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Reaching Multilingual or Culturally Diverse Audiences

While businesses typically have a good idea of what their typical customer looks like, larger or more global corporations may find that they have many different sets of customers. You may have customers in dozens of different countries, with an incredibly diverse population of languages, In order to create content for this wide variety of people, here are a few guidelines.

While it may seem difficult to create content for such a diverse group of people, you shouldn’t give up easily. The marketing and engagement values of being able to connect with your customers through the creation of resonant or interesting content cannot be understated. Long term success is often founded upon the relationship a business manages to create with its customers. So don’t give up easily, take the time to problem solve and create solutions for this struggle.

Big or Small

First, look at your budget and customer base. If you service millions of customers speaking languages other than your natural one, your best bet is to employ a localization team. A simple translator can suffice to communicate your message, but language will only be one part of the communication barrier. Not only are you struggling to communicate words, but the cultural divide between your communities could lead to some unfortunate misunderstandings. A good localization team will include individuals who are integrated into your target cultures. Understanding the jokes, the idioms, and importantly, the connotations associated with word choice and certain subjects will dramatically improve your chances of being able to connect with your audiences. This immersion in a culture is incredibly hard to fake, so when readers recognize that something was written by someone they consider part of their culture, you will gain a lot of rapport with your audience.

Depending on the team, they will also be able to screen ideas and produce content which is targeted to a specific region. Not only will they be able to change your messages so that they are digestible and comprehensible to other populations, but they can also identify specific topics of interest to their area. This is critically important if you are looking to find a niche which is not over saturated, but in which there is established demand for your services.

One thing to remember is that it is generally better to avoid trying to market directly to cultures you are unfamiliar with. Successful marketing is based on two distinct things: knowledge of general human psychology, and awareness of the societal context in which your message will be interpreted. While a trained advertising specialist might be able to differentiate between the two, many of us struggle to intuitively separate the two. Many people are immersed in their own culture to the point that they struggle differentiating between general human tendencies, and social norms which just so happen to be prominent in their own societies. Therefore, take the time to ensure that you aren’t making any unfounded assumptions. Just because something is incredibly popular to one audience, it doesn’t mean that it will have the same success in another setting.

Do it Yourself?

If you are a smaller business without the ability to hire a marketing firm, it is usually best to err on the side of caution. While it can seem tempting to attempt to do your own research before changing content, this is quite risky. The safer strategy is to simplify your content. Focus on ensuring that you are communicating clearly and effectively, and deliver a product which will be useful to your audience. In this scenario, you want your product to speak for itself, with your marketing and blogging creating exposure, but not turning away any potential customers. In other words, focus on simply creating exposure rather than attempting significant branding. Creating this exposure will then allow your quality product to stand on its own legs. If you are able to create a product which is valued by your customers, this quality will become associated with your brand, much more easily than any advertising campaign.

So, regardless of your market share, it can be important to reach audiences which are different from your normal customer. This might be part of an expansion into a foreign country, or simply an attempt to rebrand to appeal to a different subset of consumer in your own. Regardless, managing to increase your potential number of customers can be hugely impactful to your bottom line and the long term success of your business. Many companies on the verge of failure have managed to find success, simply be thinking about which markets to sell their products in. Lack of success in one market has nothing to do with performance in another. People living across the world are experiencing vastly different realities, and have different challenges and priorities.