How to Develop an International Digital Marketing Strategy
Expansion into new markets can spell great success for businesses; it creates an opportunity to target new markets and grow a global customer base, thereby increasing revenue. Digital marketing can be used by brands to reach a global audience but developing an international digital marketing strategy can be very different from developing a domestic one. To be successful, businesses must carefully consider the audience and market they want to reach.
How Can Digital Marketing Help Businesses Expand Internationally?
The world is becoming increasingly digital, with consumers finding all their news, engaging with brands, and buying products, online. With so many people making purchases online, it’s easy to recognize the value of developing an effective digital marketing strategy when addressing a new market; companies can reach international audiences faster when using different digital media channels. This includes the likes of social media, PR campaigns, content marketing, SEO, and email marketing. Having a diverse strategy that uses different mediums increases the likelihood of a company getting a good response. When one channel doesn’t resonate with your audience, another one will.
How to Build a Digital Marketing Strategy for International Audiences
Recognizing the value of a digital marketing strategy doesn’t guarantee success. A successful digital marketing strategy requires careful and methodical thinking. Here’s our guide for e-commerce business owners on how to build and implement an effective digital marketing strategy for international audience
1. Define Your Buyer Persona
The first step of international digital marketing is to collect data on your target audience and develop a buyer persona. Hitting the right audience with the right content is fundamental, and if your strategy is focused on drawing the interest of your customers it will be more likely to drive interaction and conversions. To identify the type of customer you want to focus your campaigns on, take the following steps.
2. Start with market potential and sosio-economic factors
It’s important you understand consumer potential and consumer projection. You can collect this data using information about the population, GDP growth, public infrastructure, consumer analytics, minimum wage, and average pay. Your goal is to identify a demand for your product in a new market and ensure your target consumer is in a position where they can buy your product for its current price.
3. Consider local culture and customs
You need to recognize the sosio-cultural environment in which your target audience lives. You should consider traditional beliefs, values, lifestyle, behaviors, culture and worth ethics, and the organization of society. This will give you an idea of how your audience lives and helps avoid potentially controversial situations that could stem from a lack of understanding of local culture when brainstorming campaign ideas.
Once you have all the information you need, you can start to build your target buyer persona. A buyer persona should cover all the relevant demographics, including gender, age, location, language, education, industry, job title, income, and family status. When defining buyer persona, you should also consider psychographics including goals, problems, solutions, objections, and traditional values. Using this data during ideation will help you create campaigns that see the best results and are cost-effective because you don’t need to push for it to reach the biggest possible audience – you can simply focus on your potential buyers.
4. Competitor Analysis
Carrying out a detailed competitor analysis is also a key aspect of developing a digital marketing strategy for a new international audience. Collecting information on competitors will help you understand the market, target your audience more effectively, make a forecast of foreign market potential, analyze similar products and track the economic climate. Using these insights to shape your digital strategy can help you to achieve effective customer acquisition.
When carrying out a competitor analysis, there are some key characteristics you should look out for. We have listed some below to help structure your evaluation:
- Number of employees
- Number of customers
- Years on market
- Acquired brands
You should also look to source information on their target audience and product details:
- Primary audience
- Secondary audience
- Target audience
- How they communicate with consumers
- Product details
- Customer reviews
This data will help you understand what works and what doesn’t in this new market. You should also keep prices, dates, and other information in mind when creating digital marketing campaigns.
5. Implement International SEO
Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) in your digital marketing is crucial for ensuring your website can be found by your new target audience. Here are some techniques you can use to become more accessible in a foreign market:
6. Making an SEO-Friendly Domain
Creating a separate website can bring more than just SEO benefits. You can cater this site and your brand in a way that will provide the best possible experience for your target customers in the new market.
You have two main options when choosing a domain for your website: Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) that ends in a specific country code (e.g. .co.uk) or Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) that is not country-specific and can be paired with organizations (e.g. .org).
A ccTLD helps search engines recognize that your website targets a specific location and is generally seen as more trustworthy by native users. However, a gTLD benefits from any domain authority of the parent domain and can rank in local SERPs quicker. Long term, ccTLD has stronger ranking potential due to its strong location signal, but it requires its own digital marketing strategy, particularly with SEO.
7. Optimize for a Relevant Search Engine
It’s important you recognize the search engine you want to optimize for. Google is generally the most popular, but in countries like China, for example, Baidu is the most used search engine. This is important because different search engines may value sites differently, meaning your SEO approach should be focused on achieving rankings in that specific country.
8. Use Target Language Keywords
When implementing international SEO, using keywords specific to the target language will help increase rankings. Search queries are different country by country you should carry out keyword research using the search engine that is popular in the region. Working with native speaking digital marketers to carry out keyword research is crucial to ensuring there are no missed opportunities.
9. Diversify Your Content Strategy
You can reach audiences faster by focusing on a number of different digital marketing mediums rather than just one. SEO is effective, but pairing it with content marketing and social media marketing will help you better attract the attention of international audiences. Here are some different strategies you can use to increase your success:
10. Make Your Blog Multilingual
Localizing your current content for readers in the new market will help you establish yourself as industry experts in each market. Having blog content in the target language will help you be seen as a trustworthy brand.
11. Get Contributions From Experts
Partner with local bloggers and encourage them to write reviews of your company and product. This is another way to build authority and trust and gain access to a niche audience.
12. Share User-Generated Content
User-generated content can become the foundation for different digital marketing campaigns. Recognizing content written by locals will help you build a trusting, loyal customer base.
Using multiple content mediums and strategies in your international digital marketing helps to reach a wider audience and get in front of your target consumers at various stages of the sales funnel.
According to TopNet Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Xavier Cheong: “Making noise in a competitive online market is difficult enough, never mind if you’re the new business on the block. Following these steps will help you to build a digital marketing strategy that will win the attention of a new international audience. Your strategy is unique to you and there is no right and wrong answer, but following the advice in this article will give you the best chance of being successful.”
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