It’s common knowledge that creating and maintaining an online presence is an absolute necessity for all businesses and organizations. Online presence is a broad term and includes a website, a blog, social media channels, participation in forums, etc. Print advertisement and other traditional marketing tactics just don’t cut it anymore.
According to a survey done by Yelp in 2012, 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses and Brafton found in 2014 that 94% of B2B buyers research online for purchase decisions. As several years have passed since these surveys, it is safe to assume these numbers have only continued to grow.
You can’t stop by just throwing together a blog (because you heard content marketing is the next big thing) or creating a Facebook profile and posting periodically because of the 1.93 billion people who use it daily. Even more important is targeting the right audience in the right way.
What exactly do we mean by that?
Although English is generally considered a “global language of business”, it’s no secret that our world consists of thousands of different languages and cultures. We in the United States sometimes get stuck in a bubble and it’s crucial to think outside of the box (or borders) if you want to grow your brand successfully .
Maybe you’re thinking, “We don’t work internationally, so we don’t have to worry about translation and interpreting”. Sure, not every single business may need translation but we would wager that a vast majority do considering there are over 60 million non-English speakers in the United States alone (Census 2011).
For more information on the importance of translation in the global marketplace, check out our SlideShare presentation on the subject or this post on language statistics and consumer behavior.
Now that we understand how diverse the global population is, let’s dive into the top languages used online. This is to provide you with a guide of the makeup of the online audience.
You may not have to translate every page on your website, every blog post, or social media post but you may want to take a deep dive into your ideal customer and translate what is most applicable to them.
Whether you are a healthcare system in a culturally diverse city or a marketing agency serving multinational firms, translation services are pivotal to both domestic and global growth.
Happy analyzing & translating!
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Updated for content and readability April 7, 2022.