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YouTube channel – in your native language or English?

YouTube is a medium with huge reach – 1.9 billion registered users, over one billion hours per day of watched content and 91 countries with local versions of the service. We can go on and talk about statistics but one thing is key: YouTube may become your business ally if you use its promoting opportunities well. How can this be achieved? In today’s post, we will tell you one aspect that is important at the start of your adventure with YouTube: what language should you use to speak to your customers?

Let’s focus on your native language and English. Which language should you choose to communicate with your customers on the company YouTube channel? What are the pros and cons of both solutions? We will verify the above taking into account three criteria: reach, subject and costs.

Your native language – focusing on the domestic aspect

REACH: You only reach users who speak your language. Due to the fact that this is not a universal language, your communication is geographically limited.

SUBJECT: This area gives you huge freedom. You know the profile of your customers, their age and interests. You can build communication not only based on the above criteria but also treat the language itself as a type of flexible plastics. Your messages can contain some jargon or dialect; they can include official or scientific language, etc. There are many possibilities. It is also easier to explain the complexity of an offer or specifics of a given technology in the national language, depending on the degree of difficulty of the industry in which you operate. In such a case, you can refer to popular examples or sources.

English – bigger audience

COSTS: You will not avoid them if you want your channel to look professional. You should also take into account purchase of image and sound recording equipment as well as the cost of processing and editing the material (if you outsource this service). Publishing videos on the channel, their proper description and promotion are routine activities that the marketing department of your company will handle with ease. Preparing messages in the national language reduces costs by the value of the translation ordered for such materials into a foreign language or employing someone who is fluent in English.

REACH: Wins with the national language by far. Apart from native speakers of English, all users who know or learn English will be your receipts.

SUBJECT: This is where you start to face challenges. Analysis of your recipients will not be as detailed and thorough as in the case of the domestic market so you will certainly have to choose universal content at first. Unfortunately, such content will not necessarily be engaging for all audiences. After some time, you can decide to localise communication, which means that any messages will be created on the basis of particular tastes and expectations of recipients from various countries.

COSTS: Let’s be honest: costs will not be the same as for the local language version of your communication. A professionally-managed YouTube channel presenting content that is linguistically-correct and professional, requires work of specialists who are fluent in English. You can employ such people or outsource services to a translation office.

YouTube channel – in your native language or English?

If you are not sure which of the indicated options should be applied, you can consider a solution that is in between of the two options. Only after analysing the traffic and reaction of recipients, will you be able to decide your further actions. What we have in mind is running the channel in the local language (you start with the easier option in terms of the language) and adding English translation to the content published. This may be captions in the video or a description along with translation under the video. Such form may be slightly more difficult in receipt for your audience but it will help you optimise costs and research the potential possibilities at the initial stage. One of such possibilities will be switching to English fully if you plan to develop your company on a global scale.

Go multilingual! We will gladly help you with it.