r o f Global Guide
It takes 14 languages to reach 90% of the world’s population* There are more than 100 types of content used by top global brands, generated by users, networks and content marketers The total number of active social media users is 2.31 billion people, 31% of the world’s population The total number of social users accessing platforms via mobile devices is 1.97 billion people, an amazing 27% of the global population***
*Source: Benchmarking the Top 100 Online Languages for 2015, Common Sense Advisory **Source: Global Social Media Research Summary 2016, Smart Insights *** Source: The Sub-Saharan African Media Landscape, Balancing Act
Overview Embracing the reach potential of the worldwide web is essential for globalization. Understanding the immediate engagement capabilities beyond expanding geographies and growing market share requires defined strategies for cultural adaptation and localization. Going global requires more than selecting a language for translation. It requires a market-driven multilingual content marketing strategy to really reach your potential. Good global marketing requires experimentation and a careful eye to new trends in content types, visual messages, platforms and channels. There are a number of online media channels that can be used to effectively push out digital marketing content to best reach your target audience.
Your Globalization Strategy Where do content marketers fail? Often, it involves communicating in the wrong language, using the wrong technology to deliver the message, failing to appreciate market nuances and making assumptions. Global is not universal for marketers. A rock solid content marketer succeeds when they know how to speak, listen, learn and engage with their target audience. It requires a defined market understanding, beyond simple translation. It requires localization of the entire experience, from UGC to multimedia.
Getting Started The Welocalize Global Guide for Content Marketers offers some quick references, fun facts and easy tips to help global marketers begin the journey into driving awareness, expanding reach, and effectively engaging a “local” audience around the world.
Chapters North America Latin America Northern Europe Eastern Europe Southern Europe
Western Europe Africa Middle East Asia Oceania
North America Top Search Engines: Google
Key Social Media Channels: LinkedIn Reddit - Canada Pinterest
North America is home to many of the top search engines and social media platforms, all bound by a common language – English. Yet, reaching an English market also requires adaptation. States, provinces and territories can easily be influenced by the knowledge applied to their local market. As personalization drives engagement, that begins with tailoring your message around the cultural diversity within English-speaking regions.
Tip #1: English Works. It is the language of choice for all content. Use American English in any form of communication, email campaign, social media or blog post for the best reach. There are some exceptions in Canada; however, English is generally acceptable when targeting North America. Tip #2: Connect on Mobile. Year-on-year the share of web page views from mobile devices has grown in the US by 7%. More and more users are accessing emails, websites and data via their mobile devices being more connected and accessible to targeted content marketing. Tip #3: Know your Slang. If you’re advertising to a younger audience make sure that the slang being used means the same in the US and Canada. Certain words and phrases mean very different things in different English-speaking countries. Tip #4: Identify Regions. If you are looking to market in Canada, make sure to identify which province you are targeting. You may target a French-speaking province and need to develop marketing materials accordingly, and even by law. Tip #5: Trending Rules. Watch closely trends in social media use in North America, as it is maturing and growth for individual platforms slows. A disruptor could dominate tomorrow.
Latin America Top Search Engines: Google
Latin America consists of 20 sovereign states and multiple territories, starting from northern Mexico to the tip of South America. Though there are common languages that will reach the majority of Latin Americans, who speak and read Portuguese or Spanish, there are regions that are predominantly French-speaking. Each South American country has a different culture and may respond differently to marketing messages, so research your targets!
Key Social Media Channels: Facebook
Taringa! Blogger Tumblr
Tip #1: Signs Are Not Universal. The “OK” sign is considered very rude and vulgar in Brazil. A “thumbs up” is more appropriate.
Tip #2: Gestures Alert! In many world cultures, pointing is impolite, so it is best to avoid it entirely in images. If you wish to convey a gesture, use the entire hand. This is especially important if you wish to draw the customer’s attention to a “sale” button or “subscribe” within email campaigns. Tip #3: Colorful Meaning. Latin America has a strong afﬁnity to colors in marketing. White, blue and red references are often positive; whereas, yellow represents death and brown has a negative connotation in many South American countries. Brown can dissuade buyers in Columbia and is considered disapproving in Nicaragua. Tip #4: Text Me a Video. In South America, 49% of consumers use mobile messaging and 38% watch videos online.** YouTube is one of the most popular sites in Latin America. Tip #5: In 2016, Latin America’s top 500 web merchants increased web sales by 15.4%, up from $22.22 billion in 2015 and $19.25 billion in 2014. Tip #6: Top Social Market. Brazil is considered a top emerging market. It is responsible for 10% of total time spent on social media globally, following the United States.
NORTHERN EUROPE Top Search Engines: Google
Key Social Media Channels: Facebook WhatsApp
Northern Europe consists of a range of 18 countries and islands. It is also one of the largest geographical spreads within the European area. Although each country has their own individual language with regional dialects, the proximity of the United Kingdom and Ireland to Iceland means that the use of English language is also high in Iceland. The Nordics and Scandinavian countries such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark are more likely to speak Swedish as their main or secondary language. Tip #1: Be Currency Current. Not every country uses the Euro. Denmark circulates their own currency, the Kroner; Sweden, the Krona; and the United Kingdom, the British Pound.
Tip #2: Know Your Rules and Regulations: Each European country has their own unique laws, rules and regulations for businesses; however, it is also important to consider and oblige the laws, rules and regulations that are also set out by the EU when looking to marketing and do business in Europe. Tip #3: Online Versus Ofﬂine: Iceland has the highest Internet penetration rate in the world. 98% of Iceland’s population are on and use the Internet, while Norway and Denmark both rank 3rd and 4th, respectively, with an impressive rate of 96%. Tip #4: Know Your Buyers’ Activity: The UK holds the highest percentage of active e-commerce shoppers with a staggering 77% of the population purchasing goods online; Germany follows second with 74%. However, only 27% of the UK’s e-commerce shoppers purchased an item over a mobile device with 50% choosing to shop via a desktop or laptop.
EASTERN EUROPE Top Search Engines: Yandex
Key Social Media Channels:
Facebook Tumblr Twitter Pinterest Draugiem LinkedIn
Nasza-Klasa YouTube Google+ V Kontakte (vk) Odnoklassniki Trilulilu.ro
Eastern Europe is rich in language history. Though many countries have adopted a national language, there are large populations that have a native tongue preference for engaging in media and online content. Romance languages dominate in the European Union and Slavic languages are spoken in large areas of Central Europe, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe including Russia.
Tip #1: Growing Users. In 2015, Internet use in Eastern Europe grew by over 64%.
Tip #2: Very Mobile. The number of mobile connections compared to the total population in Eastern Europe is over 139%.** Tip #3: EU Ofﬁcial and Working. The EU may be a starting place to identify languages. The member states today identify 24 languages as "ofﬁcial and working," including: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish. This is not inclusive of all languages. Tip #4: Know Your Slavic Groups. There are three Slavic language groups that represent a million or more people speaking 20 languages. They are categorized by East, West and South.
SOUTHERN EUROPE Top Search Engines: Google
Key Social Media Channels: Facebook
In Southern Europe, there is a fascinating blend of cultures. The business culture in Southern Europe, also known as Mediterranean Europe, stems from a strong familyorientation and tradition, so being respectful, trustworthy and loyal will help facilitate any business engagement. Social media is an important tool in Southern Europe and it is used actively by businesses, it is becoming a big key part of their communication strategies. Tip #1: Advertising Channels. The global average for Internet use is 48%, in Spain the country average use is 77%, Italy is 63%. Know which countries are more active on and ofﬂine so you can choose to target your ads and marketing to more visible channels.
Tip #2: Surﬁng on the Go: 96% of the Spanish population own a mobile phone with 80% owning a smartphone and 86% of the population accessing the Internet every day. Tip #3: Going on Holiday: Spain has the highest number of public holidays in Europe. If a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, many people take a four-day weekend, known as a ‘Hacer Puente.” In addition, towns and villages in Spain also have important annual ﬁestas that may last several days, so it’s important to look closer at regional levels and factor in local calendar events before running a campaign. Tip #4: It’s Not all Digital: Italian consumers are avid readers of newspapers and periodicals. Therefore, these two forms prove an effective means of advertising. Another effective means is via TV advertising; however, this is rather costly. No matter what your business or company, if you wish to enter Italy it is compulsory to have a company website.
WESTERN EUROPE Top Search Engines: Google
Key Social Media Channels: Facebook
Languages requests in Western Europe trend around what is known as the FIGS: French, Italian, German and Spanish. The commonality of Western Europe languages is the Latin alphabet. The biggest difference is accents and letter combinations to highlight vowels and consonant sounds. The nuances matter, as well as the focused targeting. Leaving an accent off can change a meaning of a word or phrase and you can really miss your mark.
Tip #1: Target by Country. Don’t see European markets in vague, regional terms. Europe is very diverse. Customers identify on a national level. Each European country has its own local laws, cultural norms, forms of payment and unique business practices.
Tip #2: Mobile Rising. There is surging levels of mobile usage in Western Europe, including smartphone ownership. Mobile ad spending is rising more rapidly than any other category of digital ad spending in major Western European markets. Tip #3: Be Social Locally. Did you know that 50% of the French population are active social users with 39% accessing social media via their mobile device? It’s a fact! Tip #4: Platform Matching. For web marketing via social media channels, it is important to know which platform is the most popular and suitable to reach your target market. If marketing in Germany, register with a German domain. Global domain extensions can help give your website and social media that much-needed SEO boost. Tip #5: The Character Size. The local language has a big impact. Although Twitter is in Germany, it is not very popular due to the length of the German vocabulary and the 140 character limit set by Twitter.
AFRICA Top Search Engines: Google
Key Social Media Channels: Twitter
Africa has a very high linguistic diversity; there are an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 African languages. In little over a decade, Africa has gone from being largely unconnected to the Internet to having millions of people going online daily. African localization is considered an emerging market opportunity.
Tip #1: Growing Usage. Since January 2015, the number of active social media users has grown by 25%, and the number of active mobile social users has grown by 20%.
Tip #2: Mobile Web Dominates Desktop: The global average percentage of total web pages served to mobile phones is 39%, in Nigeria this jumps to 82% and 75% in South Africa. Tip #3: Know your Regions and Local Languages: There are 11 ofﬁcial languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Dialects can change within very small geographies. Knowing your local reference is very important. Tip #4: Emotions of Emojis. It is considered rude to point, and the “V” for victory sign is considered lewd, make sure before you use any emojis in your marketing material that you know what you can and can’t use. Emojis aren’t always a universal language. Tip #5: Growing Advertisement: Digital advertising on the Internet in Africa is currently below 2%; however, more companies are increasing spend to between 5-8%. Africa has become a great continent for gaining a high social media proﬁle as the use of news online is increasing and the increased spend will drive the development of online media. ***
MIDDLE EAST Top Search Engines: Google Yahoo!
Key Social Media Channels: Periscope Snapchat
WhatsApp Viber Twitter
The Middle East is home to many diverse countries, each has their own, language, culture, and laws. It’s important to know the country you wish to market and advertise to, as there are some countries which are governed by the Sharia law to which you will need to rethink your marketing strategy. The Middle East is steeped in history and culture so it is vital that you brush up on your country etiquette.
Tip #1: Reﬂect Culture in Images. Countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan operate mostly or entirely under Sharia Law. Sharia Law is the moral code and religious law for the Islamic faith, which is central to how people are portrayed in images.
Tip #2: Time to Eat. In many parts of the Middle East, food should not be advertised during Ramadan (a time of fasting), and intoxicants and gambling are also forbidden. Tip #3: Emojis and Symbols. As marketing campaigns use emoji’s to represent messages to users, emojis should be carefully considered. In the Middle East, don’t use an emoji depicting the left hand, it is considered unclean. Tip #4: High Growth Emerging Market. There are over 242 million people in the Middle East with 128 million (53%) active Internet users. Tip #5: Growing Social. 63 million people (26%) are active social media users. Tip #6: More Mobile. Mobile social users in the Middle East have grown over 66% since January 2015.**
ASIA Top Search Engines: Qihoo 360 Google Raftaar Daum
Key Social Media Channels: Ameba Messenger QZone Twitter Facebook Weibo Viber Hike WeChat Zalo BBM QQ Tencent KakaoTalk Line Renren
Asia is the most populated continent, with its people speaking more than 2,200 languages. Chinese is the most widely used and translated language in the world. There are five major dialects of Chinese. Standard Chinese is a standardized form of spoken Chinese based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin. It is the official language of China and Taiwan, as well as one of four official languages of Singapore. Japanese is one of the most geographically concentrated languages, with more than 98% of Japanese native speakers living in Japan and the island group Okinawa. China has the most users of the Internet, followed by India. Tip #1: Range of Colors. In Malaysia, the color yellow is reserved for royalty. It’s best not to use yellow in marketing campaigns. In China, red is considered lucky within China and white is associated with death.
Tip #2: Formal Invitations. In China, it’s culturally accepted to use appropriate titles and family names until you are invited to use their given names. When creating an email campaign, make sure you respect these practices. Tip #3: In the Family. Chinese names typically have two parts. Traditional Chinese family names are placed ﬁrst with the given name coming last; this is another aspect to consider when arranging name and title ﬁelds on any email platform. Tip #4: Urban Sells. To be successful in Asia, think regionally but sell locally. Focus on urban clusters rather than by focusing on a country as one market. Urban clusters are the most appropriate strategic marketing unit, eliminating the risk of missing crucial variations in consumer preferences. Tip #5: Dial in to Languages. Spoken Chinese is separated into ﬁve main dialectical groups: Mandarin, Yue (which includes Cantonese), Min, Wu and Hakka. Tip #6: It’s Not Simple. Simpliﬁed Chinese is used in mainland China and in Singapore. In Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Malaysia you would use the Traditional Chinese. These languages also impact coding of software, as they are completely separate. Tip #7: Deep Exploration: India has 28 states and each of these has their own distinct cultures and major variations in food, clothing and customs. India has 22 ofﬁcial languages and a total of 1,652 mother tongue languages, six major religions and numerous traditions! This fascinating and complex country can make it hard for personalization; therefore, delve deep to understand your local targets.
Oceania Top Search Engines: Google
Ansearch Key Social Media Channels: Facebook
Tumblr Twitter WhatsApp
Oceania covers a large region from Australia to Fiji, including Papua New Guinea, Guam, Tonga and more. It’s not surprising that within this region alone there are over 258 languages, ranging from official languages to indigenous ones.
Tip #1: Mobile Versus Desktop: Australia spend on average 4.7 hours a day on the Internet, split between mobile and laptop devices, with only 1.1 hours being spent on a mobile phone. In Micronesia, only 4% of the population have a mobile connection!
Tip #2: Know Your Social: Faroe Islands are in the top 10 rankings for having the highest social media penetration, with over 67% of their population being active social media users, that’s more than the US. Tip #3: Don’t Assume One Language Fits All: Although English may be the main spoken language in Australia and New Zealand, another ofﬁcial language of New Zealand is also Maori, and other spoken languages in Australia range from Mandarin, Italian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander! Tip #4: Localize Content for Tourists: In Guam, tourism is the second largest source of revenue for their economy, to which over 70% of their tourists come from Japan. Depending upon your product or service, it’s important to know what the country’s economy and tourism industry is like, you can then look to market in more than one language to help your business and help boost the local economy.
About Us Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative translation and localization solutions helping global brands to grow and reach audiences around the world in more than 175 languages. Our solutions include global localization management, translation, supply chain management, people sourcing, language services and automation tools including MT, testing and staffing solutions and enterprise translation management technologies. welocalize.com Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency, helps brands expand their global reach across markets and platforms in more than 175 languages. Increasing demands for an integrated approach between marketing and localization, Adapt Worldwide assists through the cultural adaption of content across digital channels. Our broad range of specialized digital and language services include search engine optimization (SEO), app store optimization, copywriting, transcreation, mobile, web and paid amplification. adaptworldwide.com
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