Diversity and use of regional languages in advertising

Written by: Yasmin Sultana

Relevance of regional languages in the current age of digital content

If you have a business and want to establish your brand in the local market, targeting the local language to promote your business is a good idea. Various surveys have revealed that about 90% of users choose to use content in regional languages. Most people in Assam and other states in India try to master the English language and many people succeed to do that as well though many people in the rural areas are able to communicate only in their mother tongue. Companies that promote their brands only in English are certainly deprived of access to millions of users. Using regional languages can give brands more exposure and user response and they will be able to engage more and more customers with that brand.

To inform the customer about the brand is not the sole purpose of marketing or advertising but also to integrate the customer with the brand. The way marketing has changed drastically over the past two decades and this change has had the greatest impact on the way companies connect with their potential customers. The widespread use of social media has forced companies to change their marketing style. Companies have started using a lot of regional language content in online marketing and using localized content in advertisements. The purpose of doing so is to ensure that the brand gets the loyalty and trust of users of that particular language.

The Internet is currently available in almost every city and village in the country. The smartphones which have now almost replaced TV, newspapers and magazines, is now an ocean of content. This evolution of the Internet has made it easier to reach out to the people living in these remote places and communicate with them in the local language. Therefore, it is important for companies to invest time, energy and money in creating multilingual content.

Why is the use of local language salient to digital content?

Below are some reasons why brands should use regional or local languages to expand their business:

Cultural Relevance

India is a culturally very diverse country. Each state has its own culture and its own language. Multiple dialects are used In some states. When people in that state feel that brands understand them and are eager to help them to meet their needs they are attracted to that brand. There is nothing better than preaching in the language they understand or in their mother tongue to attract people. Brands should remember the language of that state as well as culture while producing content. If a brand promotes an advertisement that is in line with the main festivals of a region, such as Bhogali bihu or Rongali bihu in Assam or Durga Puja in West Bengal as the theme then it is natural for the people of that place to be attracted to the ad. On the other hand if the same advertisement is circulated in any other region it may not achieve the same success.

How to build trust?

When companies invest time and capital to create their content in the local language, their customers feel that the company or brand has respect and loyalty to that society or that culture. As a result, people develop goodwill for that company.  That is, they start liking and trusting that company or brand and start buying the company’s products. The use of local languages instills a belief in a brand in the minds of potential customers which is very essential for business success. Not using the same language with customers they target greatly reduces their chances of success in promoting their brand through websites and social media networks. 

How to get a new user?

India is currently ranked second in the world in terms of number of internet users. There are 22 official languages in India and a large number of people use the Internet in local language. Brands that develop their own marketing strategies targeting internet users are currently seen to give the highest importance to regional language internet users. This becomes clear when we look at the efforts taken by large international companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. The above companies have taken initiatives to provide all their products and services in regional languages. If you want to get a new customer for the product or service of a brand, the brand must make its product more usable for those people to attract that desired customer. It would be best to apply regional languages on the way to do so.

How to get better responses?

One of the objectives of using local language in marketing is to take the message that a company wants to give more clearly to people. For example, if an English slogan is used to speak about a brand it would be appropriate for English speaking people. But, if some states in India, such as Assam, use the same slogan, it may not be as effective. On the other hand, even if that slogan is literally translated into Assamese, it will not be as effective. If it hopes to reap the maximum benefits, the company must focus on spreading that message in the local language and the message must be expressed according to the local language and culture.  Using regional language content online can attract more users and get more responses.

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