Going Global Live 2017
In our buildup to Going Global Live this November, we talk to some of this year’s keynote speakers about the areas of exporting they will be presenting on at the show. We have access to limited free tickets for the event, so make sure you don’t miss out and register for yours by clicking here.
This will be the biggest overseas business exhibition to have taken place on UK soil and some of the
new additions to this year’s event include Agnieszka Szrubkowska from Web Behaviour Specialists, who’s going to share with you how to develop an international digital marketing strategy.
When it comes to international trade, how different can cultures be when it comes to their online searching and buying patterns?
People’s online search and buying patterns vary greatly. A lot of these differences come from cultural preferences like the amount of information we can process on a single page, what type of content captures our interest, the time of day we are looking for information online, how developed digital marketing is in different countries, or what leads us to trust a business. We also mustn’t forget about the different types of media used in different cultures, for example, while Google is the biggest search engine in almost every country, in Russia we have Yandex, in China Baidu and in the Czech Republic there’s Seznam.
For example, with one of our clients we performed keyword research across 2 markets (UK + France) to understand how people search when looking for information about diabetes. Considering there are a similar number of people with diabetes in both countries, the differences in average monthly searches for information were huge, with the UK having 3 times more. Based on that research, the marketing strategy was adjusted so that the majority of the marketing budget in the UK was spent on digital marketing, targeting patients who were searching for information, while in France, focus was on increasing awareness amongst healthcare professionals so they could then educate their patients.
There are a lot of cross-cultural differences so when we are thinking about international trade, we mustn’t forget about these differences and the different ways a user can behave online.
And in terms of reaching customers in different markets, how can companies ensure their offerings are found online?
As with almost any marketing activities, you need to start with researching your target audience. Ideally, we should perform separate research per country to understand how your potential clients search for information, what type of keywords they are typing into Google or any other search engine, how they engage with the content and which digital channels they are active on.
If we know who our customers are, how they behave online and how they look for information, we can plan our digital marketing activities in different countries. We want to be visible and have a presence where our target audience is. For example, if our target audience is mums with kids in Poland, Facebook will be the best channel to try. If we target marketing managers from the travel industry in the UK, LinkedIn might be the best option.
We should also work on a content strategy for our website and update it regularly. If our brand, product or services are not known in the market, content marketing can help increase awareness. By delivering content that interests your target audience, you are building trust around your brand, products/services and encouraging users to buy from you.
How much should a company invest in translation, making sure their offerings are understood? How should a company approach this when on a tight budget?
When we are entering into new markets, we can’t just translate our offering/website content. All our marketing materials need to be localised. Localisation is the process of understanding and adapting your language, communication strategies and your content to fit with the audience you are targeting, based on their location and culture. Getting the content right is crucial, especially in an online world as it’s so easy for your potential customers to just leave your website and go elsewhere, most likely to your competitors, if the content is not in their local language, if they don’t like the tone of your content or the images you use don’t look and feel relevant.
Hiring a translation agency that works with native speakers or a freelance native speaker to translate your content is highly recommended. Also, if you’re trying to make your content/offering as engaging and compelling as possible in order to encourage your audience to buy or use it, you can’t cut corners, you must maintain the quality of the content and allow extra budget for translation. Note – content localisation doesn’t have to be expensive.
Where should companies start when deciding an international strategy that caters for these differences?
The first thing we must ensure is that we understand our audience. It doesn’t matter if we are trying to trade in one country or internationally; we need to do our research. As mentioned, we want to understand how our target audience search, what type of keywords they are using when looking for information, when they are searching, which channels they are active on, how they engage with content, etc. With this information we can prepare a plan of how best to reach our target audience online – which channels we should be present on, what type of content we should have on our website, when we should advertise, etc.
The best thing about digital marketing is that we can amend it quickly. If we see after a few weeks that our activities are not bringing the results we were expecting, we can amend the strategy, e.g. amend the marketing message or move the budget somewhere else and test it again.
You’re speaking at Going Global this autumn. What will attendees learn from your talk?
I would like to show the attendees why digital marketing is essential when entering into new markets or trading internationally in order to reach their target audience. I’m going to focus on developing an international digital marketing strategy, what steps need to be taken to prepare one and the things you must consider when entering new markets.
And finally, what 3 top tips would you give to companies new to exporting?
Do market research – it doesn’t matter if you are planning online or offline marketing activities, you need to know your audience and take their local nuances/culture into account.
Localise – don’t forget that people speak different languages, are coming from different cultures and we can’t ignore this fact. If we want to get into their market and achieve something, we need to speak their language.
Be active with digital – even though stats regarding Internet usage or, for example, the percentage of people buying online varies country by country, we can’t ignore the fact that we live in the digital era. Digital is the best way to reach your target audience, regardless of industry or sector. People everywhere are looking for information and buying, so we must ensure that we are there wherever and whenever they are looking.