Multilingual Social Media Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are by far the largest and most popular social media platforms around the world. But if you need to market your business abroad, you need to be aware that there are countries which primarily use their own Social Media Platforms, rather than the familiar social media giants.
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By investing in digital marketing in Africa, companies can grow their business while creating jobs and opportunities for those who need it most. How? Every successful business model is based on solving problems – whether that’s through a new product or an innovative service. One might argue that in a region like Africa, which has more than its fair share of problems, there are also endless opportunities for businesses.
Here we take a look at some of the technologies already transforming the African continent and helping people to lift themselves out of poverty. And how your business could become one of them.
Discover business opportunities in the transport sector in Africa
Nairobi-based ‘Little’ is a homegrown Kenyan ride-hailing service that is giving Uber a run for its money. It’s managing to do this because it’s aiming to solve local problems – more than just offering a way to get from A to B. Some of its innovations include:
- Aside from luxury or budget vehicles, Little also offers a boda-boda motorcycle for customers wanting to beat the notorious Nairobi traffic.
- Customers can pay via M-Pesa, a mobile payment solution widely used across East Africa.
- Uniquely for a ride-hailing service, customers don’t even need a smartphone to access the service. Those with more basic mobile phones can hail a ride using a USSD short code via text. The customer’s location is then triangulated using mobile towers.
This is just one example of an African business turning challenges into solutions – and it’s working. Little is already using digital marketing in Africa to expand their offering to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Zambia. With 54 countries and more than 1.2 billion people looking for similar solutions, there is significant room in the African market for related services.
Digital marketing in Africa helps promote internet and telecom companies
Earlier this month, Africa made the tech headlines in a big way with the launch of the Mara X and Mara Z smartphones – the very first entirely made-in-Africa smartphone, with all components produced on the continent. The company’s flagship factory is in Rwanda, with a new factory in KZN, South Africa. The buzz around the phone is an excellent example of the power of digital marketing in Africa.
In many respects, the arrival of the mobile phone has allowed Africa to ‘leapfrog’ the landline stage most developed economies experienced altogether. Indeed, more people on the continent have access to mobile phones than electricity!
Aside from allowing Africans to access the Internet, mobile-money systems like M-Pesa and Mama Money have revolutionized cash transfers across the continent. It is estimated that between 2008 and 2016, M-Pesa alone helped lift 194,000 Kenyan households out of extreme poverty.
Education – online courses and self-study materials
While only a quarter of Africans have Internet access, the continent is showing the fastest connectivity growth of any region in the world. And with greater access to online resources, there is also a growing demand for online courses and educational tools. But companies who introduce online education to Africa must remember that all materials should be available in local languages, since most of the people who require these courses do not speak English.
Global digital education company GetSmarter, which was co-created by South Africans, will be opening a new online high school in 2020 in response to this demand. There are still enormous opportunities to be had in this sector.
Digital marketing in Africa for agriculture and renewable energy
Even in the agricultural sector, companies are embracing digital technologies. Mozambique is experimenting with the use of agricultural drones, and Niger with solar-powered irrigation systems to adapt to the effects of climate change. There’s little doubt that whatever industry your company is in, the opportunity to expand through digital marketing in Africa is there.
Challenges of doing business in Africa
As with any business expansion, language barriers can pose a problem. In Africa, where it’s estimated that 1,500 to 2,000 unique languages are spoken – that challenge is significant!
Even within countries, linguistic diversity tends to be very high. South Africa, for example, is famous for having 11 official languages. And besides official languages, there are millions of people across the African continent that speak only their local languages and dialects.
Many may not speak one of their country’s official languages at all. Tech companies can do a lot to help bridge this divide (and reach these potential clients) simply by having their applications translated into local languages.
And that’s where Poly Digital Marketing can help! As an experienced multilingual marketing agency with an international footprint, we offer translations and localization, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing and ORM in a diverse range of African languages.
The African market is open for business and brimming over with possibility. With our extensive knowledge of digital marketing in Africa, Poly Digital Marketing will help your company get there. Get in touch today, and let’s start mapping your path into Africa!
Multilingual Marketing Agency, Poly Digital Marketing, can prepare your business for international customers in this globalised economy. With its spectacular natural beauty, world famous wildlife and rich history, South Africa has been a favorite holiday destination for English speaking tourists for many years. In particular, tourists from the USA, UK, Germany, the Netherlands and France made up the largest number of overseas arrivals in 2017. Most visitors from European countries speak at least a little English, making South Africa an attractive option for an overseas holiday.
When South Africa joined the BRIC countries in 2010 to form BRICS, a drive to increase relations and encourage tourists from Brazil, Russia, India and China began. This, however, presents a new challenge for SA’s hotels, game farms, guest lodges, restaurants and tour operators – catering for international visitors who don’t speak English:
- Only 11% of Russians can speak English
- Only 3% of Brazilians speak English as an additional language
- Fewer than 1 in 100 Chinese tourists can speak English
- And while India has 125 million English-speakers, that’s still only 12% of the country’s inhabitants
Taj Hotels has predicted a multilingual future for travel, tourism and hospitality. This is why Taj Hotels has launched its multilingual website that provides information in various languages.
How partnering with a multilingual marketing agency can help
During the course of 2017, local and international tourists spent around R500,000 a minute in South Africa. International visitors contributed some R121 billion to the economy during the same year. If South African businesses can tap into more overseas markets by attracting non-English-speaking visitors, the rewards can be massive – but to do so, they need to be able to market their products and services in the right languages. This is where a multilingual marketing agency becomes invaluable.
Image source: Stats SA
Advantages of working with a multilingual marketing agency
Whether you run a restaurant, guesthouse, spa, bed and breakfast, hotel, retail outlet, or work as a safari or tour operator, offering at least your basic information in additional foreign languages is an excellent way to attract more interest from international visitors.
Even if you don’t speak any of these languages yourself, having items such as:
- Marketing materials, and
- Website information
Translated into several common international languages will not only make it easier for international tourists to find you, it shows you’re considerate of their needs too.
Thailand is an excellent example of this technique in action. After a significant number of Thai businesses proactively had their signs and menus translated into Russian and Chinese, the kingdom (and its economy) enjoyed a huge boost in travelers from both countries. South African businesses can easily do the same.
Further benefits of multilingual marketing:
It’s important to remember that having your website and marketing materials translated into other languages opens doors beyond the BRICS countries too. For example, Angola and Mozambique are the second-largest Portuguese-speaking nations on the planet after Brazil.
In fact, it’s estimated that Africa will have more Portuguese speakers than any other region by 2050. As many tourists from Angola and Mozambique already visit South Africa, tapping into the Brazilian market makes South African companies more attractive to these countries too. A reputable multilingual marketing agency can help you reach them all.
Likewise, translating your website and marketing materials for Chinese tourists may also encourage visitors from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, which all have significant Chinese populations. Even here in South Africa, there were 500,000 ethnic Chinese living in the country in 2012.
International visibility is another big advantage of translating your website into different languages, as you’re more likely to show up in searches performed in their native language. In some cases, such as with the Russian market, your potential customers might not even be using the same search engine as you. Yandex, Russia’s homegrown search engine, holds the market majority with 48.79% compared with Google’s 47.88%. When you work with an experienced multilingual marketing agency, unexpected trends like this can be used to your advantage.
And finally, the easier Russian, Chinese and Brazilian tourists who don’t speak much English find it to navigate South Africa, the more likely they are to recommend it to their friends, family members and colleagues!
In summary, there is huge potential for South African hospitality companies (and businesses in general) to attract more international tourists. Contact Poly Digital Marketing to translate your website, marketing materials and company information into different languages. Just taking this small step can make a massive difference to the amount of revenue your company brings in from international tourists.
Having visited Russia several times, and seeing how South African wines were becoming popular there, young entrepreneur Dean de Beer saw an opportunity. Not sure where to begin though, he Googled “How to start export wine business from South Africa to Russia”. This search led him to Poly Digital Marketing – a Russian marketing team with a presence in both Cape Town and Moscow. The rest, as they say, is history!
Wine industry in Russia:
- In 2015, EU sanctions against Russia forced wine importers to look at new markets. By 2016, exports of South African wines to Russia had skyrocketed by 76% to more than 3 million liters.
- While alcohol consumption on the whole is declining in Russia, wine is the exception, with the average household consuming 10 liters in a year.
- By 2020, research body Euromonitor predicts Russian wine consumption to reach 1 billion liters annually.
Russian Marketing for Vina Yuar – background:
Dean got in touch through our website, and within an hour we’d set up a Skype call to discuss the possibilities. We agreed that the best approach would be to start developing his brand and business model from scratch, specifically designed around the preferences, tastes and purchasing trends of the Russian market.
Russian Marketing for South African Wine Exporter:
Research of Wine Market in Russia
Poly Digital Marketing conducted extensive, in-depth marketing research to analyze the wine market in Russia:
1.1. Market Research – evaluation of:
- Market size and trends
- Statistics on e-commerce wine sales and retail wine sales
- Premium wine market size and trends
- Average margins
- Main market players and price analyses
1.2. Competitors’ Analysis (direct and indirect)
Poly Digital Marketing’s top skilled multilingual team used the latest tools for digital marketing research to size up the competition:
- Online presence and reputation
- Number of website visitors, bounce rate and conversion rate
- Traffic sources and marketing channels utilized
- Advertising spend
- Keyword and key phrase analysis
- Most successful strategies
1.3. Target Audience Research
At Poly Digital, we know from experience that understanding your target audience is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign, and getting the best possible ROI for our clients. To that end, we considered: Demographics (Age, Location, Gender, Income level, Education level, Marital or family status, Occupation, Ethnic background); Psychographics (Personality, Attitudes, Values, Interests and hobbies, Lifestyles, Behavior)
Armed with this information, Dean and our marketing team were now able to start selecting the perfect South African wines to suit Russian tastes and budgets. We brought together a panel of sommeliers from both countries to choose wines suitable for each price segment, from bulk/affordable to premium options. In addition, we also assisted with a SWOT analysis before moving on to our marketing strategy.
With all these aspects now in place, we began the exciting process of Brand Development based on our target audience, SEO and competitor research.
Russian branding and SEO:
We came up with a shortlist of 6 suitable Russian brand names for Dean to choose from based on our SEO research. In the end we selected “Вина ЮАР” – which simply means “Wines of South Africa”.
It’s important to note that with 55% of market share, Russia’s preferred search engine is Yandex – which makes SEO and keyword research a little different than for many other countries. The brand’s online home became the Cyrillic URL: www.винаюар.онлайн
Logo Development in Russian
Poly Digital Marketing made use of a team of South African and Russian designers to come up with an impressive logo for the new brand – one based on an elegant mosaic design to appeal to culture-orientated Russians, combined with the instantly recognizable colors of the South African flag:
Along with the Logo, we also created professional branding materials including a Corporate Identity guide, Multilingual Business cards (one side in Russian and the other in English), Letter Head, Email Signiture, Wine Catalogues, Banners and Promo Videos with Russian subtitles.
Launch of online shop in Russian
Finally, it was time to take our newly developed brand to the marketplace!
Poly Digital Marketing created a user friendly online shop www.винаюар.онлайн where Russian wine consumers and distributors can buy a variety of South African wines online. All content was created by wine journalists and Russian SEO specialists to ensure the site would rank high and be easily found through Russian search engine Yandex.
Brand Launch at Moscow World Food Show 2019
After fully developing the brand, website and marketing materials we launched the brand at the perfect location and moment at the Moscow World Food Show which took place at Moscow’s Crocus Center from 22 – 25 of September 2019.
In order to make an unforgettable first impression, Poly Digital developed all banners and brochures, as well as an outstanding promotional video for the South African Wine Exporter Stand – and it worked.
Our stand quickly became the most popular at the entire expo, thanks to our Russian-speaking staff who conducted wine tastings with the public, as well as the fact we had all our marketing materials already available in Russian. Our eye-catching logo and branding even had some attendees thinking we were the official South African pavilion.
Our location at the expo (right next to the registration stand) was also strategically chosen. This way we had plenty of traffic, and were able to draw huge interest from the biggest retailers and distributors in Russia.
It’s safe to say the launch was a tremendous success. We went through 6000 wine glasses over 4 days, and received several direct orders from distributors and retailers who had already fallen in love with the wines. From an ROI perspective, our marketing efforts paid for themselves and then some immediately following the expo.
Do you have an exciting brand you want to take the Russian market? If you’d like to have a success story like Dean’s, then contact Poly Digital Marketing today!
Thai businesses are taking a full advantage of marketing in russian language. Just check this out. Earlier this year, Thailand beat out every other popular global tourist spot to become the New Year destination of choice for Russian travelers. In 2018, Thailand welcomed some 1.7 million Russian tourists over the course of the year.
Businesses in Thailand reap big rewards for marketing in Russian
So why are Russian tourists flocking to the Thai Kingdom, and what makes the destination so appealing for them? The answer is that many businesses in Thailand –both in the tourism sector and in general business or retail– have invested in Russian advertising and marketing services. By appealing to Russian tourists in their own language, Thai businesses have been able to tap into one of the world’s largest economies. (The Russian GDP based on PPP is currently just over $4 trillion.)
If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Thailand recently, you’ll see signs of this forward-thinking approach everywhere – quite literally. From restaurants and retail outlets to estate and tourism agencies, signs, brochures and menus have all been translated into Russian.
By taking advantage of Russian marketing services in the digital realm, and Russian translation services for their physical locations back home, Thailand has prepared itself for multilingual customers on all fronts.
For Thailand, advertising in Russian has paid off handsomely:
In just the first seven months of 2018, Russian tourists spent over $2.2 billion in Thailand. This is a notable 18% increase on the previous year – and that trend is set to grow as more and more Thai companies come to realize the value of working with a Russian advertising agency to reach out to tourists and business owner in their own language.
Aside from the money they spend on typical ‘touristy’ excursions, accommodation, meals and drinks, being exposed to the many Russian-friendly businesses in the country frequently inspires visitors to invest in the country in other ways – such as expanding their businesses here or investing in property.
Understanding Russia as a target market
While it’s not difficult to see the appeal of tapping into an economy the size of Russia’s, one big challenge prevents many companies from doing so – the considerable language barrier. 70% of Russians don’t speak a second language, at least not fluently, which means they prefer to do business in countries or with companies that are able to assist them in Russian.
As the rapidly growing number of Russian tourists to Thailand demonstrates, however, businesses which make the effort to reach out to Russians in Russian enjoy incredible rewards – and your company can be one of them!
By partnering with Poly Digital Marketing to advertise your business in Russian and attract more Russian-speaking customers, you can take advantage of a market sector your competitors simply won’t be able to. With experience in crafting meaningful, results-driven multilingual marketing campaigns around the world, Poly Digital Marketing has a wealth of experience and know-how in navigating the Russian market.
Get in touch today, and let’s talk about how we can take your business global!
South African companies can double their profits by doing the right Russian digital marketing. Russian market presents enormous business opportunities for South African companies such as winemakers, citrus farmers, food producers, tour operators property developers etc. We take a look at why trade between the two BRICS countries is so mutually beneficial, and how your business can take advantage.