The shift toward digital experiences and virtual events has created an opportunity for businesses to expand into new markets and reach audiences at scale. While expansion is key to business growth, it’s a challenging process that requires localising your content to fit with different multinational audiences.
But when done right, businesses can massively increase their audience numbers. For example, when Salesforce moved a Sydney-based event into the virtual world, they succeeded in reaching an audience of 80,000 people — increasing their attendee numbers by 800%.
Recently, we took part in a webinar hosted by ON24 where we unpacked key business strategies into new regions. Here, we share the most significant lessons from our discussion.
1. Research the local culture
Developing a clear sense of the different cultures operating within a new market is a common challenge facing global businesses. Consumers in Germany, for instance, may have a preference for brands that they’ve previously dealt with. Conversely, French consumers may have a greater appreciation for market-leading brands.
When planning online events, different audiences may appreciate different presentation styles. For example, an easy-going and informal tone won’t resonate with audiences that appreciate formal manners of address.
Failing to adequately research new audiences can be a costly mistake. As Business News Daily reports, HSBC once spent millions of dollars expanding an English campaign into the Chinese market. But their slogan “Assume Nothing”, translated into Chinese as “Do Nothing” — this wasn’t a good message for HSBC to be sharing with a new audience.
HSBC could have avoided this blunder by hiring local talent to tailor their messaging. The lesson from this is clear: before scaling into a market, build a clear picture of audience preferences and behaviours — and get your translations right.
2. Localise your content
Audiences want to interact with media that matches their experience. But how do you localise your content for different audiences?
Coca-cola’s ‘Share a Coke Campaign’ is an elegant example of localisation. Starting as an Australian campaign, Coke developed a list of the most popular local names before printing these names on their bottles. This drove sales by helping Coke reach out to individuals at scale. The campaign was so successful that they replicated the strategy in their core regional markets, where the printed names represented what was common to each local area.
Unfortunately, localising content isn’t always as simple as changing out names. Some of your content may not be a good cultural fit, or it may speak to themes that don’t apply to local audiences. For example, content that discusses COVID lockdowns won’t apply to markets where no lockdown is in place.
When it comes to localising webinars and online events, you should curate your talks so that you address subjects that resonate with multiple audiences. Choosing a diverse speaker panel is another key way of addressing different audiences.
3. Leverage technology to deliver relevant and localised experiences
Investing in a market that you’re building a foothold in is risky. This is why many organisations devote small teams to testing out new markets. Under these conditions, businesses need to work smarter to achieve their goals. Investing in the right technology is critical for empowering smaller teams to have a greater business impact.
The right digital tools enable your teams to measure engagement and learn what content best resonates with local audiences. For your marketing teams, collecting audience data is necessary to kickstart the lead nurturing process. Automation tools are another key investment, as they enable you to handle a large number of leads with minimal internal capacity.
Along with improving your capabilities, technology is crucial to delivering multilingual digital experiences. There are many language solutions for online meetings and virtual events, such as translation, captioning and interpretation. But by providing events in your audience's language, you incentivise people to attend, especially because they can more comfortably listen and engage in their own language.
Scaling into new regions with winning event experiences
From researching your audience to choosing the right speakers, localising content is key to winning over new audiences.
But when localising your messaging, different strategies work for different audiences. Localising content for similar markets, for instance, may require simple language translation. Either way, forming local partnerships can help you scale and grow faster.
At Interprefy, we can help you expand into multilingual markets. We offer both live captioning and a Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) solution that enables convenient and real-time language interpretation for any online event. By eliminating language barriers, we empower businesses to speak to new audiences.
To learn more about our platform and what it can do for your organisation, book a 15-minute call with a member of the team: