Many marketers have a natural desire for their businesses to grow globally. After all, going global means more customers, increased brand awareness, and potential for increased profitability. However, putting the plan to go beyond the border into action can be difficult, especially if you have never done anything like this before and are unfamiliar with the target market.
Here are 8 steps that will help you attract, develop and retain international customers:
1. Research the Market
The first step to expanding your business across borders is to learn more about the market. Take a look at the local culture, read about the location of interest, and get a general sense of what to expect. This way, you will know the general characteristics of your potential customers, and you will better understand what they want and how to cater to their needs. Additionally, you should consider that different nations have different marketing methods, so companies in other regions may advertise differently. One of the best ways to find out how businesses advertise in another country is to take a look at the social media pages of your competitors – this will give you valuable insights into marketing in the region of interest.
2. Ship Worldwide
Shipping worldwide makes it possible for your business to reach more customers. If you want to build an online store, ensure that your platform allows you to ship goods worldwide. This way, you will be able to deliver goods directly to your customers, which will save you money on distribution. If you already have one, explore different shipping methods. Some of them may be expensive, but they will offer you the best service. For instance, you could ship your packages with DPD delivery or FedEx; these companies will ensure that your packages do not get lost or damaged.
3. Engage International Partners
The Internet makes it easy to find partners from across the globe. Millions of businesses are available online, and most of them are eager to collaborate with someone in another country. This way, you will be able to expand your reach to new markets – even if you don’t know much about the local language. You could also look for local partners in your target area; collaborating with those people will help you navigate through the unknown waters, giving you valuable insights into the market and its peculiarities. Additionally, they can help you deal with local laws, taxes, and other legal matters that are unfamiliar to you.
4. Go Digital
Social media has become a necessity for businesses of all sizes. In many cases, it is also a great way to attract new customers from other countries. The Internet gives you access to millions of people from different parts of the world, so it would be a shame if you did not use this opportunity to gain exposure. Create a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, and a YouTube channel to promote your services and products online. Make sure to translate these sites into a few popular languages so that you can reach out to a broader audience.
5. Provide Different Payment Methods
Many countries require their customers to pay in local currency when shopping online. If you want to attract more business in foreign countries, enable international payment methods in your store or at least in your social media pages; PayPal is by far the most popular option for international transactions.
6. Crack the Language Barrier
Unless your target market speaks English, you will need to develop ways of communicating with customers in their native language, which may present an extra challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available today. One of the easiest ways to reach customers is through translation services – they will take care of translating all your online content into another language. You can also hire someone who knows the language well and has experience in marketing businesses internationally, which will speed up the process considerably.
7. Create a Compelling Brand Story
Your brand story defines you among competitors; it is how customers recognize your company and remember your name when choosing between different brands. For this reason, your company’s identity should remain consistent across international borders – meaning that it should have the same logo, colors, slogans, etc. This way, people will notice you quickly wherever you are providing your services or selling your products, meaning they will remember your brand more quickly and buy from you instead of other companies.
8. Establish Local Presence
If you want to expand your business to different parts of the world, it is important to establish a local presence. Doing this will help you build trust with potential customers and attract attention from the local media. One of the most beneficial solutions is developing a local SEO strategy; this will help you rank higher in local search results and build credibility with potential customers. Moreover, local SEO methods are often cheaper than international SEO, which is another great reason to try them out.
Expanding your business to other countries takes time and effort, but it will bring you many benefits. You will be able to make the most of the market potential in any location, attract new customers, expand your brand, and make more money.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community