Are you ready to wow French-speaking audiences with your amazing products? There are plenty of reasons to do so. France ranks among global leaders in terms of gross domestic product, innovation and economic freedom. FDI flows into France stood at USD 10.8 billion during the first half of 2021, as businesses and investors around the world signalled their confidence in the French economy and business climate.
It’s an encouraging scenario for small businesses. But if you’re planning on engaging French-speaking audiences for your business, it’s time to plan carefully. In addition to all the steps you’ve undertaken to market your business in your native tongue, from market research to lead generation to content creation, you will need to take account of the cultural nuances and local expectations of your French-speaking customers. Follow the tips below to get started.
Table of Contents
1. Perfecting your use of the French language
First and foremost, if you’re planning to engage French-speaking customers, you need to think about how you are going to communicate with them. France is home to more than 65 million people, which means plenty of potential customers, provided you can get them excited about your brand.
Key to this is using French translation you can trust for your website and marketing materials, as well as your product packaging, instructional pamphlets and so on. Every touchpoint with your French-speaking audience requires flawless language.
Obviously, this has a cost attached. How much does a French translator cost? That depends on what type of French translation service you need, but if you budget around $0.10 per word that should give you an approximate cost. Note that if you need a specialist legal translator or medical translator, you should expect to pay more.
What is the best French translation site? This is the obvious question if you’re considering going down the machine translation path. It’s fast and free, which is certainly appealing for many businesses looking to expand into the French market. However, the quality isn’t on par with that which a professional French translator can deliver. As such, if you’re intending to impress French audiences with your brand (which you certainly should be, if you want your marketing to succeed in France), it’s best to use reliable (human) French translation services.
2. Building trust
French consumers have a reputation for being loyal to brands. That’s both a positive and a negative if you’re trying to tap into the French market. If you can win over customers and impress them with your products and service, then there’s a good chance they will become loyal, long-term consumers of your brand. However, it is likely to take some effort to convince them to turn away from their current favourite brands.
Key to your success here is building trust. That means clarity and honesty in your marketing materials, backed up by a service that delivers what you’ve promised.
3. Demonstrating style and innovation
Of course, clarity and honesty in your marketing doesn’t mean there’s no room for flair. In fact, in France it’s essential.
If you want to win the hearts and minds of French-speaking audiences, it’s time to showcase your sense of style and your commitment to innovation. These should weave through your brand and your operations, from your products to your digital marketing activities. Staid, boring products are unlikely to capture the imagination of sophisticated French buyers. So keep your business exciting and deliver a certain je ne sais quoi if you want to engage your French audience.
4. Plan your local sales and promotions around French national holidays
If you want to get the most out of your connection with French-speaking audiences, you will need to dive into French culture in a variety of ways. One example is getting to grips with French bank holidays, national holidays and seasonal sale expectations.
Let’s take Black Friday as an example. This tradition, where retailers discount goods heavily on the fourth Friday in November, has spread from the US to many other countries. But before you dash you and ask your French translations services to translate all of your Black Friday website promotions into French, shouldn’t you check that Black Friday is observed in France? (It is, by the way, but if you didn’t know that, it emphasises the need to brush up on your local cultural knowledge.)
If you’re planning a big campaign in May, for example, it might be best not to launch it on the first of the month. That’s La fête du travail (labour day), so most shops will be closed and most of your target audience will be enjoying a day off work and most likely off shopping too. A week later, on 8th May, many shops will close again for the Armistice Day bank holiday. Planning your local sales and promotions with foresight of such events will help you ensure there’s no disconnect between you and your potential French customers.
5. Go gently when it comes to your calls to action
Each country has its own level of subtlety when it comes to calls to action. If you’re used to selling your goods to customers in the US, for example, a clearcut “buy now” will suffice. However, French-speaking audiences appreciate calls to action that are a little less direct – “order here” or “treat yourself today” might be more suitable.
With Mexico expected to fall into recession along with the US and numerous other countries in 2023, it will certainly be time to think creatively about possible opportunities to expand and grow your business overseas. If France is one of the countries that you’ve set your sights on, then incorporating the above tips into your marketing activities will certainly increase your chances of success. Be sure to remember the fundamentals too – undertake market research to analyse appetite for your product, review the competition and undertake some keyword research in French (French translation services can help with this) before you move ahead with marketing your business to French-speaking customers.