You want to become an iconic mega-brand. Your name to have the recognition of the likes of Apple, Ferrari, and Louis Vuitton. To achieve this kind of recognition, you can’t be satisfied by your local or national audience alone. To truly reach your earning potential you need to take your brand global.
But global marketing is not simple. We have all seen horrible snafus, from bad translations to culturally insensitive content, that can potentially ruin a brand's reputation in a location in irreversible ways.
You are nervous about going global. We were too. But here are some key lessons we have learnt about how to connect with global audiences and expand your brand's reach to new locations.
In today's digitally connected world, it's easy to feel close to people who are halfway across the planet.
Marketing tech makes it easy to target an international audience. But technology makes things seem simpler than they are. Marketing to global audiences is about more than simply putting your product in front of people in a specific location.
You need to understand the audience in that location. They will have different needs, different opinions, different cultures to your national audience. To effectively target them you need to walk a mile in their shoes and that involves more than some simple google research into “cultural differences between the UK and Japan.”
Success in global marketing depends on specificity. Knowing where to go, what spaces you will thrive in, and the small details about a culture or language will help you build trust with your new audiences.
There is no one-size-fits-all method to global marketing.
Going global seems like a daunting task. But really, going global does not mean targeting the whole world at once. You need to know where to start and which international audiences to target first. You can normally get a good idea of where to begin by looking at the success of your current content.
Is your British-English content consistently showing up on Canadian blogs? Do German publishers link to your content often? Is a noticeable share of your Instagram audience based in Egypt? Are a significant number of your email subscribers from the Philippines?
Establish where you have already built some international audiences with your English language content and start creating content for their specific needs, in their language.
Top Tip: When analysing international traffic to your website, make sure you pursue qualified audiences – avoid bot traffic or automated reposting and responses.
Your SEO keyword research has led to a tonne of organic traffic to your English language content. You can simply translate those keywords for a new audience/language and expect the same results, right? Wrong.
Language does not translate word for word. And many regions have colloquial language. For example, if you are an artisanal beer company and you want to start selling your beers in Central and South America, it is important to understand the local language that is used.
Yes, most Central and South American countries speak Spanish – in which the word for beer is “cerveza”. However many countries also have their own slang term that is more commonly used, such as “Chela” in Southern Mexico or “Pola” in Colombia. Understanding these local terms is essential to a successful SEO strategy.
In marketing, we communicate with more than words. We use images, graphics, photos, diagrams, videos, and more to visually communicate.
We subconsciously judge our environment in the first 90 seconds of interacting with it. Between 62% and 90% (depending on the person) of that initial judgement is based on colour alone.
Colours, symbols, and images, may elicit one response in your UK/EU/US audience, but something completely different in audiences from another part of the world.
For example, white is often associated with purity and cleanliness in the West. However, in much of the East, it takes on a different meaning. In India, white is associated with death and mourning and is the colour that widows wear when their spouse dies.
Going global is the way to becoming an iconic brand. But you have to be strategic about your marketing. Don't try to target too many new audiences at once, build on the audiences you already have. And take the time to make tactful translations of content, focus on local language and make sure you understand the cultural significance of the visuals you use in your marketing.
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