There are usually two reasons for developing an app. One, a company wants to streamline its customers’ experiences, especially on mobile devices, so that they can view products and easily make purchases. Two, an entrepreneur has developed an app that offers real value to a target audience.
At some point, both decide to grow their audiences by going global. But how to do that? Launching into a foreign market is quite a task. But here is a step-by-step guide that will work for you.
Step 1: Identify Your Target Country(ies)
This will require some research. Not all cultures will want the products or services you are offering. And you have to make sure that within that culture, there is a large enough demographic that will see value in your offerings. For example, how many people in India will want your dried beef products? Not many, since that is largely a vegetarian nation. On the other hand, people in African nations may value your online banking service, since many have mobile phones but no access to a physical bank.
With enough research, you will know whether a country is a “fit” for your product or service.
Step 2: Get Your App Localized
Localization means using translation services and/or machines to translate your app, along with any marketing content that you have developed in your native language. This is a lot more complex than you may realize, and you should consider an agency that provides human translators in your target language. Finding that service will involve some research too. You can read TheWordPoint review, as well as that of many other translation agencies, and see which ones have high ratings for app localization. The good ones will have native-speaking experts who can ensure that your app is both linguistically and culturally appropriate.
Are there machine tools for localization? Yes, there are. And they are getting better all the time. You can check some of them out here. If you use a machine localization tool, you would be well-advised to have it checked by a native human before launching.
Step 3: Marketing and Promotion
Think about how you marketed and promoted your app in your native country. Now it’s time to do the same in the target country, and that will take some more research.
- What are the Popular Platforms?
Not all countries use Google as their primary search engine, and, while Facebook is popular everywhere, a number of social media platforms are more popular in some countries. You may need to use a native of your targeted countries to help identify these.
- Localize Everything
This includes your website, chosen social platforms (based upon where your demographic hangs out), your blog, and any other marketing materials
- Set Up a Schedule of Postings
Your social media platforms and blog will need regular posts. And your website will need updating. Be certain that you can do this, perhaps through a contracted native translator.
Step 4: Create Anticipation Before Your Launch
You can create a buzz for the launch of your app, especially via social media. Consider using visuals and video, which you have transcribed for your foreign audience. These are popular with all demographics, so long as they are captivating and culturally appropriate for the audience.
One piece of the buzz you create can be an incentive for a download. Offer a 15% discount to the first 500 people who download the app once it is launched. People will continue to come back to your posts in anticipation of getting that discount.
The Launch is Not the End of It
Understand that your launch is not the end of this journey. You know you will continue to keep a strong presence and work on your SEO rankings. And, ultimately, you will go into other foreign markets. Consider all of this a long-term deal.
Author Bio: Merissa Moore is a researcher, consultant, and frequent contributor to blogs on all things of current interest to companies with a digital presence. In her limited spare time, Moore dabbles in gourmet cooking and advocacy for animal rights.