Despite two major megatrends, the so-called globalization and digitalization, many companies are stuck in their home markets. While digital marketing provides opportunities for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), it is a must-have for enterprises already engaged in international business.
Lack of international digital marketing
It is unclear why many corporations have not localized their websites or actively do global digital marketing. Our hypothesis at Konvertigo is that it’s because of the perceived “hassle” relating to internationalizing one’s digital marketing. It is perceived as difficult and expensive by corporate decision makers – it’s seen that one would need to understand many different cultures and deal with several service providers. Obviously, when something goes beyond a marketing executives comfort zone, decisions in that space are not actively sought.
Three steps to global digital marketing
However, global digital marketing is not as complicated as it might seem. Partly for that reason, we are offering global digital marketing services relying on efficient processes that leverage the so-called superplatforms. In this blog post, I will outline four steps to global digital marketing. They are:
- Localizing website content
- Advertising on locally relevant platforms
- Integrating global digital marketing to the sales process
Start from the website. Let’s examine these points in more detail. First, localization of website in local languages is an obvious first step. Even without any outbound marketing efforts, localized content is indexed by search engines and potentially attracts organic traffic (search-engine users). The richness and extent of content is important though; to capture long-tail searches and to increase search engine rankings, one needs to produce a wide range of search-engine optimized text material. In the internationalization process of digital marketing, this is done by first producing so-called Master Content Copy (MCC) which is then localized into the necessary languages. Note that localization is more than just translation – it requires an understanding of the local culture and customer behavior. The languages are defined by the company’s markets – where they do business. In general, the more languages the better for organic traffic; it is also important to keep in mind that localization can be used as a market research investment: even before entering a market, a company can create a localized landing page and analyze traffic to make the decision of market entry. Support with advertising. Second, while there may be some level of organic traffic, most often it makes sense to advertise. Global digital marketing can be a highly cost-efficient means to drive website traffic. I once supervised a team doing a global campaign (over 100 countries) for a Finnish clothing brand, and their average click price was less than 10 cents. In that case the company was already internationally known, but in any case digital marketing is often more cost-effective than other forms of marketing. One first chooses the suitable advertising platforms – modern marketers greatly benefit from superplatforms that cover most of the globe (e.g., Google, Facebook, Twitter) but there are country-specific platforms, too. Especially in large markets such as China and Russia, one should include local dominant platforms to the marketing mix. However, having too many channels can potentially erode efficiency benefits, so we never recommend using more than a few ad platforms at the same time. Similar to website localization process, in international digital advertising the marketer first creates a Master structure and then localizes that to the chosen languages. The Master structure includes e.g. chosen keywords and written ad copy texts, along with account settings such as budgets and targeting. Due to efficiency of digital platforms, the structures can be efficiently copy-pasted between accounts, and their management is also effective. Integrate into sales. While website content and engaged traffic are important, they are not enough. Companies are interested in final outcomes, i.e. conversions. For this purpose, global digital marketing needs to be tied with the sales process. For example, there needs to be ability to provide native customer support (especially for B2C companies) and native sales agents (especially for B2B companies) so as to support the customers purchase process. In a technical sense, marketing automation can assist in generating more leads and conversions, but additional adaptations from the organization are needed to prevent discrepancy (e.g., a customer from country X is being shown ad and website content in his language, but he is unable to get native response to his sales inquiries). In conclusion, companies should take advantage of global digital marketing opportunities. Global digital marketing can be carried out efficiently by using a process which includes creating a Master structure and then replicating that to whatever number of countries and languages, whether is 5 or 55. Konvertigo’s offering has been created by following the step-wise thinking to the internationalization of digital marketing activities. We offer the following services:
|Website and social media content||Creating & localizing textual content. The first step of global digital marketing.|
|Search-engine advertising||Reaching potential customers in search engines (e.g., Google, Baidu, Yandex). Great for demand capture, i.e. promoting existing products and product categories.|
|Social media management and advertising||Reaching potential customers in social networks (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Vkontakte, Weibo). Great for demand creation, i.e. promoting new products and product categories.|
|Market research||Get a comprehensive inside view into the target local markets and implement the best online promotion strategy based on the findings.|
To guarantee high-quality localization, we work together with local marketing experts in target countries.