Many companies don’t have the time or resources to pursue multilingual marketing, which is one reason why setting up multilingual PPC campaigns can prove so impactful. When done right, these campaigns can help you quickly grow your brand’s presence in a given country or region by effectively reaching a bilingual online audience.

So, how can you effectively use multilingual PPC to grow your brand and generate business? It starts with the following best practices.

When Should You Use Multilingual PPC?

Did you know that the United States has a larger Spanish-speaking population than Spain? This audience represents a major potential for brands. Still, since most of them are bilingual and speak English, it is common practice for English companies to target Spanish-speakers using English keywords and messaging.

While this can be somewhat effective if your ad reaches bilingual or multilingual individuals, experts strongly advise — time and time again — that companies take the time to target people in their native language. First, this will greatly reduce the cost of reaching these individuals, as non-English keywords have a significantly reduced CPC. Secondly, translating your campaigns to a person’s native language will make them that much more relevant to your audience.

With all of that in mind, you should use multilingual PPC if:

  • You want to reach an untapped audience of bilingual or multilingual consumers
  • You’ve done your due diligence and prep work (i.e., set up a multilingual website)
  • You are hoping to build a strong presence across demographics regions

Knowing that you quite literally “speak their language” can help you grow a stronger brand presence in a given region. It can make your content that much more impactful while you enjoy a lower cost per click and the perks of reaching a wider audience. Of course, as with any type of marketing, multilingual PPC has certain best practices you need to keep in mind.

Multilingual PPC Campaign Best Practices

So, why aren’t more brands investing in multilingual PPC or getting the results they want when they try to? It often comes down to laziness. Launching a successful multilingual campaign requires accurate, thoughtful translations and — beyond that — tailored messaging that’s suited to fit the target audience’s culture. Fortunately, you can easily overcome these challenges so long as you take the best practices into consideration.

Avoid Directly Translating Your Ads

By far, one of the biggest mistakes companies make when attempting to run multilingual campaigns is utilizing direct translations. Direct translations take your original campaign and translate word-for-word. This may not sound like a bad thing. Still, once you begin understanding cultural differences and the general readability issues that can arise from direct translations, it becomes clear why they tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

Ultimately, the success of your multilingual PPC campaign will come down to the quality of your translations. You probably spend a great deal of time crafting your original PPC messages, and you should intend to devote a similar amount of effort when it comes to messaging in other languages.

After all, in many cases, translating your English message (or other original messages) is often far less effective than having a native speaker come up with original messaging for the other languages. In other words, you truly do need a human working for you — not a simple online tool. Look to hire not just a native speaker of the language you’re translating to but a copywriter who specializes in crafting impactful messaging.

Target Languages At The Campaign-Level

When creating your multilingual PPC campaigns, the structure of your ad campaigns is of critical importance. Keep in mind that Google only allows you to define your language and geographic targets at the campaign-level, so no matter if you’re targeting two languages or a dozen, you should have each language set up as a separate campaign and ad group.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch with every campaign you build. Rather, plan on duplicating the campaign structure of your original (i.e., English) campaign. However, do not duplicate the keywords. Once you have duplicated your original campaign for however languages you plan to target, you can begin tweaking the keywords, ad messaging, and links accordingly.

Always Conduct Multilingual Keyword Research

You just learned that every language should be targeted in a separate campaign, which you can easily achieve by duplicating your original campaign, minus its keywords, ad messaging, and links. The reason why you’ll want to edit the keywords for each language is simple, and it goes back to the ineffectiveness of directly translating your ad’s messaging.

Keywords and phrases often have varying meanings when translated across languages. That means direct translations will often result in little-used or perhaps irrelevant keywords that won’t benefit your multilingual campaign whatsoever. Instead, you should opt to conduct thorough keyword research in each of your target markets, using the language(s) you intend to advertise in.

Conducting this research should start with:

  • Translate Your Keywords: Have a native speaker identify the most common translations of your existing keywords.
  • Search Queries: Identify the existing foreign keywords serving your ads.
  • Competitor Research: Look at a competitor’s ads and landing pages to find relevant keywords. Note that this competitor may be using direct translations and not following these best practices, so always ask a native speaker before launching your campaign.
  • Ask a Native Speaker: Before launch, run all of the keywords you have identified through your research by a native speaker. They’ll be able to point out any errors in the translation.

Create Language-Specific Ads and Landing Pages

Now that we’ve reviewed all the best practices pertaining to your ad itself and all the reasons why you should be doing your due diligence to make sure your ad’s messaging is accurate and relevant, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to do the same work for your landing pages. Having a great ad means very little if it directs users to a landing page that’s not translated at all or translated directly from your English copy.

Again, a multilingual PPC campaign’s effectiveness relies on tailored messaging that’s grammatically accurate, easy-to-read, and culturally relevant. That means putting in the work, avoiding automated translation tools, and having a native speaker look at your landing page copy and come up with a native version that will get people’s attention and, ultimately, encourages them to convert.

As such, you should set aside the time (and money) to duplicate your original landing page’s structure, much as you duplicated your original campaign’s structure, and then look to rewrite the messaging for each language your ads will be targeting. In other words, you’ll need to create a separate language page for every language you intend to reach.

Beyond that, you need to consider the other things that will help your landing pages be culturally relevant, which may mean taking things a step further to incorporate the right imagery, layout, and even color schemes that a given audience will better relate to. These are elements you can split test on a live basis, but only after the copy itself has been given the appropriate planning and attention.

Proven Methodology for Multilingual Paid Search

Without a doubt, taking the “DIY” approach to setting up a multilingual campaign will only end up costing you money. For a multilingual campaign to be effective, it takes a great deal of time and effort, but the payoff can be extremely rewarding. After all, the cost of targeting foreign keywords is far cheaper than their English equivalents, and it can even help you break into untapped markets that your competitors are overlooking.

Of course, the question is, how can you set up a successful multilingual campaign on a budget? The key is to find and partner with the right advertising company with the time, knowledge, and resources necessary to make your multilingual campaign effective across every market you target.

Here at Symphonic Digital, we have proven experience in researching, setting up, and managing multilingual PPC campaigns, particularly those serving the large but often overlooked Hispanic audiences. Google has even found that targeting these audiences could lead to a 5.7% increase in your clicks, all while you pay 70% less for every click.

Interested in learning more about our methodology and how we can help you set up a winning multilingual PPC campaign? Don’t hesitate to explore our performance-driven digital marketing tactics, and get more information about multilingual and Spanish campaigns by clicking here.

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