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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?

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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.

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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.

How a Multilingual SEO Plan Benefits Your Marketing Efforts Abroad

Maintaining your company’s website ranking can be a difficult task and a constant challenge. You already know that maximizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is extremely important when it comes to gaining Internet visibility for your company, product or service. So, what happens when you decide to market your product overseas or to a multilingual audience? Will simply translating your website do the trick?

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Ultimately, that answer is no. While translating your website content is of course critical to ensure you connect with your multilingual audience, you will also need to consider a multilingual SEO plan to ensure you even reach that audience. After all, what good is a translated website if no one in your intended market is able to find it? In order for you to get a solid ROI, we’ve compiled a list of items to consider when updating your SEO strategy to take your brand global.

Get to know your multilingual audience to ensure SEO results

Your new market will certainly have an entirely different set of customs and culture than your U.S.-based or English-speaking audience. Choose keywords and phrases that you know they would use in search engines. To determine your keywords, figure out what is important to this consumer base.  What are their challenges and pain points? How can you help solve them? If you do not already know this new market inside and out, be sure to find someone who does. Skimping here could mean a particularly negative impact on your website traffic, and therefore, your bottom line.

Analyze competitors who have gone before you

Researching competitors’ success when connecting with the same audience you’re looking to reach is a great step to figuring out what works (and what doesn’t). While you don’t want to copy what a competitor has done, it is vital to understand best/worst practices in advance if the information is already available to you.

Use location settings to your advantage in your SEO strategy

When coming up with a new SEO strategy for foreign markets, don’t neglect to include the country, city, or even the region your new target market is in when deciding on keywords to pair with your product. People tend to use “near me” or city names in their search when trying to find a product they’d like to purchase or browse for online. Having the location information in your SEO setup will help your site appear more often search engines.

Figuring up a brand new SEO strategy for your international or non-English speaking market can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. Did you know we offer website audits? We’d be glad to take a look at yours and help create a strategy for your international growth! Feel free to reach out if you’d like to be in this one together.

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A Step-By-Step Plan: Marketing to Speakers of Other Languages

With 2019 in full swing, you’re likely considering new ways to market your business. Have you ever thought about reaching out to and marketing directly to speakers of languages other than English? Even if you only speak English, don’t worry. You don’t actually have to speak another language to effectively market to a demographic that does. You can market to this audience in a variety of ways, which can have a positive impact on your brand this year (and beyond!). Here are 5 steps for targeting your non-English speaking client base in 2019.

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1. Start with translating your website.

Your website is the best way to interact with customers who do not speak English. Customers will most likely start their online search for a product or service by searching for those with information available in their preferred or primary language. If your website and offerings are translated and localized on your website, your target market will feel confident in your ability to assist them, and they will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to tailor your content to them. Be sure to use a professional translator or agency to handle this. Errors caused by free, automated translation tools can be extreme and do real damage to your brand.

2. Consider multilingual SEO strategy.

While your site is undergoing translation, you’ll want to consider a multilingual Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. After all, it needs to be compatible with the terms your target audience is actually searching for! If your translated website content isn’t showing up in search results, the translation you’re investing in will certainly not give you the best bang for your buck. Analyze your audience and tailor your strategy to them. You’ll find that it often differs from what you’ve already created for your English-speaking customers. Work with your translation provider to ensure they know about your SEO strategy while creating your foreign-language website content.

3. Don’t forget about your local foreign-language market!

While online marketing is important, it is not the only way to reach your new audience. Partner with local businesses in your community, specifically those who already have an existing customer base in your target demographic. See if you can leave your business cards or brochures there as well. Don’t forget to translate and localize your hard-copy marketing content, too!

4. Consider reaching out with a translated targeted email campaign.

If you already send out email newsletters, consider translating them for your non-English-speaking readers. You may not have to translate everything within your newsletter, but if you know your customer's email address and preferred language/region, you can target your content specifically to that group! Email blasts in someone’s preferred language are more likely to drive traffic to your website and are a quick and easy way to stay in touch with those who have already decided they trust you enough to hand over their email address!

BONUS TIP #1! Don’t forget to ask for referrals or testimonials you can use in your marketing or on your website. Once you’ve driven more traffic there, it’s a great way for new and/or potential customers to see why working with you is such a wonderful option. Don’t worry about asking; most people love giving their opinion and will happily do so for you!

5. Remember to translate your print marketing materials.

Dedicate some advertising dollars to one or two of the most widely read publications in your area, ensuring the advertisements you place are localized for your non-English-speaking audience. You can direct customers to your website for more information, which will help drive traffic and deliver more information to your target audience.

BONUS TIP #2! Utilize interpreters as needed for your new customers.Once a new customer reaches out to you, make sure you have a way to communicate with them if you do not already speak their primary language. You can use over-the-phone interpreters for initial meetings or unscheduled calls, and look into requesting an on-site interpreter for client meetings or any interaction that involves contracts, providing more information, etc.

In short, keep an open mind when it comes to your marketing strategy to a foreign-language market. Like all strategies, it will take time to set the moving parts in place. But the growth you’ll see from marketing to a new demographic will be worth it!

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5 Tips for Creating Effective Print Marketing Materials For a Foreign Market

Now that you’ve decided to expand into a foreign market, creating properly localized and unique print marketing materials can really help you market your business successfully there. Whether the materials you create are print, digital or both, you know how important it is to gear it toward your target demographic and customer base. Here are a few tips to for creating the best possible print materials for a successful marketing campaign.

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  • Get to know your foreign-language consumers. Ask yourself, “What’s important to my customers and how can it be incorporated into our print materials?” Customs and preferences in your target foreign market may be different than what your U.S.-based customers experience, so be sure to take that into account. Also, a professional translation of your marketing content in the language your target audience primarily speaks is essential, even if English is prevalent in that country or region. There is plenty of research to support that consumers feel most comfortable consuming information in their primary language, so the translation piece of this marketing puzzle is critical.

  • · Select the right visuals for your foreign-market materials. What works in print marketing materials for your U.S.-based customers will not necessarily work for a foreign audience. Although it may be easier to just use the same images that you already chose for your U.S.-based customers, it’s important to choose visuals that fit seamlessly into your target market’s culture. Select images that represent them so that they connect and engage with your brand through your marketing! Remember, however, to be careful not to display images that portray cultural or gender stereotypes, as these might not be well-received.

  • Organization is key – optimize your selling points! As with any brochure, there should be a clear and clean flow of text and images that tell your business’ story. Make them as enticing as possible so that potential customers will feel engaged with your content. Use catchy headlines that are relevant to your target market and will “speak” to them. Remember, these headlines may be different than the ones you used for your U.S. consumers! Once you have their attention, show them how your business will benefit their work or lifestyle.

  • Choose relevant content for your foreign-language market. Share information that is both useful and concise. If readers see a lot of text immediately, they may not be inclined to read it all. White space is vital to maintain in your marketing visuals. Keep in mind that some text will be longer once translated, and some shorter, depending on the language. Spanish translations, for example, are often about 30% longer than their original English content, so be sure to consider this when deciding what to include and how your customers’ eyes will “travel” across the page.

  • Make it simple for them to respond to you! If potential customers are interested in your content, it’s important to be easy to contact or find, as most people won’t go out of their way to do so. They need to know what action to take next and how to reach you, whether it be to purchase your product or service, or to get more information. List your business name, phone number, website, and social media channels on the marketing materials for an easy connection. If you have someone who can help customers in their own language, make sure this is clear so they feel comfortable reaching out. If you don’t, not to worry. A telephonic interpreting service could be the answer.

Remember, every piece of literature you send out represents your business and leaves an impression on potential customers, so your goal is to make this impression a positive one from the start! If you are unsure how to effectively localize your brochures and other promotional materials, be sure to choose a professional company to help you with the process. This will help avoid potential blunders with content in unfamiliar foreign markets.

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4 Ways to Avoid Mistakes When Marketing to Foreign-Language Consumers

If you are interested in reaching new target markets abroad, or those right here in the U.S. who primarily speak a language other than English, you’ve likely considered translating some of your marketing content. But if you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! Here are four questions you should ask yourself to avoid translation mistakes when marketing to a foreign-language consumer group.

4 Ways to Avoid Mistakes When Marketing to Foreign-Language Consumers

1. Will an automated translation work for your job?

Automated translations sound like a wonderful thing. They’re free, they’re instant, and they do a pretty great job... or do they? Not so fast. While free, automated translation tools can be semi-useful when it comes to some phrases, and can be handy when trying to get the gist of a statement or paragraph, they are not meant for the kind of professional translation your brand calls for.

Generally speaking, marketing materials contain idioms, colloquial language, or phrases with words that could have more than one potential meaning. Machines simply do not have the capabilities to translate 100% accurately or to understand the nuances of language. You’ve got one chance to make a positive first impression on your new target demographic, so make it a professional one and steer clear of those tempting automated tools.

2. When should you send off your document for translation?

Having your materials translated is an investment (and one that is certainly worthwhile if you’re reaching out to a new target demographic!). However, there are a few ways to save on this investment. Making multiple changes can be costly. Making changes mid-process can be inevitable at times, but waiting until you have the final version of a document ready for your translation provider will save you both time and money. Put this savings toward an investment in next quarter’s budget.

3. Should any of your brand’s terms and product names be left in English?  

You’ve spent a lot of time developing your brand and product names! And because it’s important for customers to recognize your brand, your business name, trademarked products and proper names that pertain to your business and/or industry should remain in the source language. In fact, many times, these terms are not commonly known in other languages and may just confuse your customers more. Save a list of trademarked names and terms that you wish to keep in English so that your translation vendor does not mistakenly attempt to translate these terms. Your provider should also let you know if there are any concerns about these terms in the target language.

4. Is localization an important step for my marketing project?

The localization process is a great way to take your translations a step further. Localization ensures that the language, images, layout and more are engaging for your target market, not considered offensive or inappropriate in any way (yikes!) and practical in terms of everyday customs and culture. The images and design of your materials are just as important as the text you send off for translation, so it’s important to make sure they convey your intended message to your new consumers.

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How to Welcome Back Study Abroad Students

As students return for the Fall semester, you will be welcoming them back from a variety of different activities. For some students, they will have spent much of their summer abroad studying in a foreign country. For many, returning to classes on your campus may take some readjustment, and they may wish to share stories of their experience abroad with professors and classmates in order to ease the transition.


Here are some ways to welcome your students back this semester after their time abroad.

· Hold a “welcome back” reception. During this type of event, students can mingle with fellow students, faculty and staff. This also gives you an opportunity to outline the options your students now have at your university as a study abroad alum. You can create pamphlets or invite speakers to discuss how to make the readjustment back to life in the U.S. and how to reflect on their time away and keep in touch with their new friends.

· Organize a submission contest. Allow students to showcase the photos they took or submit essays reflecting on life abroad. The photos and quotes from essays can be displayed during events throughout the year, encouraging other students to study abroad so they get a sense of what student life is like and the experiences others have had. Encourage participation by awarding a prize like a small scholarship to be applied toward a future semester.

· Allow students to become ambassadors. Students who have already studied abroad are the perfect advocates for your university’s study abroad programs! They can help fellow students to prepare if they decide to make the leap in the future, encouraging more participation in your study abroad programs. These student ambassadors can also help with events and other promotional campaigns.

· Ask students to take a survey about their experience. Use this feedback to work directly with the groups offering the study abroad options to ensure an even more positive experience in the future. It’s the perfect way to see what is going well and what can be improved in future semesters. Request consent to use their positive experiences in testimonials to further promote the programs your university offers.

If you have any more tips for successfully welcoming your students back to campus, please feel free to share in the comments below. We’d love to hear what works best for you on your campus!

How to Stage a Property to Appeal to Foreign Buyers

If your goal is to appeal to foreign buyers, there are a few tips and tricks to making sure your properties stand out and are appealing to these buyers. As you know,  your client’s personal style may be quite different from what is appealing to the buyers you’re hoping to target. But by having your clients make a few changes before listing their home, you can potentially attract foreign buyers and sell the home more quickly and at a higher price point.


· Think about your target demographic and what is appealing to buyers in these countries overall.  If you are looking to target Chinese home buyers, for example, you may want to consider the feng shui of the property, as incorporating feng shui principles can help a Chinese buyer feel more confident that their purchase will help bring them good health, happiness, and success. Don’t forget about landscaping! Trying to adhere to some of the basics of feng shui, both inside and out, can help sway a buyer who is otherwise on the fence.

· Choose decor or design elements that give a little pop of local culture while still being simple enough that the buyers can see themselves in the home without having to make any drastic changes. If a foreign buyer is looking for homes in your area, then there is likely an element of the local culture that is particularly appealing to them. By adding something that is specific to the city where the home is located, like a centerpiece or painting, the staged home will be even more appealing. Showcase this in your property photos as well.

· Make sure your photos and videos of the home are clear, and include many different photos on the website. Since foreign buyers are often unable to view the listings in person right away, the photos you share are crucial for making sure they have enough information to decide whether or not they want to pursue a listing.

· Most foreign buyers are starting with an online search. To ensure your appropriately staged homes are reaching the right audience, translate you’re the pages where your listing appears in order to appeal to the demographic you’re looking to reach. If you want to appeal to Canadian homebuyers, you may wish to have your listings in both English and Canadian French, for example. Read more on this topic here.

Of course, every property and every buyer is different, but considering what appeals to a market of foreign buyers can go a long way in taking your property from “for sale” to “sold” rather quickly!