How To Develop Multilingual Content Strategy

Content marketing is not for the faint at heart. You can do a lot more with it. Reaching out to your target audience in other languages, other than English language is important. And you need a strategy to make it work!

Development of a multilingual content strategy is all about understanding the multicultural differences. In fact, content translation is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you want to ensure success of your company in foreign markets, you should dive into new cultures and new languages. This is a challenging, yet possible mission. Let’s check what steps you should take to reach your goal.

Research the overseas market

Even if you believe that your product has a “true global appeal”, you should do some market research. The point is that people from different cultural backgrounds have different needs, preferences and habits.

For example, if your company sells the toilet soaps, you can presuppose that people all over the world need your product. And you will be wrong in your judgments.

The French take a shower less often than other Europeans, so they consume less than half as much soap as the Italians and the British.

If you are going to sell innovative products, make sure that overseas market is ready for it. The pace of IT industry development is much slower in developing countries, so it takes more time to raise awareness about new goods and services.

For instance, Amazon Alexa is widely used by Americans for two years, while most Ukrainians still know nothing about this gadget.

For developing effective multilingual content strategy you should take into account numerous differences not only in language, but also in culture.

If you sell a cooking book in India, don’t forget to exclude the beef recipes, if you sell it in Qatar – exclude the pork recipes. You should respect the traditions of every nation.

Translate content

Multilingual content strategy presumes that all texts, including page descriptions, articles, blog posts and social media posts should be translated into foreign languages. For this reason, you company should hire an in-house interpreter, or outsource the translating services.

You can check PickWriters to find top translation companies, which are popular among the world-famous international corporations. You can compare the prices, quality and delivery rates based on real clients’ reviews.

It is worth mentioning that most of these translation agencies employ the professional translators, which work across all time zones.

It means that a company will be able to process your order as soon as you place it. Today, you can request an urgent content translation 24/7.

In addition, your company should utilize the right translation management software, which enhances communication between the website developers, translators, content marketers, linguists and SEO experts. It also helps to cut the translation costs and to add flexibility to the localization process.

Proofread text twice

If you have an employee, who is fluent in a foreign language, he can translate content without the outside help and save your company a lot of money. Nevertheless, the professional proofreading services will still be very helpful.

Every piece of content should be free from the spelling errors and typos. It is really important to proofread every text attentively, because one mistake can completely misrepresent a message.

There were a lot of cases in the history, when a small translating error led to a failure of the entire marketing campaign. For example, Ford interpreted a phrase “every car has a high quality body” like “every car has a high quality corpse”. As a result, this campaign for Belgium market brought more problems than profits.

If you want to avoid the mistakes, which can crash your business, you should collaborate with a reliable translation firm. Implementing the multilingual content strategy, you will need its professional assistance on all stages of the project implementation.

Localize your message

As a manager, you need not only translate your content properly, but also to ensure that your core message sounds good in foreign language.

You should craft every text precisely to make it suitable for concrete market. Once again, it’s connected with the cultural peculiarities, which sometimes are unclear for a stranger.

A basic advice is to hire the native speakers, who are able to localize your message in an appropriate way. Choose translators, who can guide you in a foreign market research. In addition, you should better select those candidates, who have background knowledge in an industry your company operates.

However, in some cases it’s too difficult to localize your message, and the best decision is to hire a local content creator. When every text is written from the scratch specifically for a target market, it brings the best results.

The major challenge is to stay focused on the key brand values while translating and changing your content. You should adjust your marketing company to the foreign environment, but you shouldn’t lose your brand identity.

Choose media channels

Developing a multilingual content marketing strategy, you should choose the channels of content distribution. If you believe that Facebook and Instagram rule the roost, you are mistaken. In some countries, government banned these popular social networks, so you should consider other options.

For example, China has its own version of Twitter called Weibo.  This social network has over 500 million monthly active users, while Twitter has only 335 million users. Thus, it’s possible to reach a huge target market using this national channel.

In countries like Russia, Facebook is in free access, but still most users prefer to utilize a local social network called VK.

So, if you want to develop an excellent strategy, you should research the most popular social media, which exist in the country. Also you should learn how to use them for content posting and paid advertising campaign launching.

Final Thoughts

Overseas markets are full of the business opportunities, which every company can take. And if you’re able to develop a great multilingual content strategy, you can grow your business in any foreign country.

If you want your product to conquer the world, you should penetrate only one new market at a time. It will help you to learn a lesson how to adjust your basic content strategy to other cultures in the most effective way.

About the Author – Kristin Savage has graduated from Columbia University where she was majoring in Germanic Languages. Besides English as her mother tongue she also speaks German and Dutch fluently. Currently Kristin is studying Spanish and planning to obtain her PhD in Applied Linguistics since she is interested in how to use her to some extent practical knowledge of language processes in everyday life.