Webinar Transcription

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Good morning, everybody. My name is Perry Goldstein with the California International Trade Center – CITC. We’re here with another one of our colleagues, Brandon Church. Well, we hope this broadcast finds everybody safe and well. This morning we’re to be talking about what they call cross-border digital marketing. My title for this is Feeding the Content Monster. We’re going to talk about that guy in just a second, introduce him to you, and kind of tie all this together and let you know what we’re going to do and where we’re going.

Real quickly, before we get started, I thought I’d give you a little bit of my qualifications. I’ve been in the ecommerce business through Panasonic since it’s very inception in the mid-90s, when we were working with companies long before Amazon came along. I’ve been around this a long time. And I know, Brandon, we didn’t get a slide for you, so you want to tell a little bit about yourself, Brandon?

Brandon Church (CITC): Sure. I’ve been living in San Diego for ten years now, originally from New York. My background is in digital marketing. I’ve spent ten years in digital marketing space to date, working with ecommerce companies all across the globe, helping them put together strategies to grow their brand, grow their business, and reach new clients across the world. It’s been exciting, and I will continue doing this.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): It’s interesting, Brandon. I had a conversation yesterday with some educators about the title digital marketing, and I guess we could probably kind of drop that digital thing and it’s just marketing because everything is all digital these days. That’s really interesting and funny, isn’t it?

Brandon Church (CITC): It’s definitely continuing to move in that trend, as we know.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Yes, if you’re not digital marketing these days, you’re not marketing.

Brandon Church (CITC): Right, exactly.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): This is what we’re going to cover today. We’re going to talk about the different types of content you need for ecommerce sales, best practices and uses. Best practices. I’m a content marketing specialist. I write. And I’ll be covering a lot of the best practices. Since Brandon’s background is in uses and how to optimize it to make sure you get pulled up in the SEOs and things like that, we’re going to bounce around back and forth and give you really good ideas, we hope.

Then, we’re going to talk about how to globalize your content, because our mission here at the California International Trade Center is to help you take your product and sell it overseas. We’re going to help you globalize it. And then I found some really interesting statistics on market languages. We’re going to talk about translating into other languages, whether you need to, whether you don’t need to. And if you do, we’re going to give you a quick guideline on where you need to go with that.

What is the Content Monster?

With that, we ask, what is the content monster? You see that little guy is my creation, and the content monster is this. The Internet is driven by words. And it needs videos, and it needs a constant refresh, and there’s basically endless demand for good content to sell your product, to create whatever they need for streaming. The content monster is the Internet eats content, and you need to constantly feed it.

Keywords change with trends. If you were selling hand-sanitizer a month ago, your keyword today certainly would have changed. And I think that’s the best example. Content is not set and forget. Tell your story and make your message draw emotions. Good content can do for an ecommerce campaign. Brandon, you want to address the slide really quickly? This is really your field of expertise.

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes, exactly. From a digital marketing perspective, we want to help companies create content that’s going to get them visibility. We want visibility through search engines. We want visibility on social media. We want visibility on ecommerce platforms like Amazon. And a lot of the ways we do that is by crafting the right content that’s going to help you be found, the algorithms that search engines like Google, social media platforms like Facebook, the ecommerce platforms like Amazon leverage to look for the right words, the right phrases in the right context between those phrases and words. That will give their consumers the best result, the best options. And as digital marketers, we help companies craft the correct content so that they can be found in the search engines.

The same with pay-per-click campaigns, making sure that you’re targeting the right keywords, the right key phrases, and then you have the right ads created that can help you be found. And then we want to make sure that any result we give answers the questions of the consumer is the right information they’re looking for, it helps educate the audience, and then help sell the product at the end of the day.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Great, thank you. As you can see, what I call content as a salesperson, once upon a time, you’d walk into a store, and this is how I started my career in retail sales. Customer would ask you a question, you’d answer that question, and hopefully, make that sale. Well, there isn’t that one-on-one anymore. It’s really the potential customer looking at your content and deciding if they’re going to buy your product. They make their decisions in split seconds.

My standard, and I’m going to talk about this over and over again, is eight seconds. I consider this an eight-second rule. You have about eight seconds at that first glance to give your audience the idea of whether they want to continue on or not. The Internet is what I would call total ADHD on steroids. Three clicks and you’re done. If you don’t get that information in eight seconds, you move on. Always remember that people aren’t spending a lot of time looking at what you’re presenting. The content must answer the basic sales question what’s in it for me, and that is how you make the sale.

Types of Content for Ecommerce

Here we’re just going to jump right into the meat of these types of contents, what I call general use. And general use would mean on a third-party site as well as your own. Here’s the types of content we’re going to discuss. Product description, which is very academic. Specifications, very academic. Although in the product description there’s a lot of things you can do to track the search engine. Video tutorials. And then a product I call Interactive rich media tours, photos, blogs, and social media posts. If you are creating content of all these types, you have a good portfolio of content.

Product Description and Specifications

Let’s go right into the product description. This is where I call that first eight second glance. It’s that first glance. The product description gives the basics at a glance. Information should be brief and easily understood. SEO keywords include professionally. Shot photos. Don’t take photos with your iPhone and put them up there. That does not show that you’re a good, professional company. Brandon, you want to talk to this slide a little bit?

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes, absolutely. When we’re working with companies to craft product descriptions, there are several things we keep in mind. We want to give the consumer the right information they’re looking for. Make that information accessible and easy to find. Make sure that we’re formatting the content in the right way so that when they’re glancing to the page, their eyes can be drawn to the things they need to find to get the right information about the product.

We also want to make sure that we’re writing the content in a way that the search engine will index them before their competitors. If we’re not using the right keywords, the right key phrases, as I mentioned previously, they may not be found as easily. The search engine algorithms are looking for those things. They’re looking for it in a contextual way as well so that they make sure they’re providing their consumers the right result. And then, if you do this properly, then you can be found much higher within those results when someone’s doing a search on Amazon or other ecommerce platforms. We also want to make sure you’re using the right photos as well. Photos with a white backdrop, photos that really make the product pop so that people can usually see it and it jumps out to them.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Yes, and you notice all the white space on this one. I thought this was really good. Short phrases, a lot of white space. People get a glance really quickly, okay, I think that’s what I want, now I’m going to do a deeper dive on this. This is what I would call a really good example of it. Keyword searches, there’s special sites. Google has a site on which keywords are most popular. There’s also a website called SpyFu, and Neil Patel also has some keyword research tools. Those are just a few. But when you are looking for the right keywords, there are resources that you can go to get those. Do you have any favorites, Brandon, that you use?

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes, there’s a few out there. Ahrefs is one. These tools, there’s many, there’s these tools we leverage to do research as marketers so that we find the right keywords and key phrases to target. They give us really good data on user searches so you can see the volume of searches for some of these keywords. And then we do research, and it gives us recommended ones as well so we can format and put the right content together and really be able to have a nice finished product.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Yes, in the digital age. I come from…I’m old enough to remember before the digital age. And I come from the age where you kind of had to guess. But with the digital age everything’s quantified by clicks. When they say “children’s boots” is not as popular as “kid’s boots,” they look at all the searches on the Internet, and that’s what they base those words on. You shouldn’t just write freehand. You should go to one of these sites and do your research.

The product information gives basic information your product, should be brief and easily understood. Again, you see lots of white space. And they even put the dimensions down on the bottom. The dimensions are very important, and we’re going to talk a little bit more about dimensions coming up.

Specifications. This should be clear and concise. They should include size and weight. Part number is very important. And they really need to be in both English and metric, even if you’re only marketing in the U.S., because there’s people who live here that come from other countries that are more comfortable and metric. You should have them in both. I think that this site only did it in English. And if you see that red arrow, its length, width, and height, you always need to specify that before you put the specifications down on what order they’re in. Otherwise, people will be left guessing. And you think that that sort of a regular thing everybody would do, but it’s not. I go to a lot of websites, look at things, I’m going, which one is the height, which one is the width, which one is the length. That’s a very important thing to remember in there. Is there anything, Brandon, in specifications that you think would help in the search engines?

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes, a lot of times, especially on Google, there’s code we can put on the page itself that translates that information to Google so they could even format it in certain ways within their search engine. For example, if somebody’s doing a search for your product, and they search for, the size of a mixing bowl, Google can format that content in a grid within the search results to show your information if we put that right markup code on the page. There’s things like that that we can implement that help. And then just making sure that we’re providing every spec that possible they giving all that proper and from out there so that it can be translated to the consumer and translated to search engines.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): You’re really writing for two different audiences, aren’t you, Brandon? One is for the audience itself, the information you want to give them. But the other audience is the search engines, because if you don’t engage the search engines, your product may never come up in a search.

Brandon Church (CITC): Exactly. Any time a writing content we’re writing for the consumer and for the search engine. You have to take both of those into consideration.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): There’s lots of good educational materials out there about writing for the Internet, engaging the search engines, or it’s always recommended, if you don’t know, hiring a professional is really a good idea. I think, at least in the beginning ’till you get a feel for it.

Here’s something else, just really quickly, size relationship of your product. If you’re selling your product, and one of the main features is the size of it, it’s either small or it’s big or its heavy or it’s lighter, whatever it is, you need to give it some sort of context like this particular photo here so people can see it. Because if you look at those cameras, you have no idea how big they are, and you can put the dimensions down, and then people would have to kind of measure and look at. But here with that little hand holding as you go, oh, I got it. Boom. A picture is worth a thousand words. 

Videos

Now we’re going to go into video tutorials. And this is really where the eight second rule comes up. If you’ve ever scrolled through Facebook and you see videos, first of all, they don’t have audio. You have to engage the audio. And you’re going to decide in that first eight seconds whether you want to play this or not play it. The opening shot should tell your audience how your product will solve their problem. Because when they’re searching, they have a problem, and if you’re the guy to solve it, your product gets sold. The tour shouldn’t be over 90 seconds. They used to have these infomercials, and I remember in the retail stores, they’d have a TV/VCR playing a very long ago, I’m dating myself here, right, playing an infomercial. Nobody is going to sit there for 15 or 20 minutes or 30 minutes watching a video. Again, the Internet is ADHD on steroids. You got about 90 seconds to get your information. The most important thing to remember is the video starts in the silent mode in most websites. A lot of people are looking at work at this stuff, and they don’t want the audio coming up. You have to be able to engage them visually only. Any comments there, Brandon?

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes, absolutely. In any video, it’s so important that we capture the user’s intention, within the first three seconds. And there’s a lot of ways we can do that. Well, eight seconds is great. You decide whether to watch it in the first eight seconds, but we need to capture their attention immediately. And then that allows them to stay on to continue watching throughout that. There’re definitely those things we have to keep into consideration through and nowadays, with things like Instagram, you see companies doing a lot of cool stuff with videos. There’s a lot of great examples we can share with that. And I think you’ve done a good job kind of highlighting that here.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Well, thank you. I called this, and actually I heard a blog, and I’m going to publish this blog again here on our site called The Art of the 08 Second Silent Film. You got to start the video with text and interesting graphics. The other reason you want to do a film that’s silent is, and we’re going to go into this a little bit later, is globalize it. If you have a talking head on there, you can’t do subtitles. It doesn’t work on the Internet. Now there’s exceptions to everything I’m telling you. This is not the only way to do it, but these are basic rules. Try not to use live actors. Voiceover narration allows for multiple languages. Unless you have a great big budget, and you want to shoot ten different versions of the same video, use closed caption text if possible. Brandon, let graphics do the talking, and assume you cannot listen to video. Brandon, how can you get the SEOs to pick up these silent films? Do they look at the caption text? Where do the words go here?

Brandon Church (CITC): I’m going to say yes. We can put text behind the video essentially so that the transcript can be picked up by search engines. Those transcripts can be coded into the film. YouTube has a great option for this on their platform, and it’s really important we transcribe the film, write good descriptions around it, and then the search engines take that, index it, and then that helps when somebody is doing the search to find the right video.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): A couple of words. Actually, two words, that you may want to try to bake in to this at some point is the words how-to. The number one search term on YouTube is how-to. YouTube has become the instructional site. How-to is always a good way to get people to get your stuff to come up, right?

Interactive Rich Media Tours

Rich media interactive tours. The video you watched, you’re very passive participant, you’re watching, the video is talking to you. An interactive tour is just that it’s interactive. You scroll it, you click it as you see fit, spend as much or as little time on whatever features as you want. You can see on the left-hand side; they have different things that you can click on that will take you to different sections of this rich media interactive tour.

Generally speaking, rich media interactive tours are not hosted directly on a site, they can be, but there’s a company called WebCollage (now Syndigo) and other companies that will take this, actually it’s a cloud service. They host it. They work with all the different ecommerce, retailers, and they do it. I think it’s a JavaScript link that this actually pops up in your screen, but it doesn’t live on the e-tailer’s website. They can have the exact same product demo no matter where you go to, whatever site you do as long, as they’re contracting with this tour. Brandon, any suggestions on these interactive tours that you think would be interesting?

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes. Just see that you’re making sure that you’re using the right images. It’s so important. That’s really what people are engaging with the most. The words are there for guidance. The words, again, are there so that they can be found. But we want to make sure we’re using the right images and that kind of tell a story right about the product, give them all the information that they’re going to need to make a buying decision.

Product Photos

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Talking about images, there’s two types of images. Lifestyle photos create an emotional bond to your product. The very first, I think, and again a lot of this is just our opinion based on where we come from, there’s always many different ways to do it, but I like to lead with a lifestyle photo because it gives that emotional bond, especially in this particular product. A cooler standing by itself is just a cooler, but in this photo you have the happy family, dad’s waiting for a cold beer, the kids are running over to get a soda, and they just got playing with them. This family here is the prototypical happy campers. And you look at that, you go, that’s what I want my family to look like. I need that cooler. Lifestyle photos are very important in that it helps place the potential buyer in that environment and lets them imagine owning that product. What would you say about photos with the words next to it, Brandon?

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes. You want to make the consumer feel something when they look at that picture that integrates your products. I think this is an amazing job. You have a happy family, and they’re together, they’re camping, and they have this great cooler, they’re centering around it, and it really sticks out, tells the story, makes the consumer feel good, and makes them want to buy.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): And now they have the features right next to it, which will help with the SEO search.

Brandon Church (CITC): Exactly. Your great bullet points next to it, which, again, gives it consumers information about the product that they’re looking for. Holds 160 cans, more than 6 cases of soda, things like that that they can easily understand and engage with. You see the reviews at the top. They’re great reviews, which people are looking for. And then the nicely-formatted bullet points that will give them information. The information is there for the search engines. I think they do an amazing job here positioning these products.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): And can you put data behind those pictures that will help a picture come up in a search?

Brandon Church (CITC): It depends on what platform you’re on. On Amazon, not so much. If this was on your website, though, absolutely, you can. You can tag it with metadata that’s going to help index it. That’s when we will do it.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Okay. The other photo, and I’m from the electronics industry, and to me, this is a really important point, and I see very little of this and very little good quality stuff like this. You can see the back of this stereo receiver with all the hookups. When I’m buying a piece of electronics, I want to know what all the hookups look like, where they’re placed, because I’m imagining this in my cabinet. And you can see on the left-hand side all the different angles and the different photos. But even here, what you could do is take a close-up of each, what we call in the industry, jack pack so they can get a good look at what each one looks like. This is a Denon receiver. I think they did a pretty good job with that. And again, on the right is more words for SEO. There’s the emotional attachment, and then there’s what I would call the visual specifications that will help the buyer make that decision on whether that’s the right product for them. Any comments on that, Brandon, that we need to know about on search?

Brandon Church (CITC): No, I think you hit it all. I think any time you’re buying a receiver; you could tell them how many jacks imports they have. Yeah, for me, personally, I need to see it. A page to be able to look through and understand it. Said they gave a good, high-quality, high-resolution, the telephoto there that’ll help somebody make their buying decision.

Blogs and Social Media

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Now we’re going to move on to what I call blogs and social media. And this is really company-owned website. Your blog and your social media generally are not going to go into a third-party platform unless I’m missing something, is that right, Brandon?

Brandon Church (CITC): You can have, actually, there’s tools you can leverage to have your blog content be leveraged across social media, things like that. But, at the end of the day, we’re writing that content for your website, and then we’ll share it out to other platforms, but it lives on your website.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Yes, you’re not going to see a Blog posted on walmart.com.

Brandon Church (CITC): No, right, exactly.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): This is really designed for people that are selling off of their own website, but they’re very important. We’re going to talk about a Blog. It should be informational, not commercial or sales-oriented. A Blog is an educational type product. It definitely should be loaded with SEO keywords, 400 to 750 words. If it’s anymore, you’re probably going to lose them. Again, the rule of ADHD. Try using original images, really good images. And Brandon is going to talk to that. Use white space and topic separations, bullet points, and address current issues related to your product. You got to check the news and see what’s going on that day and see how it relate to your product and continually blog. I gave a reference to just one article. There’s so much out there. But I saw a real good article about blogs by www.nealschaffer.com asking if they’re still relevant in 2019 because trends do change in time, marketing trends. Why don’t you cover blogs, Brandon, for us?

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes, when we’re blog content, what we’re really doing is to add relevant, updated current content to website to help with consumer engagement, making sure we’re giving consumers information about product, the industry, and relevant information that will help them do research on what you’re offering. But it’s also really for search engines, for social media, and to help add that freshening content to a website. That’s what is extremely important when we as digital marketers to have a growing robust website and web presence. If you seem stagnant, it’s going to hurt you, so it’s important that you treat your website and your social media as a living, breathing entity that’s consistently evolving and changing over time. And blog is amazing to do that. You can get out quick information, relevant information that in a timely manner, we want to make sure we’re formatting those blogs in a way that someone can easily read them, consume that information, and learn something from it. We don’t want to be generic. And Perry had a great point. It needs to be current and relevant in time. And then we want to make sure they’re short and concise so that someone can just read, engage with it, and get what they need. And then have the right images used as well so that it can draw them and engage them.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Yes, and so it doesn’t always have to be just about your product. It could be about the space that your product lives in. Again, hand sanitizer lots of things you could say about hand sanitizer today that you probably wouldn’t have said a month ago. And there’s all kinds of changing environments that will give you new topics for your blogs. What about sharing somebody else’s blog on your site, maybe with a commentary on it? How does that work?

Brandon Church (CITC): Sure. That’s something we can do from time to time. Absolutely. But I wouldn’t post the content. You do to add commentary, like you said. A lot of times what we’ll do is just pull blurbs out from another article or blog post, and then comment on those, your perspective and feedback. And that’s definitely something you can do and is done, and it’s something that has to be done the right way, though. If you just take the words verbatim, it could hurt your SEO. If you just took a full blog post. That’s why we recommend taking maybe just snippets and then provide some commentary around it.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Or a link to it 

Brandon Church (CITC): Or a link to it, yes.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Yes, the whole goal is that what you write then somebody links to you, and that brings traffic to your website. Somebody finds like, I just gave Neal Schaffer a shout out here. I hope he’s happy about it. But I thought that was a really good article. And that’s what you hope your blogs, to get picked up by other people, and then shared, going viral, because your audience gets larger.

We could do a whole webinar, and we probably should at some point about social media, because social media is just so huge. This is sort of a survey course here of a cross-section. But this would be our last content we’re talking about today. The social media mix sales and informational content. Remember, people don’t want to be sold. They want to be engaged. They want to get information. Just think of when you go into a car dealership, and you get hit the second you step over that line. It’s like, that’s not what people want in their content. They want to be spoken to, educated, not sold. Social media is a two-way conversation. Brandon, why don’t you just pick up this slide, because you know this so well.

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes, absolutely. Social media is obviously growing, robust piece of a digital marketing puzzle that we as marketers are continuing to learn more about how to leverage it and more about how the features and robust opportunities that there are within it. And you have to treat each platform differently as well. That’s what makes it even more complex, because the strategy you deploy on Instagram is going to be different from the strategy you deploy in Facebook from the strategy you deploy on Twitter. It’s going to be different amongst all of them. Twitter is really great for just getting quick information out there in a timely manner, quick blurbs, but you have to be consistent with it, and you have to tweet multiple times per day. If you’re not ready to manage that type of strategy, we recommend not doing it at all. 

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Because I want to make that point. I want to say that there’s so much out there. There are so many different vehicles. And what you said is just the most important thing. And if you can’t do everything, pick what you can do. Also, the thing I want to talk about is the right demographic. Each social media has its own specific demographic. Facebook, I guess, trends towards the older group, sharing pictures of the grandchildren, things like that. Pick the one that you think is going to be easiest for you to manage. It’s better to do one thing really well than a lot of things not so well. Keep going.

Brandon Church (CITC): A great point. And you hit the nail in the head. At Facebook, you may determine your target demographic is older. And we know older folks use Facebook more than younger folks these days, and that’s where they’re engaging. We may decide to really focus on Facebook to grow and market your brand as opposed to Instagram. But we know Instagram is catered towards Millennials and the younger demographic. If your product is, let’s say a low-price watch company that is targeted towards Millennials, we may really choose Instagram to go on there and advertising and deploy a strategy on there. Instagram is a great tool. And it’s easy to target individuals through advertising there. And we can really deploy good strategy.

When we’re putting together these strategies, though, we want to make sure we’re deploying the right content, and we’re putting together a good mix of it. A lot of times we’ll see brands, and they’ll only post content that has to do with purchasing their product, which is fine. But we want to make sure mixing in other content such as what are you may be doing in the community, maybe some more generic information around just your brand and how you evolved to be the company you are today. And just put it out information that people can engage with and learn from. And then mix in the sales post. Mixing posts and content that has to do with purchasing your product that has more of a call to action. And then people see that, and then they engage. They get turned off what they see only posts that have to do with purchasing and offers or deals around your product.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Yes, if you’re sending on a Twitter feed, and I got a big sale this week, I got a big sale, we got a big sale, eventually they’re going to sign off because that’s not what they’re there for. And you may catch them at the right time if you do it on a regular basis, but you have to give them more than just sales information or you lose them.

Brandon Church (CITC): Absolutely. And then really catering your strategy globally, too. As we’re looking to target different markets internationally, making sure we have a diverse audience and images that take into account the different countries that you’re targeting have different cultures and range in there. And we want to really be able to sit down and craft the right strategy that has to take into account everything within your goals. And a lot of times that’s what we do a lot. A great way we can do that is through also geotagging. Maybe you’re targeting a certain market in India, and you have something that your brand has done there in that country, you can tag those images with that location, and that helps you get visibility in those markets. And so that’s a lot of the things we take into consideration as well as hashtags. Hashtags is a great way to be found. Consumers now searched based of hashtags. We want to make sure we’re incorporating hashtags that are specific but not too specific, but have to do with your products so that if someone’s doing a search for that on social media, they can find your brand amongst others.

How to “Globalize” your Content

Perry Goldstein (CITC): Great. Thank you. Now this is where we get to what I call globalizing your content. This is a general suite of content that we talked about. These are all things that you should be doing at one level or another. When you globalize your content, you can have your content translated into the native language. I’ve talked to people who said, “I find enough English-speaking people around the world to keep me busy. I don’t need to reach out to people like can’t speak English because I just don’t have the bandwidth for that, and it’s good enough for me. If you want to expand your business into the country and engage them at their level, you want to speak their language. Definitely now my wife is Japanese, and she speaks fluent Japanese as well as English, and she shakes her head every time she goes with Google Translate. It’s a wonderful program to get you started, but it’s not a good place to use for direct translations. I’m not saying anything bad about Google Translate, but it’s a tool to get you through, but I don’t think that it’s going to get you have the content you need. You should hire a professional translator for that, because they will get you the cultural words. Or any other software translation program, not just Google. A software translation program. Why don’t you talk a little bit about that, Brandon, if you can, about the use of importing words in somebody’s native language for search engines.

Brandon Church (CITC): Any time our clients are looking for a global strategy, we’re going to target a multilingual content. We have to write that content in a way for those countries. Consumers are going to engage with it. And again, search engines in those trees are going to be able to find it. But then we have to take into account dialects and so many things. And Perry, great point that just using Google Translate will not get the job done. You have to work with somebody who is a professional translator and can help you translate and do that. And then we code that content into your website so that your site could be multilingual. There are certain ways to do that. There are plugins to do that as well, but we don’t recommend leveraging those plugins. Google has one. Because it’s, again, using that same technology that’s going that Google Translate does, it just does not get the job done and make your brand be perceived as not fluent in that language. And we want to make sure we’re doing it right. But then also incorporating the right images, understanding that culture truly, so that we can then not turn anyone off there. Obviously, there’s cultural norms for every country. And all those things that you’ll be taking in consideration. And that’s some things we do with our clients that’s really help them sit down and figure out that strategy so that can be done right.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): I’m giving you a website here, www.sufio.com. Go take a look at that. They’ve got some really good information. There’s a lot more out there, but this is the one that I finally thought that answered my questions. I want to jump into some really hardcore stats, and then we’re going to wrap this up. This is really interesting. Now we’re not telling you have to do this in every language. We’re saying this is what you need if you want to reach everybody, and it’s a lot of work. And you may say, “I don’t have the resources. I just want one or two foreign language markets,” or “I want to go for the most general one I can: French, Spanish, whatever.” But 80% of the world’s population speaks one of these languages up on that top. What’s interesting, this is a very important point, 90% of the world’s economic opportunity, the operative word there is economic opportunity, sometimes you’ll find that market is very small, but they have a high purchasing potential, and they like the product you’re selling. It’s not always numbers, sometimes it’s very specialized. How would you address something like this if you were talking to somebody, Brandon, and they said, “You know what, I can’t do everything? What do I do?”

Brandon Church (CITC): You can do it. Also, we can do this over time, so let’s prioritize. Let’s figure out where you get generating the most sales, which countries, what’s the best opportunities for you. We can look at your analytics and determine where you’re getting the most traffic from and start with those languages and build out those strategies. And then over time, we determine if it makes sense to add the others in. That’s something that we can sit down and help craft clients with and give recommendations for so that we’re deploying it properly and, you don’t have to take on too much at one time. We want to make sure we do it right, and that’s what’s most important. And the other thing is you could also have, instead of coding your whole website and redoing your whole website for some of these languages, you could have just maybe landing pages. Just a page for a country that highlights your product, has a way that they can purchase, and make it very simplified, and then grow that out over time. 

Perry Goldstein (CITC): The basic motto here is the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. 

Brandon Church (CITC): Right.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): And when you look at all these languages, this really is an elephant.

Brandon Church (CITC): Yes.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): I wanted to just go to the Chinese market very quickly because it’s a huge market, and there’s so many dialects there. I thought this was a really good bit of information is there, and I didn’t know this until I did my research, there’s simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese. If you want to reach Hong Kong, you got to go with Cantonese, and traditional Chinese, Taiwan and then Singapore and mainland China. If you’re interested in the Chinese market, there’s more than one spoken and written language that you have to address, and you have to determine which one you want to go to. 

Let’s go to the closing remarks, Brandon, because I think we’re right at the time there. Create content that can be globalized, which would be is general, lots of pictures, stay away from talking heads if you can, although, again, I’ve seen some great content with talking heads there. These are just for small companies that are just getting started. Full suite of content that we talked about. Update your content on a regular basis. SEO best practices. Brandon, if you had just given them three tips on SEO best practices, one, two, three, what would you say?

Brandon Church (CITC): It’s about keywords. Make sure you did your research and determine the right keywords that people are searching for so you truly understand what they’re looking for. And the same key phrases. Making sure that, so that’d be one, making sure that you’re contextualizing the content and not keyword stuffing. We want to target these keywords and write the content, but we want to make sure it flows and makes practical sense, because Google will understand quickly if you’re just trying to stuff those keywords into your content. You want to make sure it makes the practical sense. And then write informational-based, give good information around the topic truly so that the consumer can learn, but that’s the best thing that we can do from a search engine perspective. Use data and statistics, those types of things, to really make your point and educate, and you will have good success and what you do with SEO.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): To say it one more time, words drive the Internet. It’s everything. When you choose a foreign market, overseas market, out of the U.S., look at the market size, the spending power of that market, size of English-speaking population, because you may determine that’s a large enough population, I don’t need to translate. Every company is going to have different approaches depending on your foreign language strategy. And then distribution. And this is totally out of the realm of content, but the distribution and logistics networks in those chosen countries, make sure you can get the product to the customers’ door inexpensively and easily.

I think that wraps it up. I just want to give myself a shameless plug here and say I’ll be back April 29th. We’re going to be talking about fulfillment and logistics and very specifically direct to the customers’ door from the U.S., not going through distributors. It’s definitely from manufacturer or seller direct to the door without using freight forwarders. There’s different there’s a new service that you can use. We’re going to be talking about May 27th beyond Amazon, because Amazon’s name always comes up, and it has to, but there’s a lot of different ways to sell through ecommerce. And then the importance of value-added taxes when you talk about the final selling price of your product in the profit margin.

With all that, I would say thank you very much. You go to our website for more information. The transcript in this webinar will be replayed in its entirety, and we also have our blogs there, announcements, good information. Please check out (www.cainternationaltrade.org) to see what we’re doing. Brandon, thanks for your time.

Brandon Church (CITC): Thank you, Perry. I appreciate it.

Perry Goldstein (CITC): We’ll talk to everybody soon. Everybody, stay safe and well.