It’s impressive to be able to speak more than one language. But it’s a special talent to be able to market in more than one language. “I think it’s safe to say that at some point most businesses want to expand into new markets,” notes Tobias la Cour, Co-Founder of Somebody Digital, “and that often means marketing in a new language too.” Enter multilingual marketing.
Going beyond simple translations
A key element in multilingual marketing is understanding that a word-for-word translation doesn’t always cut it. “A pure translation won’t pick up on the nuances in the culture you’re trying to reach,” notes Tobias. “Language evolves constantly, but it also reflects the society it originates in. You may find your translation is just fine, but you haven’t given your information-hungry audience enough detail to be sold on your product, whereas in another language and culture, the same amount of information results in conversions without needing more explanation.”
Understanding these societal subtleties is what can make or break multilingual marketing efforts.
Where multilingual marketing starts
“No business wants to put in the money and effort, only to see their foray into a new market fail,” says Tobias. The best place to begin is with an understanding of the target audience’s needs, the cultural nuances of the region, and the competitor landscape.
Whether the campaign entails PPC services, SEO optimisation or CRO work, the starting point is always research. “Our team investigates the competition in the potential market, combining this information with our knowledge of that country, we then have to localise all our marketing efforts to truly make a success of the campaign.”
Tobias adds that localising the content to make it more relevant increases the chance that it will resonate with the target audience, and ultimately lead to conversions for the client. He provides the example of American jeans. “A Western cut of jeans won’t fit the same in a Japanese market. To succeed, a brand will have to tailor those jeans to the shape and size preferred by their target audience to succeed. It’s the same with localising any other product or service.”
The Somebody Digital Difference
“Many businesses believe they need to approach bigger agencies with a large footprint in global markets,” says Tobias. “The problem with this is, they quickly become small fish in a very very large pond.”
The difference Somebody Digital brings, as a small agency, is its agility. “For a boutique agency, we have an impressive breadth of native speakers in countries around the world,” he adds, “that is something very rare.”
Ready to dominate international markets? Let’s talk about your multilingual marketing plans.