You’re ready to expand your company internationally. You’re working hard to get your website up and running and figure out the tax code and shipping procedures, but have you given enough thought to the cultural differences between the U.S. and your new market?
Different languages, aesthetics, and values all create challenges to your expansion efforts, but by adjusting your marketing strategy to fit local markets, you can provide your company with a competitive advantage.
Read our guest blog on the Boston Chamber of Commerce's website to learn 4 strategies that will help make your company successful internationally.
Localization and SEO
If you've localized your website for your international markets, you've taken a good first step toward tapping your global customer base. But online competition is becoming fiercer and your marketing has to get even more sophisticated in order to compete effectively. As this Multichannel Merchant article reports, in countries outside of the U.S. there are (gasp) other popular search engines besides Google, and they use different algorithms to serve up top search results. For example, if you're marketing in China, you'll need to optimize for Baidu which has nearly 60% of the market.
Additionally, you need to pay close attention to your SEO terms. Hire a professional translator to ensure that you correctly translate your key words and ask them to think broadly about what words the local market uses. In the same MCM article, they cite a French example where a chocolate sweet roll is usually called a pain au chocolat, but in the southwest it's called chocolatine. You'll encounter the same issues in Latin America, where English words translate very differently depending on country and region. For example, green beans can be translated to
habichuela, chauncha, vainita, or ejote depending on the region. If you happen to be peddling green beans, the SEO words you choose could have a huge impact on your search ranking.
Think about the U.S. market. In some areas you would order a sub sandwich, but across the country we also have hoagies, grinders, heroes, and spuckies. If you use the wrong term for your market, you won't get nearly so many customers.
If your product is trendy, you'll have to be even more aware of what terms local consumers use. Keep a close eye on social media for each market and adapt your strategy to the local terminology.
This Ted Blog explains how hard it is to translate humor into different languages. Bilingual comedienne Maysoon Zayid's presents a challenge for translators as they try to relate her jokes in Dutch, Japanese, and even Czech. Reading it will help you understand the lengths to which translators must go to accurately convey humor in another language. Critical to successfully translating humor is that the translator must have mastery over the target language and a deep understanding of the culture so that he can pull relevant, if slightly different, cultural references to translate the essence of the joke.
Each video can be used in many different marketing channels, giving you potential for a great ROI. Some places to post your corporate videos include:
The best time to start localizing your videos? Before you even begin.
Decide which markets you're going to target and then be sure to write a script that works in all of those locations to minimize rewrites and changes.
With a little foresight, you can easily create videos that dramatically increase the purchasing potential of your buyers. Take advantage of the impact videos provide to increase your visibility across the globe.