This article originally appeared on the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau website and has been republished with permission.
Now’s a really good time to set your sights and plan for attracting international visitors. Here are 10 tips to help you attract international visitors to your greater Boston area business.
Outline your corporate and marketing strategy, then create your multilingual marketing plan. Aligning your strategies will help you move forward with your plan.
Set goals and objectives. How are you going to know if you're doing a good job? You need goals and objectives with measurable steps so you can track your progress and adjust for improvement as you go.
Decide on your target language. There are different factors to consider with this decision.
- Do you or your employees already speak another language? That's a good place to start.
- Do you already have visitors that speak a specific language? It would be natural to target the language of those visitors and build business by word-of-mouth recommendations.
- What country has the most visitors to Massachusetts? The language these visitors speak is a good option as well.
- Consider the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey describes a buyer’s path to purchase. The journey progresses from becoming aware, considering and evaluating, deciding to purchase, and, finally, the experience they have as a customer. You probably already have some marketing content that can be categorized into these three stages: attract/engage/delight.
- Attract – The content in the attract phase answers the question of what there is to do in Boston and which of those activities meets their needs. For example, do they need kid-friendly activities, or do they prefer adult educational attractions?
- Engage – The content in the engage phase answers questions about all you have to offer and gives them the opportunity to interact with you, whether it’s a way to buy tickets or find your location or ask questions.
- Delight – The content in the delight phase provides visitors the information they need while they are visiting, like pamphlets or pre-recorded tours in their native languages. When you provide visitors with a fabulous experience, they tell their friends about it.
- Once you’ve outlined your content in these stages, review it to identify the most popular or crucial information and earmark it as a place to start your global marketing.
- Identify the information to translate that is needed for your target visitors to find you. It’s important to translate everything that can help with your search engine optimization, including search terms, URLs, tags, descriptions, and anything else that will drive people to your website.
- Now that people can find your website, decide how much to translate. Your website is loaded with information -- it’s chock-full of content. Translating all of it would be a big project. Rather than translating your full website, you can start with a smaller portion or a “microsite.” A microsite would be several key pages to give international visitors a picture of what you offer.
If a microsite still seems like too much, then you can do a simple landing page with content like frequently asked questions that can help with attracting, engaging, and delighting your target visitors.
- Find a high-quality translation provider that specializes in marketing translation. It’s important to make sure you work with a professional agency that has experience in translating marketing materials. Marketing translation focuses on conveying your message and takes other factors into account, like cultural norms, so it makes sense to the audience you want to attract.
Do not use Google translate for this; the quality is not good enough and the risk of errors too great.
- Reuse your content. Extract relevant information from your translations that can be reused in different areas. It not only saves you money on translation, but also provides consistency of voice, which is good for marketing.
- Your final step is to reap the rewards of your marketing! As people resume traveling, Boston will be a hot destination. We have a lot to offer international visitors. Why shouldn’t your business be one of the businesses to attract, engage, and delight them?
Wendy Pease is the President of Rapport International and a member of the GBCVB Multicultural Board. Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate. We use the right voice and the correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right. Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.