Wondering where to start when marketing your business in new countries to gain a foothold on global markets? In this article, we’ll take a look at three ways to market your business around the world.
#1 – Using a Virtual Location
Thanks to virtual technology, you can now market your business internationally using something called a “virtual location.” A virtual location is a business presence that’s established using as many Internet-based tools as necessary to provide the appearance and functionality needed in a particular area.
Typically, a website is essential for creating the nexus of your virtual location, but it should reflect the language, customs, and ways of conducting business that are particular to that area. Furthermore, a virtual location should have means of communication that customers in the “real” area can access, including live chat, virtual phone numbers (see virtual phone numbers below), social media, email, etc.
The trick is to create a “sense of place” that has been traditionally established by physical means in an area (i.e. leasing property, staffing, directly interacting with customers face-to-face, etc.). With a virtual office, you accomplish all of these tasks over the Internet, and then use online collaboration software to handle tasks that have been delegated to foreign subcontractors and staff when needed, in order to deal with customers in person. It is through these actions that you can market your business more effectively.
#2 – Using Virtual Phone Numbers
Even though it is the 21st century, many individuals still prefer to speak to a person over the phone when it comes to handling their business. Therefore, when marketing your business, it is important to list all means of communication to complete the sale. This is especially true of toll free numbers, which gives your business an authenticity and professionalism that is a form of subconscious marketing while also footing the bill (toll free numbers charge the subscriber and not the caller).
However, there’s a snag when you’re marketing “regular” toll free numbers: international customers are charged long-distance fees or they may be blocked by their service provider. No matter how well you market these numbers, these obstacles may seem insurmountable… unless you use international call forwarding. International call forwarding is a powerful service that incorporates the functionality of “virtual phone numbers” and gives your marketing efforts the ability to reach over 140+ countries around the world — clearly an advantage when you’re looking to take your business beyond domestic markets.
These International call forwarding numbers are powered by virtual phone numbers, which route calls from one phone number to another (known as a “destination phone number”). By subscribing to a service provider that offers virtual phone numbers and numerous add-ons/ functionalities, you can exponentiate your market efforts and accommodate a global audience you never thought possible via brick & mortar physical means.
#3 – Match the Country’s Primary Social Media Usage
Social media offers the most cost-effective way to get the word out. However, one mistake that marketers forget about their global expansion efforts is that not every country uses the same type of social media.
Let’s take a look at the countries below to shine some light on where your time and effort is best used to get the word out on social media:
- United States of America: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- China: WeChat, Sina Weibo, Ten Cent QQ
- India: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp
- Indonesia: Youtube, Facebook, WhatsApp
- Brazil: WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram
- Pakistan: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram
- Nigeria: WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram
- Bangladesh: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
- Russia: Vk.com, Ok.ru, Moi Mir
- Japan: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
- Mexico: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest
As you can see, there are variances among the prominence of social media being used, as well as various social media platforms that are unique to those countries. By successfully marketing your business in accordance with how each particular country utilizes them, you can gain insights on to how to best reach larger customer bases, which traditional methods (now obsolete) could never imagine.
by Tom Senkus
Author’s Bio: Tom Senkus is an international entrepreneur that shares his experiences and tips for expanding your business to new countries. His work has been featured in over 50+ publications. For more information on his rates and services, visit www.tomsenkuswriter.com