Often times when engaged in search engine optimization and social media marketing for our websites we overlook an important fact, that being, not everyone in the world speaks English. This has become increasingly more apparent as of late. Not only have we been working with many of our clients on translation based projects, but statistics and commentary supporting multi-lingual SEO and social media marketing have been rapidly expanding.
Today I read a post by Christian Arno, founder of Lingo24, a global translation company. Arno had some very interesting things to say, here are a few of his points:
- Consumers are more than 5 times more likely to buy from a site in their native language.
- In the last ten years, the use of Arabic online has increased by over 2500%, while Chinese and Spanish rose twelve and seven-fold respectively. And English? It didn’t even triple.
- Today, 42% of all Internet users are in Asia, while almost a quarter are in Europe and just over 10% are in Latin America. These stats shouldn’t sway businesses towards targeting one region over another, though — Latin American countries account for over 200 million people on the web.
The Internet’s global audience makes it the perfect platform to stimulate international business. If your product has a bilingual demographic it certainly makes sense to have that online offering available in those dialects. While that is the case, when considering the decision to engage in multi-lingual online marketing you still need to keep simple business principals in mind. If you create a site in Spanish selling soccer balls, you obviously need to be sure you have the infrastructure in place to support shipping soccer balls internationally. Now of course you may have a multi-lingual demographic you are marketing to in your own local community. If this is the case, you may want to take more of a local multi-lingual SEO approach to your site. Regardless, many things clearly need to be considered from a cost benefit analysis before committing to this strategy.
While this is the case, for major players this is a decision which needs no consideration, simply planning. Almost all global brands have strategies in place to reach non-English speaking online users. And it is not just about running PPC and optimizing sites in multiple languages, it’s also about engaging in multi-lingual social media marketing too.
According to comScore, Latin American tweets are up over 300% between June 2009 and June 2010, followed by 243% in the Asia Pacific region, 142% in the Middle East and Africa, and 106% in Europe. By comparison, North America only increased by 22%.
This compelling data has not gone unnoticed. Christian Arno, founder of Lingo24 mentions that, “Sony supports twenty international Twitter feeds, while Microsoft, Cisco and PricewaterhouseCoopers all offer Twitter feeds in ten or more languages.”
It is amazing to see the benefit of social media marketing transcending languages. So much so that companies find it important enough to put multi-lingual teams in place. Social media is global, so why not use it for marketing globally, right?
Perhaps the most interesting information comes when considering the subtleties in marketing globally on the Internet. While Facebook and Twitter are perfect for reaching out across Europe, the United States and many other contries, they would clearly not be the correct social media marketing tool to reach a Russian demographic, where Yandex is the dominate social network. In addition, if you want to connect in Brazil and Indonesia, Orkut is the site you need to use.
When it is all said and done, there is tremendous value for marketing globally online if you have the right strategy in place. Making online marketing decisions takes clear strategy. What is yours?
Have questions about online global marketing? Ask below!