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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. 

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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?”

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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.

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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.