Overcoming these barriers might require some creative solutions, but it is possible. A good strategy will include many of the following tactics to better engage a global audience:
Having Content in Different Languages
One of the largest barriers to overcome when marketing globally is the language barrier. If somebody can’t read or listen to your content, you effectively can’t market to them. About 1.5 billion people in the world speak English, so it’s always a safe bet to have your content in English. But if you notice a large amount of traffic coming from a specific demographic region, or you want to expand into an area, translating your site might be a good idea.
Now, don’t simply plug your copy into Google Translate and call it good. Overcoming that language barrier requires some investment and good translators. Find a person who can properly translate it to the desired language. It’s also nice if they are familiar with the culture and can change phrases and analogies common in English to better match the local culture.
Adapting Your Strategies
Different cultures and backgrounds often require multicultural marketing approaches that differ from what works with your traditional market. This could include new pain points, different competitors, and an altered buying process.
That doesn’t necessarily warrant building an entirely new marketing funnel for each new geographical area. But there might be tweaks and additions to help encourage different global markets to enter your marketing funnel or to address unique problems they might have. This can include cultural differences or simply problems they might encounter that others don’t.
These changes are a must, but don’t look for problems that might not exist. Thanks to the global culture of the internet, people around the world are starting to live extremely similar lives. Don’t make the assumption that just because people live in a different country they are drastically different from you and, as such, require a completely new marketing strategy. Simply find what differences are there, and only address them.
Performing Market Research
The world is full of stereotypes when it comes to geography and demographics. French people are stuck up, americans are rude, australians like to put shrimp on the barbie.
Don’t market to stereotypes.
Take the time and perform market research for each area you want to get into. Interview people who live there and people who have visited there. Find out all you can about the culture and environment your target market lives in. That way, you can properly identify pain points and problems they have. A businessman in Japan has very different struggles with long and intense work weeks than other places with more relaxed workplaces.
Different Sites for Different Countries?
One point to consider is creating sites unique for each geographic area you want to focus on. Many countries, like Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia have their own top level domains like “.CA” or “.AU”. But choosing these kinds of domains come with pros and cons when compared against the traditional “.com.”
A .com is recognized and used by everybody across the world. Everybody uses it, and it is equally accessible. Geographic level domains help geotarget the site to people within the country.
So the question comes: Is it beneficial to build unique sites for each country you are targeting, or is one single site going to be sufficient? If you offer a specific range of products to different areas, or the target markets are vastly unique in each area, a new site with geographic top level domains might be useful. But if this doesn’t match your scenario, keeping everything on the same site is the smart choice.
Understanding Local Marketing Approaches
Each country has it’s own standards and traditions when it comes to marketing and advertising. In the United States, sexuality is a common tool used to sell products. Other areas, like India, a sexualized ad would be shunned. In some areas, TV and radio advertising is still effective, but in others it isn’t.
Understanding how people in an area are used to being marketed to can play a lot into how you build your content. That way, you can better match what they expect and it will be less jarring to have a foreigner trying to sell them on a product.
Staying Diligent in All Markets
Marketing takes time, and if you are pushing into a new geographic market, there will be some trial and error. What works in one area might not work in another. However, that doesn’t mean you should simply abandon the effort though and go back to what is safe. If you have done proper market research, with a dash of creativity and persistence, you can find success.
While pushing into new markets, though, don’t let your current efforts slip either. Make sure that your content is continually going up and supporting what is already working so you have that continual income. It’s a common mistake to get all wrapped up in a new campaign and let existing ones fall by the wayside.