Thanks to a great product and an even greater team, your company is successful and growing. What’s next? If you’re thinking of expanding to overseas markets, wonderful! The best international marketing strategy is preparation.
Selling products to an international market can be tricky. How much localization is the sweet spot? How best to replicate your domestic marketing successes in foreign markets? Which website builder will really enable your web presence to be multilingual?
Here are some tips to get your overseas marketing aspirations up and running.
1. Challenge Your Assumptions and Test, Test, Test
In the marketing game, what works on your home court won’t necessarily score points abroad. For instance, it’s great if past email campaigns have helped you convert trial users into paying customers. But that doesn’t mean similar campaigns pitched to people overseas will be effective.
Tip: All of the big marketing wins you’ve accrued in the past should be re-evaluated before you set them loose on other countries. In short, ask yourself the hard questions. Make a list of what has been most successful in the past and create some short, trial campaigns to test the waters. That way you can confirm what works in your targeted overseas markets. Next, take it to the next level and commit to broader, bolder campaigns once you have a better understanding of your new customer base.
2. Analyze the Marketing Campaigns of Your Competition
What are others in your marketplace doing? If some focus on guest posts written by experts or paying for press releases, should you do the same? Probably not. But if your competitors are prospering with techniques and strategies that you wouldn’t think twice about using on your home turf, then maybe you should think again.
Tip: Figure out not just what’s innovative about your competition’s approach, but what’s different.
3. Learn the Social Rules of Your New Market
Social media isn’t a one-and-done solution. Facebook might be your go-to channel in the States, but what if Twitter is more relevant to your overseas customer? Or, perhaps there’s a local social media channel in your new market, such as WeChat in China, that you’ll need to learn from scratch.
Tip: Before committing to building a social media presence, think hard about what benefits your customers would really get out of being social with you. Research the local culture and build your overseas strategy around how your new customers communicate.
4. Connect with Local Preferences
Many cultures and business practices share similarities around the world. But businesses sink or swim by understanding the details. For example, if locals in a particular country respond much more favorably to, say, inbound marketing than influencer marketing, you absolutely need to know that before courting them. It’s difficult to learn these things as an outsider. Start by building relationships with locals, such as freelance copywriters or designers who can help you navigate a new set of cultural and aesthetic preferences.
Tip: Invest in some research about your potential customers. What makes them click? More importantly, what makes them buy?
Expanding your small or medium business into foreign markets takes patience. World First USA, Inc. can help you adopt a global mindset to broaden your international activities beyond your borders and write your own success story.