Some businesses start their endeavors locally until they feel they’ve established a strong presence so that they can expand across their borders, while others kick-start their journey globally without delay. In both scenarios, the way each company tackles a new market needs to be tailored to the preferences, culture, and trends in that particular region.
If you’ve built a business locally, you know that taking your brand abroad doesn’t mean simply copying the entire digital strategy into a different language and location. On the contrary, you need to take many factors into account if you want the same, if not greater success to follow you internationally.
Even the most powerful brands, ones that have earned a household reputation on the home turf, need to go above and beyond to impress a new audience. Here are a few tactics to savvy up your digital strategy once you decide you’re ready for your international clientele.
Specify your goals
Ask any digital marketer worth their salt, and they’ll tell you just how much numbers matter in determining the success and value of any strategy they push forward. Without goals, there’s nothing you can measure, nothing to compare to your local success, and no key metrics to keep an eye on in order to improve your digital efforts for the future. Consider some of the following details when determining what your digital goals will be.
- Define the budget available for your international strategy.
- Research the competition and their most effective strategies for lead generation to add to your own digital portfolio.
- Divide all of your goals into milestones so that you can monitor your progress and adjust when necessary.
- Research and implement the most effective tools for monitoring your digital strategies, and preferably implement automation across the board to minimize human error during the data analysis process.
- Make your goals SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Make them flexible as well, or at least some portions of them, so that you can adjust on the go as you learn about your new market and your target audience’s response to your brand.
Educate yourself on the target market
Learning about your audience doesn’t end or begin with a single digital strategy. The knowledge you collect before you launch your brand is not finite, nor is the knowledge you gather while you make adjustments for your next digital approach. Remember that the learning curve is indefinite, so that you can truly find your place under a new sun – especially in fast-developing, highly-competitive markets the likes of Asia.
When you’re about to penetrate such an oversaturated market, you need to stay ahead of the latest trends with the help of locally relevant platforms such as Week in China, where you can stay informed and use the knowledge to fuel your strategy. Reputable news platforms are your key source for determining your potential business partners, the state of the region’s financial development, and specific local preferences that can make or break your digital efforts.
Find a way to overcome the language barrier
Although it may serve a purpose, no website should only be a crude translation of its original when you’re trying to amaze a new population of potential customers. No matter the authenticity of your service and the accuracy of AI-driven translation, you need to make sure that your entire brand translates into a new culture.
Work with your digital experts to find ways to adapt your entire presence, including your language, to the new market, without compromising your brand identity. In addition to a professional translation of your website, adding new currencies and being mindful of the visual elements of your digital presence will only ensure that your overall digital presentation can send the right message. The language used is the reflection of the culture it represents, so this is your opportunity to show just how much you understand both.
Social media with a local touch
Getting people to your site will be far easier when you create dedicated social media pages for your new locations you wish to target. Even without a physical presence in these places, you need social media pages that correspond to their preferences. Additionally, you will notice that different regions favor various social platforms, so while you’re used to interacting with your customers on Instagram in the US, perhaps your Asian audience will prefer a different network that is specific to the region, such as Line which is designed for Japan, although it’s used all over Asia.
Your content on these platforms should also fit the local standards, not just language-wise, but in terms of actual topics and subject matter you will cover. Recognizing trends and covering them gives your brand a foothold into many conversations and opens the doors to becoming a recognized authority in your industry, even abroad.
Your digital strategy should reflect the long game, and help you not just test the waters of a new market but embed yourself deeply into the structure of those markets. Use these tips to make the most of your digital strategy and enable your brand to stand out wherever you choose to expand.