How to Attract Customers on a Global Scale
With the rise of internet marketing, businesses are no longer limited to customers in their suburb, city, or even country. If you’re looking to expand your business across international waters, here are five strategies to attract customers on a global scale.
#1.Optimize your website for international customers
While you might assume all internet-based marketing is universal, your website might be less internationally accessible than you think. Internationally accessible websites have three key features. They are:
- Free from cultural bias.
- Accessible in multiple languages.
- Operational in multiple currencies.
While your web design provider will need to help you set up a multi-currency site, your website’s content can be translated into any language by installing a machine translation service.
To provide your customers with the best translation, ensure you use cross-culture copywriting. Cross-culture copywriting is a type of writing that is free from the nuances of everyday language, including passive language, colloquialisms, region-based grammar patterns, and words with no translatable equivalent.
Cross-culture copywriting is over 70% more effective when translated, allowing your website copy to be compelling to customers globally.
Of course, website optimization isn’t just about your website’s language and copywriting. To ensure your website is suitable for international audiences, try these tips:
- Avoid large chunks of text that won’t translate within your website theme.
- Use white space.
- Mark content with descriptive headlines.
- Keep your website’s speed to under 2.0 seconds to ensure it is accessible in countries with slow internet.
Before you publish each webpage, always use an automatic translation service to see how your website looks to customers who view it in a different language.
#2. Use internationally accessible customer service
Cross-culture communication isn’t just limited to your website content. To serve an audience of international customers, you’ll need to provide customer service that meets the needs of all clients.
If you are using email or chat-based customer service ensure you use communication channels that are recognizable worldwide.
While a region-specific communication channel won’t turn every customer away, internationally-trusted communication channels convey a sense of professionalism that will improve your customer service experience.
Some popular examples include Gmail, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangout.
When practicing customer service in multiple languages, avoid using manual translation services. Instead, invest in some affordable multi-lingual customer support software that allows your customer service agents to translate their communication automatically. This is cheaper and provides more effective translation.
Finally, keep your customer service sharp with these expert tips:
- Only advertise your live-chat support during business hours.
- Avoid phone support unless the majority of your customers are based in a single country.
- Avoid marketing where your customer service representatives are based.
Once you’ve established internationally-accessible customer support, you won’t just attract international customers – you’ll keep them long term.
#3. Use cross-culture marketing
While internet marketing may seem international, the imagery, symbolism, and language present in online marketing can be interpreted differently across cultures. To ensure your marketing is suitable for all customers, use cross-culture marketing.
Cross-culture marketing is marketing that:
- Is suitable for multiple currencies ( like 10% off rather than $10 off).
- Uses diverse and culturally-sensitive images.
- Avoids potentially controversial comments, images, or insinuations.
- Is careful not to break marketing laws in key countries.
- Avoids culture-specific jokes or humor.
- Avoids marketing where your business is based.
The best cross-culture marketing uses the same principles as cross-cultural copywriting: it is free of cultural bias, and multi-language/currency accessible.
The most effective cross-culture marketing is also made with consideration of laws that may restrict the buying habits of customers. If you operate in industries like the gaming industry or eSports industry, for example, US legislation like the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act will restrict your customer base dramatically.
Once you’ve created cross-cultural marketing, you’ll need to follow it up by enabling multiple currencies on your website and international customer service. This will ensure customers receive a standardized experience before, during, and after the purchase process.
#4. Create products that are suitable for international audiences
Although your website, customer support, and marketing may be internationally suitable, you won’t keep an international audience without offering goods in multiple countries.
Your strategy here will depend on whether you offer a product or a service. If you are selling a service, you will need to ensure it:
- Has multi-language functionality.
- Can be used on a wide range of devices.
- Can display the date/time of the customer’s region.
- Adheres to the law in countries you are selling it in.
If you are selling a product, your largest problem will be your shipping costs and shipping wait times. Although you may be able to ship to any address in the world, your customers are likely to consider a four-week wait time and a 50% shipping markup inaccessible. To get around this, find a manufacturer or distributor in key locations.
If you are going to operate in multiple markets, set up a different website for each market to ensure your customers get country-specific resources and strategies. This will keep customers in different countries streamlined and will allow you to customize each website to its customers.
To supplement these resources, publish comprehensive region-specific content that includes reviews and advice suitable for the local audience.
#5. Take your social media global
Social media is an essential part of any international marketing strategy. While each continent has its own social media platforms, several platforms are popular internationally. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
To keep your social media presence accessible for a global audience, ensure you:
- Use cross-cultural copywriting for all text.
- Keep your images and advertisements free from cultural bias.
- Use multi-currency discounts and promotions.
- Celebrate only international holidays.
- Establish a social media account per country if required.
When it comes to social media, be aware of crucial shifts in the industry – like the streaming war in gaming.
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