Last Updated on December 28, 2023
The idea of creating marketing material in a second or even third language sounds daunting, right? It’s more work, will take more time, and may cost us extra money. We may not have the in-house resources to handle a second language. It’s worth the effort though. Even the creation of a landing page focusing on the speakers of another language gives you a competitive advantage.
A Multilingual Approach to Marketing Benefits Your Website, Your Business, and Your Health
- English is not the only language that people use
- Additional languages can improve the bounce rate of your website
- Multiple languages can improve your SEO and localisation
- More than one language increases website traffic
- You can make more sales with multiple languages
- Offering more than one language gives you a competitive advantage
- Multilingual marketing increases your reach
- Speaking in the language of your customers instills trust
- Using a second language keeps your brain fit and nimble
I have two websites. Most of my clients and audience are English-speaking, hence this website. I also live and work in Germany, where many of my clients do not speak English. I also teach in German. For that audience, I have a German website. I try to mix it up on social media – some of my posts are in English, and some are in German.
I have written most of my books in English, but two books are available in German – like my recent SEO book. The second edition of “The Only Online Marketing Book You Need for Your Small Business” will also be available in German in Spring 2023.
There are many reasons why your business marketing should go multilingual. Let’s start with the elephant on the internet. Not everybody uses the English language – nor the American spelling.
Benefit 1: English is not the only language that people use
There are more than 7,000 languages spoken on Earth. Because there are so many different languages, it’s handy to have one language that everyone speaks or understands – at least a little bit. Hence the global use of English.
Based on the number of speakers, there are two dozen other languages spoken by large numbers of people. These include Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, French, Persian, German, Russian, Malay, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, Lahnda, Tamil, Urdu, Korean, Hindi, Bengali, Japanese, Vietnamese, Telugu, and Marathi.
The global language of today is English. It’s almost indispensable in many professions and teaching. Regardless of which country you live in, pop culture is firmly in its hands. There may be no end in sight to its dominance – but that’s what people thought about Latin 600 years ago.
“English is used by 60.8% of all the websites whose content language we know.” https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_language
Multilanguage Marketing Benefits Your Website
Benefit 2: Additional languages can improve the bounce rate of your website
We probably spend most of our time online on websites in our own language. A multilingual website means that foreign consumers who visit your site are less likely to leave when they discover that it is not available in their native language. So your bounce rate drops.
The reduction in bounce rate that you generate through multilingualism may also have a positive effect on your conversion rate. Both should also have a positive effect on your ranking in Google.
“If you can’t get in front of people, then you can’t solve their problems.” Andrews Wharton
Benefit 3: Multiple languages can improve your SEO and localisation
Multilingual SEO involves incorporating localized keywords and search terms into your translated content to ensure it can be found by users in their native language.
Because your content is easier to find, it’s easier for your audience to learn who you are, what you do, and what you offer. SEO helps brands stand out from the competition, get you found, and build trust as a reliable source of information.
One important rule is to never sacrifice quality for placement in search results. Google reminds us that the best way to rank well in search results is to write informative, high-quality content. Helpful content!
“Good content is content that people actually need.” Bridget Willard
Local SEO usually involves optimization for keywords with a clear local reference. This is expressed, for example, by specifying the location in the search query (“shoe store Green Bay”) or a keyword that implicitly targets local providers (“pizzeria”).
It’s important to note that this categorization is just as little absolute as the search intention for a keyword. This is a blog post in itself, however!
Google’s Helpful Content Update (Sept 2022) “The helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience …”
Benefit 4: More than one language increases website traffic
Yes, you may have increased traffic, but the traffic will consist of two unique target groups. People searching for jelly doughnuts are not the same people searching for chocolate doughnuts. They are close but they are not the same.
Two languages mean two target groups. So you should be familiar with:
- + how big are the cultural differences
- + if there are different pain points
- + if their needs are the same
Messaging may need to be different.
As an example, German marketing reflects the price/value information more often than American marketing. German consumers prefer neutral marketing that presents the facts. Germans are typically more interested in testimony by experts, while American consumers respond better to marketing that is more emotionally engaging.
Multilanguage Marketing Benefits Your Business
Benefit 5: You can make more sales with multiple languages
I have written a few books to support my teaching, and to help my clients. I published a three-book series about Online Marketing with Bridget Willard, which is only available in English.
To support my teaching here in Germany, I have published a translation of my first marketing book, Digital Thinking, and more recently a translation of my SEO for Beginners book.
There are now different ways people can find me on the internet, and I can offer them a product very specific to their needs. As Amazon offers language-specific online shops, I can also localise my products.
The 2nd Edition of Digital Thinking Websites, Online Marketing, and Our Digital Flânerie
The German translation of the 1st Edition: Digital Thinking – Websites, Online-Marketing, und digitale Visionen
Benefit 6: Offering more than one language gives you a competitive advantage
There is overwhelming competition in online business. If you offer a multilingual website or other marketing, you have an advantage over competitors that do not. Customer experience is an essential differentiator that sets you apart from the competition.
Offering more than one language means you are less fragile than companies that don’t. You are more agile to changes in the market. If your English website fails, your Spanish website is still running. You are able to access and develop markets that are closed to your competitor.
Three factors are important if your Content Marketing is to be successful:
- + answer the questions and needs of your target group,
- + offer them added value within the content,
- + and create interest in further products and services.
Simply the fact that you offer material in another language, is in itself great Content Marketing.
Benefit 7: Multilingual marketing increases your reach
With multilingual marketing, your websites and social media can reach a wider audience and allow your business to access new markets.
The biggest advantage of multilingual content is that it can reach a much larger audience than English-only content. More languages equal the ability to reach more people.
Not only language is important:
- Content written in the time zone of your audience will maximise your effectiveness. If it is 9 am in London it will be 2 am somewhere in the USA. Most of your audience will be asleep.
- Creating great visual content to accompany your words is an extra but crucial step. What images, people, backdrops, and visual cues work for your audience in their country? They may be different than what you are used to. Don’t just translate the words.
“While the most obvious step for creating a multilingual social media presence is to offer your content in multiple languages, that is not necessarily the only step you should take.” Forbes
Benefit 8: Speaking in the language of your customers instills trust
Language reflects the values and beliefs of a culture. That’s why we always feel like an outsider when we visit a foreign country. Without language, we simply have no chance of fitting in.
Using the language of your target market goes a long way to instilling trust and improving your brand image. It means you care and are willing to talk with people in their language and are trying to understand their culture. Simply put, people prefer content in their own language.
Translating your content into various languages is an indicator of respect for your audience and what they need. It gets you closer to people. It encourages people to trust your business and perceive you as an inclusive company.
“72% of consumers spend most of their time on websites in their own language, so adapting your offering to their native tongue is crucial.” Think with Google
How does your company build trust?
✅ Building Positive Relationships with your clients. Speaking their language is a part of that.
✅ Bringing Expertise to your field.
✅ Being Consistent, delivering on what you promise, and staying compliant with industry standards.
Multilanguage Marketing Benefits Your Health
Benefit 9: Using a second language keeps your brain fit and nimble
Learning and using another language improves our communication skills in our native language. You may even live longer. A 2016 study at Yale University showed that people who read for more than three and a half hours a week lived almost two years longer than non-readers.
Can reading reduce dementia?
“Researchers in the US have found that keeping up reading, writing, and playing games in later life could delay the onset of dementia by up to five years. The scientific journal Neurology published the findings today.” Jul 2021 Alzheimer’s Research UK
A Multilingual Approach to Marketing Brings Benefits
The multilingual marketing approach allows you to communicate with people regardless of their geographical location, creating bonds and encouraging people to trust you. I would go as far as to say that marketing in more than one language adds to the sustainability of your marketing. It certainly makes for a better user experience.
We always ask our customers for input, but we usually do this in our native language. Developing a marketing approach in more than one language gives us a different perspective. Other doors are opened. Sure it’s more work, but do you really want to get up every morning with nothing to do?
Foto with thanks to rawpixel.com on Freepik