Selling your products or services abroad can be a great way to expand your business and increase your sales. It can also help you create global recognition of your brand. However, it takes a lot more than just having a good product or service to succeed in the international marketplace. One of the most important things you should focus on when expanding your business abroad is lead generation.
However, generating leads internationally can be a bit tricky and different than doing it domestically. There are cultural differences and language barriers you need to be aware of and overcome if you want to succeed. In addition to that, you need to know the needs of your target market, what the local competition is like, and how to use the internet and social media to your advantage. Here are some global lead generation tips to help you get started.
When expanding your business abroad, it is essential to do your research and learn as much as you can about your target market. Some of the metrics may be transferred from your domestic market, such as the age or gender of your potential visitors, but there are other factors to consider as well says Jonathan Ben Zvi, CEO of All Forward. What is the buying power of your target market? What is their buying behavior? What is the most popular way to communicate with them?
To accurately answer these questions, you will need to acquire consumer and market data about your target country. This can be done through research reports, surveys, and interviews with your target consumers or by collaborating with local partners who have already established a market presence there. This research will help you understand what calls-to-action or messages work best with your target market, allowing you to effectively market your brand to them.
When expanding your business abroad, you need to be aware of the local law and regulations regarding online marketing and advertising, as well as data protection. Depending on the country you want to target, there may be some specific regulations you need to adhere to unless you want to partner with a lobbying agency or risk being fined. For example, the EU has very strict data protection laws, so if you plan on targeting EU consumers, you need to make sure your website is compliant with the GDPR.
This goes without saying, but when expanding your business abroad, you need to be aware of the cultural and linguistic differences between countries. If you want to generate leads in a foreign market effectively, you need to create content that is culturally appropriate and easy to understand for your target audience, as you don't want to risk offending them or losing their interest.
To make sure your message is appropriate, it is best to collaborate with a local copywriter or translator who is familiar with the local culture and language. They will be able to adapt your message so that it resonates with your target market and can help you avoid any possible cultural blunders.
Having done your market research, you can start creating your localized marketing strategy. First, you need to determine your objectives and country-specific target audience. This will help you determine the right channels to reach it and the kind of content you should create. Then, you can focus on presenting your content in a way that will attract prospects and increase their interest in your offer.
For example, knowing your competitors, you can offer your product for a price that is lower than theirs but still profitable for you, or you can highlight some unique selling proposition your product has which will appeal to your visitors. Keep in mind that the imagery and colors you use, as well as your overall design, need to be adapted to the local market as well.
Search Engine Optimization is an integral part of any marketing strategy, whether you're targeting a domestic or foreign market, and for a good reason. SEO can help you increase your website's visibility in search engines and generate more organic traffic. When done right, it can also help you improve your website's conversion rate as it allows you to target specific keywords your potential leads are searching for.
This means following trends and keywords characteristic to the country you are targeting. Also, you should consider the fact that people from different countries use different search engines. For example, Google is the most popular search engine in many Western countries but may not be as popular in other parts of the world. And if you are planning to open brick-and-mortar locations in the country you're targeting, local SEO can also help you increase your chances of being found by potential customers who are searching for a specific business in a specific area.
Lead magnets are a great way to generate leads as they offer something of value in exchange for a visitor's contact information or other types of engagement. When you're entering the market, you can use lead magnets to increase interest in your brand and offer among your foreign visitors. For example, you can give away free e-books, white papers, or reports related to your industry, or you could offer a region-specific free trial of your product.
Whatever you decide to offer as a lead magnet, make sure it is something that appeals to your target market and that it is relevant to what you're selling. Also, make sure the lead magnet you're offering is easy to find on your website and that the process of acquiring the aforementioned freebie is as smooth as possible.
As mentioned earlier, local companies can be a great asset when you're expanding your business to a foreign market. Apart from gathering qualitative and quantitative data about the local market from them, you can also cooperate with them in order to increase your brand's visibility and generate more leads. For example, you can offer to write a guest blog post for their website, sponsor their events, or offer discounts to their customers in exchange for promoting your brand to them.
Such partnerships can be expanded even further and turned into long-term relationships that can later lead to joint ventures or other types of strategic cooperation.
Lastly, when entering a foreign market, it is important that you leverage social media to your advantage. First, you need to identify which platforms are the most popular in the country you're targeting as although platforms such as Facebook or Twitter may appear as global, some countries prefer using other ones such as WeChat, QQ, or VK. Once you identify the relevant platforms, you need to create social media profiles for your business and start connecting with potential leads.
By following the global lead generation tips mentioned above, you can enter any foreign market with confidence and start generating leads that will help you grow your business. Just remember to do your research, understand your target market's local culture and needs, create content that resonates with them, and use the most popular channels to reach them. The effort you invest in the beginning will pay off ten-fold once you start generating quality leads that can be turned into paying customers.
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