June 4, 2021
6 minutes to read
Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.
There are more Spanish speakers in the United States than in Spain. In fact, around 43 million people in the country speak Spanish as their first language. Additionally, the US Census Bureau estimates that by 2060, the Hispanic population will constitute 28.6% of the nation’s population. This Spanish-speaking population is, by force, an extremely important economic group, controlling nearly 1.5 trillion dollars of purchasing power, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth. However, it is estimated that less than 1.5% of websites in the United States are translated into Spanish.
Clearly, there is considerable untapped potential and a significant opportunity for businesses selling or advertising goods and services to optimize their websites and social media presence to reach over 60 million Hispanic Americans. . Translating a website, app and communications for bilingual users can help increase sales, increase customer engagement, and improve brand reputation.
Location of milestones, of which I’m the director, works with companies to help them reach non-English speaking users, and we’ve discovered four easy ways for businesses of all sizes to optimize results with translations:
Translating your entire website and app can seem daunting. If you want to test the market, you can start by running ads in Spanish. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube allow you to target users who have set their device’s language to Spanish. Be careful though: for advertisements to be effective, a word-for-word translation will not work; you will need to find a native speaker to adapt the announcements in Spanish and effectively convey the essence of a message. To see real results, avoid machine translations and be sure to do extensive keyword research in Spanish. The cost per click on Google ads for Spanish keywords is usually a fraction of the cost of the same keywords in English, so you can drive more traffic for a lower average cost. Run these ads on a nominal budget for a few months and study the conversion rate and cost.
Related: 6 Reasons American Businesses Are Missing Billions of Hispanic Dollars
Translate landing pages
In CSA Research’s 2020 report, “Can’t Read Won’t Buy,” 40% of respondents said they would not buy a product or service if information about it was not available in their store. native language ; 65% said they prefer to read the content in their own language. Therefore, if your ads are in Spanish, then your website landing page might need to be as well. It is also a good idea to translate any linked pages such as “learn more”, “features” and “contact us” pages.
The process of translating your user interface, search engine optimization, and content into another language is known as website localization. All content management system platforms have plugins that you can download to create a Spanish version of a website. You can choose the languages in which to display yours, depending on the system language or IP geolocation. Translations are usually billed per word, and translating three pages into Spanish will cost you less than $ 250. Make sure you run your experiment for at least three months to collect enough data to make a decision. If you see positive results translate more pages on the website and add multilingual customer support.
Social media posts
A 2016 study by Facebook shows that over 60% of bilingual American Hispanics prefer to create and consume online content in Spanish. There are three ways to use multilingual social media posts:
- Dual Posting – create separate posts in each language for the same content
- Bilingual messages – include a translation in the original message; it works for image focused posts where you can display caption in different languages
- Create multiple accounts – operate separate social media accounts for each language
Depending on the size and focus of your business and your resources, choose the approach that works best. Small businesses can try both dual posting and bilingual posts, and then closely monitor user engagement to see what works. Keep in mind that social media posts are often creative and need to be “transcreated” – creatively adapted into another language in a way that captures the flavor, flair, and nuances of the culture.
For example, the California Milk Processor Board realized that the message “Got Milk? Campaign did not work for a Latino audience. To appeal to Latino mothers, they adapted it under the title “Y Usted Les Dio Suficiente Leche Hoy?” or “Did you give him enough milk today?” To create a message that resonates with your target audience, we recommend that you work with a professional linguist with marketing experience. Run an experiment for a few months to see if the reach and engagement increases. If they do, start translating and localizing other communications.
Related: Marketing to Hispanics: Why It’s Not Just About Speaking Spanish
Add a Spanish customer service line
If you receive most of your inquiries over the phone, add an option for users to select their preferred language. If you don’t already have a bilingual customer service manager, you can hire a freelance writer to answer the phone for the duration of the experience. This is usually the most cost effective way to test whether translation is suitable for a business, and it is a method of experimentation that works particularly well for local establishments like restaurants, spas or dentists and for companies in B2C services like insurers and accountants.
Keep track of the number and percentage of people choosing Spanish. If you find that a significant percentage of potential clients prefer it, consider this a green light to experiment with translations more.
Related: 4 Ways Businesses Need To Succeed To Adapt To A Growing Hispanic Demographics
When doing business internationally or in a multilingual community, translation and localization of communications sends the message that you understand and respect cultural and linguistic diversity. You can use the strategies above to reach more Hispanic users in the United States, yes, but also French speakers in Canada or Hindi in India. Cover the world and localize so your business can be found in translation.