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

With 2018 in full swing, you’re likely considering new ways to market your business. One thing you may want to consider is reaching out to a new demographic. Have you ever thought about marketing directly to speakers of languages other than English? It may seem a little daunting if English is the only language you’re comfortable speaking. The great news is, however, 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 in the new year. Here are 5 steps for targeting your non-English speaking client base in 2018.

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1.    Start with your website. Websites are a great way to interact with customers who do not speak English. Your customers are most likely starting their online search for a product or service by searching for those with information available in their preferred language. If your website and offerings are translated and localized on your website, they 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 translation tools can be extreme and really hurt your brand, even though you have great intentions!

2.    Develop a multilingual SEO strategy. Once you have professionally translated and localized your website, you’ll want to consider a multilingual Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. If your website isn’t showing up in search results, the translation you’ve paid to complete will not provide much return on your investment. Analyze your audience and tailor this new strategy to them. You’ll find that it often differs greatly from what you’ve already created for your English-speaking customers. 

3.    Focus on your local market first. 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. And if these items are translated, even better!

4.    Deliver an effective and targeted email campaign. If you are already sending 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.

5.    Put your information in local multilingual publications. Don’t neglect print marketing! Dedicate some advertising dollars to multilingual publications in your area, ensuring the advertisement is localized for your non-English speaking audience. You can direct customers to your website for more information, which will help drive traffic there and deliver more information to this target audience!

BONUS TIP #2! Utilize interpreters (on-site or telephonic) as needed for your new customers. Once they have reached out to you, make sure you have a way to communicate with them if you do not already speak their language. You can use telephonic interpreters for initial meetings, and look into bringing in an on-site interpreter for client meetings or any interaction that involves contracts or providing more information as things progress, if you prefer. Trust us… the growth you’ll see from marketing to a new demographic will be worth the investment!