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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.  

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.

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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.

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!

Marketing Your Practice to Speakers of Other Languages: A Step-By-Step Plan For the New Year

With 2018 just around the corner, you’re likely considering new ways to market your practice. 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.

1.    Start with your website. Websites are a great way to interact with clients who do not speak English. Your clients are most likely starting their online search for an attorney by searching for those with information available in their preferred language. If your website and service offerings are translated on your website, they will feel confident in your practice’s 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 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 clients. 

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 to your clients, consider translating them for your non-English speaking clients. You may not have to translate everything within your newsletter, but if you know your client’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 clients 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 for your practice to multilingual publications in your area, ensuring the advertisement is localized for your non-English speaking audience. You can direct them 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 clients. Once your clients 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, depositions, etc. as things progress, if you prefer. Trust us… the growth you’ll see from marketing to a new demographic will be worth the investment!

Bilingual marketing not focused solely on Spanish-speaking customers

It seems that lately a lot of marketing experts are focusing their attention on Latinos, and with reason. This group is (and will be for some time) the fastest growing minority in the U.S. However, some marketing strategists are not simply focusing on this group. Some are zeroing in on other minority groups as well. NPR ran a story last week titled "Corporate America Takes on Multilingual PR", noting the trend to market toward Asian Americans, especially in southern California. In this sense, focusing on such a group includes the need to pay attention to several languages spoken by Asian Americans. Unlike Spanish, a language spoken officially in 21 countries, experts cannot reach such a variety of cultures and countries simply by advertising in one language. The NPR article adds that last year's census is proof to this trend, as it created ads in Japanese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Hmong, Hinglish (a combination of Hindu and English) and Taglish (a mixture of Tagalog and English).

McDonald's and Wal-mart also run ads for Asian Americans, hoping to attract them as customers. McDonald's even has a page on their site dedicated to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, obviously recognizing these consumers as valuable potential clients and showing an appreciation for their cultures and languages, as well as their achievements and successes in the United States. The page points out such achievements with various tabs marked Food, Technology, Sports, Music, Entertainment, Home Décor and Art, allowing visitors to gain insight into the positive contributions Asian Americans have made in our country. Wal-mart has been running ads on television, featuring families who head to the store for their everyday needs. Check out the video clip on NPR's site for this article to take a look at how the corporation targets Asian Americans.

One lesson learned on behalf of McDonald's was the need to send direct mail-outs in both the target language and in English. That way, when customers bring in their coupons, the fast-food chain's staff can read them as well. This bilingual form of advertising, however, also works in the sense that some Asian Americans might prefer or have better control of English than their heritage language. This is a common trend in Spanish-language advertising as well.

What other groups are targeted here in the U.S.? Is it more common to find these ads in certain states due to the larger populations of minority groups? Probably so. That said, how many minorities could we count simply in the state of California? It would be interesting to find out how many languages are used in marketing techniques today throughout the Pacific coast states in comparison to the rest of the U.S.

What trends do you see popping up in bilingual advertising today? What strategies seem to be the most effective?

Girl Scouts reach out to Latina girls and families by launching new Spanish-language campaign

Native English speakers are slowly, but surely, coming to see the great influence and buying power of Latinos in the U.S. today. Latinos currently spend trillions of dollars in our country, yet many people have never thought to market to this community of consumers. More and more we see that businesses launch new campaigns and websites in Spanish (among other languages for other growing consumer groups), but it has been somewhat slow to take off...until now. The Girl Scouts of the USA just launched a Spanish-language campaign to reach out to young girls who wish to be a part of a group that teaches life skills and builds community. They have cleverly added a Spanish-language website, a move that many are seeing to be extremely advantageous these days. They are also producing marketing materials and a guide in Spanish.

Besides meeting the needs of language, the Girl Scouts have met the needs for technology use by creating an app to use during that time of the year when most of us are seeking out the Girl Scouts' cookie order forms. So, it makes sense that they would try to reach Latinas online, especially since Latinos are one of the number one users of the internet via mobile devices.

Giovanni Rodriguez, author of 'The Girl Scout Hispanic Marketing Playbook: 'Be Prepared' mentions in his article on ClickZ.com that content and language need to be linked. He notes, "When thinking of language and content, not only does the company need to think about the preferences of the 2.3 million girls in its organization, it also needs to think about 880,000 adult volunteers that comprise the organization's backbone. More than ever, the preferences of these volunteers matter. Many of them prefer to speak Spanish, even if the girls in their lives do not."

Another fabulous resource for linking content and language in marketing strategies via technology is Joe Kutchera's book, Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content, which we've mentioned before. However, we think it deserves another mentioning!!

So, what are you doing to market your organization or business? Bravo to the Girl Scouts for catching on to the need for Spanish-language content, as well as to Giovanni and Joe for being leaders in getting the word out about the need for such materials and content!