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How to increase your relevance in international markets

Expanding into international markets requires you to tread carefully and do your due diligence on the markets you plan to move into. With the right approach to brand awareness, digital advertising and consumer engagement, the expansion can run smoothly.

With uncertainty around Brexit, many businesses may be considering expanding further afield into international markets as opposed to selling their products within the EU.

Essential steps to expand your business into international markets

Before expanding into territories outside the UK and EU, it’s key to ensure you follow certain steps, including:

  • Evaluating if you have the funds to do so
  • Understanding if the customer base you plan to sell to exists in that territory and has a need for your product or service
  • Finding the right local partners and team members
  • Structuring your infrastructure carefully
  • Relying on local experts to evaluate your ideas and approach
  • Doing your due diligence on all aspects of selling in that territory
  • Having a willingness to be flexible enough to change direction and adjust your core offering in line with consumer demand

Increasing your relevance in international markets

Having decided to establish yourself in a new global market, it’s critical to increase your relevance and ensure you are catering to the needs of your new customers. Take a look at the following steps to get you on your way:

1. Tailor your website to your new market

Your new venture into a foreign market means your web presence has to work for users in that territory. The website must be up to scratch from a technical SEO perspective to be crawled by the search engines. Remember that while Google may be the dominant search engine at home, this won’t always be the case elsewhere.

The basics that you must do, include:

  • Specifying your target country and region with an international friendly URL structure. This is called country targeting.
  • Establishing which language your pages are targeting with the proper use of language tags. Called language targeting.

Once you have this in place you’ll need to create pages and update content in the language of your target users. This will provide your website with the raw materials to rank in the search engines.

2. Tap into local specialists

Too many businesses think it will be easy to tailor their websites and advertising messages to the local audience of a new territory. Often the approach is to simply translate their existing website and assume that will be enough.

Unfortunately, this won’t cater for the nuances of your new territory. The meaning of the language won’t necessarily immediately translate, and you won’t be accounting for the specific words and phrases that your new users will be searching for online. This means that you will immediately miss out on potential organic traffic through SEO.

The first stage is to work with local search specialists to conduct thorough keyword research, accounting for non-brand terms, transactional keywords and non-transactional keywords. Once you have this you will understand the terms you should be attempting to rank for, as well as informing your transactional website pages and non-transactional blog content.

Always ensure all of your web content is written by a specialist with knowledge of the local market.

3. Get to know your new audience

You’ve likely spent years defining your core demographics at home, but that doesn’t mean it will simply be mirrored in your new territory. You may have an idea of which users will be of the most value to your business, but you need to test and refine your theories to ensure you’re giving your business the best chance of success.

Use a variety of your own and external data points to define this, including:

  • Website analytics
  • Reports from any digital display campaigns you’re running
  • Analysis of your social media channels
  • Social media demographic data from the territory’s dominant channels
  • Social listening data
  • Customer reports based on local market insight

This must always be an agile and flexible process that is continually refined to find those customers that are best aligned to your business and most likely to purchase from you. See more on customer intent here.

4. Narrow down your targeting to focus on just that audience

Making sure your budget works as hard as it can, will be central to the success of your expansion, meaning there is no room to waste any of your digital advertising spend.

Once you begin to define exactly who your target audience is, ensure all of your digital display campaigns are targeted and hyper-relevant to your audience. Tactics include Retargeting existing website users, keyword targeting to continue to build brand awareness, and Geotargeting to make sure that your ads are only seen by your exact target audience in your defined location.

Once your campaigns are up and running, you’ll require ongoing insight and reporting to ensure you can make up-to-the-second campaign tweaks and changes to drive engagement with your new audience.

5. Ensure your ads always correspond to the language of the user

You may have multiple ads running across a number of territories at the same time. There could be a variety of languages within the territory you’re targeting. Either way, it’s vital to the success of your digital display campaigns that you provide a personalised, tailored and relevant experience for users.

Fundamental to this is to make sure that your ads are always in the right language for each consumer. Dynamic Ads offer an essential solution to do just that, guaranteeing that your ad creative changes in line with the preferred language of each user.

6. Always keep your ads up to date

Selling across multiple territories simultaneously may begin to put more of a strain on your internal teams. This will likely be the case when it comes to making sure your inventory is tracked and that any changes are reflected in the content of your ads. Real-time automation is crucial.

In-Feed ads will guarantee that your ads will always update in line with any changes to your inventory. The use of a live-feed ensures this happens automatically and in real-time.

Fluid Ads provides the complete solution for all your digital display advertising needs.

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