5 Ways To Market Your Small Business To International Audiences
April 24, 2018
When marketing your product or service, you’ll likely have to adjust your approach for different audiences. With the world becoming increasingly connected, products and services are able to find demand across borders. This means you’re probably starting to think of how you can promote your business in different cultures and languages, and around regulations you may not be used to.
Your business could be successful if it finds a place on the international market. But if you don’t respond to your consumers in different countries, you could alienate them. Without the right international marketing tactic, your business could fizzle out just as quickly as it achieves popularity.
Granted, you’d have to do some major research on how your business can gain a global foothold. But in the meantime, here are five tips to help you get started.
Have a basic understanding of the culture
Different places have different cultures. This might be the biggest understatement you’ll see in this article. Consumers in different countries, or even cities, possess a diverse set of customs and beliefs that many of them adhere to.
Consumers in different countries, or even cities, possess a diverse set of customs and beliefs that many of them adhere to.
If you’re marketing your business to faraway countries, the very least you can do is have a basic grasp of the culture. Are there phrases that are seen as rude in that society? Are you meant to adopt a certain degree of respect when interacting with customers and business partners?
While some international consumers might excuse your ignorance, it shows an awareness and appreciation of their patronage.
Understand the laws of the country
Like people, regulations differ once you’ve crossed the border. Many business owners are often stumped when they discover the product they hoped to introduce to an international market contains ingredients that are banned in the country they had targeted. Don’t make this mistake.
Do your research first. If your product will not pass the country’s quality test, don’t bother marketing to consumers there at all.
If you’re selling a service rather than a product, make sure you find out about advertising regulations and approvals as well as sales tactics. Your big sweepstakes contest may not be legal in certain societies. Don’t invest money into it before finding out the hard way.
Invest a lot of resources on your website and social media
Your website is a big part of your company’s identity. For international customers, it may be the closest they may ever come to actually meeting you.
Once you have a client base, share international content on your social media so you’re not isolating clients.
Consider having a multilingual website to enable non-English speaking consumers to easily navigate your products and services.
If possible, provide an opportunity for them to convert prices to their national currencies on your website as well. Once you have a client base, share international content on your social media so you’re not isolating clients.
Consider every part of your brand
It’s surprising how many American mega-brands have failed on international markets because they did not customize their product to suit the culture.
How does your product’s name translate in the common languages there?
Nike was already struggling to find their foothold in the Chinese shoe market when they decided to develop a shoe to celebrate the Year of the Monkey. Unfortunately, the characters they put on the shoes translated to ‘becoming fat’ in the local language. Not only did Nike’s tactic fail spectacularly, they also became the laughing stock of Chinese society.
It’s not difficult to avoid this if you do your research. Does your brand use colours that have negative meanings in countries where your international clients are based? You should consider adopting more neutral colours.
How does your product’s name translate in the common languages there? Make sure your branding means your target market will be laughing with you and not at you.
Keep your payment method seamless and secure
Pay your international distributors through reliable means to keep your product readily available in other countries. The best marketing strategies are useless if your clients can’t access your product or service.
Often, slow and expensive payment systems are a major stumbling block to small businesses accessing international markets.
Veem transfers your payments to other businesses in over 60 countries for little to no cost. This saves you time and money that you could be spending on your branding strategy.
You are also able to track payments so both you and your business partners know exactly when funds will arrive.
Sign up for an account with Veem and find out how we can help you reach that international client.