With the growth of digital and social media, a new opportunity exists for marketers outside of Quebec to launch products and services in la Belle Province. Non French-speaking professionals can find the rules surrounding marketing communications and promotions in Quebec daunting, causing some marketers to be reluctant to promote their products and services in la Belle Province. Additionally, the cost associated with producing and managing traditional marketing campaigns and promotions in two languages may not provide a return on investment important enough for many brands.
This said, nearly 63% of office workers in Quebec use both English and French at work and as of the 2010 census, 62% of all Quebecers are on Facebook. And, according to Comscore, Quebecers consult almost as much English content as they do French content on the internet as measured in reach, page views and time spent.
With so many Quebecers consuming and presumably creating content on the internet in English as well as in French, the question is: how can marketers leverage this shift to create an engaged community, and efficiently market their products in services in Quebec?
1) Start by translating as much of your content as you can into French. This doesn’t mean your entire website, but all content marketing, FAQ’s, contact info, and any critical information should be translated. It might seem disingenuous to make the effort with French when so many Quebecers are bilingual. Often, writing in a second language is more difficult than reading, therefore brands can generate a lot of goodwill and potentially increase engagement by communicating with a customer in their mother tongue, even if they are bilingual. And you’ll have a chance of marketing to some of the other 40% who are using social media but don’t communicate in English.
2) Okay great, now you have your content marketing translated, perhaps your most important tactic is to ensure that your social media presence is bilingual. Your social media manager should be someone who can write and respond to user questions like a native in both languages – don’t skimp and get someone who is great in one and passable in the other, or you’ll come across as favouring one language over the other. Target your social media messages based on your audience, using tools like Facebook’s language-gating when creating posts.
3) Respond to all questions or concerns quickly and effectively in the language that they were asked, be it French or English.
4) Respond to and leverage cultural and societal events and/or issues that are relevant to your brand in your social media strategy. Become part of the community by celebrating and supporting important people and events, drilling down as local as you can.
5) Do launch social media promotions in Quebec. In order to open your sweepstakes to Quebec residents, you need to file paperwork with the province’s the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux. The Régie seems scary, but it’s really not. There are just a few rules you have to follow if you intend to give away a prize but it’s necessary to do it right. And if possible, try to customize your contest to your Quebec community, as opposed to mirroring what you are doing in your English-language community.
Ramping up your bilingual social media presence does not have to be an onerous or expensive undertaking, but is perhaps your most important arrow in your marketing communications quiver when it comes to engaging creating an engaged community, regardless of the language.
(This post originally appeared on andrachukandassociates.com/)