Targeting Content for the International Market

Welcome to the final post in this series regarding the six main problems facing the marketing industry in 2017. Today we will be focusing on how to target content for an international market . What is currently being done? How to fix it?

international content

Click below for the previous posts if you haven’t read them or want a review:

Part 1: Generating Traffic and Leads

Part 2: Proving the ROI of Your Marketing Activities

Part 3: Getting Enough Budget

Part 4: How to Identify the Right Tech for your Marketing Needs?

Part 5: 3 Tools for managing your website

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Why is it a challenge?

Targeting is a key component of all aspects of marketing. You must understand not only your local customers but international ones as well. Who are you going to sell too? What are you selling? Products? Services? How are you reaching your customers? How are you running your advertising and promotions? Once you have answered all of these questions, targeting becomes that much easier. 

Check out these 10 ways to learn about your target audience.


3 Tips for Targeting an International Audience:

  1. Start with Cross-Cultural Competency:
    Research and understand the differences between cultures. This can happen in your home country as well as abroad. If you plan to expand internationally or already operate world-wide, ensure that your website is optimized for international viewers. For example, ensure yout website doesn’t mean something offensive when translated to another language. Many big brands such as Coca-Cola and Disney have suffered million-dollar embarressments due to a lack of understanding and background check on translation before implementing their campaigns.
  2. Understand Regional Laws:
    According to, “When marketing to a global audience, your business should be aware of regional regulations on products, advertising and sales tactics.”

    Advertising Regulations: In some regions of the world, advertising related to certain types of products are subject to approval by various governing bodies. For example, in many countries, advertisements for pharmaceuticals must be approved by local health ministries.

    Regulation of Sales Tactics: Various sales promotion tactics — such as contests, sweepstakes, deals and premium offers (i.e., buy one, get one free) — are usually regulated differently across borders. Make sure your desired promotion tactics don’t conflict with local laws before running them.

    Product Laws: If you sell your product online to an international audience, it is subject to product development laws regarding chemical makeup, safety, performance and packaging designs, including languages, sizes and materials used.


  3. Customize Search Engine Marketing Based on Local Usage

    International search engine marketing is a mixture of choosing the right search engines, localizing content and understanding keywords.

    Choose the Right Search Engines: Figure out which search engines are used by the particular markets you are targeting. While you can reach many English-speaking customers via search by advertising on the top three search engines in the U.S. — Google, Yahoo and Bing — international use of search engines varies. Often, local markets are best served via local search engines, because the English-language search engines don’t always suffice for niche, local content.

    Localize Your Content: It isn’t enough to simply translate your website into target languages if quality is your goal — don’t serve second-rate content to your international clients. When possible, localize your product, services and messaging for each market you serve. This can be costly, so weigh the options carefully.

    Choose Native Keywords: With international SEM, you shouldn’t focus on translating keywords into foreign languages. Instead, work with native speakers trained in search marketing to figure out native keywords that would be best associated with your website and its content. Remember that keywords aren’t words, but instead shortened thoughts used by Internet browsers to find particular types of content. Therefore, keywords are often influenced by culture, which is best navigated by locals.

Thank you for reading!

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