Top Dos and Don’ts for Multilingual Marketing Campaigns

The digital age has opened the way for companies to connect to consumers all around the globe, but with this connectedness comes the need for advertising that is tailored to the particular language, and culture, of your new audience.

In order to develop a strong brand presence in a new, overseas territory you’ll need marketing campaigns that evoke emotions, understand buyer’s habits, their culture, nuances and identity.

The following tips will make your multilingual marketing campaigns more relevant and ensure you have the best chance of success.

1. Do Choose a Professional Translation Company

While it may be tempting to undercut your budget by using multilingual employees, machine translation services (such as, Google Translate), or bi-lingual friends and family, it is unlikely they will be able to offer an accurate translation which is culturally applicable, grammatically correct and tailored to a specific audience.

Choose a reputable translation company who can show you examples of their previous translations, are experts in the language or languages you require, and also understand the cultural nuances linked to the language.

This will give you a specialised translation that ticks all the boxes for a professional translation of your marketing campaigns.


2. Do Consider Localization and Translation

Translation adapts the language for a new audience, but does not always consider cultural difference. For example, if you have a website that sells seasonal gifts in the UK and are planning to sell to an Arabic market, a simple translation of your website would not account for differences such as, religious festivals (Christmas or Ramadan), regional dialects (there are up to 30 strands of the Arabic language) or location-based particulars (price, weights, measures, colour, and so on).

Localization will give you a culturally relevant adaption for marketing campaigns that considers factors such as, cultural preference, target audience, language, dialect and more.


3. Do Consider Brand Voice, Tagline and Logo

Even many multinational companies have fallen foul on this point.

Don’t assume that because your brand is easily recognized, and works in its original country, that this will automatically ‘translate’ well in foreign markets.

Design factors such as, logo colours, taglines and brand tone don’t always work well in cultures with diverse values so using a language service specialist that can advise you on culturally acceptable issues is vital.

Localization should give a consistent voice to your brand so that it is recognized, but at the same time, is suitable for a variety of audiences around the globe.

Creating a style guide for your language service provider will ensure consistency, help your translation provider understand your brand voice, and give improved quality to translations.


4. Don’t Ignore Cultural Diversity

Language is intimately linked to culture; our sense of humour, colloquial terminology, lifestyles, and perspectives are all influenced by our cultural upbringing and language.

Ignoring cultural diversity in your multilingual marketing campaigns will make them less successful, inappropriate for your audience, and may even cause offence.

Localization, through a professional translation service provider who has expert knowledge of the cultural context for your audience, should give you an insider’s view on points such as, ‘pop culture’, metaphors, slang, humour, appropriate image use, and how to appeal to your audience.

5. Don’t Ignore Regional Dialect

Like culture, language is variable depending upon region.

Regional dialects, especially for languages such as, Arabic, which can span thousands of miles and multiple countries, can vary enormously from one country to another, so success of your marketing campaigns will depend upon connecting with your audience in their language and on their terms.

Using localization to adapt language and dialect based upon region will give a greater chance of success.

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