Three ways to prepare your online business for the global adventure
Compared to other business models online businesses have an easy access to the global market. But this benefit can also turn into a major stumbling block, if you don’t pay enough attention to the local differences on your target market.
When your online business goes global you’ll need to make sure that it’s ready for the international customers. Relying only on social media profiles and website with content published in one language (even in English) may not be enough to attract new buyers.
Below you can find three ways in which you can prepare your online business for the global adventure.
1. Localise your website
Regardless of your target market, you’ll need to make sure that your website speaks the language and is adapted to the culture of the local consumers. Replacing the text in the original language with the text in another language is no longer enough to win the hearts of your target users. From images, through layout, to menu items and style – there are many user interface elements that have to be adapted to ensure better experience and local feel.
Of course, the scope of these modifications may depend on your business type. If you run an online shop, you’ll need to customise much more details than in the case of a coaching website.
At any rate, the profound understanding of preferences, habits and expectations of your target customers is a key prerequisite to a successful website localisation strategy for your online business.
2. Create local social media profiles
If you target specific countries or regions, it might be useful to reach out to your potential users via social channels. Not all social media platforms are equally popular on every market, so find out first which social profiles you’ll have to set up to engage with your defined target group. If advertising your coaching services via LinkedIn worked well e.g. in the Netherlands, you might have to focus more on posting your updates on Facebook if you’re planning to enter the Polish market.
Obviously, your social media profiles have to include content in the local language. Ideally, you’ll want to create an image of a trustworthy brand, so don’t forget about referring to the local holidays, customs or events in your updates.
3. Give your visuals a local touch
Not all graphics and images that are used on your website, social media or in online ads will be equally powerful in every market. For example, if you try to grow your online clothing store abroad, make sure that at least some of the photos present models that look like residents of the specific country. If the pictures you use to promote your services include landscapes, architecture or everyday items, double check if such visuals will help to evoke the right emotions and positive associations among your target customers on the specific market.
Remember also to choose the right graphics for special promotions or sales campaigns created for local holidays. Advertising a Christmas sale in Poland with a picture presenting a roast turkey may fall flat, so before you start a marketing campaign find out what are the local traditions, both in and beyond the kitchen.
Running an online business means that you can easily gain an access to a large number of customers across the world. But this doesn’t mean that your online presence can remain the same on each and every market. To fully exploit the potential of your online business, keep the image of your ideal local customer in mind and adapt your content accordingly.
Dorota Pawlak is a localization consultant for digital brands. She enjoys helping businesses enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages, and technology.
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