Spending on internet advertising in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is expected to reach US $1.2 billion by 2022. With so many marketing channels to choose from, it’s essential to plan and execute your content strategy carefully. Below, you can find tips for digital marketing in MENA, including marketing localization, targeting the right audience.
MENA users on the Internet
In the Middle East, 75.2% of the population is online, showing the potential of online content marketing and advertising in the region. However, the number of online users doesn’t always correspond to the volume of content available in their languages.
For example, in 2012, Google reported that Arabic content represented just 3% of all online content, even though Arabic speakers made up more than 5% of the global population. In response, the company created Arabic Web Days, a series of online and off-line events aimed to build a vibrant Arabic web.
So, when trying to reach customers across MENA, it’s important not to simply export your current content to the new market. Instead, tailor content to your new audience based on their language, interests, and culture.
Content marketing localization tips for MENA
1. Speak your audience’s language(s)
Carefully consider which languages will be most beneficial and help you achieve your aims. It’s easy to focus on major languages such as Arabic, but this could mean missing out on engagement from potential customers who speak other languages.
What’s more, launching a campaign in multiple languages could help reach more customers. Twitter recently published a case study of Xbox Gulf, which created a successful bilingual campaign to engage MENA customers in both English and Arabic, resulting in 90,000 game trailer views.
2. Don’t forget dialects
Likewise, once you have chosen the right language, it’s important to consider dialect. For instance, there are around 19 different varieties of Arabic. Most texts are written in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), but there might be instances where choosing a local dialect attracts the attention of customers in specific areas.
Content marketing translation services can advise on the right choices for your project.
3. Choose expert marketing localization
It’s not a good idea to take a one-size-fits-all approach. From email segmentation to targeted ads, personalization is key no matter where your audience is located. This is where marketing localization comes in.
Marketing localization transforms content for target audiences in specific countries or regions. This is done by adapting language and content around cultural differences. For example, religious symbolism, images, cultural references, and even certain colors can have a different meaning in different countries. Localization takes this into account, helping your content have the right impact.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean localizing once and then distributing across the Arabic-speaking region, which would ignore the nuances and diversity that exist across MENA.
An experienced localization team can help you create and transform engaging content for your specific MENA market.
4. Think about language support
Whatever form your content takes, it needs to support the new language. This might mean you need to adapt the layout for right-to-left languages, make sure there’s enough space for longer translations, or choose a font that supports special characters.
5. Don’t lose quality
When it comes to translation, it can be tempting to rely on multilingual friends and colleagues or automatic translation systems. This might save money in the short term, but it could be costly in the long term when mistakes are made and the standard of your content drops.
Marketing localization and translation experts know how to create high-quality, engaging content. At Future Trans, we have over 25 years’ experience in the industry and specialize in translating into MENA languages.