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A multilingual website: the key to a successful export marketing strategy

With communication technologies developing at light speed, the ways of conducting businesses are evolving at fast pace as well. In this article co-written with Marketable Strategies, experts in multicultural marketing strategies, we will discuss why a multilingual website is key to a successful export marketing strategy.

You might think… “I have been working in the export sectors for years, conducting business in English, why would I now need a multilingual website for my business?” Well, the world of export marketing has dramatically changed with digitalisation, making communication easier, while strongly increasing the level of industry competition.

Websites and international business: the face of a brand to 7.9 billion people 

Over the last 15 years, businesses have transitioned to the online world and digital communication, making digital marketing been crucial in the last two years, for the obvious reason of not being able to travel or meet face to face. This new era of communication is there to stay, of course, there will still be face-to-face business meetings, but access to information has strongly been digitalised.

A website is the first communication channel that people check when looking for information about your business or brand. This fact is even more true when it comes to international business- the first thing that any prospect does before contacting a company is to check their website, and in the world of business, we all know how important first impressions can be!

In general, websites are the centre of all digital lead generation tools, either you will be using SEO, paid ads, email marketing or social media.

Having the first point of communication in your audience’s native language enables more fluid and clear communication, creating a memorable first impression. It also shows that you care about that market and the partners you will work with out there.

Important key points about languages and international marketing:

Consider the following points:

– A person stays on a website for an average of 45 seconds. If you can’t get your visitor’s attention straight away, you will lose your prospect to one of your competitors. 

– A survey conducted by CSA research of 8,709 consumers in 29 countries finds that 76% prefer purchasing products with information in their native language. 

– Yet, often, companies in the export industry in Australia will have content only in English or English and Mandarin. By ignoring the rest of the international audience such as the 29 countries speaking French, spread over 6 continents, which includes over 267 million people in the world, 79.6 million for whom French is the primary language (Source: Statistica), Australian companies are missing on huge opportunities to expend their business operations overseas.

– Despite English being the most widely used language in Australia, it is the primary language for only 369.9 million people, for a global population of 7,9 billion – that’s only 4.70% of the world. (Source: Worldometer)

This makes you wonder how many potential customers are you losing by not transitioning to a multilingual website?

A multilingual website to reach the audience of your export marketing strategy

A multilingual website will not only help you communicate more effectively, it will also help you be found in the other country’s Google search results. 

Most people use search engines in their native language, so if your website isn’t in their language, the chances are that you are missing a large number of opportunities.

Speak your audience’s language to build trust with your customer

You might think “True, there is less than 5% of the world population that speaks English as their first language, however, most businessmen do speak English as a second language, and that’s my target market, so… why bother?”. 

True, lots of international businesspeople speak English as a first or secondary language. However, making the effort to have clear and culturally appropriate communication in the language of your prospect, enables you to establish trust and a relationship with them in a deeper way. 

By making that effort, you will not only avoid faux pas but also create a more “organic” type of connection, making you memorable and setting up a strong basis for possible relationships.

Can you use a translation plugin for your multilingual website?

Most multilingual website uses translation plugins, which results in a poor and awkward message and can result in a completely different meaning, or even inappropriate content. Your content will be best written by someone who understands the subtility of the language, but also of the culture.

Website localisation and brand trust: the key to multilingual websites and export marketing 

Creating a multilingual website takes time, effort, investment, and getting outside your comfort zone. Most of organisations do not bother making the effort, which in monetary terms is letting cashflow fly right past you. By making the efforts and investing in a multilingual, multicultural website, you are proving that your organisation is committed to understanding and creating relationships with your audience and would make your organisation’s image as that of being reliable and accessible. 

Customer demand for linguistically appropriate content and low supply: an opportunity to set apart your export marketing

In a study conducted by CSA Research, 73% have stated that they wanted more product reviews in their mother tongue while 66% use online translation machines. A staggering 76% of online shoppers said they would repurchase a brand if the after sales care were in their native language. These findings are further backed up by another study in which it saw that only 36% of the online GDP is coming from English speakers because 79% of the global online audience does not speak English. 

CONCLUSION

Export marketing strategies are one of the most difficult communication strategies to implement, due to the physical distance, cultural differences, and language barrier. Getting a multilingual website is an absolute necessity to create a connection with the audience of the country that you are targeting.

Multilingual websites are key to a successful export marketing strategy.

Need a multilingual website for your Export Business Marketing? With its international team of web designers, developer and content writers, Horizon Multilingual Web Design Agency is the best Australian Web Design agency for export marketing.

Like this article? Read: The influence of culture in export marketing from Marketable Strategies.