Multilingual B2B Marketing: Speaking the Language, Speaking the Culture

Is your company riding the globalisation wave and thinking about expanding into Europe?

The European market is an exciting playground, rich with business opportunities for skilful U.S. players. If you are considering an expansion in the Old Continent, or even if you are already developing your business there, you have surely dealt with marketing localisation in your internalisation process.

While marketing localisation is currently on the rise with progressive companies around the globe, many have not started applying it yet. That’s why it’s important to see how B2B marketing localisation can make it or break it for your European expansion.

Keep in mind that a multilingual approach to your B2B marketing efforts, extends far beyond the translation of your website content to the local language of the target customers. Adapting to the specificities of the local market is crucial for getting good results at the end of the year. Research shows that60% of global brands still lack a localised multilingual content strategy.

Understanding the challenges of adapting to a multilingual approach and content marketing localisation, we have prepared the three most important tips on how to craft your international marketing strategy in the most effective way.

#1 Work Out Your International Image

The most successful and well-known global brands have learnt one very important thing: how to speak the culture of the locals, not only their language.

That’s why if you are looking for success internationally, you should craft your company’s image in a non-local way. Wherever you come from, make sure that your geographical origin is not the main cultural identifier for your business activity. By staying nationally neutral, your brand can transcend borders. With some skillful adaptation, it will be able to reach your target audience wherever they are in the world.

What does this mean practically? First and foremost, it means choosing a logo and a company visual system with universal appeal. It also means that you carefully design the main values and messages of your company to speak to people everywhere. If you need some inspiration, take a look at Apple, Microsoft or Coca-Cola.

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#2 Localise Your Content

You simply cannot reach all of your potential B2B customers by speaking just English. The level of customer engagement in the awareness and consideration phases jumps incredibly high as soon as you start speaking their language.

Yet the rise of B2B marketing localisation shows that it’s not enough to translate your website anymore. You need to go further and adapt your whole content marketing strategy to optimize your business localisation.

The most important step in this process is making your content truly local – from blog posts to white papers and email marketing. The first tip here is to forget about translation. Instead, go for transcreation. Combining translation and creation, this term refers to the process of local cultural adaptation of texts, namely, giving them a local twist.

By collaborating with European talents, you can achieve much more in terms of awesome content that effectively speaks to your target customers. Your local partners can adapt your message linguistically and culturally, so that your brand has its one message told through many local stories.

Don’t forget that the differences between regions can be quite tricky. Think about privacy sensitivity in the U.S. and in the EU. When you gate a piece of content by asking for personal data, in the U.S. you are likely to successfully deliver, say, your white paper to your prospects and to get their contacts in return. If you try the same approach in Europe, you are likely to get the cold treatment, as people there are much more sensitive about their data. You might be able to get away only with asking for an email.

Having local partners also means that your content will be timed in the best way, as they can present it in the best moment in terms of local events, holidays and the like.

#3 Explore the Local Power of Social

A great content strategy can easily be wasted if you don’t fully utilize the power of social media. Whenever you localise your business in a new region, in this case Europe, make sure to do your homework on what works best in social as well. This involves finding out which social media networks are most popular, and adapting your messages to them. It also means considering mobile optimization and campaigns that match Europeans’ specific tastes for mobile.

Let’s consider the DACH region, the German-speaking part of Europe that includes Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Prospects in this area are certainly on LinkedIn, but Xing is actually preferred. That’s why more than 6.5 million people from the region are Xing users. Making such strategic considerations in terms of social media choices are bound to direct your whole strategy precisely where it will have the biggest impact.

Further exploration of local preferences for social media and other outlets will boost your outreach. This is crucial, as it will make your awesome transcreated content readily available to your prospects.

With a wholesome multilingual B2B marketing strategy, the flow of qualified leads naturally increases, and multilingual marketing campaign perform better simply by speaking to your potential customers in the right way. So why miss out on pivotal opportunities by staying out of multilingual B2B marketing? Jump on the bandwagon, and reap the benefits of a universally appealing campaign.

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