I have always loved languages. At school I studied French, went to live in Montpellier and married a Spaniard. I love different food, cultures and people and speaking their language is like having the key to unlock such amazing conversations and experiences. It is easy to assume that English is the primary language on the web and it is dominant for sure, but other languages such as Chinese, Spanish and Arabic are fast coming up behind.
I have, however recently shied away from working in a foreign language, since leaving my corporate role, thinking in true British style that my ability was not good enough. Recent experiences have broken down those pre-conceptions and it got me re-thinking about the approach and to working across country – I wanted to consider what some small business multi lingual marketing tips you would need to consider?
This week was an exciting one, wanting to help a family friend and I did my first marketing discovery call in Spanish. Ok there was some key marketing terms that I had to drop in, in English, but mainly I spoke Spanish. I cannot tell you how exhausted I was after our hour and a half call, but I came away immensely satisfied. This also combined with my starting to work with another new client, based in the south of France. Luckily she is totally bi-lingual so I was happily able to speak in English through out call. Taking the opportunity to consider marketing in another culture and language is something I have not done since I was in my corporate role.
The above experiences were immensely satisfying and has certainly given me food for thought as to how I might be able to do more of this. In our recent blog I wanted to consider some multi lingual marketing tips, with the small business in mind, when working in another language. Here goes:
- Know your audience demographics. I talk about this a lot. Understanding your audience is important and when working in another culture, even more so. In France, I was interested to note that they do not use social media in the way we do in the UK – groups don’t really exist for example. It is wrong to assume that just because work in the UK, it is the same in another country.
2. Translators. If you are just launching into a new market or country then you want to ensure that you use their language, to ensure you connect and resonate with your audience. I have received emails in German in the past and disconnected completely with that brand as I don’t speak the language. Making sure you have a good quality translation (not via Google translate) is important.
3. Localise content. Make sure that you use localised content. In some interesting research by Facebook they found that 80% of US hispanic audiences did not feel the need to stop speaking Spanish and ads in Spanish significantly increased their purchase power. This is reflecting what we note about that to quickly connect with our audience we need to speak their language. Literally.
4. Create Multiple social media accounts It can be hard work managing a social media account. That said if you wish to engage with your audience, it is important that the content appears relevant to them, so taking time to set up accounts in multiple languages is key and will reap rewards in the long run.
5. Build your strategy As with all marketing it is important to be clear on why you are doing what you are doing and what success looks like. Just launching into another country without careful consideration and understanding the scope of opportunity could be an expensive exercise.
If you are a small business owner and keen to explore how you can launch your business into another culture or if you are already working in another language, please get in touch.