5 Blunder Mistakes in Multilingual Content Marketing That Reduce ROI

Author: Tridindia
Category: Content Blog   Translation Blog   

Content marketing is perhaps one of the trickiest things to get right especially while getting into new and unchartered territories. Many factors like the culture and local practices can heavily influence your success or failure. Unless the message hits the right emotional notes and effectively reaches the target audience, it can result in marketing failure.


Rolling out a multilingual content marketing tactics can work only if you get it right. Localizing the content is a great start, but it is just the beginning. You need to be careful to avoid making a mistake that can negatively impact your ROI.

Even many popular brands end up making mistakes while approaching the global audience. So, if you are jumping on the global bandwagon and don’t want to kill your ROI, here are 5 multilingual content marketing mistake you must avoid.

Lack of Meticulous Research

Launching a multilingual content marketing campaign in a new territory without doing thorough research can be risky. It is a situation where you will be either sink or swim. That means you will end up hampering your growth if it goes wrong.

So, it is wise to assiduously research new region or market while launching a multilingual content marketing campaign in a foreign country. For this, first you need to create a buyer persona and then locate your customers.

Here are some crucial points to consider while creating a buyer persona

● Demographic information of the audience you are targeting

● Challenges of your customers

● Struggles and pain points of the audience

● Ways to get to your target audience

● Interest and concern of your target audience

For creating an efficient buyer persona, you need to collect the data regarding your target audience. Here are some ways to gather information about your audience.

● Web surveys
● Phone and Personal Interview
● Customer surveys
● Information gathered from your sales department
● Data collected from the customer care team

Now that you know what type of customers to look for, you can locate the target audience that matches with the buyer persona created by you. Next, create a customer empathy map to know more about what your customer thinks.

A customer empathy map acts as a collaborative tool that will give you a deep insight into the mind of your customer. This overwhelming collection of information can be precisely arranged or organized using an empathy map.

Here are 5 important points that you must include in your empathy map.

● What the customer thinks

● How the customer feels

● What the customer says and does

● What are the pain and gains for the customer

You can keep these customer-centric insights, customer support feedback and data gathered from interviews of users, etc. in sticky notes of different colors.

Ignorance Of The Cross-Cultural Differences

While attempting to reach customers from another culture, it is very crucial for the content marketers to understand the cultural differences. Your marketing strategy will backfire and even turn multicultural consumers against your product when the cultural differences are not considered.

But even some popular brands get their advertising messages wrong. They presented their product overseas only to find out their product is offensive to many prospective customers.

Popular brand Nike committed a cultural faux pas when it released a set of women’s sports gear. The thing that went wrong was it had traditional tatau, a tattoo that is viewed as sacred in the southwest Pacific and it was reserved for men.


As a result, the Pasifika blog got hundreds of negative comments after the leggings, sports bras, and jumpsuits released by Nike.


Another example of the most spectacular marketing fail is an ad posted by Dove on Facebook. The Ad featured a young African American woman who removed her shirt over three panels, and after removing the fourth panel, a young white woman comes out. The result? It showed up as Dove racist ad.” In the Google search result and Dove apologized for the mistake.

So, if you don’t want your content to be a reason for any controversy, you need to ensure that it doesn’t offend any community or people in any way before releasing it in a foreign country.

How to Avoid Cultural Controversies

● Do thorough research on the beliefs and culture of the region before launching your business.

● Discover the mood of the people during their major cultural events

● Consult in-country culture experts and let them review your message first

If not considered, a cultural difference can be a barrier in your content marketing success. So, keep your business away from such unnecessary controversy, invest some time in understanding the country’s culture before launching your business.

Including complicated message

This is one of the fatal multilingual content marketing mistakes made by businesses.

Wrong Translation

With crafting content from scratch being quite expensive, it is easy for businesses to get tempted by the idea of translating their original content. However, sometimes your effort to save some money can result in a huge marketing blunder. Here are some examples of content marketing the gone wrong due to an incorrect translation.

While marketing their ballpoint pen in Mexico, Parker Pen posted an ad that was supposed to read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” However, the company used a wrong word to interpret embarrass, and as a result, the Parker Pen ad read “ It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

Another content translation that turned out to be wrong was a slogan by Coors Brewing Company that meant “Turn it loose.” However, to translate into Spain, they end up making a slogan which meant “Suffer from diarrhoea”.

It is crucial to ensure that the translated text is conveying the real meaning. Even if you have in-country writers on board, recheck and get it reviewed by many writers before launching. Here are some effective tips to help you out.

● The translated text can be longer than English so leave some space for expansion

● Use your brand vocabulary in the marketing messages

● Make the language and phrases easy to understand

● Don’t include complicated words

● Go for human translator

Not Opting for a Right Distribution Platform

Even if you have great content to impress the audience, it is of no use if it does not get to your target audience. This is true for both foreign and home country. If you fail to pick the apt platform for content distribution, your marketing campaigns may not perform that well. Here are 4 types of content distribution channels that you need to consider for content marketing in a foreign country:

● Earned content distribution

● Owned content distribution channels

● Paid channels

● Shared content channels for distribution

Focusing on all of these distributions channels is important for your success. However, you can even consider channelizing your efforts on other platforms if you have a strong online presence on it. Remember, the popularity of social media channels may vary in different countries. So, you need to figure out the most accepted social media platform of that country that you are creating the content for.

Improper KPI Analyzing

So, you are done with creating buyer persona. You have got your target audience and have knowledge of cultural differences and the right content distribution channel. But there is another most important factor that plays a crucial role in your success, and that is KPI. Key performance indicators or KPI is a measure that reflects how you are performing in the market.

Before analyzing KPI, you first need to determine the multilingual content marketing goals. Once you’ve set your goal, it is time to assess the progress through KPIs. Here are some KPIs that need to be measured in order to track the success of your content marketing strategies.

● Website traffic

● Conversion rate

● Return On Investment

● Customer Retention

Remember, an agile mindset is crucial while creating a multilingual content marketing tactics. So Keep trying and tweaking your plan until you reap handsome ROI.

Wrapping Up

With cultural differences, the diverse mindset of people around the world, multilingual content marketing requires careful analyzing and efforts for success. The above marketing blunders can hamper your ROI and leave you as an example of a multilingual content marketing mistake. If you want to get success, avoid committing these mistakes and utilize SEO expert tips for better result.



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Emily Bartels is a Content Writer and Developer at Constant Clicks that helps businesses to grow using digital marketing practices. She has been in this industry for 5+ years and specialises in writing educative content on SEO, Social Media, businesses. She loves to read trending news to keep her updated!


Image 1 Credit to rawpixel


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