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Digital marketing translation: What content marketers need to know in 2020

Published on January 28th, 2020

According to Smart Insights, nine out of ten marketers expect to increase digital marketing budgets in 2020 as the competition between rival brands continues to intensify. For multilingual businesses targeting international audiences, the competition is more intense than ever.

The leading brands are now making big things happen with multilingual marketing campaigns, which raises the bar of expectations among consumers. There’s little room for error in 2020 and multilingual brands need to be fluent, not only in the native language of their target audiences, but also their cultural and personal expectations.

Digital marketing translation is not optional

According to research carried out by the European Commission, 90% of European customers expect content to be delivered in their own language. So, if you’re marketing to foreign-speaking markets, you need to make sure you’re speaking to them like a local.

Brands also need to understand that digital marketing translation can be a complex process. You’re not simply trying to convey information; you’re trying to convince people to make buying choices. You’re trying to reach people on an emotional level and demonstrate that your product/service is somehow going to improve the quality or enjoyment of their lives in some way.

Translating user manuals is one thing. Translating an entire marketing campaign that’s going to influence the decisions people make is something else.

Translation alone isn’t enough

Digital translation can convert your messages into other languages, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re delivering the message your target audiences need. The simple fact is, target audiences in other countries may have different needs, even though they share the same demographic characteristics on paper with prospects in your home country.

Female CEOs in Southeast Asia may respond differently to the same message than their counterparts in the UK, for example. While differences between neighbouring Southeast Asian countries and women as individuals also can’t be underestimated.

Targeting everyone with the same message simply doesn’t work in today’s digital environment, which means simply translating the same message into a dozen other languages is problematic. Instead, you need to adapt your message using transcreation, which focuses on the impact you’re trying to make rather than the specific words in your source content.

So the message itself may be different, but you’re still getting the desired response from each target audience.

Brands need to deliver personalised, translated content

One of the biggest shifts taking place in digital marketing right now is personalisation. Technology limitations have always held this strategy back, making it difficult to accurately deliver messages to people on an individual basis. However, the emergence of big data and technologies like machine learning mean brands are now capable of reaching people on a personal basis and even predicting their future behaviours.

Multilingual brands have the added challenge of delivering personalised content to users in their native language.

The good news is that all of the technology you need to achieve this already exists. The same data science and AI technologies that make modern personalisation possible are there to deliver your messages. The key thing now is feeding the right messages into these technologies, in the relevant language with 100% accurate translation.

To achieve this, you need to start by having the right team of language experts who specialise in digital marketing translation. This team will ensure you always have the right content at hand, including all of the localisation, transcreation and other adaptations your messages need. With translation memory, your translators can cut out any repetitive workflow and by using a solid translation management system (TMS), your project managers can ensure content is always available and accessible to your in-house team when they need it.

Today’s multilingual brands need a flexible system for delivering digital content across a wide range of platforms and touchpoints – from social media to their website and email campaigns to paid advertising. With consumer expectations higher than ever and the leading brands making high-quality, multilingual campaigns the norm, all businesses operating internationally need to raise their game in 2020 to stay competitive.

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Posted on: January 28th, 2020