VD21: Get Started With Expanding Your Business Internationally

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There are a lot of fears when it comes to expanding internationally. You might think it’s too expensive or that international audiences might not be interested in your product. Overall, it is hard to know where to start. These fears are often unwarranted.

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Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

1) Market Research – Identify a few keywords that best describe your brand or products. Head over to Google Trends and find out which regions have the most chatter around those specific keywords. These are the markets that will likely hold the most opportunity for you. Make sure to also translate your keywords in different languages to have a broader view of international interest of that term – use Google Translate to help.

2) Find Regional Influencers and Communities – Once you’ve identified which regions are best for your brand, search for different communities on social media that have a similar interest or focus. For example, you could find a Photography Group in Malaysia on Facebook or a Beard Lovers Group on Reddit. Start with Facebook , LinkedIn and TUMBLR and expand from there. Follow as many groups that relate to your brand as possible and become an active member of the group. Understand the competitive sphere in the market of your interest and whether or not there is space for you.

3) Decide on a Localization Tactic – You will need to start optimizing your site to welcome an international audience.  Start by translating specific parts of your site to increase understanding and conversions. For example, your shipping and return policies should be translated so that your new audience can get a good understanding before hitting buy. Translating certain parts of your site or your product names will also help to improve your regional SEO, making your site easier to find in search.

4) Create Your Marketing Strategy – Once your site is optimized for an international audience, go to the drawing board and create a marketing campaign. Be mindful of different timezones and schedule your content throughout the day. There is no need to create multiple pages that are country specific; manage one and make sure that it is tailored to an international audience.

Expanding your business internationally does take some planning but when done right – the REWARDS will be WORTH it!

If you want more information about expanding your brand to a global audience, check out my book on Amazon The Global Influence: E-commerce Marketing Tips for Small Businesses.

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