The scales have shifted to broader horizons in today’s ultra-globalized market. Brands that are content to stay small may focus on one region or country, but anyone hoping to increase their impact must cross borders in their marketing efforts. If your business is starting to overstep the boundaries of a state or country, it’s time to strategize for your international expansion.
Here are eight insider tips for the international brand looking to plant a foreign flag in the coming year.
Invest in the right marketing tools
An optimized marketing strategy should look like a well-rounded toolbox. Some of the essential tools include those specific to social media management, split testing, and metrics. However, one marketing tool that is often overlooked is a virtual business address.
For example, using a virtual business address for registering the LLC with vendors like iPostal1 can help you establish an international business presence, which you will need if you want to market successfully in a foreign country. Typically, these subscriptions also include mail handling, so you’ll be able to digitally view your international correspondence without costly overseas postage or long waiting times.
In addition to your physical address, you will need some digital storefronts, such as a well-organized social network profile. You are entering a new market, so use your marketing wheelhouse to do your best.
Do your research
Before embarking on any international marketing efforts, be sure to do your research. On the one hand, consider the different time zones between your home port and your target market. Along with figuring out when to post ads, promotional emails, etc., also think about when consumers will be most likely to scroll through their social media channels.
Knowing when your target audience can access their favorite online platforms will ensure that they don’t miss out on any of your content.
Another thing to consider is the cultural differences between where you reside and where you want to grow. While specific attributes or marketing techniques may appeal to Western consumers, those same qualities may not work as well in other parts of the world.
What may be off-putting in an image to most Americans, for example, may be seen as usual or even desirable by an international audience, and vice versa. Doing your due diligence now can save you a lot of wasted resources down the road, so don’t be afraid to tackle the pounds.
Once you have everything you need to successfully market overseas, give it a try. Companies that already have an established presence in other countries can choose to test their new marketing strategies risk-free.
Suppose there is no existing international commercial presence. In that case, you can research how well your brand resonates with potential customers in another country by conducting an online survey or even taking a social media poll.
It doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot of money and time growing in a foreign market if your target audience isn’t interested in what you are offering them. Start small and confirm market interest before pulling out the big budget guns.
Hire the right people
One thing that many overseas-based companies forget about is hiring the right people. Check and double-check that everyone you hire for your marketing efforts has an international mindset.
Being able to successfully sell overseas requires a different approach than selling in your home country, so ensuring that those representing your brand overseas have the necessary knowledge and skills. . Having people who understand the cultural differences mentioned above is crucial to keeping customers happy.
Create a strong presence
When you’ve done all you can to make your expansion into overseas markets a success, it’s time to move forward with deliberate speed.
Your goal will be twofold: first, to make your business a household name (or at least a name to know), and second, to show potential customers why they need what you are selling. You can do this by creating a content marketing plan that engages and educates your audience while showcasing the benefits of your product or service.
Remember, even if you are starting from scratch when it comes to overseas markets, you still need to maintain consistency in order to successfully reach new customers. If consumers see inconsistencies between the information on your website and social media, your reputation could take a hit.
Keep the momentum
Once you hit your first landmark, celebrate. You also need to take the next development step, which is building your brand’s presence. By following your plan, you will ensure that you don’t lose any of your hard earned progress and be able to show continued growth as a business.
Falling on the right track or taking too long between steps could be detrimental to your long-term success. It is much easier to maintain momentum than to relaunch it once it has stopped.
Use your resources
While you aren’t responsible for creating anything that goes into overseas marketing, you are responsible for making sure those working on your behalf have all the tools and software they need. Plus, as new markets continue to emerge every day, new opportunities arise, so don’t be afraid to grab them and seize them.
It can be difficult to get international marketing right the first time. Or the second. But if you know how to do business overseas, your business will be able to expand its reach and remain profitable for years to come.
Remember your goals
You probably already have a solid mission statement for your business, but it never hurts to give it another look. It is essential to always remember why you started your business in the first place and what you want to achieve in the long run. Take a moment to see how far things have gone for you and decide exactly where you want to go next.
Whether you see yourself as a big player or run a small business, keeping these tips in mind will help ensure your success and survival as you prepare to launch your overseas business in international markets.