Online marketing has made it easier than ever for businesses to think beyond borders and take their place in the global marketplace, writes Google digital coach May King Tsang.
“Before launching products or services to an international audience, it’s important to understand your new markets, know the difference between translation and localisation and ensure you have the technical infrastructure to manage it all,” she says.
These are her tips for businesses aiming to increase their brand’s profile internationally.
1. You want to reach more customers: You may have looked into markets abroad and are now considering selling to Europe or further afield. It’s important you learn about the target market and find out how best to reach it.
For example, look at search traffic, competition and pricing. You can then decide where your product or service is going to be well received. You can use search trend reports, geographical data in your web analytics and marketing insight tools to help determine which markets are best.
Log on to Google’s new tool that helps you find the best markets for your business and gives you all the insights you need to research your global market: https://marketfinder.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en/
2. Marketing without getting lost in translation: You might need to translate and localise your website’s content and while automated translation services are great tools, they can’t always be 100 per cent accurate so it might be worth investing in a native speaker to check it’s accurate and that the tone is right. Plan ahead so you can respond to questions or enquiries from customers in different languages.
3. Think about your infrastructure: Make sure you have the systems in place to properly support your expansion into international markets. Consider shipping requirements, taxes and any legal or regulatory issues. Can you provide customer support and refunds to international customers? You must also have an e-commerce system and be able to customise payment options.
Make sure you map out your plan in advance to fully explore international expansion.
For free training on these topics, head to Google’s Digital Garage on Barker’s Pool in Sheffield city centre or visit g.co/digitalgarage for free bite-sized tutorials.
Also, log on to this government resource for more information on exporting: www.export.great.gov.uk