Branching out and marketing your product or service to an international audience beyond the one you’re familiar with is exciting and nerve-wracking. If you want to reach out to an international audience, you’ll doubtless be searching for a marketing checklist to avoid any pitfalls.

Good news – you’ve found one. In this post, I’ve got 5 things you’ll need to remember when marketing to an international audience.

1) Know the local Search and Social ecosystem

Living in the UK, it is all-too-easy to to assume that the vast majority of your clients use Google and Facebook. But you may be surprised to hear that Naver.com is the most popular search engine in South Korea. The Chinese market is also a potential marketing banana skin when it comes to social media and search. With Baidu beating Google for dominance in the latter and the Chinese people using Renren and Weibo instead of Facebook and Twitter.

2) Optimise website language for your target audience

You’ve probably worked hard on building some great, unique and keyword optimised content for your website. But it will be of little use to those abroad if they are unable to digest it. The language used on your website, along with currency signs and monetary conversions must be reviewed for international audiences.

Performing separate keyword research in your target audience’s language is a must. Avoid doing so with Google translate, because you’re likely to find some key additions you won’t have picked up in your native tongue.

This may all sound rather time consuming, but if you’re able to invest in multi-lingual digital marketing staff, you’ll get the job done in half the time. Being bi-lingual in business can result in significant success.

3) Learn how to use hreflang

Not wishing to get too technical in this post, learning how to use herflang is very important. There’s a great video below from Google on the subject:

You can also find more info here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en

4) Get the right tools

Does your Search Visibility tool and rank tracker cover the region and search engine your target audience will be using? Can you get search volume data for users using Baidu, for example? While the Google keyword planner is great for the western countries like the UK, I’d recommend familiarising yourself with the Baidu Index (China) and Yandex Keyword Statistics (Russia).

5) Consider local domains and hosting

Each country has a unique ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) such as .co.uk. If you’re a UK business, you’ve probably already got the latter, but registering domains relevant to the foreign country in which you’d like to market could be an option.

Your use of ccTLDs and local hosting will depend on your overall international digital strategy, but I highly recommend giving it consideration as it can have a significant effect on search engines, and in case of ccTLD it can also affect trust of your potential customers.

Marketing abroad is a complex process , not just because of significant cultural differences found in certain countries. Do you research and take note of the above.

Izabela Wisniewska
Izabela Wisniewska

Izzy is a freelance SEO and third year University Student. She loves everything to do with dance and photography.