The Top 5 Ways to Boost Your International Marketing Efforts
There’s no denying that the internet is a global phenomenon. After all, people from all over the earth access the internet every day at alarming rates. In fact, according to Statista, 4.1 billion people are actively using the internet right now, and 3.3 billion people are active on social media. So, it makes sense that if you currently own a website – whether a blog, eCommerce shop, or business site – that you would take globalization serious when it comes to marketing to your target audience.
If you want to cater to a global audience and build a brand that knows no boundaries, check out these 5 international marketing tips.
1. Know Your Audience
Just because what you’ve got going on with your local audience is working, doesn’t mean it’s going to work with an international audience. For instance, take a look at what happened to Procter & Gamble. When they started selling Pampers diapers in Japan, they used an image of a stork delivering a baby on the packaging.
Imagine the horror when Japanese consumers, completely unaware of the American folktale involving storks, couldn’t decide whether the bird was bringing them a baby or taking theirs away.
Talk about a marketing fail.
This mistake could have easily been avoided with a little research about their target audience. Come to find out, Japanese folklore tells takes of peaches, not storks, bringing babies in Japan. Before you launch yourself into an international market, take the time to learn about your target audience. Don’t just copy what’s working for you locally.
2. Get a Reliable Web Hosting
Years back, Amazon’s site had a 40-minute outage. During the time their site was down, it cost them about $5 million — that’s a classic example of how damaging website outages can be.
While your online business might not be as massive as Amazon, you can bet your family jewels that just like the ecommerce giant, you too will experience a loss in revenue if your site is down. Such is especially the case if you’re running an ecommerce site.
To address this issue, you need to get a reliable web hosting. With the right service provider, you can keep your website from crashing when you get a spike in traffic. Not only that but with a reliable hosting, your site’s SEO won’t be affected negatively and you can have a good level of protection in case your site is hacked (among other things).
If you’re still new to creating websites, however, you’d be better off getting your domain name from your hosting company. That way, the setup would be a lot easier for you.
LCN is a good place to buy affordable domain names and reliable hosting. When choosing a domain name, the company makes it easier for their users to obtain their ideal domain by adding categories to their TLDs.
It’s also worth pointing out that the company has a free privacy protector feature for all of their domain registrations.
3. Translate Site Content
If your goal is to market to a broader audience spanning the world, you had better work on translating your site’s content. After all, if global visitors can’t read your content, they’ll never convert. While many people feel that English is the prevailing language of the world, keep in mind that if your website is written in English only, you’ll probably only engage 27% of the total market. Adding to that 73% of people prefer websites written in their native language, even if they are multilingual. To help you with translating your content, you can use Google Translate.
This free online tool will quickly translate content into over 100 languages. If you’re worried about the tool’s accuracy, then don’t be. According to The Washington Post, Google Translate is about as accurate as human translators. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
4. Have a Local Presence
It may seem confusing for us to advise you to set up and establish a local presence when the focus of this post is international marketing. But the truth is, there’s a lot to be gained by setting up a local office, especially if you’re a growing business. If you can show your international site visitors that you are well-grounded in one place, or at the very least officially teamed up with a local partner, they’ll see you as more credible and “real.”
The trick to marketing efficiently, whether it be using a website, advertisements, SEO, or email marketing, is to make it seem as though you’re a real company that’s not out to scam people. If people only see your website (and no office, phone number, or physical address), they may think you less than professional. So, show your investment in a home country, much like eBay (a globally known eCommerce site) does, so you can gain the trust of your global audience and increase your following.
5. Evaluate Pricing
If you own an online shop, making money is arguably the most important thing to you. However, there’s more to running a global eCommerce shop than making money if you want long-term success. When it comes to pricing your online store’s products and services for an international market, consider the following:
- Currency differences and how they convert
- Your overhead (packaging, overseas shipments, tariffs, etc.)
- The demographics of your target audience
- Economic and political policies in different countries and regions
- Accepted forms of payment
As you can see, many variables play into how you might approach an international market.
Another helpful tip is to narrow in on specific countries you’d like to market to. Rather than say you’d like to expand into Europe, decide you’ll focus on those in countries X, Y, and Z. Knowing this will help you define your pricing structure, construct your advertisements, and even build relationships with foreign subscribers.
Be sure to check out this simple guide on how to set up a signature in Outlook so you can build brand awareness amongst your new, international customer base with email campaigns. After all, going into a foreign market is tough enough as an established brand. Why not use email, which delivers the highest ROI, to help kickstart your success?
6. Optimize Your Site for Speed
If you’re going global, there is no time more important than now to optimize your site for speed and performance. After all, people accessing your site from all over will use up more of your server’s resources and drag your site down.
But you want this extra traffic, site exploration, and sales.
You just don’t want the slowdown that comes with it. To monitor your website’s page loading times, look into the free online speed test by Google: Google PageSpeed Insights.
From there you can see how fast the mobile and desktop versions of your site are performing. You’ll also get tips for Google on how to make your site even faster.
And if you really want to improve site speed, you can use a CDN. Using servers spanning the globe, a CDN will deliver your site’s content to your global audience using the server that’s geographically closest to them to reduce the time it takes the web pages to load.
In the end, building an international brand is no easy feat. There’s lots of global competition and many factors that play into whether people outside your local market will respond to what you have to offer. That said, with a little bit of careful planning, some research into the market you want to enter, and some web design optimization, you can expand your site’s reach to people from all over the world.