Advances in communication technology and transportation have made it easier to reach international audiences than ever before. Nearly 60% of the world’s population is online and almost half use social media. So how can your business take advantage?
There are plenty of enticing benefits to doing so, not least increased revenues and decreased competition. Other advantages include less dependency on a single market and the potential to benefit from favourable currency exchange rates.
Here are four simple ways to attract more international customers and reap those rewards.
Optimise your website for international audiences
Online marketing can be the most cost-effective way to grow a customer base abroad. You may already have a slick website for domestic customers – but you’ll want to make some tweaks to cater for international visitors.
Consider creating a multilingual version to avoid alienating non-English speakers. If you run an ecommerce website, create the ability to convert prices to different currencies. You may also need to integrate new online payment methods if your current options aren’t well known or trusted internationally.
If content marketing plays a key role in your sales strategy, consider creating a market-specific content strategy that factors in its cultural and social differences. These could be anything from climate to local regulations and traditions.
Target those areas with digital advertising
With your website optimised, next up is to create tailored adverts across social media, search engines and beyond. Each channel offers the functionality to target your ideal demographics within select regions and alert them to your brand.
Create a series of international adverts and test different text and visual elements to see which perform best abroad. It’s unlikely to be as simple as copying and pasting the ads you already rely on closer to home.
Integrate call tracking technology
Do you make a portion of your sales over the phone? Call tracking can provide lots of valuable information when attempting to break into a new market.
By recording where a person is calling from and how they found you, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your new customers and, as a result, how to attract more of them. You could learn that social media ads drive the most calls for example – then allocate more of your advertising budget to that source.
Make international delivery clear and easy
Unclear delivery information can be enough to deter customers in any market. When selling internationally, prices tend to rise while date ranges grow larger, making it vital to do your research and find shipping options that work for everyone.
Bear in mind today’s customers also expect regular updates along the way – and responsive customer service should anything go wrong with their order.
Selling across borders will also demand an understanding of import and export regulations.
There’s no doubt that breaking into a new market still requires lots of research and setup work. But once you’ve got those stages down, you could take your business to places it’s never been before.