A platform for international success

In our previous monthly blog, we emphasised the importance of clear and coherent communications when utilising social media. This is equally as important, if not more so, if you want to target international audiences.

International SuccessIf you’re planning on reaching global communities, and marketing to an audience that doesn’t speak English as its native language then you need to consider translating your content for that country. It’s important this is undertaken correctly – even the most recognised brands have been known to get their global marketing wrong.

Most clients want the feel and message of the original content to be maintained when targeting international audiences.  This may require the text to be recreated, using a process known as transcreation. This differs from pure translation, as it is often not possible to say exactly the same thing in another language, particularly when you are marketing an idea, product or service.  To ensure the message resonates well in a different cultural context, it may need adaptation in this way, otherwise it could get lost in translation.

In addition to variations in language, meaning and culture, other important considerations that need to be factored into your campaign include differences in demographics, time zones and regulations. You also need to ensure that you have the time and resource to respond to feedback from your target audiences.

Although social networking has no borders, not every country’s most popular platform is Twitter or Facebook. You should ensure you know the most relevant social network for the country and audience you are targeting. In China, for example, both of these networks are blocked due to its censorship policy. Chinese sites that are similar to Twitter are Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, and there are plenty more platforms to choose from, depending upon your audience. Closer to home, www.xing.com is the popular alternative to LinkedIn in German-speaking countries, where it is the leading online business network, according to its founders, with 13 million members.

What works in one country may not work in another, so it’s vital to tailor your approach. Ultimately, it is about understanding your target audiences, and finding ways to reach out to them in a relevant way. The thought of branching out into completely different countries might take many companies out of their comfort zones but partnering with a PR agency that has a proven track record in international markets can make the process straightforward and successful. It’s not easy but, with the right support, it will give you the opportunity to reach and engage with an audience that might not otherwise have discovered your brand.