With the rise of the digital sphere, putting yourself in front of wider audiences and expanding your business to the global market has never been simpler. However, this process doesn’t end with creating a website and exporting your products worldwide. To successfully market your business online and get the greatest return on your marketing investment, you need to have a solid digital marketing strategy to back you up.
1. Conduct market research
When expanding your operations internationally, remember that uniform rules simply don’t work. To create content and offers that resonate with potential customers in a new market, you first need to understand the market you’re entering.
First off, assess the demand for your product. The fact that your product sells well in your country doesn’t mean that it will be equally popular somewhere else. There is no point in marketing a product to the people who have no intention of buying it.
Secondly, see who your major rivals are, what exactly they do, and how they promote their business. Competitor research is critical for a few reasons:
- It lets you identify your major strengths and use them to rise above your competition.
- You can see the major digital marketing mistakes your competitors make and avoid them.
- You can replicate other businesses’ marketing techniques to give your online presence a boost.
2. Don’t lose yourself in translation
According to Statista, English is the most common language online, with 25.3% of online users worldwide. Still, not everyone speaks it. To boost your new users’ experience and market to them effectively, you need to speak their language. Don’t rely on literal and often illogical translations by Google Translate for your marketing campaigns and messaging. This could harm your online image in multiple ways. Just take the example of HSBC bank. When they bring their U.S. campaign overseas, they didn’t know that their slogan “Assume Nothing” will translate as “Do Nothing” in some countries. Had they involved a language expert in the process could have saved a lot of problems.
To ensure that you absolutely get it right, consider working with a transcreation specialist. Hiring a local creative production agency to advise on cultural nuances and sensor check your messaging will ensure that your brand/marketing campaign will resonate in your target markets.
This way, you will bring your campaigns to market effectively and, at the same time, boost your brand recognition.
3. Continue to monitor and optimize
Your website should communicate your core ideas and missions, speak to the needs of your target audience and provide a clear course of action.
Ensure that your multilingual or multi-regional websites are built with your audience in mind. Continue to track, monitor and optimize user experience across your website. Conduct keyword research for your new markets to identify what your customers are searching for and what types of phrases they use. Use this information to inform your search and content strategy.
4. Build a consume and share community
You should have by now covered off the basics of social media by creating your profiles, posting regularly and engaging with your following. If you haven’t already you should develop both a global and regional social media strategy thats inline with your digital and content strategy.
When speaking to an international audience you need to consider where your audience across different demographics are. If you’re a global brand it’s likely that you’ll have separate social media accounts per country or brand which enable you to deliver a localized and very targeted strategy. If you have one account per platform your strategy will be a little more complicated as you have to combine multiple languages and address different audiences within one universal profile.
No matter what your setup is, the following principles should deliver more traffic, engagement, and conversions.
- Don’t let robots be your primary source of social media activity, while technology can help with social marketing in terms of auto-posting direct messaging and analytics, people want human engagement and conversation.
- Apply the 80/20 content rule, 80% of what you post should add value. Use your channel to educate, entertain and motivate.
- Build a relationship with your followers, take the time to build a bridge between those who are not familiar with your brand and those you just created this with. Use that bridge to establish trust.
5. Offer multiple payment methods
This is one of the most common problems international online businesses face. If their desired payment method is not available, the majority of your potential customers will leave the site without making a purchase and never come back. So, do your homework and see what the most popular online payment options are in your target country. For example, in Germany, people still prefer bank transfer, while in China, credit and debit cards are dominant.
Over to you
When going global, you need to build an impeccable online image. This is why everything you do, from your website design and translation to creating content needs to be planned and tested meticulously. Assess the effectiveness of any strategy you’ve implemented to see what works for your new markets. Most importantly, be ready to make changes and adapt your strategy to your target audience’s needs whenever the need arises.