Germany is a popular jumping off point for many companies entering the European marketplace. It’s a good choice because Germany is Europe’s most populous nation, largest economy, and home to Europe’s biggest consumer market. The fact that it’s right in the center of the European Union and enjoys stable economic growth makes it extremely appealing for businesses wishing to expand internationally and begin their marketing efforts in Germany.
Germany Is Not Without Its Challenges
Although Germany is a wise choice for any company aiming to develop its marketing strategy in Europe, there are several challenges to be faced when marketing to a German audience. For example, Germans have a high regard for credibility, don’t use social media as much as other developed countries, and rely a lot on mobile technology. The following are five tips for successful content marketing in Germany.
1. Go Deutsch
We all know the adage when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, when in Germany think, act, and speak German.
- Begin with translating your website into German. This will provide you with a platform to host content in German for both online and social media traffic.
- Be sure to give your German audience an ELV (Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren) option for making payments on your site. Many Germans choose ELV over other payment methods.
- Hire fluent German speakers to handle your customer inquiries. This can be done via e-mails, through web chat, or via social media.
- Make sure all your customer service people have an in-depth knowledge of your product, its applications, and the German code of conduct.
- Effective content marketing in Germany necessitates the provision of high-quality, data-driven content localized for a German audience. Remember that the more knowledgeable and German you seem to be, the more credible and appealing you will be to your target German audience.
2. Focus on the Most Popular Social Media Platforms
Social media is not as popular in Germany as in some other countries. This might be because almost 37% of the population is over age 55, a low percentage of older highly educated people use social media and a general concern over data privacy. However, social media usage is growing, especially among young professionals, and has made significant contributions to an awareness of foreign products and services. In fact, almost 90% of German millennials are enamored of social media. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Xing are the most popular platforms.
- Facebook is tops with more than 90% of the German social media market. It is used for both B2C and B2B marketing.
- Xing is Germany’s more popular version of LinkedIn. 20% of professionals in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland use Xing. However, many Germans do use LinkedIn.
- Google+ is regarded as better than Twitter in Germany because Twitter’s 140-character limit is not well suited to the German language with its very long words. Many German businesses are active on Google+, so building a presence on this platform is especially advantageous for B2B sales.
3. Be mobile-Friendly
According to a 2016 survey of German consumers:
- 74% of those surveyed use smartphones.
- 20% of respondents mostly use smartphones to connect to the internet.
- 34% of smartphone users and 40% of tablet users spend over one hour on mobile websites each day.
To sum up, German people rely heavily on mobile technology and the number of smartphone users continues to grow. This may be because many German companies prohibit their employees from accessing social media sites on their desktop computers during the working day.
4. Demonstrate Your Attention to Privacy
Germans care a lot about how their personal information might be misused, So, for starters, make absolutely sure you are fully in compliance with German data privacy regulations and publish this information on your website. You should also aim for an audit of your products by TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein), a German inspection organization. This will enable you to obtain an official stamp of quality which can be displayed on your website.
5. Stand in German Shoes
To get your foot in Germany’s marketing door, it’s helpful to understand that Germans don’t like marketing content that is obviously merely translated word for word. They also are likely to be turned off by content that is exaggerated or uninspiring. If you indulge in too much boasting about your product and heavily put down your competitors, you are likely to turn off a large proportion of your German audience.
How Localize Can Help Your Content Marketing in Germany
Effective translation and localization will ensure that your published content resonates with a German audience. Being successful in the German market will take time, money, and perseverance. However, the size of the country’s consumer market and the high spending power of the German population will make it worthwhile. Contact Localize to see how we can assist you to break into the German market as smoothly and successfully as possible.