Are multilingual materials more effective than direct?

20th June 2022

We often talk about the importance of translating marketing materials to reach ethnic audiences but are multilingual marketing materials more effective than direct? GottaBe! takes a look at the different options to help you decide which is the most effective way to reach audiences with translated materials. 

Why is it important to run a bilingual marketing campaign?

Bilingual materials expand your reach further as it becomes appealing to a wider range of consumers. Whether the audience is in the UK or global, a good multilingual marketing campaign will see a higher return as consumers like to be targeted in their native language. By engaging audiences through multilingual campaigns, your brand is tapping into new audiences your competitors may not be. 

There are 9.3 million people from an ethnic minority living in the UK; whilst many of this population can speak and understand English, targeting them in their native language is far more effective and engaging. A bilingual campaign shows consumers that you care, increasing brand purpose, as an authentic approach to diversity and inclusion will be felt by consumers, and they will begin to trust your brand. This is especially important in ethnic communities as they will start to share recommendations via word of mouth, which we know is one of the most powerful marketing tools. 

What are the benefits of multilingual marketing materials?

Not only are multilingual marketing materials more engaging they are more time-efficient for your brand. By creating a leaflet or booklet with a range of languages that reach different audiences, your brand can target multiple audiences at once. This allows your message to be understood by more people. This is especially important if your content is more serious as it gives the consumer the ability to better understand the message in a language they are comfortable with. 

We must not forget that translation of materials is much more than language. By creating a multilingual campaign, your brand’s message can be delivered more directly and in a culturally appropriate manner, again strengthening the connection made with ethnic audiences. Understanding each audience will take time, but this way, your brand can effectively connect with each demographic the first time and avoid any mistakes which may make them boycott your brand. 

Why are multilingual campaigns more effective than direct?

Whilst they are not more effective than direct in terms of the individual audience engagement. A multilingual campaign allows brands to reach multiple demographics at once. If your brand is set on one target audience, a direct approach may be more appropriate for you. Still, if you are trying to reach an area with a diverse ethnic population, then a multilingual campaign would see a better return. For example, there are many languages spoken within the South Asian community, and each culture differs from the next. By reaching all through one piece of marketing materials, you can ensure that your message is clear and equally shared. 

A multilingual leaflet may be best for campaigns that deliver marketing materials without knowing the consumer’s preferred language. It covers your brand and ensures that they can understand your messaging. Door to door leaflet drops or handing out flyers on the street is more engaging when the content is in the native language as it grabs the consumer’s attention.

However, your multilingual campaign should not just be seen through physical materials. A report found that 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language. If you deliver a multilingual campaign, your site should be consistent to seamlessly allow consumers to continue their purchase journey. 

GottaBe! Ethnic has been working with Severn Trent – the water provider for the Midlands, to help them to reach their diverse consumers. Due to cultural differences, they found there was a rise in problems with the correct disposal of waste and understanding of the services they offered in areas with a high population of ethnic communities. We worked closely within the community and alongside Severn Trent to deliver a multilingual brochure which could be posted through the letterboxes within the problem areas to raise awareness. Following the letter box drop, we ran a short survey which looked to determine the effectiveness of the campaign. Thanks to the multilingual leaflet consumers stated they could understand the issues and knew what to do to avoid this affecting them. This was due to the accessibility the multilingual leaflet created as consumers were able to fully understand the content in their own language. Since the campaign ran improvements within the system have been noticed. 

Want to create multilingual marketing materials?

Here are GottaBe!’s top tips for creating an effective bilingual campaign

  1. Understand the culture of your audience
  2. Use a local translator
  3. Prepare for design change (text expansion)  
  4. Triple check your materials 
  5. Contact GottaBe! Ethnic who can do it all for you! 

Our ethnic marketing experts know how to connect with the ‘hard to reach’ and can run your ethnic marketing campaign from start to finish becoming an extension of your team. With over 14 years of experience in the industry, GottaBe! Ethnic recently won the GG2 award for a campaign of the year which recognises our work with the NHS to boost the vaccination uptake in ethnic minorities in Hampshire. If you want to reach ethnic minorities and don’t know where to start, give the team a call today to discuss your options. 

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