International Marketing Using Digital Channels: Approaches To The Modern Concept

Melissa Burns

The world is becoming smaller, which means the opportunities for digital marketers are growing. The barriers to reaching out and doing business on a global scale have never been so low. And, they’re only going to get lower.

Getting a jump start is key to catapulting your business or clients ahead of the rest. Knowing which approaches and channels will shape the future is key to doing just that.

The following are the most crucial internet marketing channels you should be using.

Websites

Yes, Facebook, Medium, and other properties are great platforms for companies to market themselves. However, at the end of the day, there is nothing like having a home for your business – and your business only – online.

A website gives you complete control over your narrative, how you want to portray yourself, and who or what you’re affiliated with. A website is the minimum requirement to win potential clients’ trust and credibility.

If you want a website to be the international face of your company, it’s important to localize content for as many of your key markets as possible.

Social media

More and more people are searching for businesses on social media to learn about them and read reviews from other customers. In fact, 95% of adults between 18 and 34 are likely to follow a brand on social media.

With about a third of the world’s population on Facebook alone, it’s an international marketing opportunity you can’t ignore. The same goes for Instagram and other huge platforms. Social media is also taking off in developing markets where access to smartphones is growing.

Through social media, you can find your customers where they hang out online. You can also cash in on tribalism and the need to belong by adapting your vibe to what your market gravitates towards. Furthermore, it shows a willingness to engage and transparency from a brand that builds trust.

SEO and content marketing

Content marketing has become such an effective SEO tool that the two have become almost synonymous. The numbers don’t lie; content marketing works.

However, when trying to market internationally, content marketing can be trickier. Not only does content need to be localized for different languages, but it also needs to be tailored to different markets to be effective.

Take China as an example where Western media are held to very strict standards. You may also have to optimize your content differently for search engines specific to these markets, like Baidu.

Blockchain

Blockchain and digital marketing are two words that usually don’t go together. However, just like blockchain is disrupting finances, it’s also giving digital marketers something to think about.

Because blockchain is new and the link isn’t obvious, the technology is still severely underutilized in digital marketing. Blockchain is set to revolutionize digital marketing by:

  • Cutting out the middleman when it comes to paid ads
  • Putting content creators back at the center of social media
  • Protecting users’ and visitors’ privacy and data ownership

The decentralized nature of the underlying technology means that cross-border transactions or interactions are less of a hassle. However, the regulations are closing in and becoming complicated, to say the least.

That being said, blockchain can open up new demographics for your business all across the globe.

Mobile

Mobile is taking over. Recently, internet access via mobile surpassed computers for the first time and is now at 51.65%. In America and Europe, as much as 97.1% and 93.6% of people have mobile broadband subscriptions. The global average is at 69.3%; while developing markets are slightly behind, it’s growing there at a much faster pace, particularly in Africa.

This means that modern Internet marketers have to become all the more sensitive to the needs of mobile viewers.

China, China, China

Chinese spending power and influence is growing at a tremendous rate, even in the face of rising tensions and trade wars. With a GDP of $13.06 trillion, if you want to grow your business internationally, China is a marketing opportunity you can’t ignore.

However, penetrating the Chinese market is not easy and comes with unique challenges:

  • The abundance of cheaper, manufactured-in-China alternatives
  • Government censorship of social media and other Western media
  • The practical difficulty of localizing and making sure all content is appropriate for consumption in China

Despite these obstacles, there is a rapacious hunger for Western goods in China, particularly in the luxury market. And, it’s worth investing time and resources coming up with a strategy to penetrate this market.

By using private networks, even Chinese markets are gaining access to Western media. It means it can still be worthwhile to cater to them on conventional media channels.

Bring the world to you

A great marketing strategy is as much about letting potential clients find you as it is about you finding them. By using these channels, and approaching it in a holistic way, you’ll make sure that the traffic flows both ways. The future is now, so don’t wait.

SAP next-generation benchmarking helps you identify the gaps and envision the Intelligent Enterprise. Learn more by attending our webinar on November 5.


Melissa Burns

About Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. She spends her time writing articles, overviews, and analyses about entrepreneurship, startups, business innovations, and technology. Follow her at @melissaaburns.