This article talks about multilingual content marketing mistakes and how to fix them. If you have any suggestion, please leave it in the comment section

The web is becoming multilingual day by day. More than 804 million people access the Internet in the Chinese language, and 337 million people use it in the Spanish language, according to the Internet World Stats.

Here are top ten languages on the Internet:

Top ten Languages in The Internet_screenshot

With the growing number of people accessing the Internet in their local languages, it is imperative that you should create an aggressive multilingual content marketing strategy if you want to make your business a success in overseas countries.

However, it is easier said than done – there are many multilingual content marketing challenges that you need to overcome in order to ensure that your content brings forth the growth of your business.

Also, you should avoid common content marketing mistakes when creating multilingual content marketing strategies.

Now the question is,

What are common mistakes that can kill your multilingual content marketing strategy?

In today’s post, I’m going to discuss five common multilingual content marketing mistakes that you should avoid to maximize the success of your content marketing strategy.

Let’s dive into common multilingual content marketing mistakes:

1- Not Doing Thorough Research About New Markets

Even if your positioning is same, a new territory in a foreign country can pose challenges that would hinder your growth.

So, you should never launch a multilingual content marketing campaign without assiduously researching about new territories.

Researching about a new territory is the first step towards the success of your content marketing campaign.

How will you do it?

First of all, you will have to locate your customers. Creating a detailed buyer persona will do a lot help in this regard.

Buyer persona

What should you include in your buyer persona?

Here are pointers that will help:

  • Background and demographics of your target audience
  • Objections and challenges your audience faces 
  • Fears and goals of your target audience
  • Engagement scenario (ways to reach your audience)
  • Hobbies and interests of your target audience

You should conduct web exit surveys, customer surveys, and phone & personal interviews to collect qualitative data for building buyer persona.

Also, taking inputs from your sales teams and customer care department can provide you with lots of useful information to build a buyer persona.

After locating your customers, the next step is to know what they think in their day-to-day lives, which can be done by creating a customer empathy map.

What is a customer empathy map?

Developed by Dave Gray originally, a customer empathy map can provide a deeper insight into your customers’ mind. It is a collaborative tool.

customer empathy map

How to create a customer empathy map?

As I said before, a customer empathy map is a collaborator tool, you should use sticky notes of different colors and a sticky board to encompass the feedback from your customer support department and sales team, customer-centric insights gained through web analytics, data from user-interviews, etc.

Creating a buyer persona and customer empathy map will help you understand your prospects and customers is a better way. This will enable you to create a customer-centric content marketing strategy.

2- Not Considering Cultural Differences

When you decide to expand your business overseas, you need to be extra careful about the culture of a foreign country, or else you might end up creating embarrassing moments for your business.

Even big brands are not immune to making mistakes – from Pepsi to Nivea, big brands have committed mistakes.

Nivea ad

Popular German skincare brand, Nivea, apologized for its ad “white is purity” as the ad was deemed discriminatory and racially insensitive.

Here is another ad that went wrong:

Dunkin Donuts

This poster was created for a new ‘charcoal donut’ featuring Thailand chief executive’s daughter in ‘blackface’ makeup. And Dunkin’ Donuts apologized for this ad after recieving flak. 

If you want to steer clear of any controversy, you should make sure that your content doesn’t offend people in a foreign country in any way.

How can you ensure that?

Here are simple tips:

  • Research about culture and beliefs of the region where you are going to launch your business
  • Keeps tabs on social media in a foreign country to know the mood of people during festivals and important cultural events
  • Get your marketing messages reviewed by in-country culture experts
  • Hire in-country content creators with bilingual proficiency to fuel your content marketing strategy

Cultural differences, if not taken into consideration, can present roadblocks in the success of your multilingual content marketing strategy.

So, spend time understanding the culture of the country where you want to launch your business and never commit this one of the most fatal multilingual content marketing mistakes

3- Not Keeping Messages Simple And Clear

This is one of commonest multilingual content marketing mistakes.

Needless to say, creating content from scratch is a costly affair. That’s why businesses get their content translated from their source content.

If your marketing messages are not originally written in simple language, it may not convey the real meaning all the times in the translated text.

So, you should always keep your marketing messages simple and clear to ensure that your messages are understood by many.

Even if you are having in-country copywriters on board, you should always try to ensure simple and clear content in a foreign country and not forget to keep your brand voice consistent.

How can you do it?

Here are some tips:

  • Use your brand vocabulary in all your marketing messages to create a brand identity in a foreign country
  • As most translated text are longer (in words) than English – so keep space for expansion
  • Use everyday vocabularies and phrases so that more people can understand your messages
  • If you need to get your content translated from English or another language, you should always hire a human translator

My friends, simple and clear communication is the key to success in multilingual content marketing strategy.

4- Not Choosing The Right Distribution Platform

No matter how great content you have created, it is not going to move the needle if does reach your target audience.

Be it a foreign country or your home country, content distribution plays an important role in the success of your content marketing strategy.

And not choosing a right content distribution platform can affect the performance of your content marketing campaigns.

Here are the four, main content distribution channels you should focus upon in a foreign country:

  1. Owned content distribution channels
  2. Earned distribution channels
  3. Paid distribution channels
  4. Shared distribution channels

To ensure the success of your multilingual content marketing strategy, you should focus on all these four distributions channels.

However, if you have strong presence on any particular content distribution channel/s, you should channelize your efforts on other channels.

Suppose, you have a strong presence on the owned and shared channels, you should focus on the earned and paid channels.

Also, you should understand that not all countries have the same popular social media platforms. In China, QZone is the top social networking site, while Twitter is the most popular platform in Japan, according to a report.

The point here is,

You should find the most popular social media platform in the country for which you are creating a content marketing strategy to distribute your content.

Create a kickass content distribution plan for your multilingual content marketing strategy to maximize the success.

5- Not Analyzing Key Performance Indicators Properly

You have done everything – you have found your target market in a foreign country, created buyer persona and customer empathy map, understood cultural differences, found the right content distribution channel.

But you cannot leverage the true power of content marketing if you don’t analyze key performance indicators (KPI).

Before that, you need to decide your goals first.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 74% marketers want to increase brand awareness through content marketing.

Multilingual content marketing mistakes

After determining the goals of your multilingual content marketing, the next comes to track KPIs to assess the progress.

Here are KPIs that you can track for common goals of content marketing:

Brand Awareness– social shares, mentions, views from partner sites
Traffic Traffic on your website and blog, dwell time, engagement
Increase Sales– leads generated by content pieces
Leads conversion– leads to customer conversion time

These are some common KPIs that businesses track to assess the success of their content marketing strategies.

Remember, you need to adopt an agile mindset when you’re creating a multilingual content marketing strategy. Keep tweaking your strategy until it starts to give you handsome ROI.


Creating a multilingual content marketing strategy is not an easy task owing to the cultural differences and the limited understanding of foreign markets.

You need to be smarter and avoid these multilingual content marketing mistakes.

If you do thorough research about new markets, consider cultural differences, keep your marketing messages simple and clear, pick right channels to distribute content, and alter your content marketing strategy to optimize performance, there is no reason why your multilingual content marketing wouldn’t be successful.

What about you? Have you ever made any of these multilingual content marketing mistakes? Do you want to share any secret tip or trick to maximize the success of a multilingual content marketing strategy?

Please leave it in the comment section. I’d love to know about it.

Additional Resources:

Sandeep Rathore

Sandeep Rathore

Sandeep Rathore Is A Content Manager At Ranking By SEO. He Writes For Leading Websites In The Industry, Such As Entrepreneur, Social Media Today, SEMrush, Startup Grind, E27, And Many More.

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