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The Case For Multilingual Cross-Border Marketing

Having a good marketing strategy is essential for any business looking to sell their products. For businesses engaged in cross-border commerce, this can mean dealing with audiences that speak in different languages. Having multilingual accessibility is very important.

Language is perhaps the biggest challenge when it comes to cross-border marketing, but paying attention to language is what can make or break a business in a new foreign market. This article will talk about translation as a key strategy for cross-border marketing success, and what things you will need to keep in mind when integrating it into your business’s marketing strategy.

If that interests you, then let’s dive in!

Cross-Border and Global Marketing Strategy

Cross-border marketing refers to the strategy of promoting your products and services to a different market. It’s an important thing to consider if you want to expand your business’s reach.

It’s a concept that’s very closely related to global marketing, and shares the same basic principles. This blog post from leading translation company Tomedes provides a good breakdown of what it is, and the legal, logistical and production challenges that need to be accounted for before you even consider marketing for a foreign audience. 

When it comes to cross-border marketing, one of the most important considerations is language. If you’re running a successful domestic business, you may already have a good marketing strategy in place. But if you’re trying to reach out to a new foreign audience, you will be facing a whole new set of challenges, and communicating with this audience is the biggest of these. 

Why Multilingual Translation Is Important In Cross-Border and Global Marketing

A lot of research has shown that consumers want to be marketed to them in their own language. CSA Research’s continuously updated “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” is one of the most authoritative studies on the matter, and its most recent iteration found that a staggering 76% of consumers around the world prefer products with information in their own language.

This makes translation essential for any good cross-border and global marketing strategy! Without it, you’re only reaching a quarter of potential customers in any new market that speaks a different language.

What Should You Target For Multilingual Translation?

So how do you integrate translation into your global marketing strategy? There are a number of aspects that you might want to prioritize:

Website

For e-commerce businesses, often the single most important platform to focus on for marketing is the website. This is where customers will go if they want to learn more about a business or buy its products, and if they don’t find it accessible they are likely to leave and take their business elsewhere instead. But if the website is available in a customer’s native language, then they will feel that your product or service does cater to them, and they will be more likely to stay and even make a purchase.

Social Media Platforms

Another major part of any effective marketing campaign is the ability to reach out to consumers on social platforms. Broadly, Facebook dominates the social media landscape, and also has a strong e-commerce ecosystem, so any business will want to carve out a presence there. But aside from Facebook, the preferences differ by country. For example, Instagram is popular in Europe and the Americas, but it’s outpaced by Twitter in parts of the Middle East and Asia. In China, the top social media platform is WeChat. It’s important to not only speak to consumers in their language, but also on the platforms they use most.

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Advertising Copy

Ads are an important component of a marketing campaign that you need to seriously consider for translation. After all, ad spend can take up a large part of the marketing budget, so you want to be sure you’re getting the bang for your buck. Advertising to consumers in their native language is the best way to catch their interest.

Customer Support That is Multilingual

A good customer support experience helps build customer loyalty. This is one thing that’s easy to overlook, but is an important thing to consider if you want sustainable success in a foreign market. Having customer support be available in your customers’ native language makes for a better experience and encourages continued patronage to your business. After all, it’s frustrating for a customer to deal with refunds or questions about your product if you don’t speak the same language!

Product Labels and Packaging

Consumers have a lot of options to choose from, and the best way to catch their attention is if your product looks and feels like it was designed for them. You might think there’s some allure in having a foreign or exotic aura, but this is often a novelty and doesn’t translate into long-term interest. Having a product that consumers can feel at home with is in most cases the better and more sustainable strategy.

Other Things To Consider with Multilingual Translation

Invest in high-quality translations. The main point of marketing is to show your business and your products in the best possible light to your customers. Poor translations reflect badly and will make customers less inclined to trust you, no matter how good your product is. Machine translation might seem like a cheap option but its quality can never approach the human touch.

Be sensitive to cultural nuances. It isn’t enough to just translate your content into a different language, it has to speak to your audience in a way that really speaks to them. This means knowing more about linguistic trends and quirks of your audience so that you can better design your marketing to appeal to them on a cultural level.

Outsource the translation work. If you don’t have the resources to do professional translation work, the best option would be to hire a reputable agency to handle it instead. This will not only lift the burden from your team so they can continue to do their own work, but will likely also be less of a headache in terms of quality control since you’ll be working with actual language professionals instead.