The Constitution of India recognizes 22 languages that are widely spoken and used for official and administrative purposes. These languages include Hindi, English, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, and Odia. English is widely used in business and commerce throughout India. Hindi is one of the most widely spoken languages and is often used for business and commerce in the northern and central regions of the country. Languages like Odia, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tamil, and Marathi are the official languages of respective states. They are used for business in the respective states.
When we look at a global scale many countries also use their native/ national language for commercial and official purposes. For instance, EU compromises of nations like France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden amongst others, who use their respective languages. France uses French, Spain uses Spanish, Greece uses Greek as their official language for commerce, marketing, and all other business-related activities.
Many business setups across nations use multiple languages to cater to diverse linguistic regions. The choice of language often depends on the specific target audience. As technology expands our global reach, vernacular content has come to limelight. Pushing marketers to pay attention to various languages and dialects that play an essential role in customer engagement and customer experiences.
A marketer’s aim is to raise awareness or drive conversions, acquiring maximum reach. When they do not work with vernacular content, they are leaving a significant portion of potential customers undiscovered. A transition from global to local is now not just an option, it’s an imperative for forward-thinking marketers. Here are some compelling cases for marketers to build on vernacular content:
Unlocking huge potential: New customer base
The power of vernacular content today is undeniable. Local dialect connect has become an instant captivating formula for brands to drive conversions. With no vernacular content, brands are losing a significant portion of potential customers. When customers hear or read a local language, they tend to pay more attention to the brand. Inclusivity of languages offers brands the opportunity to build rapport with various customer segments that were untapped and help undiscovered clientele.
Boosting brand recognition and recall
Marketing campaigns that have local language customization can significantly enhance their brand recognition and recall. Consumers can relate more to campaigns in local dialects and hence are able to remember and identify the brand more effectively. Helping marketers to strengthen their brand loyalty and trust.
Also read: Why digital marketers should embrace newsletters?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Vernacular SEO is another growing aspect of digital marketing. Local language content aligns with local search queries. When a user is searching in Marathi language, brands with relevant Marathi content are more likely to appear in the search results. Marketers who need deep market penetration must work with vernacular content that helps to improve a brand’s discoverability and drive organic traffic. Catering to local search behaviour and preferences can build a competitive edge for brands.
Power of local influencers: Partnerships
The growth of the social media landscape has offered content creators a platform to build content in their native tongue. While English is widely used, not everyone is comfortable expressing ideas in it. Realizing the appeal that lies in creating native language content, many content creators have garnered millions in their following by communicating in vernacular content. Marketers can leverage the local influence of these content creators who will amplify a brand’s impact in the local market segment. As these influencers have a strong connection with their regional audiences, they can help a brand message become effective.
Building an inclusive brand
It’s time to move away from an English-centric internet and cater to languages that are understood by broader Indian audiences. When brands incorporate vernacular content in their branding and marketing efforts, they send out a message of inclusivity. They can lead the marketing AdWords with vernacular content gaining a competitive advantage of bridging the digital divide. A brand that embraces local languages can reach a substantial audience base.
Globally there are regions that do have specific language preferences. When marketers adopt vernacular content, they can unlock new regional market segments effectively. With a well-built regional content strategy, they can discover new opportunities for market expansion. Targeted vernacular campaigns allow marketers to personalize their messages in the dominant language of the region. Which is key to becoming relevant both linguistically and culturally for brands, especially in multi-lingual countries like India.
Many central and state governments are promoting the use of vernacular content. With the sole purpose of promoting digital literacy, bridging the digital divide and inclusion.
Let’s look few examples of brands that embraced vernacular content in their digital marketing efforts:
Google: Google is known to be aggressively working on vernacular content for its various offerings. Take Google Maps for instance, today Google Maps are available in many local languages. They build their vernacular content by offering incentives to user for contributing to local content in their local languages. Harnessing the power of the local community to create a wealth of vernacular content. Leading to an enhanced user experience on Google Maps.
Swiggy: One of India’s leading food delivery apps, Swiggy launched a ‘Swiggy Regional Delicacies’ campaign back in 2019 to engage with local customers across the country. Going beyond the urban cities, their campaign was to celebrate the local Indian cuisines and festivals. The brand created vernacular content for its application and social media channels for this. They also collaborated with local influencers and restaurants to curate and deliver authentic regional dishes. Helping them to boost their customer engagement.
Media brands like The Quint have social media accounts in English and Hindi to cater to diverse audiences in India. NDTV India has accounts in English, Hindi, Tamil amongst other Indian languages to capture the country’s multi-lingual audience.
Amul, a leading dairy brand in India, is known to have built inclusive and vernacular ad campaigns for their socials over the past few decades.
From a business perspective, vernacular content is a strategic imperative to tap into diverse markets and offer inclusivity. It helps businesses to reach untapped audiences and becomes a powerful tool for connecting with consumers at a cultural level. Vernacular content is a transformative tool for marketers to enhance their brand recognition and empower local communities.
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