The economy is at its height. Companies are thriving and are not afraid to expand abroad. In their initial enthusiasm, they create a new website, plan marketing strategies, and prepare campaigns. Unfortunately, they often don’t pay much attention to the most crucial part - choosing the right market and an appropriate entry strategy. It sounds cliché, but it is very important. Ignorance isn’t bliss, and mistakes can result not only in huge costs but also in a poor reputation of the company abroad.
#1 Analyze the market and your own choices
Your analysis should be based on economic and demographic data such as population, GDP and GDP per capita to get an idea of market size and purchasing power. However, for an online campaign, it’s important to know other key indicators, such as the share of Internet users, the percentage of online shoppers or the size of the mobile audience. The official languages of the country do not necessarily correspond to those people search with on the Internet. Keep in mind the importance of the national internet domain, the payment options, the expected delivery times and other specifics of the purchasing behavior or technical and legal requirements of the sites.
Find out what associations are connected to e-shops or read some reviews on local price comparison between shopping channels. Preferences in individual countries will often surprise you, and it is strange how many businesses today just toss their local solutions into diametrically different foreign markets.
Knowing the market is one thing; satisfying it is another. Be self-critical, but always look for the easiest way. Does Britain work best, but the closest store you have is in Germany? If the British are willing to wait for their package for a maximum of 2 days, consider whether it is preferable to use, for example, Amazon warehouses instead of building or renting your own warehouse space in the location. Don’t have enough money to build a brand? Try joining local associations or price comparison shopping channels if it makes sense for your business and enjoy the popularity of them.
#2 Discover trends in search
The key words for your business and the trends of their search on the given market will be used not only in your online campaigns but also in the actual creation of the site. Don’t try to name your products and services in the way you’re accustomed to - rely instead on the most frequently searched queries of Internet users. The more words you have on the website, the easier your customers will find it.
Also check the seasonality of search and watch trends over a longer period. Both language and buying behavior change over time, so it is important to keep track of and analyze your keywords at regular intervals. Make sure you use the most searched, competitive, and expensive words on your site - and optimize it continuously for them. In the long run, it will definitely pay off because you won’t have to invest so much in paid advertising channels to be seen in the top positions on the search engines.
#3 Analyze your competition
And from several angles. Get rid of the keywords. Take advantage of SEMrush, AHREFS, or Marketing Miner. They will reveal the biggest players in paid and organic searches, show their ads and organic results, or even reveal competitors' keyword position, including an estimate of traffic to their site. You can easily find out where you stand in the competitive market.
Then you just need to analyze your competitors' websites more deeply – what their content is like, how they differ from you, how they communicate, what marketing tools and channels they use, how customers value them, and so on. If you make the most of your data for your entry campaign, you’re halfway there.
Don’t even underestimate technical solutions such as the speed of loading pages on your desktop and on your mobile - Google's Page Speed Insights tool will help you. If customers are used to searching or shopping on mobile devices in your country, analyze mobile site friendliness and compare it with your own solution and benchmark in the industry. Try Test My Site (from Google) or Web PageTest, which will also create a video for visual comparison of the page loading speed for the specified domains.
#4 Learn to run and react responsibly to change
Without input analyses, you can’t do it, but it’s important that you don’t take them as a dogma. What works today will not necessarily work in the next months or years. Use smart tools that will regularly monitor major changes on competitors' sites (product and service price, bestseller listing, or news section - test for example Visualping), mentions of your or your competitor's brand on the Internet, social networking and media activity, positions in organic and paid searches and lots more.
#5 Speak the language of your customers
On the website, in ads, on social networks, in online chats, on blogs and in articles. If you encounter a grammatical or stylistic error, it doesn’t sound professional. And it doesn’t matter if it was a home banner, and action banner, a product detail label or a box in the ordering process. Always work with your native speaker. And for expansion to foreign markets, it's double the work. You already have to convince your customers to buy from an unfamiliar seller, so you should be trusted every time they contact your brand. Flawless communication is essential.
Published: 17. 1. 2018, Marketing Sales Media
Online Marketing Strategist