You’ve decided to enter a new market, it’s time to export your service or product, to reproduce the success met in your home country, and increase your income. Often an obvious international move for a company is just across the border, in neigbouring countries But despite their proximity, even these markets can be very different: culture, language, affinities, communication codes… In this unknown territory, influencer marketing is the best lever to activate. We explain why, using the point of view of a French company as an example.
Get over language barrier
This is the most obvious difference and the first challenge when entering a new market: localizing your communication. Many brands consider English to be the international language and therefore widely understood, so they launch multi-market communication campaigns in English. Unfortunately, it has been proved that these campaigns get much lower engagement or click rates than those of localized campaigns. This is especially true in markets such as Spain or Italy, where fluency in English is still very weak. And even if the German millennials, for example, speak very good English, a message in English will lose a lot in authenticity. In addition, pay attention to regional susceptibilities. The Belgians understand French, but Flemish speakers will ignore a message in the former, even if they can understand it. It’s the same with German-speaking Swiss. There are dozens of examples, and the conclusion is always the same: address a user in their language, or you will reduce the impact of your advertising message.
On the content marketing side, you may have a lot of content created in French, for example articles published on your brand blog. Hiring a translator to simply translate them into the target language is an easy first step. Give priority to content that has received the most visits, backlinks or commitment in France, because, despite everything, that’s what’s most likely to produce a better performance in the new target market. As usual with SEO, it’s a long-term strategy, and it will take several months before google.es or google.de indexes and ranks your content and delivers you visits. Better to start early than late.
However, in the case of penetration into a new country, you must quickly prove yourself. The conquest of a new market means a lot of costs that will have to be justified as quickly as possible, otherwise your incursion in this new territory will quickly fall to pieces! That’s why you want to see your product or service promoted on third-party pages, such as influential media and blogs. They have an existing local audience. So get closer to a platform linking advertisers and bloggers, taking care to choose one covering the target market. In this regard, getfluence operates in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and Germany, as well as other more faraway countries (United States, Brazil, Russia…), and is a crucial ally for any expansion in Europe!
Compensate for the natural mistrust of your brand
Trust is an infinitely key feeling in winning new customers, but it’s also very difficult to obtain. For example, the brand in which the French have the most confidence is La Poste (the national mail company), a company that’s been operating since… 1879. You don’t really have 150 years in front of you! OK, it’s a bit of a caricature, but it must be admitted that your brand’s incursion will cause mistrust at first sight among consumers untouched by any communication from you.
Besides that, there are influencers who have based their success on building a relationship of trust with their followers. For years, they’ve informed, shared and interacted with the precise audience that interests you! Customers turn to them for recommendations or to keep up to date with the latest products in vogue. In short, by associating yourself with these leading figures, you benefit from visibility and you associate your image with theirs: it is a considerable gain, a leap forward for your brand image. If you wanted to get the same influence through your own channels, it would take years.
The issue of mistrust is not only with Internet users, but also with the press. It’s an understatement to say that journalists will be even more distrustful of you. Buying a new product is one thing, but actually covering it as part of an article is another level. As with SEO, PR is a necessary channel, but delivers results over the long term, and therefore very little at first. In fact, the local press will be interested in you if you succeed your incursion into their market: journalists are fond of success stories. Yes, but your success would come sooner with their help: it’s the snake that eats its own tail! And that’s why influencer marketing allows you to get media coverage, typically with sponsored articles on influential blogs.
Adopt the right codes immediately
Translating content originally dedicated to the French market, or even developing your campaign and all its content from your small French offices for an international audience, is risking applying codes (which work there) to communities that don’t share them or and maybe even don’t understand them!
Even in Europe, each market is incredibly compartmentalized, with a very different history and references. A micro-community is based on common values, and there’s no reason for these values to be the same on both sides of the border, even if on the paper, the target (age, sex, interest, income, etc.) is the same!
Influencers don’t just adopt the right codes, they’re the ones who dictate them! By using their services, and leaving them to work on their won on content creation, you’re guaranteed not to go completely off track. In a second step, you can even undertake a content co-creation strategy with them. You will learn a lot from them, and maximize the chances of getting it right later with your own content, be it editorial, visual or video.
Develop your presence on relevant platforms
No, the whole planet is not exclusively on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sure, these platforms are firmly established in most markets, but each audience and each market has its unique characteristics! Moreover, even using one of those globalized platforms can be misguided. So, do you know that Twitter has very little presence in Germany? Or that in the United States, Facebook is popular among working class teenagers but no longer among those from wealthy households? In China, it is on WeChat that it happens, in Russia, on VKontakte. And so on.
Each micro-community in each territory has its favourite platforms. The best way not to get lost is to trust the influencers. They are already systematically on the right platforms and relay the content created where your audiences are found. And as usual, local blogs are also a very relevant platform for precise targeting.
Influencer marketing makes it possible to largely compensate for the lack of notoriety suffered by any new brand when it enters a market. It’s therefore as efficient and profitable a weapon as in your initial market, and a much less risky investment. Make the most of it!