The long-standing premise of public relations is to present your business message to the public, your potential customers, and clients in the best way possible, at the right time, and to the right segment of the market. It is a tricky prospect. This article focuses on the use of a foreign website as part of your overall online PR project.
How can a foreign website boost your PR?
As a specific component of the PR campaign, a new country may very well be blue ocean territory for your business, an unknown market space. Or there may be a sudden surge in demand in a specific geographic area, and a foreign website will allow you to spread brand awareness and capture market share. As Bill Gates said, content is still king, and your business needs to ensure that the content you put out on a foreign site is as good if not better than the content you have on your national or home site.
You can either set up a separate website where your current site is simply translated and used on a foreign platform. For example, German translation services will help if you aim to add a product that does well in Germany, or after examining the market, you see that your current products and services could capture market share in Germany.
Alternatively, your business can add language translation to the existing site, with options for localized but national groupings to be able to change the language on your US site. In this instance, languages such as Spanish would be useful for businesses operating in the California and Texas areas.
Another option is to have the content written and the PR message designed specifically for the country that you are entering. You will need a team of language professionals, but this way, you will be able to speak directly to the host nation, in a language that they understand and with content that has been written to appeal to this audience specifically.
The message presented must be in tune with the other sites and social media that your business has, and the branding should be a seamless continuation across all your marketing and PR.
The main drawback of adding country-specific content and using a separate landing site, rather than simply translating existing material, is that your business will have to produce this content or pay for it on an ongoing basis. As the only content that remains king for any period of time is fresh content. The business must plan for this and include it in the budgeting process related to the possible PR expansion.
What your business needs for good online PR
Below are three basics that every online PR project or campaign will need to explore, ensuring that the information gathered herein forms the basis of your company’s marketing.
Know your audience
In order to put together a cogent PR campaign online, you need to know your audience, who you are trying to get the message to. This will allow you to determine which platform to use to present the message as well as the language used. As times change, so does the importance placed on the various social media platforms that exist; millennials may still prefer Facebook, while younger consumers are experimenting instead with other new platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat.
Plan the campaign
A haphazard PR and marketing campaign can have the opposite action, confuse your message, and distance your expected audience. Ensure that it is well planned and have a clear understanding of the components required to make the impact you are looking for. There will be no point in including text messaging as part of the campaign if the target market you are looking to capture is shown not to use texts for communication. Part of this planning must include the budget. Setting up a comprehensive PR strategy can be time-consuming and expensive. See that the business does not overspend and that as much of the work is done internally. Use the experts to perfect and hone the message while you use the platforms to get to know your customers better.
Develop the various components
If your business PR has been well planned, it must include the full range of platforms at your disposal unless you want to focus it on one platform for one demographic or a specific purpose or product. Website, social media, press releases, text messaging are all vital for an online PR strategy, and all these need to be linked. Customers and clients must be able to wander through your offerings from one to the other, a labyrinth of products, information, and news, all saturated with your company brand.
The main advantage of an online PR campaign is that you are able to include a tracking and reporting component. Data analytics must be included with all new online offerings, allowing you to see exactly who, when, and where the people who are visiting the site are from, what they spend time looking at, and how long. It is a great way to ensure that you keep the message targeted and on point.
Once you have these basics, you will be able to expand in specific areas and target specific customers. This is where your foreign website and any language-specific apps come to the fore.
Develop a foreign website
Unless you are launching your product or services in a foreign country, this step must be part of the cumulative PR process and will form a specific part of the campaign. The specific aim is to capture the specific market in the country that your research shows is a suitable fit for your products or services.
A foreign website is a great addition to an existing marketing and PR campaign, as would any additional language that is used on your business platforms. It is a simple means to increase the number of possible customers and clients who are able to interact and engage with your brand and products.