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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.

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.

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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.

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  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?

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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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