India has 22 official languages. This multilingual society creates a unique marketing opportunity for your business, especially if you’re currently using only English or Hindi. Offering your marketing materials in multiple languages makes your company feel welcoming to a broader audience, especially if you’re reaching out to potential customers in rural areas. Here are top 5 tips for multilingual marketing.
1. Know Your Audience
When you’re dealing with a small marketing budget, it might not be possible to use all 22 of India’s languages. Instead, you can maximize your budget by choosing the two or three languages that are most used among your customers. Think strategically. If you want to reach more customers in Kerala, one of your language options might be Malayalam. If many of your customers speak Tamil at home, offering a Tamil option on your website can make your company feel more familiar.
2. Make Spacious Design Templates
Multilingual marketing involves more than a simple translation — it can also affect your graphic design. A message in English might take up just one line, but when you translate it into Bengali or Gujarati, you might need more space. This is where it’s important to get your designers on board. They may need to make a different template for each language or simply allow more space for text. Addressing this issue right away can save time and prevent expensive delays down the road.
3. Hire the Right Writers
When it comes to marketing, a literal translation doesn’t always work. A brand message that sounds great in English or Hindi might sound strange in another language. To help your company craft text that sounds natural, hire local writers. Since these writers are fluent, they can bring more depth to your messaging and inform your content marketing strategy. Fluent writers are particularly important with individual marketing campaigns, which often rely on emotion. Someone who understands the local slang and societal norms can help you strike the right chord.
4. Understand the Cultural Context
People in different parts of India have different ways of viewing the world. A high-powered professional in Delhi may have a dramatically different experience than a farmer in Rajasthan. If your marketing uses jokes or cultural references, it’s important to be sure that they resonate with different audiences.
Your local writers can be a big help in this area with knowledge about local attitudes, ideas, and ways of life. They’re also aware of important local events. This increased awareness makes it easier to avoid accidentally offending your customers.
5. Multilingual Search Engine Optimisation
If your website is part of your multilingual marketing strategy, you may need to rethink search engine optimization. The keywords that work in one language may not help you at all in another so you might want to choose and optimize keywords for each version of your site to make it easier for the speakers of each language to find you. The same goes for link building — you can boost your language-specific SEO by getting links from other websites in the target language.
Multilingual marketing materials can help your company reach a bigger audience. When you tailor your strategy to the unique needs and limitations of each language, it’s easier to develop a natural connection with customers across the country.