The French market is brimming with opportunities for UK businesses. With almost 70% of their 65 million population using the internet regularly, the ecommerce market is growing at an impressive pace, year-on-year. But, before you fire ahead trying to launch your business in a new and potentially unfamiliar country, it is vital that you first familiarise yourself with the cultural expectations in France’s digital world.
English marketing content often makes prominent an explicit ‘Call to Action’, directing your potential customer to engage with you in a specific way. This, however, will not go down well with a French audience, who may feel suspicious of the commanding tone a Call to Action usually uses. To appeal to a French reader, consider a softer, more guiding voice, with a less authoritative stance. This article by the BBC explores some of the hidden messages behind some of the things you might hear the French say!
Think about tone
Similarly, the tendency to address your audience in an informal, friendly manner will not be successful in France. Here, your target audience favours a more formal tone, with elegant language and excellent grammar a necessity.
While the English spoken and written forms are similar, it is worth noting that spoken French is very different from what is acceptable as written language. Equally, poor grammar and incorrect punctuation will be frowned upon. Bear this in mind if you are tempted to cut corners with your writer; just because someone can speak French proficiently, does not mean they will be able to write content that is up to scratch, both culturally, grammatically and in terms of the appropriate vocabulary. It is always worth investing in a native speaker with a good grasp of cultural expectations and a flair for writing.
One tip for avoiding this pitfall is looking into using a specialist in SEO services in Europe such as https://www.indigoextra.com/french-seo to enable you to access fluently composed French SEO, suited to your business.
Show off your expertise
Make sure you demonstrate to your audience what makes you credible and reliable. This might come in the form of official badges, such as relevant organisations or associations that you belong to, or badges showing that your delivery and payment options are trustworthy.
Don’t neglect cultural differences
Because the UK and France are geographically close, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking cultural references are the same. Conversely, what is culturally relevant or acceptable to one nation may be poles apart from another, which is another reason a native writer for your copy is so crucial. Similarly, think about making lifestyle and product images on your website local to your target audience, too! Cultural references can be very subtle and change all the time. It’s not always easy to keep a handle on from across the Channel, but to maximise your efforts marketing your products or services for the French market, you need to make sure you create content that is easily relatable for your audience.
Writing marketing content aimed at attracting customers based in France is a great way of expanding your business in Europe. By following these tips and enlisting the help of French SEO experts, you can maximise your chances of success and see your business flourish in Europe!