Most small business owners are concerned mainly about local marketing, and rightfully so. After all, they probably own a shop or deliver products and services in the real world, and that mean their customers live right in the neighborhood. To succeed, their marketing must convince their potential customers that their company should be the first and only choice for anything that the company offers.
But many businesses need to grow, and often that means even a customer base limited to an entire nation may not be enough. Expansion may have to mean luring customers from overseas, and that means you need to have an effective export marketing strategy to acquire these new customers.
For the most part, these export marketing strategies include at least one of the popular marketing channels:
1. Advertising in international trade magazines and other similar materials.
Print advertising has never really died out, and in some countries magazines and newspapers are still more popular than their virtual counterparts. You can also advertise in the local newspapers and magazines available to your potential customer base. The point is to make your company and your products more familiar for your potential customers.
2. Participating in international trade shows.
Again, this helps your company and products more familiar. Also, you can gain some initial information regarding how well your products will be accepted in your target markets. If you are an American company, for example, your current company profile and marketing strategy will have different results for European and Asian markets. You can gauge your best targets with the reactions you get in international trade shows. You can also get some clues as to what you should focus on or avoid in your future marketing plans for particular areas.
3. Using your website.
The nice thing about the Internet is that there are no real boundaries, technically speaking. But usually the results in search engines will be all about the “local” options your potential customers have. Since your website must appear in search engine results when a potential customer types in keywords relevant to your niche, you have to seriously put some thought in your website design and website marketing. Your website should be search engine friendly design with good web usability and conversion. You may have to use SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, PPC ads, or perhaps put some banners in online publications favored by your potential customers.
4. Sending emails directly to your international potential customers.
Here, you really need to put some thought as to how you can customize your emails to be more effective. You have to understand that customers in other geographical areas may have slightly different needs, customs, and rules.
Among all these export marketing strategies, email marketing can be the most cost-effective providing that your potential customers are heavy Internet or email users. For more extensive email marketing trade leads, you may consider world importer & buyer directory.
There are other channels, of course, such as advertising on TV. But these methods are usually very expensive. The point is to have an effective export marketing strategy at a reasonable cost, and any of these 4 channels should prove successful—if you do them right.