When presenting information for your international clients on a website, knowing the culture is so much more important than simply speaking the language. We can write beautiful content and have it professionally translated (something I strongly recommend) and beautifully designed to create a fantastic looking online shop and face for our organisation.
We can spend days and even weeks having the best photographs taken and selected to showcase the products or services we sell, the team who work with us, and then organising this content into a perfectly flowing layout. We can make sure we have big buttons and text making our call to action clear and easy to find so that people can practically throw their money at us.
We can do all of these things and make them look wonderful, but if people aren’t engaged by the content and the words on the page, you’re not going to sell your services. You’re going to lose clients.
What works well in one country won’t necessarily work well in another, even with perfect translation and beautiful imagery to match. We need to remember to consider lucky colours and numbers for each region of the world and make sure that we are not using those which bring bad luck. We need to consider the order of the information when presenting it to cultures who read from right to left as opposed to left to right like here in the UK. These are just 2 examples of the many cultural elements to take into consideration, but that goes hand in hand with the written content. Thinking more closely about this is extremely important, and often overlooked.
My key suggestion for you today is this: learn what your target market prefers when communicating information in writing on your website. Do they want to know the why, or the how? Global cultures can mostly be split into two groups, those who prefer to know the how, and those who prefer the why.
The how: practical steps to implement the idea. How do we get this done?
The why: the theory behind the ideas, where it comes from and how we can support it. Why is this information or thing important or useful to me? We need to engage the market with this information before attempting to ask them for a response or an action.
Why is this important? If you want to persuade someone of something, to engage with something, to believe something, or to buy something, you need to know how to do that, how to present that information.
Who prefers the how? On the whole, lower context cultures like the UK or the USA.
Who prefers the why? Places like France, Italy, Russia, Spain and Germany prefer to really understand the concept and the situation before looking at practical implications. Presenting information in this way is more likely to get their attention. Note: Be ready for questions!
This article was written by Kellie Noon at Onno Training. If you want to know more about global differences or want help navigating the cultural implications of your work with international clients, book a discovery call with Kellie at Onno to see how she can help you.