International online marketing strategies vary across business models, but the basics remain the same. From search engine optimization to content marketing, accessing a global audience requires solid methods to guarantee that you are making the most of your efforts. Here are five best practices to keep in mind when you are marketing to international consumers over the web.
1. Use Analytics to Find Your Audience
Before you can target an international audience, you need to know who your customers and prospective customers are and where they live. Using tools like Google Analytics will help you determine which regions to target. Wherever your website traffic is coming from, and where your most and highest-volume purchases are being made, will tell you where your largest audience segment abroad will be.
2. Know and Respect Regional Laws and Regulations
In some countries, certain messaging strategies might be frowned upon, if not outright illegal. Do your research and know how you are allowed to advertise to specific regions. Beware of product laws that pertain to your business, any online tax laws that may affect you, and restrictions on promotional offers and contests.
3. Internationalize Your Website
In an online world, your website is your home base. This is especially true in international online marketing. Your website is where your hard-working marketing dollars are directing your customers to learn more about your company and, hopefully, to buy your products or services. Website internationalization is key to tying everything together. The process of preparing your websites and applications for a global audience involves translating text and localizing your content and style.
4. Use Targeted Advertising and Niche Search Engines
Once you know which audience segments to target, set your advertising efforts accordingly. If you are using social media, be sure to translate into the local language and to use keywords that consumers in that part of the world will understand. Similarly, know which search engine is used predominately and localize your SEO strategy. For example, in China, users are more likely go to the search engine Baidu than to Google.
5. Measure Your Results
After all this, you need to know if your international online marketing strategy is working. This final step is essential for any company doing business over the web. What efforts yielded your best results? Which advertising campaigns floundered? Spend your budget on regions and segments that bring in the most revenue.
These five steps are basic elements of a vast, multi-faceted process. Use this list as a guide as you enter the exciting world of global business, and let us know any other good tips for international marketing best practices in the comments.
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