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Marketers, SEOs and other stakeholders in online marketing are always looking for new means and ways of boosting their performance. Although new tricks of the trade are always evolving, there is one that I feel is not being exploited enough – using language translation to re-package and promote content.
Recent statistics clearly show that content marketing in all its forms is here to stay, for the short to mid-term anyway.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows that an amazing 93% of B2B organizations rely on content marketing for brand building and demand generation. Webdamsolutions.com found that 78% of CMOs think custom-built content such as articles, white papers, blogs, etc. are the future of marketing and 57% of marketers see such content as their top marketing priority for 2014 (Altimeter).
So, with producing and sharing content such a priority for many it is important to make sure this is maximized to its fullest.
As someone that works in localization and who is also responsible for our own marketing efforts, repackaging content through translation has always been an obvious way of achieving maximum ROI.
If I can produce an article, a video, an infographic or a quiz in English to drive traffic or get links, why would I not translate that content into another language and double up on that potential?
Let’s look at a very simple example
Last year around this time I wrote an article about Ramadan and its impact on business. It was for link building reasons primarily. I had it published in English on one site which got me a link, some social shares, brand exposure, and some paying business.
One of our in-house translators then went and translated that same article into French and voila! We had it published on a French-language website
The Benefits of Repackaging with Translation
Now let’s be clear, you don’t need to have international expansion plans for this to be relevant to you. Naturally, if you do have a product or service that could sell globally this is going to make even more sense, but really using translation can benefit anyone and everyone.
- Link building: link building is far from dead and we all know that good quality links from decent websites are going to help with SERPs, SEO, and all that good stuff. If you are posting rubbish then translating rubbish then doesn’t expect anything other than rubbish in return, but if you are all about quality then this is a simple and powerful way of building up your link portfolio.
- SEO: concentrating on your domestic market can be great for local search results, but if you want your website to do well in international search you have to build up your international exposure. By gaining links, traffic, authority, etc. from say France, Brazil, Russia or China you achieve exactly this.
- Keywords: When Google or other search engines see your content in other languages, it helps them understand even more so what you are all about. For example, if you sell belts and Google starts to see your associate content with words like ceinture (French) or gürtel (German), it helps boost your association with that keyword.
- New audiences: Perhaps the most exciting benefit of all is the fact that you gain exposure to a brand new audience, whether buying customers or consumers of your content. It is more than well documented how languages such as Spanish, Chinese and Arabic are gaining in terms of their importance online. Through translation, you put yourself in front of a whole new audience.
- New digital relationships: As well as finding new audiences, you also have the potential to form new relationships with people who can share and boost your content giving you much more exposure. Whether its social media curators, journalists, PRs or other marketers, these are people that have the potential to help you even further.
There are of course other benefits such as brand exposure, creating a global image and increased sales, but the message is clear – there are lots of easily attainable benefits.
Tips on Using Translation for Content Marketing
Once you know how, using translations to complement your marketing efforts is easy peasy. However, if you don’t know your way around language, it’s important you prepare well to avoid disappointment. Here are some factors to consider before you run off and start translating.
- Work with professional linguists: please oh please does not use Google translate. It’s fine if you want to understand the gist of something in another language but for good quality content, it will only let you down. You need professionals; these can take the form of a translation agency, in-house translators, freelancers or even crowdsourcing. Make sure you work with someone who knows the language(s), how translation works and what they need to do to make it effective for you.
- Pay attention to keywords: when adapting content into another language, research what keywords people are using in that language or location, not what you assume they are searching for. For example, if you sell jeans and you decide to target the Spanish speaking world, you would stick with the keyword ‘jeans’ across much of Latin America but in Spain, the keyword would be vaqueros. Use this in Latin America and people will think you are selling cowboys. Look at alternatives including slang terms too.
- Beware of language differences: following on from the above, it’s important to be aware of differences in a language. Just as the US, UK, Australia, and South Africa might all have differences in the English they use; the same applies to languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, and German. Decide who your audience is and adapt the language accordingly, or similarly, if you have translated an article into Portuguese for a Brazilian website, make sure it’s been translated by a Brazilian, not someone from Portugal who may not appreciate the subtle differences.
- Look out for cultural differences: not all your content is going to work the whole world over. If your main product is alcohol, then the Middle East and Arabic really aren’t going to give you much ROI. Pay attention to local conditions, the culture and potential banana skins in the form of taboos. Make sure you are targeting and adapting your content to that target market, country, region or audience.
- Adapt to the gatekeepers’ needs: as with any form of content marketing that relies on another party to assess and then publish what you have, you need to first do some research and find good homes based on factors such as brand, PR, traffic, topicality, etc. Secondly, you need to approach and ‘sell’ your content in a culturally appropriate manner. A German editor, for example, will be more concerned with the accuracy of your content, the way it’s presented and your professionalism. A Turkish editor, on the other hand, might be more concerned with who you are – is there a relationship? If not, you need to build one. Understand what these gatekeepers expect and don’t assume everyone does business the same way you do.
Whether you target a specific region or country and therefore one specific language, or take a truly multilingual approach and produce content in a few or many languages, you will soon realize the incredible potential that lies in using translation.
Repackaging content is a very simple way of maximizing your investment, repackaging with translation can take it even further.
Author Bio: – Jayesh Radadiya is White Hat SEO & Online Reputation Management Expert in WorldSEOTeam. I have 5+ Years of experience in Online Reputation Management ORM. Bury negative information and negative links from the searches. Highly experienced in dealing with Personnel & Corporate Online Reputation Management projects.