Language services providers are often called upon when organizations are in the beginning stages of planning a multilingual marketing campaign. In most cases, this involves an international expansion, which is a tedious and expensive process. After more than 35 years of watching some businesses excel at this and others fail, we’ve determined what it takes to generate an impressive ROI:
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1. Don’t limit multilingual marketing campaigns to foreign markets.
One of the biggest mistakes that American business owner’s make is failing to tap into the full domestic market. They create web content, advertisements, social media content and traditional ads exclusively in English. This immediately puts limitations on the amount of potential customers they can attract. According to a recent study conducted by CSA Research, as many as 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their own language. To take this a step further, as many as 40% report that they will never buy from businesses that fail to offer information in their native language. With as many as 67.8 million individuals in the U.S. speaking a language other than English (LOTE) at home, embracing more than one language in the domestic marketplace is pertinent to the success of any marketing efforts.
2. Ensure that multilingual marketing campaigns include a focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing practice that involves optimizing a website’s content to improve its ranking on the search engine results page (or SERP). To do this effectively, it is essential to research and target the correct keywords while taking into consideration the search terms that your target audience will use. While many companies focus heavily on SEO in their native languages, they neglect to ever institute multilingual keywords into their online campaigns. This is critical because an individual who primarily speaks Spanish will likely conduct their online searches using Spanish keywords. If web content is only optimized for English, huge amounts of potential web traffic are missed. By tapping into these streams of traffic, conversion rates naturally rise, along with ROI potential.
3. Use a professional translation service to assist with multilingual marketing campaigns.
Professional translators ensure that the message you wish to convey to LOTE speaking individuals does not get “lost in translation”. While anyone can use free tools like Google Translate or ChatGPT to generate translations, many fail to realize that they are simply unable to identify cultural faux pas, homographs or colloquial language. This may mean that your witty slogan is misinterpreted, offensive or simply nonsensical. Even some of the largest corporations in the U.S. have faced such dilemmas when relying on AI-based translations or unqualified translators.
Take for example, the time that Pepsi’s marketing slogan “come alive with Pepsi” was translated into Chinese. The message received roughly indicated that drinking the soft drink would bring ancestors back from the dead. Or when “Schweppes tonic water” was translated for the Italian speaking market which read the message as “Schweppes toilet water”. Mistakes in multilingual marketing campaigns are all too common and can lead to a PR nightmare along with a tanked market expansion. Always err on the side of caution and work hand-in-hand with human translators who are experienced in content localization.
4. Cater design elements and user experience (UX) to each audience.
Much like words and sentiments cater to each culture and language, design elements and user experience must also follow suit. A social media advertisement for a wedding gown in the United States, for instance, may feature a traditional white colored gown. In countries like India; however, the color white is associated with mourning and loss. If you were targeting this particular region, you would have a much higher ROI by simply altering the color of the dress in the advertisement. This same sentiment proves true for other colors, along with call-to-actions, page layouts and more. Take some time to research all aspects of the cultures involved in multilingual marketing campaigns for the best results.
5. Engage with each audience segment.
One of the biggest ways to maximize ROI with multilingual marketing campaigns is to ensure that your organization stands out among the competition. While translating business documents or web content is a great place to start, truly engaging with the multilingual market through social media or other outlets will afford your brand a number of benefits. For starters, you will have access to feedback that can be used to improve your buyer’s journey, product or service. Likewise, you will establish your organization as more inclusive, diverse and supportive than those who fail to accommodate. In turn, this improves word-of-mouth referrals, trust among consumers and overall visibility. All of these also mean an impressive multilingual marketing campaign ROI.
In need of language assistance with your next multilingual marketing campaign?
ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc. has proudly served organizations of all sizes, along with government entities and non-profits, since 1987. As a best-in-class language services provider, we aim to integrate seamlessly into your organization to provide support where you need it most. Give us a call at 1.866.446.1860 to discuss your needs or request a free quote online now.