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  • October 30th, 2019

How Your Business Can Benefit From Foreign Languages

There is a dirty little secret online markers have been keeping secret for years now.

Foreign markets.

The fact is, if you are willing to work in non-English languages, everything becomes a lot easier.

For example, most of the world copies marketing strategies that come from the United States.

Meaning, if you implement strategies that are pretty straightforward, or even outdated, in the United States, often they will work really well abroad (or even locally, in Spanish for instance.)

Without further adieu, let’s do a deep due into non-English marketing…

What Exactly Do You mean by Foreign Markets?

If you are not too familiar what we mean, basically any type of marketing that doesn’t transpire in English is considered “foreign.”

For instance, I’ve personally met marketers from Mexico whom do digital marketing in Mexico, who explained to me that they focus on “Foreign Markets.” What they meant was, they work in their native language, targeting the Mexican market.

Funny enough, they considered their home country a foreign market.  Believe it or not, it’s the norm for digital marketers, even those who don’t speak English natively, to focus on the United States.

What Are The Advantages?

Okay, let’s start out with the juicy stuff:

The competition is often MUCH lower.

Frankly, this is the main benefit. It’s usually just a lot easier.

It’s not uncommon to simply translate content into your target language and immediately get traction.

Especially when it comes to SEO, doing something similar in English, might take months, if not years, to get going.

Whereas in other languages, depending on the market, you might just have to hit the publish button and watch the results come in.

New Traffic Sources From Old Methods

I’m often surprised when I hear that successful business owners don’t branch out into different languages.

It’s much more common for business owners to explore completely new ways to gain traffic. I.e. they are doing well with SEO, now they want to explore Youtube or something.

For example, if you have an SEO or social Media strategy that is working really well, you don’t necessarily have to start learning a new traffic method.

You can simply apply what is already working for you in a different language.

Fear Is Your Best Friend

For obvious reasons,  most people fear working in different languages.

However, this is where the opportunity is. When I built my first site in Brazil, I noticed no one else is willing to go there, you might be the only option in some situations.

What are the disadvantages

And the bad stuff….

There is often an extra step

Annoyingly, it might take a while to get everything off the ground.

Unless you speak your target language fluently, there is always some extra step.

In English you might be able to implement something very quickly, whereas in a different language, you have to work through other people.  Something simple as working out a deal with a local provider might have to be done via translators.

Don’t be surprised if something that takes a day in English, might take an entire week.

To be straightforward, this is the biggest disadvantage. It can take forever to get off the ground and there is always some delay.

How to Overcome this issue:

  • Mentally prepare yourself for things to take forever.
  • Focus on systems, not one off solutions, and well planned marketing strategies. More than ever, you need a highly structured environment that reduces mistakes.

Trust Is Often An Issue

When contractors or employees slack off in your native language, its very easy to cache their mistakes.

If you don’t speak the language, or have someone trustworthy on your team, good luck.

How to Overcome this issue:

  • Proof readers will reduce your stress levels. If you pay someone to translate a piece of content, make sure someone double checks their work.
  • Pay people what they are worth. If you pay reduced rates, overtime they will lose interest in your work.

This is not a one size fits all. You would have to spend a considerable amount of time figuring out if their is ROI for this in your business.

For example if you have a strategy that already works well in English, it might be worth considering. Otherwise you can waste a lot of time digging around.

How to Overcome this issue:

  • Math is your best friend. Make sure there is an ROI, for example you might want to consider that the conversation rate is much lower for some locations.
  • Do your homework. Use Tools like ahrefs to forecast traffic levels and costs.

Final Thoughts

Entering into foreign markets, or even locally with different languages, can often be a highly profitable venture. That said, it’s just not for everyone.

Here are a few things you should take into account before moving forward with your decision:

  • Do you have the language abilities or the patience to take on a project like this?
  • Is there an ROI? You have to look at the cost benefits. Some places, simply don’t convert as well as others.
  • Do you have a preexisting traffic strategy that works well in English? If so, can you simply implement it in a different part of the world?

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