Lost in Translation? 10 Benefits of Bilingualism in Marketing

How well do you understand your audience? Sure, you probably know what makes them tick and what they don’t like so much. But do you speak their language? We mean, do you actually, literally speak their language? Because if you stick to audiences that speak only one language – YOUR language – then your company […]

How well do you understand your audience?

Sure, you probably know what makes them tick and what they don’t like so much. But do you speak their language?

We mean, do you actually, literally speak their language?

Because if you stick to audiences that speak only one language – YOUR language – then your company is losing out on the many benefits of bilingualism.

Plus, you’re not only limiting your company’s marketing abilities. You’re also limiting yourself.

The Benefits of Bilingualism Go a Long Way

Being fluent in a second language wildly expands your marketing possibilities. Here’s how.

1. Added SEO Benefits

Every company knows the challenge of trying to drive interested and targeted traffic to its website. Those with savvy have certainly familiarized themselves with tactics to boost their SEO.

But did you know that having bilingual content can also contribute to a higher ranking?

When a company is able to gather website visitors who speak in different tongues, they’re able to draw in more visitors – each with a need for engaging content that is relative to them.

Google recognizes companies that serve multiple locations and languages. It understands that these websites offer the specific information that’s being searched for and will give them more visibility.

2. Strengthened Brand Identity

Obviously, using a bilingual content marketing strategy shows that you have your finger on what’s pulsing on a global level.

But it also establishes you as a leader who is able to respond to the wants and needs of different cultures.

Simply put, if your company is looking to expand into new domestic markets or to grow internationally, marketing in a second language is going to increase the audience to whom you can sell.

3. Building Immediate Rapport

The ability to speak to your target audience on a personal level is a crucial objective of marketing.

But how personal will that connection feel if it’s done through an interpreter?

On the other hand, when you’re able to present your business to interested customers in their own language, you create an immediate connection.

And as every marketing pro knows, this personal connection is the first push down the sales pipeline.

4. Being Interconnected

Along with the one-on-one sense of personal connection, there’s the bigger sense of interconnectedness that comes with being bilingual.

Marketing doesn’t start with a hard sell. It’s about engaging with one another – on all levels. When everyone as a whole feels this deeper connection, there is trust.

Without a common language, such interconnectedness – and therefore trust – is nearly impossible to achieve.

5. More Ease in Traveling

Being bilingual allows you to truly explore the world around you.

When you’re marketing your product or service on an international level, you need to do more than just show up at the meeting in New Delhi or the expo in Paris.

In order to make the lasting connections that will pay off in the long run – both socially and professionally – you must be able to speak the language of those to whom you’re marketing.

Plus, establishing those professional connections abroad will also increase your overall networking pool. Speaking of which…

6. Dipping into a Growing Client Pool

Obviously, being bilingual is going to help you to engage and connect. So you may also want to consider the buying power of certain languages.

For example, as the number of Spanish speakers in the U.S. rose to an all-time high in 2016, so did the buying power of the Latino community.

So it makes good business sense for U.S. companies to have a basic knowledge of Spanish if they wish to tap into this market.

Meanwhile, many German companies are finding it almost necessary to have a grasp of Mandarin, since China is their largest trading partner.

This is not to say that there is only value in the dominant languages. Having an understanding of a language outside the usual pool of second languages could position your company to market their product to an otherwise largely ignored audience.

7. More Powerful Social Media Marketing

Social media operates on algorithms. And each platform uses these algorithms to promote content targeted to individual users.

The power of social media comes in forming communities of users that share common interests. Companies that are able to present content in multiple languages are going to show up in more of these communities.

And that’s yet another boost for brand recognition.

8. Impressive Job Application

Yeah, bilingualism is a great way to market services and products to a larger demographic. But it’s also a great way to market yourself.

It’s no secret that a lot more companies are going global. And making connections with consumers, vendors, and clients all over the world can be challenging when there are language barriers.

That’s why companies are interested in employees who are bilingual.

A candidate who has knowledge of a second language (and a third, and a fourth…) is going to impress a potential employer.

One caveat though.

If you’re claiming to be bilingual, be prepared to prove it. For instance, taking three years of high school Spanish might not be enough for you to handle marketing strategies with the folks at the Barcelona office.

9. Increased Salary

Along with that impressive resume, employees who know a second language are offered a higher salary because of their ability to market to a wider audience.

In fact, studying a second language is correlated with about 2% more in annual income.

That may not sound like much. After all, if you’re making around $40,000 per year, that’s only going to add up to $800 at the end of the year.

But once you factor in compounding, that foreign language could mean as much as $90,000 more in savings by retirement.

So while the year-to-year value of being bilingual might seem small, the accumulated value is impressive.

10. It Is the Future of Business

Even if you’re not looking to expand on a global scale, there is an increased need for companies to be bilingual. Especially as many countries become more culturally diverse and there isn’t always just one language spoken.

And if your company IS planning to go global, then bilingualism will be crucial. Unless, of course, you don’t wish it to be successful.

Get Connected and Grow Your Audience

Why not take advantage of these many benefits of bilingualism?

Along with the many increased marketing possibilities, increased earning potential, and the ability to travel the world, you’ll be doing your brain some good too. So what are you waiting for?


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