We all know how important content marketing is. It helps you maintain a relationship with your clients, creates new leads, can help position your brand as knowledgeable and a trusted source for information, and works wonders for SEO, driving more traffic to your website. Just imagine how powerful that would be if implemented across all the markets you wish to target, and how much of a positive impact it would have on your business. Creating a successful content strategy might not easy, but it is definitely worth the investment. Based on our experience, we would like to share with you 5 tips that will help you on your way to developing a multilingual content writing strategy:
1. Provide a clear brief
Provide copywriters with a clear brief that explains the company’s values, brand identity, target audience, tone of voice, etc. so that they can produce content which, whilst resonating with the target market, communicates your brand’s personality and style. Glossaries are also useful to ensure consistency with previous/future material. Don’t forget content marketing is about communicating with your customers, bringing them closer to your brand and building rapport, so it is important to ensure the personality of the brand comes across consistently across all markets.
2. Adapt the text to the target culture
In order to truly appeal to a foreign audience, you need to use the right words and expressions which are common in that particular country and pay attention to local conventions, including puns, wordplay, local references, cultural and social preferences, etc. Similarly, do not forget to keep an eye on social and cultural trends, such as the new music group in the scene, the TV programs people are watching, the latest joke from an ad, or the must have-item of the season. Your local copywriters should be able to advise you on this, and provide feedback on linguistic and cultural issues.
3. Language doesn’t equal culture
Just because two countries speak the same language doesn’t mean you can use the same content in both. Think about how culturally different the US and the UK are. Multilingual content writing goes far beyond translating text into another language, it is about adapting the content to the target culture, as the previous point explained.
4. Multilingual SEO
Whilst the way search engine optimization works has changed greatly, it is more important than ever. Creating content that is relevant for your customers and uses appropriate keywords will improve your ranking in search engine result pages across all the different markets, especially if your competitors aren’t creating multilingual content. Research and use the keywords that are looked for in a particular market, write content relevant to that market and translate all the text that the search engines use to rank your content.
5. Pay attention to the visuals!
When writing content for a particular market, you should always check any accompanying images and symbols. Things that are acceptable in the original market might not be so in any other countries. For instance, displaying a bottle of wine in an ad might not be very popular in countries where alcohol is forbidden. Similarly, a hexagonal red sign would not mean anything in Japan, where the stop sign is a red upside down triangle.