Tackling the Modern Multilingual Digital Marketing Challenge

This sponsored post is produced in association with Welocalize.

Companies jostling to increase their digital footprint often find that internationalizing websites is no easy task. It’s not just translating website copy from one language to another.

“You can’t simply translate it,” said Huw Aveston, Managing Director of Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Digital Marketing Agency, “there are so many different things you can get wrong in terms of context, logistics, and how the content performs.” Adapt Worldwide is a multilingual digital marketing agency that delivers international campaigns through 22 different languages in-house and is supported by an additional 150 languages and technology capabilities within Welocalize.

When it comes to multilingual digital marketing campaigns, the subtlety and consistency of the brand messaging requires careful transcreation across markets. But transcreating multilingual marketing campaigns is a bit different. For one thing, the marketing field is much more focused on execution. For instance, you need to consider character limits within search engine marketing (SEM) or platform specifics in Facebook adverts. Also, instead of the accuracy of translation, the qualifying factor is the performance of the transcreated multilingual campaigns compared to the English ones.

“Transcreation in digital marketing is different in that everything is measurable and everything can be tracked, therefore everything is accountable,” Huw said.

Huw Aveston, Managing Director of Adapt Worldwide
Huw Aveston, Managing Director of Adapt Worldwide

Being Found in Multiple Languages

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the foundations of online brand discovery. And any SEO campaign starts with keyword research. “It is the heart of digital marketing transcreation,” Huw said.

Keyword research becomes more complex in multiple languages and regions. Phrasing and word sequence vary per language. The English keywords “red shoes,” for example, first need to be translated, checked for sequence (foreign language speakers could search for “shoes red” instead of vice versa), and colloquial relevance. Additionally, each target keyword in each language yields individual search volume analysis.

These analyses show what local consumers are after, hint at the size of your target market, and point you in the right direction when it comes to content development. These also allow you to track campaign performance – both yours and your competitors’.

The information provides an understanding of content to develop and goals to prioritize. Better yet, it can help marketing activities in other areas, such as social media. Put all the data together, align your strategy towards your objectives, and feed that back into the loop.

“Generally speaking,” Huw said, “especially for large international campaigns, when they take the effort to analyze the results, [Return on Investment is] relatively quick and tends to be very strong for SEO.”

And for SEM, ROI could in fact be 100% stronger.

“We are running a test at the moment where we are looking at an SEM campaign which has been directly translated versus [one] which has been built from scratch and transcreated by a local speaker,” Huw said, “the performance of the one built from scratch is probably 100% higher than the one that is directly translated.” Aside from better returns, Huw said the SEM landscapes of non-English speaking countries are less competitive.

In the US and UK, for instance, the cost per click (CPCs) on SEM campaigns are high and consumers are pretty much settled. In regions where the market’s main language is not English, on the other hand – places like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and even regions like Thailand – the CPCs are lower and competition is less fierce. “It pays off in terms of direct ROI in those markets,” Huw said, “because you have this double effect: if you really take care of the language you want to market to people to, you also benefit from a lower degree of online competition so the ROI tends to be very strong everywhere.”


Building a House

While Adapt Worldwide handles everything from search to social to conversion rate optimization, Huw understands that the joint services provided by Adapt Worldwide and Welocalize allows them to better help clients. “Welocalize is one of the best translation machines out there; they generally guide clients and improve relations and they normally help with huge volume translations,” Huw said.

“There’s nothing worse than a company that pretends to do what it’s not good at,” he said. “What [Welocalize is] good at is understanding client requirements,” Huw said, comparing their collaboration in working on internationalizing websites to redesigning a house.

“For me it’s a wonderful relationship when the client has a multitude of different problems and it’s kind of like redesigning a house – we’re very much the electricians. We don’t get involved in the building and plumbing and anything like that. Welocalize has broad capabilities and specialist expertise and is wonderful at bringing together the different components and our combination is really strong when [these components are] identified upfront and we can then divide the different services between us,” Huw said.

“Where Welocalize is very strong is in bringing both sides to the table: when Adapt Worldwide works on the digital marketing and at the same time, Welocalize is leveraging the technological solutions – the machine translation, the post editing, the human translations, depending on the various parts of the site,” he added.

Among the “houses” that this partnership has built include the multilingual SEO for Louvre Hotels Group. The Group needed to increase site traffic and conversions while improving user experience by providing relevant content in users’ native languages.

Welocalize helped with localization strategy planning and implementation – from identifying opportunities to improving search ranking and traffic to optimizing pages. The result was better process management, workflows, site traffic and bookings, and a 20% increase in search traffic and a 100% uptick in visitor conversion.

“In digital marketing, you actually absolutely have to fully understand [the industry] and the language where you’re looking to expand your campaigns.” Huw said, “When a client is looking to not only translate a lot of their online content [but also] make sure that the online content is then found and read by users, you need a wide range of capability and expertise in digital marketing and localization to deliver the right solution.”


For more information on Adapt Worldwide and multilingual digital marketing, visit https://www.welocalize.com/adapt-worldwide/