by Paul Urwin
There’s been a lot of talk recently about content. Content marketing, content creation, content hacking, and so on. And that’s great, because it’s a subject that we really believe in.
So it’s pretty clear that in the current environment content is currently driving traffic and sales and is going to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
But what about multilingual content marketing?
What is Multilingual Content Marketing?
Well, according to the Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
So, if content marketing consists of the creation and distribution of content in order to help sell a product or service or build a brand, then multilingual content marketing is simply the same strategy being developed in multiple languages.
Examples of Multilingual Content Marketing
For example, a company in the US may wish to expand their reach to Latin America, and therefore re-create all of their marketing materials in Spanish, and then distribute them through the appropriate channels.
Or, a German company that wishes to offer its services in the US market translates its website into English, along with all of the other marketing materials including video tutorials.
In another example, a new company wants to market its products in a number of different countries right from the word go, and therefore develops all of its content in 3 languages in order to go to market.
The above are just simple examples. But essentially multilingual content marketing involves creating and distributing content in more than one language.
How to Carry Out Multilingual Content Marketing
Of course, there are various ways in which this can be achieved.
- The content can be translated from one language to another.
- The content can be “trans-created” from one language to another.
- The content can be re-written from scratch in another language.
- Content in different languages can be written at the same time.
Which way you decide to go about this depends on a number of factors. Does the content already exist in one language? How easy and / or appropriate would it be to translate the content? Does the content need to be localized?
If the content already exists in one language, then it makes sense to use that content as a base for creating additional content in other languages.
That could mean translating all of the content required from one language to another. This is the most traditional method, and can still work very well.
However, while translation may offer a linguistic solution to the problem, there are differences other than language between countries and cultures and this is where transcreation comes in. Transcreation is a less literal form of translation which focuses on getting the message across in an equivalent way, while using different examples and expressions. Sometimes the easiest way to achieve this is not actually to translate the document, but to provide writers with an outline of the content required (for example: titles, keywords, key bullet points) and task them to produce the content from the outlines provided. This generally leads to content that is more natural – it is never going to give the impression that it has been translated (because it hasn’t been) – and more relevant to each local market.
Of course, content can still be managed effectively from scratch in each language (without any guidelines) although it would seem logical for a global organization to at least share ideas from where to start. And finally, content may not need to be translated or transcreated from one language to another – some content creation is performed by simply creating all the content in multiple languages at the same time.
Whichever way multilingual content is implemented, perhaps the most important factor is regarding the need to create multilingual content. In other words, what is the “Why”? Why should your organization consider multilingual content? Will it help to open new markets and increase sales? If the answer to that last question is yes, then I recommend you get started right away! If you need any help, please get in touch.
All the best!
Paul is a Co-Founder at the Content Creation Startup BigBoxContent.com and focuses on helping business achieve spectacular growth through content.