Our world is becoming more globalized by the year, and with that comes a world that is more “open.” People are immigrating, traveling around the world, and speaking languages besides their mother tongue. There’s been in the United States, so it’s possible the whole world is also experiencing an increase in bilingual speakers.
Businesses are taking advantage of this new world dynamic and making themselves more accessible to other countries with potential markets. Local businesses in the Arab world are embracing other cultures and languages, and English-speaking business owners are doing the same.
This transition, although positive, can really make or break your brand—not many businesses understand that “language” isn’t just a thick “Grammar and Word Usage” rule book, it also hints at the culture of the people who speak it.
So why do some businesses fail in targeting a culturally diverse audience, and some don’t? The answer comes down to whether you’re being perceived as a “local business” or a “foreign business pretending to be local.”
Firmly plant your company’s flag in two domestic markets
A lot of brands have used the common approach of first establishing their presence in their local area before gradually branching out to different countries or markets. It’s the most obvious path to take for most companies, but it also means that you’ll always be associated with the country you first established yourself in.
Many Arab and English-speaking business owners think that by translating some of their website’s content and company name, they’ve successfully targeted a new market. The reality is, however, that humans crave connection, and merely translating your website won’t exactly help build that.
If you’re a company owner or content marketer wanting to expand the business, consider catering your advertisements to fit the social and cultural expectations that come with targeting a market that speaks a different language, whether Arabic or English.
Your business will look less “foreign” and more domestic and local. Having a thoroughly researched bilingual content strategy in place will make you look more relatable, accessible, and trustworthy.
Benefits of Bilingual Content Marketing
As mentioned earlier, simply translating your blog and web content isn’t enough. If you’re serious about making your brand seem more approachable to more than one type of audience, you need to create a content strategy for each country or region.
If you think this is too much of an inconvenience, read on to find out why it’s all worth it.
It’ll help you establish trust with consumers of both languages
Have you ever read a translation of a website that sounded so clunky, robotic, and inauthentic? And not only that, but you find out that most of their services, products, blog, and ads are either translated poorly or not translated at all?
It’s these little nuances that make your target audience steer clear and far, far away from websites. How can anyone trust your business when they can’t understand everything on your website?
Put thought and effort into your marketing strategy for your target audience, and make sure that not only is everything on your website professionally translated, but also speaks to your audience on a more personal level.
Problems and issues differ from country to country or culture to culture, so you would want to understand the pain-points of the people whose language you’re using to market yourself to. Understand what your target audience, whether Arab, Japanese, Irish, or Indonesian, deeply cares about and what they deal with on a regular basis.
People can sense it when you’re just translating for the sake of translating, and when you’re doing it for the sake of genuinely reaching to and helping them.
Double the markets, double the sales
When you hear the word “thought leader,” you might think of someone who is innovative and progressive. You also might think of someone who is far-reaching and isn’t afraid of exploring new markets in other regions.
On some websites’ menu bars, you might find an option to switch to another language and continue to browse in your chosen language settings. There’s nothing more satisfying than dealing with a business that is well-versed and informed about your culture in the way they present their brand online—you come across these websites and you just can’t help but think, “yup. That’s a thought leader, right there.”
Make that your clients’ first impression when they take a look at your website, your blog, and your company’s social media accounts. Again, it isn’t as simple as translating from Arabic to English; it requires you understand your target audience’s needs and then providing them with relatable material and content. Don’t forget people everywhere in the world desire connection, and what better way to do that than to churn out content that resonates with them?
Being a “thought leader” who thinks globally means that no matter where you decide to market your brand or product, you’ll always know what to say and how to say it right, because you’re updated on the current issues of every country whose market you decide to enter.
It’ll enhance your SEO efforts
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is on every content marketers’ tongue lately. It’s harder to rank on Google when you don’t factor in SEO keywords that will help get your content on the first page of the internet.
This is great news for content marketers intending to market the business in a different language—you’ll be looking up keywords in not one, but two languages.
If you’re putting out SEO-optimized blogs and social media posts in two languages, that’s double the traffic you would get from SEO-optimized blogs and social media posts in a single language. And since you’re catering to different locations and languages, Google’s algorithms detect this and give your website more visibility. Your website will provide a wealth of information for both speakers of a language.
To all the Arab business owners and English-speaking ones, think global
And don’t just translate your website content into the target language—create content that both types of consumers can enjoy, engage with, and relate to. And to do that, you’ll want to start looking at language as more than just grammar, syntax, and words, but as a culture, mindset, and attitude.
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