Reaching out to communities where your brand doesn't have a strong presence can be one of the most daunting marketing challenges. Whether you're a large corporation expanding into new markets or a small business that's trying to reach a new niche audience, the rules of engagement are the same: To make a positive brand impact, you need to create messaging specifically for targeted communities.
Whether geographically based or culturally focused, communities exist because their members share common beliefs and values. They congregate around shared interests and causes, and they want to be recognized as different from the rest of the world. Creating meaningful content that respects these differences is important when connecting with new audiences.
If you're not part of their community, you need to get inside it. Businesses must tailor their messaging to the unique cultural influences of their target audiences if they hope to effectively communicate with those communities. In other words: They have to speak the language. And there is more than one way to do this — literally and figuratively — when it comes to marketing messages. But, how do you go about it? Let's talk about three things that will help you succeed with multicultural marketing strategies.
1. Start with strategy.
Successful brand messaging starts with a strong brand strategy — one that is rooted in consumer insight and competitive analysis. As you develop your strategy, consider how it may need to vary by culture or language to appeal to different segments of your audience. For example, if you’re targeting Latinx millennials, you’ll want to know what brands are popular with this demographic and how they communicate differently than other cultural groups. Is there a particular tone or style that resonates with them? What messages connect best?
2. Create engagement through inclusion.
Take a look at the content produced by many brands, and you’ll see a common theme: that content is produced for an audience that looks exactly like the people who produce it. It’s not uncommon for this to be a product of circumstance — when budgets are tight, and everyone is pressed for time, it’s easy to fall back on the familiar. But if you want to broaden your audience, you can’t rely on what’s comfortable. Inclusion should be mindful and purposeful, not simply forced. To achieve that, you must implement a set of practices that will help you create a truly inclusive environment in your brand. This means designing with diverse audiences in mind and going beyond the obvious by including people of different ages, genders, races, religions, and sexual orientations.
3. Craft a message that is authentic.
If you want your message to be meaningful on a global level, you need to craft a message that is authentic to different cultures. Maybe you're an American retailer trying to establish an international presence, or a German company looking to expand into North America. Whatever the case, you need to spend time learning about the culture you want to reach — and the best way to do that is by talking with people who live there. There's no shortcut for genuine cultural knowledge; if you want your brand and messaging to feel authentic, you have to spend time learning about the culture in question. That may mean hiring people from other cultures and countries or partnering with local companies, but it's important for your business growth
4. Customize at the local level.
While it’s easy to use a cookie-cutter approach when tailoring content for multicultural audiences, it will fall flat if it doesn’t resonate with customers on a personal level. To reach the right audience at the right time and place, customize your message via social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram based on language preference and geography. For example, if you want to target those who speak Spanish in California vs. Florida, you would craft different messaging for each group because their needs are likely different. You can even compare your results after one month so you know what types of content resonate best with certain multicultural audiences.
Ultimately, multicultural marketing is the future. The world's population has become increasingly diverse and multiculturalism is now an unavoidable fact of life. In order to continue in their attempts to reach their target markets, it's critical that companies start developing strategies that incorporate multicultural marketing tactics into their strategies. With a firm grasp on the keys to success, businesses can put together strategies that help them reach more consumers without having to compromise quality.