Everyone wants their brand to stand out. Regardless of what you’re promoting, you want it to be seen by as many eyes as possible. Now, for those in the know, the term content is king applies as much today as it always has. When you want to make an impression online, the quality of your content matters. We can throw glow-up tricks and tips at you all day long. However, if the content you’re trying to make shine doesn’t have a solid base, it’s a fruitless task.
There are many must-dos when it comes to online content. Indeed, if we focus specifically on the written word, your business’s website and social media pages must have crisp, clean copy. That means easily scannable paragraphs, simple but engaging words, and a clear message. Something else that people often overlook is accessibility. Can someone read and understand what’s been written? This is where languages come into play.
There Are A Lot of Languages On The Internet
There are more than 4.66 billion internet users worldwide. That’s a lot of people to aim at. More specifically, that’s a lot of people to try and communicate with. As an online business, you need a multilingual content strategy. This could be handled by a single person or a team of people. Whatever set-up you have, the goal is always the same: communicate with as many languages as possible. As a starting point, every multilingual content management team should know English.
In fact, it’s often a good strategy to take someone who doesn’t speak English and teach them how. Using online teaching programs not only helps people learn how to speak English fluently, but also gives them an understanding of the nuances of writing for different audiences. The reason for taking a non-native speaker, let’s say someone who can speak French, is that you’re able to cover two languages more effectively. Data shows that 1.5 billion people speak English, but only 360 million have it as their first language.
Therefore, it makes more sense to take 10 people who all speak different languages and teach them English, than take one English person and try to teach them 10 languages. You always want to put your efforts into targeting the biggest market possible. Yes, it would be great if someone on your team could speak Swedish. However, learning a new language takes time. Therefore, it makes more sense to spend that time taking a Swedish speaker and teaching them English rather than the other way around.
English Dominates But It Shouldn’t Dominate Your Business
There’s also the fact that English can be easier to learn than other languages, mainly because there are more resources out there. Also, because it’s so widely spoken, non-native speakers may already be familiar with certain words. Although it’s not an exact science, data from millions of polyglots shows that it takes around 523 hours of study to become a basic Swedish speaker. In contrast, you can look at the infographic below and see that it only takes around 200 hours to get to the same level in English. Therefore, because time is money in business, it makes sense to teach non-English speakers English.
Doing this can help your business flourish because your content will reach a much wider audience. We know how many internet users there are and how many speak English. Quality content in this language will travel far. However, if you’ve got a multilingual team that can write copy in French, Swedish, German, and Chinese, you can unlock more markets and more customers. That’s the goal of any business. Giving your content a glow-up is important, but it shouldn’t be fixed on a single language or market. Everything you do should be universal or easily translatable. The internet is a global network and the companies that do best understand this, which is why they make their content accessible to as many people as possible.