Businesses expanding into new markets, or enterprises trying to strengthen their existing presence in global markets, face a similar challenge: setting up sales-oriented and powerful websites that focus on the specific needs of regional users. The traditional solution, which relies on web content management systems and portals from the regions in which the company is headquartered, doesn’t work all that well.
Local or regional users from foreign markets desire content in their own language. Regional players already allow the users to access content in their own language, and they also support local currencies. In order to compete with them and build a strong presence in foreign markets, your business needs to revamp its web content management systems. Here are the five steps to building a stellar online presence in emerging markets, which will empower you to expand globally.
1. Set up Regional or Local Websites
There are two ways in which you can build a website that serves content in local languages. You can either go for a multi-lingual website or a multi-regional website. A multi-lingual website is a website with different versions that offer content in different languages (usually translations of the same text), while a multi-regional website deliberately targets users in a specific region. Multi-regional websites have unique content that pitches to a specific region or market.
This is the bare-minimum. It will lay down the proper foundation for you to build your local presence. At this stage, it is best that you also try and move towards a more cohesive WCM strategy by getting rid of multiple frameworks across the world and by using the same frameworks for content management across all your organization. Wondering how it all works? Check out a real-world example.
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2. Integrate with Applications and Systems
While building regional websites will help you display your content to consumers in their own language, it won’t do much more. If you want to set up clear processes for customer acquisition, marketing, billing, order management and more, you will have to integrate the new web applications and portals with your existing systems. By identifying and planning core implementations at the outset, you will not only save a lot of money, but also cut down on the time and effort spent by your staff in tackling tasks manually.
3. Make web Content Administration Simpler
Dealing with even one website can be a complicated process: you need to ideate for content, create it, review it, upload it, promote it, and much more. When you add more websites to the mix, you will have to take care of translation, or you may have separate content for all websites in which case the whole cycle will have to be repeated for all the websites.
This means that the team administrating your website is going to have a tough time. In order to reduce the workload on the team and to cut costs, it is best to gain clarity on the content process you plan to follow when working with globally dispersed teams. Once the process is clear, design a backend aligned with the process and automate as many tasks as possible. Also, ensure that the backend is intuitive enough for your admin or marketing staff to handle without any dependency.
4. Instill Scalability in your Global WCM
Over the years, we have seen it again and again. Companies start out with one website and related web applications in one region. When they expand into other regions, each region gets its set of websites and web apps. This ad hoc approach towards WCM infrastructure usually leads to a common problem: businesses with fragmented IT assets, with applications that don’t speak with each other, and separate content silos.
So, if you are just beginning to enter new markets, or starting to enhance your web presence in foreign markets, it pays to focus on building a cohesive global IT infrastructure right from the start.
5. Serve Personalized Content
Setting up a website that is easy to manage and caters to the basic needs of a local audience is a good first step. And, for many organizations, this may be enough. But, if you are using your websites aggressively to generate sales, or if you run a business that relies on online selling, you will need more than a simple website.
Not only can you create regional websites with content and product highlighting the specific needs of regional consumers, but you can also set up personalized dashboards to engage existing users. By integrating different customer touch points with your web portals, or by simply making the web interface the primary touch point, you can gather valuable customer data from marketing, customer services and other sources.
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