Earlier this week, the Online Sports Marketing Guy blog reached the 10,000 unique visitors milestone – so thank you for stopping by. Even more exciting for us was that a deeper dive into the analytics revealed that those visitors came from 115 different countries! I have always been amazed at how small the Internet is making the world around us, and was very excited to see that our content was consumed in territories spanning 80 different languages.
As a marketer, you can expand your reach exponentially by thinking outside of your own country’s borders. Google will always do some of the legwork for you by indexing your content around the world, but here are a few tips, with accompanying examples, that we have used to introduce ourselves to places from Armenia to Zimbabwe….
1. Schedule Tweets
Even Thomas Edison slept four hours a night. You can’t work around the clock, but sleep no longer has to be “a waste of time” as Edison famously called it. Do a little research on time zones and drop a relevant tweet somewhere when they are just starting their day. Pretty soon you will be counting sheep and retweets. Hint: If you are in the United States, Europe will be 6-8 hours ahead.
Most Twitter management tools have a tweet scheduling feature. I personally use Sprout Social to accomplish this, but chances are the tool you are using already offers this capability.
2. Write about local events
If you are going to go through the effort of sharing content at an optimized hour outside of your own timezone, you might as well make it the most relevant content possible. For inspiration, try doing a Google News search in an international engine such as Google.fr (France) or Google.de (Deutschland).
The NFL, NBA, and MLB have always been my bread and butter, but we have great success with articles covering international soccer such as the Champions League Final Sponsorship Review. We have also tweeted about cricket to introduce ourselves to fans in India.
3. Translate content
If you have the resources and are seeing a large concentration of visitors from a foreign language speaking country, consider translating content for those audiences. There are plugins that automatically translate your content in many different languages, but they do come with a price. While very useful for individual words or short phrases, the current automatic translators available are simply not sophisticated enough to properly translate all of your grammar while capturing the spirit of your message.
Worse yet, the translation of your marketing could offend somebody and/or embarrass your brand. For consideration, two of my favorites:
- Coors’ slogan “Turn it loose”, when translated to Spanish, means “suffer from diarreah”
- Pepsi’s slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life”, when translated to Chinese, means “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave”
4. Find Global Advocates
Good news, there are nice people in other countries! If you don’t want to run the risk of having your content translated into an encouragement for gastric distress, try to find a bilingual partner in one or two of your most popular countries to translate your content for you.
Our very first big international hit was the result of a South Korean tweeting about one of our stories in Korean. I used Google Translate to learn what his commentary meant and also to thank him in his own language. This began a relationship and an offer to translate our content free of charge. I have not taken him up on the offer quite yet, but he has since tweeted other stories on our behalf.
5. Think big (talk about global brands / events)
Finally, think big. We often get caught with our horse blinders on thinking that everything important exists within our own country’s borders. No matter where you live, the combined power of a global network will always dictate some important stories outside of your own territory. Tap into this wave by joining the discussion on events that aren’t necessarily getting as much coverage domestically. Also, talk about global brands, such as Google, so you are capitalizing on the inbound marketing from people searching for companies like these from all over the world.
Depending on who you ask, there are currently between 189 and 196 countries in the world. I hope these 5 tips on globalizing your online brand will help increase your own worldwide “market size”.
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