Real-time, genuine feedback and communication direct from your customers can give you a strong competitive advantage when growing your brand and business worldwide
Any business with serious ambitions of growing its export sales must embrace digital marketing and social media in order to communicate with, listen to and, increasingly, sell to customers.
Across the world, even in many of the developing countries, social media are playing an increasing role in people’s lives – just ask the 30 million Facebook users in the Philippines!So you can now sit in your office in Bedfordshire and get immediate, direct response from consumers and customers across the world. No longer do you have to rely on your local partners or British embassies for feedback and consumer information. And some businesses now bypass local partners, sell directly, and thus increase their margins.
As some of the case-studies in this guide demonstrate, the use of digital marketing and social media when engaging with customers across the word is open to companies of any shape and sizes and in different industries.
International social media and digital marketing – it’s all exciting stuff!
The online world presents clearer and more direct opportunities for businesses to reach new markets. The main problem is knowing where to start given the plethora of choice. The principal questions that businesses pose tend to be as follows:
- Which markets offer the best facilities and capacity for businesses who want to engage and sell online?
- How can businesses go about digitally marketing themselves in those international markets?
- How will the lie of the digital land in other markets affect the best digital platforms or channels for UK businesses to use there?
For UK businesses looking to build e-commerce foundations abroad or sell digital products, they will be very interested to know that South Korea and Japan have the fastest download speeds, making the consumer’s pathway to purchase far easier there than elsewhere.
Similarly, English-speaking Australia has the biggest percentage of the population online with 88.8% – presenting an excellent potential audience for their products without having to navigate too much linguistic difficulty.
Beijing, we’re told, is desperate to get its 1.3 billion citizens to spend as growth there slows, but it is the US that still offers the largest internet market potential with an estimated $11.3 trillion at stake. This might be the deciding factor for businesses sensibly deciding to tackle one market at a time.
For digital marketing purposes, it’s worth noting Facebook is not the leading social network in all of China, Russia, South Korea and Japan. QZone in China has the biggest number of social media users per country with 190 million. Do you know what QZone is and how it works?
Moreover, if you want a Chinese audience to find your products online, you’ll need to learn how Baidu works. In Russia, another huge potential market for British products, only 55% of searches go through Google.