How to create a global marketing strategy for your small business

In this era of interconnectedness and technology, gaining a global audience for your business has become a completely feasible (and even necessary) strategy. An international market immediately skyrockets your exposure, which in itself can do more for your brand than personal outreach and word of mouth.

Global Marketing

Here are five tips on building an effective, global-facing plan:

Don’t be afraid to test the waters

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to global expansion, which is why testing the market is crucial. Narrow down your potential reach to one or two cities, and from there you can hire distributors to market and test your product out for you. As our IBNewsmag post on international sales suggests, you may also want to join trade fairs as a way to gauge the market and foster connections.

Understand the competition

In the same way you thoroughly researched your competition before starting out your business, you should look to compile a growing file of your international competitors. You may also want to reach out to local experts to determine the feasibility of your product as well as gain tips on how to better appeal to the local market. If you’re deciding where to expand, getting a lay of the competition can help narrow down your choices until you find a good fit.

Adopt the language of the market you want to penetrate

While you may not be able to pick up a new language immediately, it helps to familiarize yourself with slang and communication preferences for the country you want to enter. Research from the Centre of Language Studies shows that using consumer’s native language boosts sales only when used effectively. Knowing the cultural nuances behind a country’s language (even if it’s English) can help distinguish you from the competition.

Go online

Even small businesses that have been around for decades are going online to connect to their customers and attract new ones. SEO experts Ayima highlight that digital marketing blends naturally with an international reach, especially with the prevalence of smartphones. You should establish your social media presence on every major platform (ie. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), and consider boosted ads to increase engagement.

Keep in mind the legal considerations

This is perhaps the trickiest part of international expansion, albeit the most important. You’ll want to make sure your business has the right to operate legally in whatever country you choose, with Chron noting that some locations have lax human rights and environmental regulations. You should be deliberate about the countries you want to expand to and grow your business in such a way that respects local laws and the employees you will hire.

It’s no secret that coming up with a comprehensive marketing plan is tough. The added global aspect makes this plan even tougher, especially considering the sheer number of competitors you’ll be pitting yourself against. That said, a well-executed global marketing strategy can outweigh all the time and effort it takes to plan and prepare.

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