Reaching a global audience may seem like every business's goal. New and innovative digital mediums make it incredibly easy to reach consumers anywhere on the planet. However, even with social and digital platforms for publishing, engagement and feedback, you may not be connecting with the markets you want.
Instead of thinking global marketing dominance, it's time to consider localized marketing on a global scale.
According to a study by the CMO Council, 49 percent of marketers say localized marketing is essential to profitability and growth. Cultural, economic, environmental and even political influences can all impact buying decisions. Localizing allows businesses to pinpoint the exact marketing message that is most likely to increase sales in any specific market.
However, if localized marketing is important, why do only 12 percent of marketers say they have campaigns designed to work on a local level? With global eCommerce sales predicted to reach 3.55 trillion by 2019, now is certainly the time to consider a localized online marketing effort.
If you are ready to play in the big leagues and grab your piece of the global market, here are three ways you can improve your localization efforts for global audiences.
Check Your Speed
Moving your business into the big leagues means upgrading your online infrastructure. Speed matters when managing a global enterprise, so the use of content delivery networks (CDNs)is crucial for matching local internet speeds. Essentially, a CDN will cache content on servers around the world, speeding up access.
On average, websites using a CDN are 50 percent faster and consume up to 70 percent less bandwidth. Although many web hosting services offer a CDN service, many businesses still don't fully understand how the internet is delivered on a global scale. Check with your web hosting and design team to ensure your site is delivered as fast as it can in any region.
Tailor Your Main Message
Cultures are always changing as they are impacted by social, political, environmental, and economic influences. However, your key message needs to stay the same regardless of what target market you're focusing on. Corporations like Coca-Cola and McDonald's do create local messages, but they always keep their core message the same.
This strategy makes sense as a global corporation needs to stick to their overall brand's value and overall mission. For example, McDonald's slogan "I'm loving it" can be tailored to fit any culture as it has restaurants in more than 100 countries. The ability to customize a core message, while still capturing the consumers attention, is a key component in localizing content.
Choose the Right Language
This may seem like the most obvious tip, but it's actually a complex issue. Even if you don't create a region-specific website for English speakers, you still may lose points in localizing your content if you use pop-culture references, colloquialisms and jargon. The key is to use clear, plain language that will be easily understood by all English speakers, whether they are in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada.
You should also use a translation service for your sites. A whopping 70 percent of the world doesn't speak English, but only 43 percent of websites offer non-English translation. If you want to capture your local market, offer the option of a translation service on all your sites. This is a relatively cheap option that allows your company the ability to connect to larger markets around the world.
Prepare Now for Explosive Global eCommerce Growth
Sometimes small businesses don't have the resources to conduct business like huge, global corporations. The biggest businesses in the world have entire departments dedicated to understanding and preparing for every possible trend, including eCommerce growth. However, that doesn't mean that smaller businesses can't learn from these highly successful global corporations.
So take a lesson from their playbook: start preparing now for global eCommerce growth. We know that eCommerce is expected to keep growing, and English speakers will only be a portion of the entire industry.
Remember, the entire concept of the internet was to open doorways to global communication. Our websites are not bound by border lines but have the potential to connect with any online user on the planet. Don't put limits on your consumers and start including localized marketing in your next marketing campaign.