Creating Content for Marketing to CALD Communities

Jun 28, 2023

Australia is an incredibly culturally diverse country. In fact, to say that we’re a ‘culturally and linguistically diverse’ country is a vast understatement. 

We only have to look to our own traditional owners to remember that we have the honour of being the home of the world’s oldest continuous cultures. And CALD communities (‘culturally and linguistically diverse’ or ‘cultural and linguistic diversity’) are a huge part of every town, city and region in Australia. As of 2021, nearly 30% of the Australian population were born overseas. Incredible!

So when you’re thinking about the best way to market your business, you need to consider the best way of marketing to CALD communities as well.

Marketing to CALD Communities

CALD communities are a huge segment of the Australian population, and a potential market worth many thousands of dollars, or more, to your business. But promoting, selling and distributing your product or services to members of CALD communities requires a well-informed, respectful, accessible and sensitive approach that is tailored to your audience. The way to do this is to really get to know your audience. 

Know your audience

At the heart of any content strategy is the need to know your audience. When it comes to cross-cultural communication, this goes beyond just using a different language, tone or style. Before you can create marketing content, you must also be aware of the audience’s traditions and culture, their needs, desires, challenges and opportunities. This will help you make sure that your campaign is appropriate, will resonate with your target audience and not cause offence or harm.

In order to know your audience, you need to do your research so you can understand the community you’re marketing to. You might want to look at:

One great way to tailor your CALD marketing strategy is to engage with stakeholder networks. These individuals and groups may be able to put you in touch with CALD community members from your target audience. You might consider reaching out to:

Key components of marketing to CALD communities

Once you’ve done your research and gotten to know your audience, you can start creating your CALD-focused content. Here are the key components to consider.

1. Content must be respectful and culturally sensitive

For engagement with a CALD audience to be effective, you need to communicate in a culturally sensitive and respectful way. This will involve taking the information you know about your audience and creating content that resonates with their own needs and drivers while also embracing their unique cultural nuisances and considerations. 

When it comes to being culturally sensitive, your content will need to consider things like clothing and body language, which can vary between cultures. Or you might need to think about the use of eye contact, colours used in visuals and more. You’ll also want to make sure to check with one of the bodies and organisations listed above that all the images and other content are appropriate (especially if given to you or developed by someone else). 

The audience you’re marketing to will drive these elements. 

2. Content must be empathetic and compassionate

The products or services you’re offering to CALD communities must be consistent with their needs and empathetic to their requirements. In undertaking your cultural research, assume your target audience is educated. Just because English is not their mother tongue doesn’t mean they’re not educated or highly engaged within the community. 

If you can, avoid topics, products or services that could be culturally insensitive or triggering. If these topics, products, or services are important or will specifically benefit a CALD community, be sure to include appropriate warnings. 

3. Content must be clear and accessible

Your content must be straightforward and easy to understand. A few considerations here are:

  • Research whether a literal translation of your campaign is appropriate, or whether you instead need to translate the meaning of your campaign for it to be understood.
  • Avoid slang words and overcomplicated terminology. 
  • Use clear and concise language, including your call-to-action. 
  • Break complex actions down into step-by-step instructions. 
  • Explore supportive documents to accompany a video if necessary
  • Ensure your campaign is using the correct dialect of the language spoken by your target audience.
  • Have a wide range of closed captions and translations available.
  • Ensure that WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines are adhered to.

4. Content must be appropriately cast

Correctly cast the talent for your marketing to CALD communities. This includes ensuring you cast native speakers who speak clearly and can be immediately understood. 

The Victorian Multicultural Commission and the Department of Premier and Cabinet can help you to identify talent. 

The benefits of marketing to CALD communities

Your business can embrace a unique point of difference when you create content tailored to CALD communities. And that can lead to huge benefits, for example:

  • You’ll engender a loyal audience who will promote your brand through word of mouth to members of their community. 
  • Your ROI tends to be much higher for marketing tailored to CALD communities, as it is specifically focused. 
  • Your costs can be kept low if you work to appropriately recreate and leverage existing content to target a new CALD audience. You could leverage content you’ve already-created content and start tailoring it to your new audience. 
  • And a potentially socially isolated or overlooked CALD audience will gain better and more information and inclusion! 

Get In Touch!

Creating appropriate content and developing a culturally respectful marketing campaign might feel like the work of specialists. Luckily, we’re those specialists! Get in touch for advice or to get some help with your CALD research and marketing strategy. 

We have teams based in Canberra, the Sunshine Coast and the Riverina, and would love to help your business reach its potential through marketing to CALD communities.