How do you define language? A medium of expression; a form of capturing the past; or another art form? Yes, when you look at language as an art form, it showcases a combination of both. A language beautifully captures all emotions and enables us to understand them, communicate them and, at last, create an influence. So, when the human race was gifted with such potential remains a subject of speculation, we also won't focus on the same.
We'll talk about today and after language has improved over a thousand times and we have too, right along with it. Several improvisations have occurred in the world of language and that is where Indic Languages also came into the picture. Today, the world of content revolves around several languages. Currently, there are 22 scheduled languages in India and while one can keep a count of other local languages too, to keep a count of websites which publish content online - unlimited - is extremely difficult.
A paradigm shift has been observed lately when languages like 'Hinglish' have started to appear in the content ecosystem. You don't have to think twice to know what Hinglish means, right? Had I quoted from a language such as Hebrew, it would've been counted as incomprehensible. Relatable content happens to be one of the crucial pivots in building up a strong base for content marketing. People consuming content on the internet are increasing faster than it is being produced which tells us something; something publishers didn't understand a decade ago.
Today's reader is looking for information, entertainment, what's trending - basically, a unique mix which is far more engaging than a column of text filled with jargon. You knew about Hinglish because of its growing popularity; the same goes for all the other languages because each language can be linked to a target audience. A Tamilian prefers to read in Tamil, so it goes with a Bengali, which is why an online platform publishing its content in their language, grows in terms of its follower base. Now, there lies an opportunity to slowly capture the same group of audiences and get them reading in English. Same goes for platforms which would earlier publish content only in a particular language, but are shifting to other tangents as well now.
Good marketing is not meeting the demand, but first creating one...
Today's reader is still unaware of various technological terms/ jargon but has developed this insatiable desire for staying informed, educated and aware of what's going around in the world. A major shift has been seen in the language of online publications today; they've started to use a language which is more relatable to their target audiences. The size of a business (especially a content marketing firm), in the virtual world, is measured by the audience they have and to serve people speaking different languages, can be one of the most efficient ways to prosper and grow into a more diverse platform.
Content marketing companies have added another aspect to their strategies which is publishing content in a more familiar tonality and in different languages though sub-domains of their websites. With regard to the scope that will widen from adopting such tactics:-
1. You get more traction from regional people when you serve content in their language;
2. You get a larger audience who visits your website on the whole; and
3. You get to take advantage of the ever-growing demand of relatable content.
Coming back to the purpose of language, dominance is another significant impact which is created through language. A language a person understands will always carry more potential to persuade/ convince and therefore, dominating the way they function. Language has always been the driving force when it comes to creating influence and if a piece of content is achieving the said objective, then it has a direct impact on the popularity of the platform it's been published on as well.
At least 10 per cent of India's population is active on the Internet today and when it comes to expanding a firm's customer base, what better strategy could there be than to use India's diversity as an advantage by serving content in every language possible. Proximity matters a lot when it comes to creating an impact, the closer you are - the stronger it is. In the internet space, everything is a click away, but not everything has the same intensity of dominance, right?
Therefore, understanding a consumer's shift in language can help you dominate the audience-driven content industry, meet its demand and taste popularity.
The author is co-founder and CCO of WittyFeed.