Localisation involves a lot more than translation. Beyond figuring out the official language in your target market, it’s important to adapt all types of content to speak to the audience you’re trying to reach, from imagery and pricing to campaigns.
For instance, a whitepaper about a B2B customer’s pain points in one market might be very different from those elsewhere, while a marketing email sent at 9 am in New York City reaches inboxes in Sydney, Australia, at 11 pm.
When Intercom discovered a large number of visitors from non-English speaking markets were visiting its English site, the company took its highest-performing English keywords, ads and landing pages and localised them into French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.
After running a month-long paid experiment in which it tested localised and English campaigns in countries that spoke those five languages, Intercom discovered not only a demand for its product in non-English markets but that it was cheaper to capture this demand with localised content.
Speaking of ads, co-working company WeWork uses copy and imagery specific to a geographic location in its Facebook campaigns.
Another point worth noting is how much information people in other markets are willing to share. When e-commerce payment manager CyberSource wanted to use a survey to generate leads in Asia and understand how those businesses managed fraud, it realised that many weren’t comfortable disclosing sensitive information up front.
So the survey first returned benchmark results and recommendations based on their anonymous responses and then asked for their contact details to send a personalised version.
Expanding into international markets is a great way for any B2B company to grow. But moving into a new market requires more than money or resources to be successful.
Businesses must focus their efforts on targeting the right markets at the right time in the right way and adapt their products and marketing strategies to suit local buyers.