How to Create a Multilingual Webinar: A Solution for an International Audience

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Webinars have become a necessity due to the pandemic as a way to hold events without compromising health protocols. About 60% of webinars are oriented toward creating loyal customers and most marketers see it as an important part of their strategy.

However, if you’re planning to host a webinar for an international audience, having an English-only webinar isn’t enough. In this article, we’ll discuss why you should create multilingual webinar solutions and how you can create one.

Now let’s get started!

Should you make your webinar multilingual?

Finance Online reported that due to the pandemic many B2B marketers had planned to reallocate about 40% of their budget to hosting webinars. Top three reasons why marketers prefer webinars: (1) Q&A sessions, (2) Interactive elements, and (3) flexible nature. As of 2020, live streaming e-Commerce had an estimated annual worth of $60 billion.

The Smallbiz-Resources wrote in an in-depth article regarding the basic nuances of virtual and hybrid events. They discussed event audience, registration, platform, production stage, content, audience engagement, exhibits, networking, and sponsorship. If you’re considering whether to hold a virtual or hybrid event, you can read it for more information.

It explained that with the pandemic, many companies have shifted from in-person events to more virtual ones. Webinars fall under virtual events because attendees can participate within the virtual space. A hybrid event combines in-person participation and virtual events.

One way of retaining the attention of your global audience is by making your webinar multilingual. There have been several studies showing that non-native speakers are more receptive to content in their mother tongue.

Nimdzi, an international market research firm, stated that in 2020 the top 100 language service providers had combined revenue of over $8.8 billion. It shows, despite the pandemic, the demand for language-based services is a necessity for any company or individual that wants to stay competitive within their niche market.

This is not surprising because Redokun, a company that specialized in web translation tools, reported that of the non-native English speakers that answered a survey, about 65% of them said that even though they were fluent in English, they still wanted content in their mother tongue. Meanwhile, 40% of them said they would never buy products from websites not in their native language.

If you want to ensure the success of your webinar’s international audience, one way of going about this is by having a multilingual webinar. I have written all the considerations you need to know before proceeding to make one.

Who to hire and your options?

If you’re planning to create a multilingual webinar, you will have to collaborate with experts in language and website/software design. I have listed below your options, as follows:

Freelancers

If you’re planning to have your webinar only available in about five to seven languages then collaborating with freelancers is your best option. The benefit of hiring freelancers is that they are cheaper compared to employing the help of a translation agency. Not only that but another benefit of hiring them is that you have direct contact with the people overseeing the project.

Another benefit in hiring freelancers is that you have more of an active role in how you would create your multilingual webinar solutions as you would be the one to create the group overseeing the project. 

However, the downside of hiring freelancers is that they often lack the resources of a conventional translation agency. Because you will be the one to assemble your team of freelancers, it just depends on your assessment of the level of skilled freelance workers you will employ.

I’ve listed three remote freelancers you have to consider when creating a multilingual webinar, as follows:

Native translators

They’re essential in making sure that the content of your webinar is translated properly. Because you’re hiring native translators, they have local knowledge of your target locale.

Quick tip: if you’re planning to hire a native freelance translator, be sure to look into their education and work background as translators. If you’re in the US, you can check if they are accredited translators by looking them up at the American Translators Association or other translators associations or organizations.

Employing freelance translators is the best option if you’re planning to make your webinar available in five to seven languages. However, the downside of hiring freelance translators is that some of them don’t have Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. So ask them if they have access to tools that would be essential in implementing your software and website. 

Developers

Depending on where you’re planning to have your webinar solutions take place either on your website or in software, freelance developers are one of your considerations when creating a team of remote workers for this project. 

Two types of freelance developers:

  • Website developers – They primarily work on websites and web applications. They’re primarily responsible for the UI and UX of your website, if it’s user-friendly and aesthetically in line with your website’s branding. They’ll most likely work with your company’s marketing and business team regarding your website branding and marketing tactics.
  • Software developers – They’re focused on computer programs for mobile and desktop appliances. They’re more of the technical-oriented side such as large-scale software, mobile apps, and operating systems.

The great thing about hiring freelance workers is that you have access to a large talent pool from all over the world. So if you’re having a hard time locally hiring a developer from your region, you can easily hire from anywhere in the world.

The downside of hiring a freelance developer, especially if you’re not well acquainted with website and software developer’s industries, it can be difficult to gauge the quality of their performance.

Quick tip: if you’re planning to hire a freelance developer, screen them through their education and training background. If you look into their work profile on the freelancer’s website where you found them and look into the referrals and remarks of previous employers on the quality of their work.

Translation agency

If you find yourself constrained by time and see that it would be a lot cheaper to hire a translation agency to facilitate your multilingual webinar solutions, then this is the best option for you. This is because some translation agencies are where you can find everything that you need as they offer several language-based services and experts in different fields like translators, developers, and remote interpreters.

Another benefit in hiring a translation agency is that they have state-of-the-art translation machines like CAT tools and equipment used by their developers and interpreters. They have screened all of their employees and so, you’re assured that the people handling this project are all accredited professionals in their field of expertise.

The downside that I see in hiring a translation agency is that they cost more than hiring freelancers. Also, not all agencies have all that you need like advanced technology to incorporate their language services into your webinar. And some only offer language services and don’t provide website and software translations. 

Quick tip: When looking to collaborate with a translation agency, see if they’re a tech-driven company that has a high rating on customer review websites like Trustpilot and Featured Customer to ensure that you’re getting the best language services. Also, make sure to inquire with several translation agencies before settling to collaborate with one to compare prices, reviews, language services, number of language pairs offered, etc.

Three aspects of your webinar solutions that need to be multilingual

A part of the process in creating a multilingual webinar involves a lot of research like identifying your target locale, the local market demand, etc. Your native freelance translator or translation agency can help you with researching in your target locale.

As someone working within the language industry, I have written three things that I believe you have to make available in several languages to have a more immersive multilingual webinar for your online participants. I listed below some suggestions that were based on my observations of some webinar solutions, as follows:

Website

The Smallbiz-Resources had written about the different website platforms you can choose and they explained the different considerations if you’re planning to use them in creating your websites, like your intended use, budget, technical skill, editing and updating, and more. Making your website multilingual from the start is advantageous because not everyone on the internet is a native-English speaker.

However, if you already have a website and wish to make it multilingual then that’s alright. You will have to discuss with your freelance workers or translation agency what to do.

The process of creating a multilingual website involves the following:

  • UI content extraction – it involves extracting the website content which involves having a detailed inventory of all your content and creating text strings and obtaining data that needs to be translated.
  • Functionality and linguistic quality check – Quality Assurance is vital when translating a website. This step involves automated tools and the expertise of website developers and translators.
  • Project management – Because creating a multilingual website is a complex process, it requires the supervision of a highly skilled project manager to oversee everything.
  • Multilingual engineering – This is the technical aspect of translating that involves formatting and coding so that your website can implement data and language inputs of your target locale.
  • QA testing – This testing evaluates if everything about the website is running smoothly or are there any bugs that need to be fixed.
  • Language Quality Assurance (LQA) testing  – This testing examines the language being used and determines if the terms are being used properly and your content’s message is phrased naturally.

In my opinion, if you have your website in different languages, it encourages your webinar participants to read more about your services through your localized content. It also cements your credibility that you’re willing to accommodate their needs. 

Mobile app

In another blog article written by Smallbiz-Resources, they explained four reasons why creating an app will be beneficial to your eCommerce. This is because, for one, many millennials use mobile apps rather than desktops. If you’re planning to tap into this demographic group that is said to generate 46% of the entire US income and will make up 75% of the world’s workforce by 2025.

The process of translating your mobile is the same as translating a website. However, I have three tips for those who are planning to create multilingual apps, as follows:

  1. Be sure to translate your app’s description on the app store where it’s available.
  1. Use your local market research and identify large markets that your app will have other languages as an option for non-native English speakers.
  1. Gamification is an application that your webinar can use to enhance user engagement through a reward system. Have this available in your webinar’s app and have it translated.

Promote your webinar to the international market

Hubspot gave eighteen tips on ensuring that no one misses out on your webinar. One of the tips was that you need an attainable number of attendees. It’s not enough to just have a multilingual webinar. You should use all forms of outlet in promoting it to as many people as possible while at the same time, promoting the webinar to people who’re most likely to avail of your services. 

SEO is one of the ways that can increase quality traffic to your website. Moz wrote about how you can optimize your website for an international audience through URL structures, adding language meta tags to ensure that your multilingual website is available on your target locale’s search engine, and more.

You can also promote your webinar on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You can also have the posts in those accounts available in different languages just like what eToro did when they conducted a First View campaign on Twitter. Within 24 hours, it became the top ad views in France and Spain because they made their Tweet available in another language.   

Final thoughts

Webinars became essential due to the pandemic making face-to-face communication impossible at this moment. If you’re looking for a way to attract new prospects, webinars are a great way to engage with them.

With so much content available it can be hard to market your product or services to the right people at the right time. The challenge in having a multilingual webinar is how to make your message accessible and understandable to your international audience.

However, by hiring professional assistance like a translation agency, your multilingual webinar will be reachable to more people than if it was monolingual. 

With this article, I have given you my opinions and insights on how to make your webinar engaging in this hyper globalized world. Creating a multilingual webinar will take time but it will be worth it.

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