By Kristel Jo Bishop
Modern times have depicted the world as one global market but what does this mean? Does this mean that you can roll out your successful business model into any market anywhere in the world? If you have grown your local business to a point where now you feel ready to conquer the export one, then it’s time to examine in depth the digital marketing strategy that you need to embrace!
International marketing is never an easy task. From understanding the target market in terms of different segments and territories that you will be communicating with to having a solid understanding of how to channel your products and services and to handle deliveries and transactions, there is no doubt that this involves a lot of research. If you’re relying on a team of consultants the road might be easier, but if you’re tackling the grassroots research yourself make sure you’re collecting the correct and accurate information. Remember that any search on Google yields mountains of information and it is up to you to decipher how much truthful, accurate and up-to-date that data is. You will be better off if you rely on official data published by entities and organizations that are of serious repute!
In international marketing, it is essential to acknowledge that your network of colleagues can help you gain mileage especially when it comes to discovering experts who can help. Think of LinkedIn as the main tool where you can look up possible professionals that are related to your industry, segment or territory that you intend to service. Get on their radar and reach out to them. Similarly, when you look at Social Media, discover which are the platforms your export market congregates on and focus here to gain social media visibility. If possible, try to identify leading influencers and solicit their help. It is easier to break into a market if you have an influencer or two putting in a good word for you! In all this, keep in mind the language. Speaking to your market on social media can only be done in their native language so if you cannot speak that language, bring on your team a native speaker who will be able to understand the expressions and undertones and reply back appropriately.
When it comes to the website you have two options. Let’s imagine you are currently using the www.yourwebsite.com and you want to target the Italian market, then you have the option of translating the website and uploading the translated version on a sub-domain like www.yourwebsite.com/it. This can only be done if your original domain name is not country-specific though. The other option is to create a new website under a different domain. In any case, the major headache in the above is getting hold of a strong translation. Translations should never be literal. In fact, different market segments might place other emphasis on certain values and benefits and thus in translating for a specific region, one needs to be aware of this phenomenon! For example, in the breakfast cereal segment, the market in one country might be focused on the convenience of the product and the market in another country might be keen on the healthy aspects. This means that text presented on the website for these different countries has to put the emphasis on different factors accordingly! Ensure that the localized version of your website features your foreign office details and at all costs avoid duplicating English content as Google penalizes this!
When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, it goes without saying that keywords cannot be translated but need to be vetted and analyzed by a native speaker. Visibility on a search engine does not happen automatically but you need to set the website to target the territory. Naturally, it helps if your search engine optimization expert is fluent in the specific language or is aided by a native speaker. Remember to follow those competitors who have already broken through the respective export market you’re after as this can be a learning experience in itself. Finally, when you’re creating digital campaigns, select your targeting options accordingly and utilize aspects like retargeting. Experiment, fine-tune and learn at every step of the way!
Ready for the export market or about to take the plunge? The world is your oyster! At Keen, we’re a team of international experts that can help set you on the right path! Speak to our Experts Today