Going international means opening up your business to a whole new world. You see, some businesses hit it off abroad more strongly than at home, so you may even be underestimating the potential behind this move.
Still, this doesn’t just mean making your products available abroad. It also implies that you should change your entire approach to appeal more strongly to foreign audiences, adjust your marketing strategy, and even adjust to regional laws and regulations.
With all of this in mind, here’s how to make your business truly international.
1. Research different markets
Another thing you need to understand is that every market is different. Many people falsely suggest that this is merely a numbers game and that this is just a difference in numbers. They take a country with ten million people and assume that the metrics will be the same as in a country with a million people, only ten times the number. Nothing can be further from the truth.
You can’t just disregard the local market’s cultural, historical, and socio-economic conditions. Not to mention that even something as simple as Google ranking can be completely different in a different language. This is why you want to look for some of the best VPN apps on the market and start using them in your analysis. You’re aiming for your local customers’ authentic experience and POV in those regions. Then, you can make a concentrated campaign to gain a competitive edge.
Another thing you should do is find some local assistance. You need a local marketing company to help you with market analysis, surveys, and more. This is only possible for major markets. If a negligible portion of your audience comes from a region, it will never be cost-effective to do so.
In other words, you first need to analyze your markets and try to see which of them are major and worth getting deeper into.
2. Make content in multiple languages
The first thing you need to do is start making content in different languages. Namely, if you do the research on your audience and find that a huge portion of your audience speaks another language as their native, it might be worth your while to make another website in that language. Sure, Google Translate is improving, but it’s never quite the same.
First, this will maximize your reach since it will allow you to catch even that part of your audience that you wouldn’t normally be able to reach (because of the language barrier). Even if your audience is proficient in English, chances are they might not be able to interpret all of your content or fully enjoy it.
It’s also important to make a gesture. After all, you’re making an extra effort for the sake of your audience. Everyone knows you don’t have to do this since it’s standard to just stick to English. This represents going the extra mile for your audience, which they might come to appreciate.
Regarding how far you’re willing to go, while some just translate their content, others take the extra mile and dub all their content. It’s important to stress that this is no longer as expensive as it once was, seeing as how you can engage in AI content generation and get this done with just a fraction of the original cost.
3. Captioning and subtitling services
At the very least, you must consider captioning and subtitling your services. This is not just done for the sake of your international audience. You see, about 80% of mobile users watch videos without sound. This means that you need to make sure that the videos you’re producing are friendly to this format since most of your audience uses the format.
Captioning in multiple languages can easily help you overcome the previously-mentioned language barriers. By just adding subtitles, you can make it feel like you have content in different languages without undergoing incredible costs to create it.
It’s also worth mentioning that creating captioned content is more inclusive. Some people have trouble hearing, so creating captioned content allows them to enjoy/understand it. Then, non-native speakers may have trouble discerning some words, and by captioning, you can make it easier for them to understand.
Also, regardless if you’re sending emails or video links by any other means, some people will receive them while at work, in a company, or in public transportation. Their ability to consume this content without sound often determines whether they’ll even open it. This means that it also affects your CTR.
Fortunately, there are a lot of subtitling and captioning services out there that can streamline this process and make it simpler/more accurate.
4. Introduce shipping and customs cost calculators to the mix
One of the main reasons for high shopping cart abandonment is unexpected costs. So, how do you avoid this problem? You just add a calculator.
It’s a bit more difficult to do so for an international audience.
After all, shipping is complex, taxes are not always paid the same, and the customs expenses may be too random. Still, this is not impossible to find out. Simply set up a calculator and help your customers understand exactly how much they’ll pay. This way, they’ll have a much easier job at deciding, and they can effectively avoid buyer’s remorse.
Another thing to remember is that this kind of transparency makes you more trustworthy, which helps you win long-term customers. A lot of international businesses ship their products once, and upon learning how expensive the shipping is, they’ll just give up for good. Well, this strategy of increased transparency can help you increase the number of conversions in terms of regular customers.
Ultimately, this is something that a lot of your competitors simply won’t do, which gives you a great opportunity to outshine them. This is that one extra feature that everyone desperately needs and that no one is actually offering.
5. Prepare for the legal side
Doing business abroad is always an uphill battle. First, there are so many local laws, rules, and regulations to consider. Just consider, for a moment, the fact that US eggs would be illegal in the EU and vice versa due to opposite sanitary laws regarding washing the eggs. Kinder Surprise is illegal in the US, and there are similar, peculiar laws worldwide.
Also, there’s the issue of trademarks and who’s allowed to do business under which name in which country. Trademarks are usually issued nation-based, which is why Burger King has to go under Hungry Jack’s in Australia and why Wendy’s can’t open a restaurant under that name in the EU.
Overall, you need some local legal assistance. You need someone who understands these laws inside and out. You may also need a local partner since some countries won’t allow branches that are owned by foreign citizens.
Either way, moving into a new market without studying the legal ramifications is outright irresponsible, especially in the age of information. It doesn’t matter if you want to create a contract for a hotel or just get your new import deal signed; without the right legal framework, you’re getting nowhere.
Running an international business always requires more effort
Entering a new market takes more adjustment than you would expect. Remember, you’re not just competing with other international businesses but local enterprises, as well. Therefore, you need to employ all your creativity and out-of-the-box thinking and make it your priority to make buying from you more convenient than buying from a local business. With the above-listed five tips, doing so shouldn’t be impossible.