If you’re lucky, the footprint of your business or personal brand will expand past the borders of your home country. Whether it happens organically or is a goal for your business, you should know a few things before engaging an international audience.
Know the Culture
If you don’t have the opportunity to visit other countries personally, you should at least make yourself knowledgeable on the cultural norms and customs of the countries’ residents. Once you learn about the general culture of an area, you’ll want to explore the variations between different age groups, genders, geographic regions, etc. to best reach your intended audience in that country.
Understand the Laws
Just as there are advertising regulations in the United States, other regions have their own laws, and they’re often more strict than what you might be used to. For example, even saying that a product or service is the “best” in comparison with other brands can go against some regulations.
Become a Language Expert
Unless you’re expanding to a country that speaks the same language as your home country, you should ensure that anything you produce actually makes sense in the target region. This goes for anything from the words themselves to currency conversions to the colors you use on your sites, as some colors have deep meaning in certain cultures.
As a side note, you could also use your language expertise in your own country. For example, using subtitles in videos to cater to a deaf audience.
If social media is a large part of your marketing plan, you should consider creating multiple pages for your brand, each tailored to a different country or region. The downside is that this requires additional time and effort, but including multiple languages on one page could be confusing for your visitors. If all the countries you’re marketing to speak the same language, it may not be such a big issue.
Above all, you want to be sure that your international efforts are working, so utilize analytics whenever you can to measure results. Your specific tactics will vary based on intended region, but these tips should provide you with a solid foundation for success.