Digital Marketing for International Audiences
It is not hard to come up with a digital marketing campaign in a local area. For instance, if you have a brick and mortar store in a small place like Decatur, Alabama and you want to advertise it, you can come up with a generic strategy for a marketing mix. Some of the campaigns might be digital, and another part of it would be analog, but usually, you can come up with the right mix on a trial and error basis.
However, it is not as easy coming up with a digital marketing plan in places abroad. This isn’t because it is a particularly bad thing to do. There are just different sets of obstacles that come with the intended goal of doing international business. We have more access to people, goods, and services around the world than ever before, thanks to the Internet. Still, if you don’t know the market you are pitching to, locally or internationally, you are not going to succeed. So, let’s talk about some things to be aware of when making a digital marketing campaign abroad.
Be Mindful of Cultural Sensitivity
What will fly for advertising in America may not be considered appropriate for your target market. In fact, a lot of what is deemed advertiser-friendly in the digital marketing world boils down to cultural norms in that area.
For instance, things like patriotism, religious affiliation, and alcohol consumption aren’t seen as big of a deal in most of Europe compared to America. In Asian countries like China and Japan, things like humility and hierarchy carry more respect and honor compared to meritocracy and individualistic behavior.
Even Canada has different attitudes and customs compared to America about certain topics and personal practices. I had a friend once who married into a Canadian family. Their initial impression of America was from the news stations. They believed America to be a violent hellscape and they were in disbelief that my friend’s hometown Decatur, Alabama didn’t have any sidewalks.
This is why it is important to conduct research on your target market before crafting your digital marketing strategy. And to do that properly you need to make sure you have the correct perspective of your target audience. If you are forcing your ideas down their throat, you will not only do terrible business, you might even be viewed as disrespectful.
Translation Translation Translation
Language barriers are the biggest obstacle when it comes to a digital marketing campaign. Especially if you have no familiarity whatsoever. Even if you managed to learn the target audience language, there are nuances that are just native. That is why it is important to have someone on your team that has an in with someone who speaks the language natively. Bonus points if they grew up in the area of your target audience.
Look into colloquialisms or terminology when you are focusing on abroad SEO. Maybe even format your English to match international standards in lieu of American English. After all, many countries teach English as a second language. Find a way to linguistically meet them where they are at. A little understanding goes a long way in digital marketing and sales.
Not All Digital Marketing and Internet Consumption Look the Same
It is very easy to be blind to the conditions and attitudes of other people. This is especially true of the internet. We are so used to meeting people internationally over the web, that we assume that they are using the same internet. While that may be the case sometimes, it is certainly not the case all the time.
Internet connections vary from country to country, with both speed and access. This may surprise most people but in spite of the fact that an American and a British man invented the internet, England and America do not have the highest connection speeds worldwide. That title belongs to South Korea. Britain and America rank 15 and 10 respectively. But most people wouldn’t think that the case because of our high dependency on technology for things like digital marketing.
Then there is censorship and access differences. What you may have access to now, may not be the case for someone in Sweden or the Republic of China. The UN passed a recently controversial Article 13 to protect the rights of businesses and decrease access to violent or disturbing content. China and North Korea are notorious for censorship. Especially for political reasons.
And that doesn’t even cover format preference. In fact, some countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia prefer the use of mobile phones for internet access over desktop computer use.
When you come up with your digital marketing campaign, these factors and more are just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why it’s important to have a crack team for your digital marketing needs. If you want to advertise your business locally and abroad, give us a call. Or you can visit our website. www.purpletieguys.com