Foreign Language Internet Business Opportunities and Marketing Strategy

When it comes to marketing your business to overseas and foreign language markets, nothing beats using the power of the internet.

A glance at Internet World Stats shows that languages other than English are fast challenging its dominance online, with Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Portuguese being among the ones to watch. Other linguistic groups are also making their presence known. You can make the most of the changing face of the internet with some smart marketing strategies.

Online marketing has been key at Tutoriage, helping me to grow the translation business from a two person pilot project in 2001 into the worldwide operation it is today. I found online strategies offered the best return on investment for my time and marketing budget in the early days. They continue to deliver a decade later, with the majority of our business coming from foreign language customers.

Here are a few tips and ideas that have worked for Lingo and that could help you to develop your business in foreign language regions too.

Create Foreign Language Websites

Don’t rely on automatic translation tools, which could let you down in making that vital good first impression. Instead, create a separate website for each language you see as a potential market. For linguists, this included the major European languages, which in turn opened up global markets for the company.

Having sites in multiple languages demonstrates to customers that you have an international outlook and care about their needs. The good news is that it has never been easier to put together a professionally-designed and translated website at an affordable cost.

Localize for Overseas Markets

When creating your presence in a foreign language market, resist the temptation to take short cuts. It’s important to do some research first, and learn not only about linguistic differences (for example, the differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese) but cultural ones too. It’s about more than simply not offending web visitors – paying attention to this kind of detail puts customers at their ease and inspires trust.

Acquiring top-level domains, such as .pt and .br for the above countries, helps keep your websites relevant to customers in each country. Going local is something that is becoming ever more important, with major search engines tracking the location of users and competing to deliver the most helpful results. If you want to be found, make sure your site is among them.

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