How to Market to a Multilingual Audience with Video Content

Design, Marketing, Translation Services

Over the past several years, social media video marketing has grown in popularity, showcasing how effective it can be to focus on this aspect of your marketing campaigns when deciding how best to reach a multilingual audience.

There are a variety of options on social media platforms alone. Some of the biggest players are YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.

Each platform has its merits, depending on your overall goals, and the audience you’re targeting. So how do you begin?

Tips for successful multilingual video marketing strategies

The first step is to determine exactly who your target demographic is. If you have multiple target audiences, you may wish or need to market to them differently across different video-based apps.

Once you know exactly which group you’re targeting, you can figure out the best platform(s) to reach this target demographic.

For example, roughly 61% of Snapchat users are females and 30% of users are between the ages of 26 and 35. The U.S. has the most Snapchat users, followed by India and France.

Instagram is a great platform to utilize if your target audience is not based in the U.S. In fact, 89% of users are based outside of the U.S., making it attractive for those who plan to market their products or services overseas.

As of January 2021, 33% of Instagram users across the globe were between the ages of 25-34, with another 29% of users between the ages of 18 and 24. These users are almost evenly split between male and female.

TikTok is a platform geared toward younger audiences, with 41% of users between the ages of 16 and 24. However, in the past 18 months, the number of U.S. adult TikTok users has grown 5.5 times, with many of those adults in their 30s.

TikTok users are primarily male (56%).

YouTube users are mostly male (78%), with a large number of users between the ages of 26 and 35. However, it is worth noting that 51% of people over the age of 75 watch videos on YouTube. As the second most visited site in the world, YouTube is a great option for reaching a wide variety of users.

YouTube videos also span 80 different languages (from 100 different countries), and like Instagram, 89% of its users are outside of the U.S., making it another attractive platform when trying to reach a global market.

Key difference between social media video platforms

Once you’ve determined which platforms you’ll use to reach your target demographic, you need to know some of the key differences between the platforms so you can use them effectively.

Both Snapchat and Instagram feature short videos called “stories.” Once posted, these stories will disappear after 24 hours.

Snapchat stories are 10 seconds long, and Instagram’s are 15. You can utilize stories to share a combination of videos and photos that your viewers will have access to for just 24 hours, which is why this platform is best used for sharing your brand’s personality with your viewers, or promoting engagement from your audience in a more time-sensitive way.

Businesses can pay to sponsor and feature their stories or utilize hashtags to help more users find them organically.

In addition to stories, Instagram offers minute-long video posts that can be placed in an account’s grid or feed, along with a connected IGTV channel for longer videos. These videos will stay in your feed and IGTV account forever, unless you manually delete them, so you can use these to further engage with your audience through evergreen content.

Instagram has also recently launched a new type of video called Reels. Similar to the videos that are available on TikTok, these Reels offer a wide range of video editing options. In fact, Instagram Reels were launched specifically as an alternative to TikTok for users who did not want to grow and engage with an audience on both platforms.

Users on both Instagram Reels and TikTok set their videos to music or utilize each other’s audio tracks to share and shoot these short videos (up to one minute long), making it an easier way to reach fellow users on the platforms who do not already follow their page.

On YouTube, you can upload longer videos and keep them on your brand’s own channel. You can promote your videos on YouTube by sharing your videos on other social media platforms and encouraging viewers to like and subscribe to see new content when you post it.

For each of these social media networks, you can create accounts and channels specifically for users who speak other languages. For example, if you are marketing to a French audience, you can create a channel that shares original content specifically for that group so they don’t miss it in your English-language feed, and so that your English-speaking users aren’t confused by French content in the middle of your stories.

Using social media to market to a multilingual audience

You can utilize your social media networks to market to both your English-speaking and multilingual audiences, but it is important to make sure each audience has a unique viewing experience on your social networks.

Since each channel will have a unique experience, it’s best to create videos directly in your target audience’s native languages. Make sure the video experience is tailored to them to achieve the best engagement and connection.

However, you may decide you want to utilize some of your English-language content on your multilingual channels, and that’s fine! You can include translated subtitles or dubbed audio for those videos.

When planning social media content, decide in advance which English-language videos would be relevant to your foreign-language markets and place those in the queue for translation. Use a professional translation service, as your brand’s image is important and you don’t want errors and poor translations filling your feeds.

Planning your content in advance will save you from spending money unnecessarily on content that is not relevant for your audience. You can feel confident that they will be viewing only the information and content that is specifically meant for them, instead of having to filter through content meant for your English-speaking customers.

This strategy will also help you save time and money. You can prepare the content for translation all at once every month. Batching your content for translation means you’ll be less likely to incur multiple minimum rate fees than if you sent off each post for translation as it was ready.

You’ve found success marketing to a multilingual audience with your videos – now what?

If you are engaging with multilingual audiences across social media and growing your brand, you need to have somewhere to direct these new followers.

Your website should be available in the languages you use on social media. If a social media follower who speaks German wants more information about your product, your videos can link them directly to a German version of your website so that they can get the information they want (and potentially make a purchase!).

Users are more likely to buy if the information about a product or service is available in their native language. If your website is only available in English, many users will likely navigate away from the page, even they have a decent grasp of English.

If your website has not been translated, and you are unsure of where to start, you can begin with a website translation that is budget-friendly.

No matter which platform(s) you choose to utilize to market to your multilingual audiences, build a strategy that works for your brand and just get started!

Be authentic, post content that showcases your personality, and start marketing to your new audience.

There will likely be a lot of trial and error as you begin. You’ll quickly find what works and what doesn’t. Consistency is key on these platforms; stick with it!

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