Top Reasons Why Online Arabic Content Is Key In Your Digital Pursuits

Posted By on January 14th, 2019 in Social Media Marketing

After doing a quick search on google using Arabic, you’ll notice a significant difference in the search results compared to the same in English, both from a quality and quantity perspective. With an estimated 420 million people around the world speaking Arabic and it being the fifth most spoken language, it’s only recently that we’ve started seeing direct attention placed on Arabic content for digital marketing purposes. Whilst it’s good that more content is becoming available in Arabic, it needs to be taken into account much more so than it currently is. Creation of Arabic Content needs to be at the forefront when considering and developing any content strategy.

Why Penetrate the MENA Region with Arabic Content?

With many industries in the MENA region becoming globally recognised, many brands are shifting their business strategies to include this flourishing region. Moreover, many countries, such as the UAE, are witnessing major developments and expansions within the main business hubs. The region not only provides potent business opportunities but also some of the highest potentials in terms of customer reach. Utilising the first language of the region, Arabic, for online content is a powerful way to penetrate the market. Speaking to your customers in their voice creates a personal link, which is key if you are attempting to stand out in a highly competitive market. It has been proven that businesses investing in online Arabic content increase their online share of voice which in turn has a positive impact on profits.

How important is Arabic Content to the Arabic

Arabic is the eighth most used language on the internet, yet the availability of Arabic online content is still relatively small compared to other languages. It’s worth noting that most of the Arabic speaking population is not fluent in English, with many of them not speaking it at all. If this is the case, why isn’t more content being developed to facilitate engagement with this significant and relevant audience?

With the importance of Arabic content being recognised only recently, we’re beginning to see some of the larger international companies in the MENA region and elsewhere beginning to localise their websites and digital marketing platforms, however, this tends to be using standard Arabic only. Whilst a great first step, what will truly make your digital marketing efforts stand out, is understanding the different styles and dialects (for which the Arabic language is famous) that permeate the region according to country.  Businesses that develop rewarding and engaging digital marketing campaigns with this in mind are the ones that will reap the rewards.

The Challenges of Arabic Translation and Localisation

Usually, the English language gets translated into Arabic through transliteration, or “coining a phrase”. This makes it challenging to find specific standards for technical terms commonly used in English. Arabic, as a language is complicated in terms of pronunciation and rich in terms of idioms, accents, and styles, mostly because of the multiple variations of Arabic dialects, therefore machine translation and “cheap” linguistic resources are not recommended for use because they don’t have this in-depth knowledge. The right message is never delivered effectively, from both a content and context perspective.  This makes it imperative to work with a translation/localisation partner who frequently works on Arabic language projects and understands the nuances and differing dialects, styles, etc.  The right translation partner is crucial to successful digital marketing campaigns and the development of online Arabic content.

We must make more of an effort to consider Arabic in the same way we do English.  To truly engage with someone you need to be speaking their language and in a region where the first language is Arabic, we’re really not fulfilling this need. With many talented bilingual copywriters and speakers in the market, there is no excuse to not develop good quality, well-considered Arabic content that not only speaks to the right people but actively engages with them in a style that’s relevant to them.

The mindset really needs to change – make your content Arabic first to truly connect with the MENA region.

Lea Allam Author
Sr. Social Media Account Manager , Bruce Clay MENA

Lea has worked in Dubai for almost three years with top brands including Al Rawabi, Holland & Barrett, Superdry, Bateel and multiple brands within Landmark group. 

As a Social Media Manager, she is a hugely valued member of the Social Team. She strives to build and add value to all the brands she works with through her digital marketing experience and enthusiasm for the industry. 

Lea is passionate Milo malt drink lover and happens to be an exceptionally good tennis player!

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