How to Create a Multilingual Content Marketing Strategy

Last Updated June 15, 2021

The online marketplace is global, social, multilingual, and multicultural. Is your content marketing strategy keeping up?

Not so long ago, marketing was all about targeting the right offer to the right people, usually by placing the right ads into the right media.

In today’s business environment, however, consumers (and algorithms) are in charge of what they consume. They can select from a variety of media channels and choose to block ads or skip commercials as they do so.

Instead of explicitly promoting products, therefore, the task of marketing is now to create content with maximum market appeal that builds relationships and leads the consumer on a journey that eventually culminates in sales.

This strategic creation and sharing of online material is called content marketing.

How Does Content Marketing Work?

Bonding with potential customers one piece of content at a time is dependent on a continual stream of carefully planned output designed to engage the customer and move them further along the sales funnel.

This approach is widely accepted in the business world, with a recent study showing that 76% of organizations take a strategic approach to managing their content.

Whatever form this content takes—blogs, videos, social media posts, graphics, and e-books, for example—it is at its most effective when it focuses on the needs of the consumer, rather than products sold by the company.

Success is not related to how much money has gone into its production, but on its relevance to the target audience.

This means that, unlike traditional forms of marketing, content marketing is not always dominated by the companies with the largest budgets. In fact, a simple, low-budget approach often works best. If it’s eye-catching, easily accessible, and reader-friendly, it’s got a good chance of cutting through.

But this presents a challenge when trying to scale your business globally.

If your content is only available in one language, rather than engage the customer and move them further along the sales funnel, your monolingual content is more likely to discourage the customer and propel them away from your website all together.

So, how can content have maximum impact across all target markets, regardless of language and culture?

Multilingual, Multicultural Content Marketing

The entire content marketing strategy, not just existing content, needs to be adapted for each international market. This requires research and a native understanding of the local language and culture, particularly in relation to shoppers’ buying habits.

The strategy must be refined for each market, so that it attracts people and delivers the underlying marketing objectives with ease.

Global content marketing is a huge task. Here are three essential tips to make the process more manageable and the results more impressive.

1. Know your market

Before you can even think about creating multilingual content and targeting potential customers, you need to know precisely who they are, what they want, and where you can ‘meet’ them.

This isn’t as simple as you may think. For example, Facebook is enormously popular in India, the US, and Brazil—but in China, where WeChat and Weibo dominate the market, it’s irrelevant. The same applies to all other forms of social media and search engines.

Once you’ve identified your preferred channel of communication, you’ll need to optimize your content for the popular search terms used in that region.

It’s of no value, for instance, being expertly optimized for the UK when you’re trying to attract clicks from people in Taiwan.

2. Adapt your message

Just because a piece of content is hugely popular with one group of people does not mean it will have the same popularity throughout the world.

Just as a business giant like McDonalds adapts their menu to maximize appeal with their local clientele wherever they are in the world, you need to adapt your content so its message is in perfect harmony with local interests.

That is, content should vary between markets to ensure the impact it has remains consistently high.

3. Localize your content

An effective content marketing strategy will already have ensured that every piece of content created for the home market is perfectly tailored to their particular needs, lifestyle, and behaviors. Likewise, content directed towards international markets should have the same laser-like focus on each individual market’s needs, lifestyle, and behaviors.

Here are some common, market-specific issues beyond linguistic differences that need to be addressed along with some examples.

  • Celebration days: Christmas, Chinese New Year, Islamic New Year
  • Shopping events: Singles Day, Black Friday, Diwali
  • Popular sports: basketball, soccer, Australian rules football
  • Colors: wedding dresses are not white in some countries
  • Religion: religious beliefs can impact moral principles, taboos, and vocabulary
  • Superstition: the number Seven is considered lucky in some countries – and unlucky in others
  • Units: systems of measurement, currency, time, and dates

Implement Your Global Content Marketing Strategy

Content that appears to all intents and purposes to be generated locally demonstrates commitment by the business, inspires trust in the brand, and builds relationships with the community. A localized international content marketing strategy, therefore, is vital to establishing and expanding global sales. But it is a complex, multifaceted, and ongoing process.

There is a way, however, to ensure that every aspect of your content marketing strategy is expertly localized. At Summa Linguae Technologies, we achieve this by bringing together expertise from a range of specialisms, including language, business, technology, and local cultures, to fully localize any type of content for any international market.

To partner with a team of localization professionals experienced in your industry and maximize your ROI, contact SLT today.

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