of people utilize ad blockers to try and remove traditional ads from their online experience. This is a large percentage of your target demographic who will not see your ads due to ad blockers alone.

That’s why more and more brands are hiring influencers to market their products to their target audience. An influencer is someone who has the “power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience”. As of now, influencers cannot be blocked, and they can be a great way to reach key demographics that traditional ads just aren’t reaching anymore, both in English and foreign-language markets.

How do I engage a multilingual audience with an influencer marketing strategy?

Here are 4 tips for working with influencers to market to your foreign-language audience:

1. Hire an influencer who speaks the primary language of your target demographic.

You may have already found an influencer who is perfect for your English-speaking audience. However, don’t rely on the same influencers to reach your foreign-language customers. Look for an influencer who speaks their primary language so the connection feels more authentic for your target market.

2. Find someone who genuinely believes in your brand or product.

An influencer’s audience trusts them. This is why it can be detrimental for both your influencer and your brand if an influencer is not completely committed to the project. It is definitely possible to find the right person to share your product because they believe in it as much as you do, so take the time to find the best fit! Their audience will be more inclined to trust their word if the influencer truly loves the product or service they’re promoting.

3. Support the influencers you partner with.

Have a team of people dedicated to those you partner with, and if that person does not speak English as a primary language, look for a way to offer support and communication via a team who speaks the same language. The more valued a partner feels, the more likely they will be to continue doing business with you. If the partnership is the right fit, this is a win for both of you!

4. Build your own influence first.

Although you can simply pay an influencer to promote your brand publicly, many may be more interested in accessing your own network and audience than they are in a paycheck. Since an influencer is only relevant and valuable if they have an audience to influence, focus on how your brand can help them grow, too.

While influencer marketing is a great investment at the moment, traditional ads do still have their place in a comprehensive marketing strategy! But providing value for others who have the ability to authentically influence their own audience is a mutually beneficial relationship that can have a positive impact on both your brand and an influencer’s.

How to Personalize Marketing Content While Remaining Ethical in How You Collect Your Data

Personalized multilingual marketing can be extremely beneficial for your company. When you know enough about your customers to deliver content that targets them directly, it can help ensure your customers regularly receive relevant information and look forward to receiving your content. However, it’s important to make sure the personalization in these targeted campaigns feels genuine and helpful, and to avoid being intrusive or unpleasant.

Genuine Engagement in Automated Marketing_ How to Connect Authentically with Your Multilingual Audience (1).png

Consumers care more and more about how their data is being collected and utilized, as showcased in recent updates to laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU - which took effect in May 2018 - and the California Consumer Privacy Act, which will go into effect in January 2020. Both laws focus on the consumer’s right to privacy and control over what data is collected and stored. Not only is it important to keep these ideals in mind for all of your customers, but your multilingual marketing content should reflect these same ideals.

Here are a few ways you can interact with your multilingual audience in a personalized way without fretting about violating their privacy:

Interact with them on social media... in their own language!

Social media is perfect for personalized engagement! If you have social media posts written in your customer’s primary language, you’ll find it that much easier to communicate and engage with them! Reply to their comments and messages whenever possible. This helps foster genuine rapport, and it reminds your customers that there are humans behind your brand who want to build an actual relationship with them (not just sell them something).

Personalize email campaigns.

Email campaigns are a great way to reach those customers who have already shown enough interest in your brand to provide you with an email address. When you contact these customers, make sure the material they receive is relevant to their current relationship with your company. Localize these emails by translating the content for your multilingual customers and choosing images and content that will be relevant for your audience. If your customers reside in another country, know what it takes to remain compliant with any regulations that may be in place in their country as well.

Personalize these emails further by including their name in the email. Make sure to address them by the name that is deemed culturally appropriate. Research email etiquette for whatever language group you are targeting so that you do not risk offending a demographic group who may prefer to be addressed by their last name instead of by their first name.

Respect privacy and be transparent in your data collection practices.

While personalized content can be truly appreciated by many, there is also a fine line between your customers feeling engaged with your materials as opposed to feeling spied on using questionable data collection practices. Make sure you respect your customers’ privacy by sending them only the types of communication they have signed up to receive. Just because they included their phone number in a contact form does not mean they wish to receive text messages with offers and updates, for example. Allow them to easily opt out at any time and have full access to and control over the information you collect about them and how it is used. For a foreign-language audience, this data collection and privacy information needs to be available in their primary language.

When you create a marketing piece, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Does it feel genuine and helpful? Great! Keep using that piece. If it feels intrusive, however, consider what makes you feel that way. Chances are, if you feel content might be obtrusive, your customers will, too.  

Genuine Engagement in Automated Marketing: How to Connect Authentically with Your Multilingual Audience

Marketing automation tools help businesses save time, money, and reach people quickly and easily. These tools can be extremely effective, as long as the automation does not come at the expense of the relationships you’ve built with your current and potential customers. Your consumers don’t like to feel like they’re just a number. And your multilingual audience is no exception.

Genuine Engagement in Automated Marketing_ How to Connect Authentically with Your Multilingual Audience.png

Here are 5 ways to make sure you are connecting authentically with your multilingual audience when using automated marketing tools.

  1. Send personalized content tailored to each individual when possible. Use your automated tools to your advantage on an individual level! If you have customers’ birthdays on file, send them a personalized message (email, direct mail, or both!) wishing them a happy birthday. You can also do this for subscriber or loyalty member anniversaries if your business offers this. You can offer a special limited-time discount to entice customers to reconnect with you for any occasion, but even a simple message lets your customers know you are thinking of them. They will appreciate that you took the time to reach out, bonus discount or not.

  2. Target your ads specifically based on where you are in the business-consumer relationship. Your relationship with your customers (both potential and existing) varies from person to person. While you don’t have to send out individualized ads for each person every time you begin a marketing campaign in order to continue building that relationship, you will at least want to make sure your message is tailored to how much of a relationship you’ve already built with them. Just as you speak differently to friends you’ve known for 20 years as opposed to someone you’ve just met at an event, the content you deliver to someone who has made multiple purchases will be quite different than how you market to those who are unfamiliar with your brand. It is essential to build real relationships with your automated campaigns.

  3. Localize your marketing content with your multilingual consumers in mind; don’t just reuse your English ads. The personalized content you create won’t be effective if your consumers don’t understand or engage with it! Content should be translated into the appropriate language for your audience, and the design and layout of your materials must be relevant.

  4. Ask engaging questions and connect with your audience when they reply. The beauty of automation tools is that you can schedule content like email campaigns, ads, and social media posts in advance. Create content that is engaging; ask questions that prompt people to respond. Since you were able to schedule these items in advance, this frees up time for your team to respond when a customer takes action. If someone leaves a comment on a social media post, tag them and reply -- in their language! This shows customers that your brand genuinely cares about responding and providing them with value.

  5. Offer support in the languages your customers speak. Nothing can be more disheartening for a consumer than having questions about a product or service, and being unable to get the information they need. If you include a phone number or email address in your marketing materials, have sufficient support available in those mediums in the language(s) your customers speak. If a customer clicks a link in your online ad, the page where it directs them should also be translated and localized. Taking these steps helps ensure there are no interruptions between the marketing campaign and the purchase your customer intends to make.

What to Do When You Have to Pick a Dialect for Your Translation

Translating content into multiple languages can be beneficial for your marketing efforts and business ventures. However, language translations cannot always utilize a one-size-fits-all approach. Just as there are a variety of English dialects depending on where you are located (think of English in the U.S. compared with English in the U.K.), many of the languages you choose for the translation of your content will have their own distinct dialects. That’s why it’s important to know who your audience is before beginning the translation process.

What to Do When You Have to Pick a Dialect for Your Translation.png

Here are three common scenarios as it pertains to choosing a dialect for your translation needs.

Scenario 1: The audience is from a very distinct region. Some countries may speak the same language by name (French, for example), but the geographic location of your target audience could make a huge difference in the translation provider you choose. French spoken in Canada is quite different than French spoken in France, and French-Creole (common in Louisiana) is even more different still. Tell your translation provider ahead of time where your target market is located so that they can be sure to assemble the right team for your project.

Note: If you are creating content for audiences in both France and Canada, look for a provider than can provide you with the different translations to ensure each version is accurate for the intended audiences. Not only will there be differences in the terminology used for these audiences, but differences in punctuation will also come into play.

Scenario 2: You want to reach an audience that resides in multiple countries that share a common language, but you don’t have the budget to localize the content for each individual country. An example of this would be if you are looking to target customers within multiple countries in Latin America. In this case, you will likely want to use a more neutral Spanish that will be understood by those in each country. Even if some of the terms differ from one country to another, a more neutral or standard translation could still be quite effective, depending on your content.

Scenario 3: Your audience is from a specific area in the U.S. Sometimes, you only need to reach a group of people within a certain geographic region. If you are targeting a group of Punjabi speakers in New York, for example, they may speak the Punjabi dialect of India, as opposed to the Punjabi dialect of Pakistan. Research the people who live in the area you’re targeting so you can be sure you are requesting the correct dialect.

If you are ever unsure which dialect of a language your audience speaks, try not to guess. You can always work directly with your translation provider to determine the best fit for your language needs. Knowing where your target market is from or located not only saves you time, but this information also helps to avoid potential language issues stemming from a translation created for the wrong audience. After all, who wants to translate the same content twice if it can be avoided, right?

Four Reasons Your Multilingual Marketing Plan is Not Working (and What to Do About It!)

Marketing strategies are ever-evolving. The techniques that may have proven successful for your business five years -- or even six months! -- ago are not likely to work now. So it’s no great surprise that you may find yourself in a situation at some point when the plan you’ve put in place to market to your multilingual audience calls for some tweaking, too. Here are four common reasons your multilingual marketing plan might not be working and what to do about it.

Four Reasons Your Multilingual Marketing Plan is Not Working (and What to Do About It!).png

  1. Your content is not relevant to your target demographic. People often need to truly connect with content in order for it to be effective. That’s why it’s important to make sure your multilingual audience is receiving content meant just for them. If you are recycling the content you created for English-speaking consumers without taking the time to adapt it for a new audience, your message may not be reaching the intended consumers in the way you’d like. In fact, it could be off-putting instead!

  2. Your search engine optimization (SEO) is not geared toward your target audience. You can craft amazing marketing content with your target demographic in mind, but if you don’t tailor your SEO strategy to this multilingual consumer group as well, it won’t reach them. Get to know your new audience. How are they searching for information online? What is important to them? Shape your SEO strategy to fit your target market, instead of trying to make your target market fit into your current SEO strategy for English speakers.

  3. You’re making assumptions about your audience. Once you get to know your current consumer base and you feel good about your ability to market to them effectively, it is easy to assume that your multilingual audience will be similar. After all, if they like your brand, won’t they have similar habits? Maybe. But not necessarily. Make sure to invest in a bit of research to find out which social media platforms they use, whether they are receptive to email marketing campaigns, which marketing strategies are already working for competitors, etc. The information is out there; use it to your advantage when figuring out the best course of action to reach your multilingual consumers.

  4. You’re not investing in marketing to this group. If you’ve found an effective marketing plan to reach your English-speaking consumers, you’ve likely invested time, energy, and money into making sure your content reaches them effectively. You must do the same for your non-English speaking consumers. It’s simply not enough to try to reach a target group with organic reach alone. Set a marketing budget intended for your non-English-speaking consumers, too.

If something isn’t working, it’s okay to reevaluate your plan. Sometimes it takes a few (or more!) tries to get it right, and the ever-evolving world of marketing means you’ll likely have to tackle this a few different times or a few different ways. Just keep taking the time to research more about your audience, create a solid marketing plan based on that research, localize it for your target demographic, and then invest in and promote it. Companies that do this well are the ones that reach their multilingual audience best!

How to Market to a Multilingual Audience with Video Content

Over the past several years, social media video marketing has grown in popularity, showcasing how effective it can be to focus on this aspect of your marketing plan when deciding how best to reach a multilingual audience. There are a variety of options on social media platforms alone. Some of the biggest players are YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram. Each platform has its merits, depending on your overall goals, and the audience you’re targeting in your marketing efforts. So how do you begin?

How to Market to a Multilingual Audience with Video Content.jpg

Which social media channels should you use to market to a multilingual audience?

The first step is to figure out on which platform(s) your target demographic is watching the majority of their videos. For example, the majority of Snapchat users are females between the ages of 18 and 24 in the U.S., followed by France and the United Kingdom. Instagram users are usually slightly older, with the majority of users under the age of 29, but with a large user base between the ages of 30 and 49. The largest demographic of users is still female, but 80% of Instagram users are based outside of the U.S., making it attractive for those who plan to market their products overseas.

Conversely, YouTube users are mostly male, with a growing population of users in the 35+ and 55+ age groups. YouTube videos span 76 different languages (from 88 different countries), and like Instagram, 80% of its users are outside of the U.S.

What are the key differences between the social media video platforms?

Once you’ve determined which platforms you’ll use to reach your target demographic, you need to know some of the key differences between the platforms so you can use them effectively.

Both Snapchat and Instagram feature short videos called “stories.” Once posted, these stories will disappear after 24 hours. Snapchat stories are 10 seconds long, and Instagram’s are 15. You can utilize stories to share a combination of videos and photos that your viewers will have access to for just 24 hours, which is why this platform is best used for sharing your brand’s personality with your viewers, or promoting engagement from your audience in a more time-sensitive way. Businesses can pay to sponsor and feature their stories, or utilize hashtags to help more users find them organically.

In addition to stories, Instagram offers minute-long video posts that can be placed in an account’s newsfeed, along with a connected IGTV channel for longer videos. These videos will stay in your feed and IGTV account forever, unless you manually delete them, so you can use these to further engage with your audience with content you wish to share long-term.

On YouTube, you can upload longer videos and keep them on your brand’s own channel. You can promote your videos on YouTube through sharing your videos on other social media platforms, encouraging viewers to like and subscribe to see new content when you post it.

For each of these social media networks, you can create accounts and channels specifically for your users who speak other languages. For example, if you are marketing to a French audience, you can create a channel that shares original content specifically for that group so that it is not missed within your English feed, and so that your English-speaking users aren’t confused by French content in the middle of your stories.

What are your next steps for successful video marketing with your multilingual audience?

Once you’ve figured out the best platforms to use and types of videos your brand can create for your new target audience, start posting! Be authentic, post content that showcases your personality, and start marketing to your new audience! There will likely be a lot of trial and error as you begin. You’ll quickly find what works and what doesn’t. That’s okay! Consistency is key on these platforms; stick with it!

What to Consider When Optimizing Your Multilingual SEO Strategy for Voice Search

Although voice searches have increased in popularity over the past several years, largely due to the rise of voice assistants like Siri, Google Home, and Alexa, they’ve actually been possible since 2008. While customers can search for a variety of topics using their voice — similarly to how they conduct a search via desktop — there are some key differences between the two search types that are prompting businesses to focus on an SEO strategy that also encompasses voices searches. Just as you optimize your SEO strategy for desktop searches, you’ll want to pay attention to the nuances of your customers’ voice search habits when looking to grow your web presence, especially among multilingual audiences.

Optimizing Your Multilingual SEO Strategy for Voice Search (1).png

Here are a few ways to ensure you are optimizing your SEO strategy to ensure you are accounting for your multilingual audience’s voice search habits.

Consider the characteristics of a typical voice search

First and foremost, it is important to understand how a voice search is different than a desktop search. Knowing the types of searches your audience is performing through this medium will help you develop the right SEO strategy to respond to the queries they make.

Voice searches are typically more conversational and longer than desktop searches, since users do not have to go through the physical effort of typing the query. They are also often phrased as a question, since voice assistants seemingly respond to the person asking the question. What’s more, 22% of voice searches are performed so that users can find local information. Many mobile users are also on the go and need a quick response. They may never actually click on your website, as long as the search yields the information they need on the results page.

So, while a desktop user might search for “best dog groomer New York,” a voice search user may instead ask, “Which dog groomers are open now near me?”

Determine how to utilize the information to optimize your SEO strategy

Now that you know a little about the characteristics of a voice search, think about how your target audience speaks. What types of questions do they have about your products or services? Which languages do they speak? Which dialects? How might they phrase those questions in their primary language?

Once you get to know how your target audience speaks, make sure your website provides answers to these questions so that users can get the information they need on the go. If your website is translated into another language, search results should be displayed in the language detected in a voice search.  

In addition, keep your business listing up-to-date with your current hours, address, and phone number, and try to encourage positive reviews from customers. Whereas a desktop user may have more time to browse other websites of potential options, the customer who searched for “Which dog groomers are open now near me?” will likely never click on your website, but will, instead, look at the list of potential dog groomers and either call or visit the groomer based on proximity and ratings.

Bonus tip…

Check to see if voice search is already available for the language your target audience speaks. As of 2019, Google Assistant was the voice assistant with the largest number of languages it understands, conversing in over 30 languages to date. However, if the language your target audience speaks isn’t one of these 30, voice search traffic will not be as relevant…(yet!). Of course, it is still important to gather the data you need for when a target language is added, as the list of available languages is constantly growing.