Not long ago, retail businesses needed significant startup funds to open a single brick and mortar store. Today, selling globally is not only possible, but real and growing fast. Many retailers have realized that they can increase global sales by expanding their target markets far beyond their local reach via the use of e-commerce. Similarly, the rise of the Internet has made expansion of brands that began in one country viable in others as well. Think Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris or McDonald’s serving fast food in 52 countries. Still, many owners and executives are left with the question - How do I market to a global audience?
Here are 9 tips to increase global sales in today's robust international landscape.
The reach for businesses is truly global, but you need to really “speak the language.” Localization and transcreation professionals can assist with this and expand your brand globally.
1. Brand Your Business
If you don’t have a visual logo to use for your business, that should be step one. People around the world may not be able to read your text, but they will recognize a well-designed logo after they see it several times. (No translation needed!)
2. Localize Your Marketing
Sometimes, simply translating to the local language is enough. However, you don’t want your message lost in translation, as banking giant HSBC learned in 2009. HSBC’s “Assume nothing” campaign did well in America, but when it translated in many countries to “Do nothing”, that mistake cost the bank $10 million.
3. Localization Graphic Changes
Localization means adapting your product and your content to the specific local market. You would likely offend buyers in Japan or Nigeria if you used models with blonde or red hair. Graphics are every bit as important as text.
4. Transcreation Services Are Not Optional
Transcreation starts with a clear concept to be presented and adapted to other languages. It's typically used for marketing content, and one famous campaign that used transcreation successfully is CocaCola's Share a Coke campaign. Replacing the iconic cursive CocaCola on their cans with the most popular names was a brilliant move, and the campaign made its way around the world. Transcreation adapted the campaign successfully to each region.
For websites, transcreation and cultural consulting are recommended for your homepage; it is the first thing seen by visitors and important for marketing. Localization should be used for landing pages and blogs and the remaining pages should be translated into the local language as well.
6. Align Your Goals and Global Strategy
Plan your overall goals for your business globally. Will your website be supporting multiple offices in different countries, or is your plan to remain strictly online? Be aware of the multilingual site objectives, like local legal requirements, local marketing, and customer support, as well as sales fulfillment. Are your plans adequate?
7. Global SEO Considerations
Often overlooked, ensuring that the right keywords for proper SEO are utilized by global companies is critical. Hiring a professional language partner provides ideal localized language translation and optimizes content for search engines.
8. Culture and Business
Sometimes, it isn’t words that get lost in translation, but images. When Procter & Gamble introduced Pampers diapers in Japan, they used an image of a stork delivering a baby. Japanese folklore, though, involves giant floating peaches that bring babies home to mom and dad. We bet that Procter & Gamble quickly learned the importance of cultural consulting after that mistake.
9. Video Marketing
Using video marketing increases conversion rates when used. Though success rates differ, from increases of 22% when combined with full page ads, to a whopping 403% when used in real estate listings, video works well. You might consider SlideShare-type presentations with narration services, or a video with subtitling services to appeal to the local market.
Global marketing is easier when you remember that content in the user's native language increases their likelihood to purchase by 75 percent.