If you want your brand to be taken seriously by international audiences, a multilingual content strategy is a minimum requirement. We’re not talking about translating some blog posts either; you need a content strategy that speaks out to each of your audiences in their own language, addresses their individual needs, and proves you’re the brand to solve their problems.
It’s no easy task. But when buyers increasingly demand websites and content in their own language, your international marketing success is at stake.
Define yourself and your audiences
You are one brand with multiple audiences, and you want your core message to resonate with all of them. But first, you need to research each of your target markets, assess how your brand image will be received by them, and be prepared to make any necessary changes. Consumer habits and expectations can vary a lot between different cultures, and your content strategy is the place to prove you understand the needs of your audiences perfectly.
Localisation and targeted content
This is where localisation should be at the heart of your content strategy. Now you know what makes your audiences unique, it’s time to ensure your core message is relevant to each of them – and this means localising your strategy, not just the content itself.
You might be tempted to create content in English first, and then translate, localise and publish it for each audience. And this may work to an extent, but only when they have the same interests in common. To engage with them on an individual level, you’ll need to create multiple strategies, localised for each audience, and publish targeted content to meet their specific needs.
Multilingual content management
With your strategies all planned out and ready to rock, your biggest challenge now is producing all that content. Your best approach depends on a number of factors: how many audiences you have, how many languages and locations they come with; the structure of your website, and the kind of content you plan to produce – not to mention budget.
This is where it pays to work with an agency who can help you streamline the process. Let’s say you have a video marketing campaign, and three audiences to target – each with its own language. Naturally, it may not be cost-effective to produce a separate video for each market, in which case you need to decide how you can localise and translate a single video for three audiences.
Speak to an agency during the planning stage and they can help you decide whether subtitles or a voice over is more suitable for your campaign. They can also guide you through the hiring process for voice actors and break down the costs involved. Not only that, but an agency that specialises in localisation, can help you produce footage that is easier to adapt for multiple audiences and avoid any cultural gaffs that could hurt your marketing efforts.