Are you thinking of taking your business global? Perhaps you want to expand your marketing to new groups across the United States.
In either case, you may be required to market your products in multiple languages.
Many small companies take the cheap and easy approach, turning to translation software backed by artificial intelligence to update their marketing content. While translating apps have improved over time, they might make mistakes that could negatively impact your brand's reputation.
If you decide to move ahead with multilingual marketing, you must take it seriously and do it right.
This article explains the benefits of marketing in different languages and offers tips on how to avoid mistakes that could harm your company’s reputation.
Marketing in Multiple Languages: The Benefits
Marketing and communicating in more than one language can provide many benefits to your business, including the following:
It Enhances Trust in New Markets
Some companies can successfully sell products or services in non-English-speaking countries without translating their marketing materials or sales communications. However, converting your marketing information and assets into the languages potential purchasers understand helps build trust. When you provide consumers with content in a language they understand, they feel safer and more comfortable buying things from you. It also demonstrates that you and your business care about all the people you serve.
It Demonstrates Cultural Sensitivity
The best way to show your company respects and understands another culture is by communicating with the people in it in their native tongue. Businesses that do this overcome cultural barriers, which can result in better business results. Communicating with people in their native language encourages them to communicate with you. This may lead to deeper customer relationships and more sales.
It Makes Your Company Seem More Prominent
When a small company markets products or services in multiple languages, it makes the organization seem more significant, global, and market savvy than competitors who stick to English only. Even people in the United States who speak English may take note of your multilingual capabilities. It can elevate the perception of your business in your community and maybe even earn you local referrals to people who speak these additional languages.
It Improves Search Prominence
Google and other search engines recognize whether you present quality content on your site in multiple languages, and they will reward you with higher positions on search engine results pages (SERPs) in different countries. This prominence will attract more visitors—and prospective customers—to your website.
Just be careful. If your content (no matter the language) is poor, mistranslated, or delivers a bad experience, Google will recognize this, too, and penalize your website, limiting the visitors it sends to it, which could significantly cut into your bottom line.
It Can Help Increase Word-Of-Mouth Business
People prefer to do business with companies recommended by friends and family members. Today, that friend-and-family base could include people who speak languages other than English. You limit your referral potential if you don’t practice multilingual marketing, especially in popular languages like Spanish and Chinese.
Market and Communicate Perfectly in Every Language
You can’t afford to make mistakes when you market and communicate in multiple languages.
Translation and cultural communication mishaps can destroy the perception of a brand across an entire country. It could even impact your reputation in the United States and your immediate area if people discover you were insensitive to consumers in other countries. This is easy to do as marketing powerhouses like Nike, General Motors, and Coors have made foreign marketing errors that shut down their operations in significant parts of the world.
Make it a point to go slow when you begin marketing and communicating in a new language. Provide as much information and the same level of support in the new language as you do in English. Use quality writers and translators. Don’t depend on automated translation apps or services. They may be acceptable to help you out when traveling, but even the best ones get things wrong.
Always test your content, designs, and marketing approach with native speakers and cultural experts.
Never start marketing campaigns until you feel confident you can handle all aspects of sales and customer service in the new language. Come up with questions potential buyers in the new market may have and be armed with answers in their language.
Multilingual Marketing: The Final Word
You don’t want to create the feeling that you’re only adding marketing content in another language as a revenue grab. Treat prospective customers who speak another language as you would people in your neighborhood. Always create the sense that your product or service has something of value to offer those who speak the tongue and that your brand truly embraces them.