Language Barriers: How to Implement Cross-Continental and Multi-Lingual Campaigns

Thanks to the internet and mobile devices, the globe feels a lot smaller today than it did thirty years ago. Now we can easily communicate with audiences across the world in the blink of an eye. But just because there is more accessibility in terms of reach, does not mean that there aren’t still barriers to entry for brands trying to introduce their products and services in foreign countries.  If you’re looking to expand your ecommerce and paid media presence overseas, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Know local terms and idioms – Let’s say you’re a U.S. based brand trying to expand into the UK. Just because both audience groups both speak English does not mean they both speak English the same ways. For example, common phrases used in UK retail conversations include Boxing Day, queue, Bank Holiday, jumper – all of which mean very little to American English speakers. It’s important not assume that just because you directly translated a phrase it will resonate with that country’s shoppers.

Convert the Currency – This seems like a basic trick to remember, but you must calculate the currency conversions correctly. It’s also important to use the correct currency terms. Mobile searchers in Canada are not interested in seeing $ prices.

Invest in Audience Development – Simply repeating every original strategy across the pond will not lead to a successful campaign. Shoppers in every country differ from one another based on cultural influences, lifestyles and local trends. A successful paid media campaign in Europe or Asia will not look like an exact replica of a successful paid media campaign in the states. Understanding the core characteristics and values of new audiences will also lead to a more robust understanding of common keywords and queries in that country.

Localize your search – Google may be dominant in the states but that is not necessarily the case across the globe. Some countries rely heavily on other search engines that are structurally different from Google. It’s important to understand how foreign consumers search, and what they’re searching on, to ensure that you are leveraging the right channels.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment