Hi, it’s Myles, and I’m finally back from my travels, and ready to start creating more videos for you. As I promised a few weeks ago, I’ve created a video on how to market your business internationally. Today, in this video, I’ll share four tips to effectively marketing your business around the world.
Expanding your business globally can be great for growing your company, but reaching an international audience can be difficult. An international, online marketing strategy requires understanding different cultures, laws, languages, and online behaviors. Before you begin optimizing your business for a global audience, make sure you understand these four key tips.
The first, and probably the most important tip, is to start with cross-cultural competency. In other words, you need to have an intimate understanding of your own and other’s cultures. You need to start off by understanding the cultural assumptions and biases that you hold because they will help you identify cultural differences that may ruin your business abroad. Only after you understand your own culture can you begin to learn about international cultures and determine important differences.
At this point, most people will read different books and visit different websites about a particular country and culture. However, these resources can only take you so far and usually provide inaccurate generalizations and stereotypes. I find it very amusing when a travel guide describes a particular place that I know very well, and the description is far from reality. Because of this, if you’re serious about expanding your business internationally, talk with, learn from, and spend time with the people who make up the audience you’re hoping to reach. Many serious companies will even invest in hiring a local, business consultant.
The second tip centers on doing your homework and being aware of international advertising and sales regulations, and product laws. In different parts of the world, advertising and sales of certain types of products are subject to approval by various governing bodies. Likewise, all the products you sell are subject to different product development laws. The best way to ensure you are aware of all laws and regulations is to hire a reputable, local business consultant.
The third tip is to customize your online marketing based on local usage. It goes without saying that you need to translate your website into the language that the country or region you’re marketing to uses. But, this isn’t enough. Think about which search engines are used by the international markets you’re targeting. You and I most likely focus our attention on Google, Bing, and Yahoo; however, different countries use different search engines. For example, China uses the search engine Baidu frequently. As a result, if China was one of your target countries, you ought learn how to rank high in Baidu search results.
More importantly, when considering an international location’s local usage of the net, you need to choose the key words and key phrases native to the market you’re targeting. You shouldn’t simply translate the current keywords you may be using in your campaigns into foreign languages. Different countries use different words and phrases to describe the same things. For example, if you were in charge of an outer wear company and trying to optimize for the phrase “Rain Coats,” in the U.S. we’d use the key phrase “Rain Coats” but in the UK, people refer to rain coats as “Macs.” So, in the UK, we’d want to use the key word “Macs.” It’s extremely important to determine the proper native words and phrases to use.
The last tip is to adjust your website, if needed, to cater to the international market you’re targeting. Do certain colors and symbols connect with your target market? Do you need to adjust the currency of your product pricing? Let’s say from US dollars to Euros. In many cases, your website will be the first chance you get to communicate with potential customers, so make sure you optimize your site design for your market.
That’s it for today’s video. If you plan to take your business global, make sure to remember these tips. Once again, I’m Myles, and if you have a question about marketing your business online, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer your question in a future video. Have a great week!