The “Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem” infographic

We are happy to share today a useful infographic sent by one of our professional collaborators of Comvort blog, Bri’an Fields, CONTENT MARKETING SPECIALIST from StraightNorth.

The “Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem” infographic was created by the Chicago SEO experts at Straight North, a B-to-B website design, SEO and PPC firm. It’s served as a blueprint to show how multiple online marketing channels can be leveraged to develop one online lead generation campaign.

lead-gen-ecosystem

This infographic can help both beginner and experienced marketers to:

  1. Understand how various online channels can be combined to create an effective online lead generation campaign;
  1. Identify issues in your current campaign that can be potentially costing you leads, and create alternatives to revise and scale your current campaign.

The hexagons at the top show the numerous channels that can be used to drive traffic to your website. The middle section illustrates the process for reporting, contacting and lead validation, which should be managed by more seasoned Internet marketers. And, at the bottom of the infographic, it shows the leads gathered become a new customer.

Professional Guest Post by Bri’an Fields, Content Mktg Specialist from StraightNorth.

5 tips to bring your global brand to a local audience

If your market is becoming increasingly saturated you might consider growing your business further afield. Take care though, what works in your native country might not always work in a foreign market.

Here are 5 tips to localise your global marketing campaigns.

  1. Think global – act human:
    A global company like Coca-Cola have their marketing campaigns revolve around people enjoying their products. The universal message used to frame this perceived emotion was ‘Always Coca-Cola’ which was then translated into different languages but the core message wasn’t the same. A more recent campaign was the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign which was first trialled in Australia and New Zealand in 2011 and saw a 7% increase in sales. This campaign was then subsequently rolled out globally. The message is simple and couldn’t possibly offend anyone.
  2. Research: When Proctor & Gamble first launched Pamper nappies in Japan it had a stork delivering a baby on the packaging. This packaging was effective in the U.S. but sales struggled in Japan as parents became confused by the image of the stork. It is recommended that you review your marketing collateral before launching your products in a foreign country.

    global

  1. Streamline content:
    To ensure your brand is visually consistent globally it is worth putting effort in creating assets, campaign resources and brand guidelines that can be used everywhere.
  2. Adapt to local marketing expectations:
    Expectations will vary per culture, for instance in the U.S. delivery is a key performance indicator and they prefer their goods to be delivered quickly, whereas France is much more focused on quality and delivery isn’t as much of an issue. Highlight these aspects in your communication.
  3. Global world: With social media messages spreading across the world much quicker – your cousin in the U.S., for instance, might complain about his level of service and you maybe based in the UK and this will still pop up on your time line. Customer service should be key and a global effort.

If you are looking to launch your campaign on a global level get in touch with your Comvort local agency partner today.

Professional Guest post by OWB-UK. (Agency Comvort Member since 2009).

International trade opens a world of opportunities and offers companies access to new customers, revenue and ideas

Interview with Teresa Gualtieri, UK Trade & Investment Manager who gives us an insight of the current state of the digital landscape and her advice for any businesses looking to maximise their digital outreach.

Teresa Gualtieri

Teresa Gualtieri, UK Trade & Investment Manager.

 

What advice would you give to companies looking to trade internationally?
International trade opens a world of opportunities and offers companies access to new customers, revenue and ideas that can boost a company’s profile, credibility and bottom line. Like any other major business project, research and planning are absolutely crucial to success, as well as pulling together the essential know-how, resources and team of professionals. The experience and expertise gained in the domestic market is also invaluable and the passionate belief in your product or service is no less important.

Is there anything you need to bear in mind with cross-border e-commerce?
Every country has its own tax system, covering issues such as sales tax. As you export, it’s critical that you understand these rules and comply. Similarly, you need to know what your legal obligations will be in the new market you’re entering. This includes local laws, product standards and regulations. For example in some countries you may need to modify your product, packaging or even get your goods inspected and approved before they can be sold there.

Also, it’s critical that you have an understanding of how Intellectual Property Rights vary across your markets to protect your brand and ideas.

Have there been any recent developments that you’ve been made aware of?
Yes of course, regulations change quite often, especially in the e-commerce sector. For example, the US has recently expanded the dollar limit under which shipments can be admitted to the US with no duty, fee or tax and with a bare minimum of customs formalities.

The limit had been set at $200 for over twenty years but the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 was signed into law by President Obama last February.  The most comprehensive customs legislation in over twenty years, the Act sets a new limit at $800. Another example is the ‘positive’ list for 1,142 commodities permissible to be sold through cross border e-commerce in China which was released last month. The list partially or completely prohibits importation of infant formula milk, health foods, food for special medical benefits, fresh foods, and others. Or – always regarding the Chinese cross border e-commerce – the new duty rates for items sent directly through the postal system and through free trade zones have been in place since April 8th 2016.

What are your expectations for future digital trading?
The combination of technology and the services it enables is stimulating consumer activity as society spends more and more time online. Mobile devices have driven this change with sales of smartphones and tablets surpassing laptops and desktops in recent years. Activity on social media platforms reflect this transition to an “always-on” culture and for many brands mobile is the strategic growth channel amongst the range of channels they operate. If mobile devices have already changed the way consumers shop, wearable technology will reinforce the ability of consumers to buy anywhere and do so when and how it suits them. When the consumer is “always on” and the market consists of multiple touch points for display and others for sell-through, the market is literally everywhere. Brands will need to stand out and be destinations that consumers want to spend time with during and outside of the buying cycle. Without this they will be lost as more and more companies of all types compete for screen time with consumers. Brand owners will need to adopt the mentality of media companies, invest strategically in content and understand the best channels to distribute it, by optimising the mix of owned media, earned media and paid‐for media.

How can you optimise your website for an international audience?
I would start from planning an international domain strategy and decide whether to use a Top Level Domain or a country code Top Level Domain. There is an interesting article by MOZ that I always recommend my clients to read because it sheds light on some important technical elements that not all businesses are aware of – The Guide to International Website Expansion.

Keyword Analysis is vital. If you create one keyword list and assume it will serve your SEO purposes across all the countries you target, you definitely won’t be targeting your audience in those countries effectively. Different keywords may cater to different audiences depending on location, so you need to identify which keywords are most popular in each country you’re targeting, and optimize the pages on that country’s website accordingly. In addition, remember that even a correct and accurate translation of a keyword or term may not be what people actually use to search for a product or service locally.

Speaking of translations, they are also a key element if you target markets where English is not the first language spoken. Definitely stay away from machine translations. They often sound robotic, unnatural, and sometimes, completely nonsensical to anyone who speaks the language natively. Publishing poor quality content on your website can undermine your company’s credibility to an international audience. Get help instead from someone who is fluent in the language you’re creating content for, ideally someone who is not just a translator but also a copywriter, or someone with some technical knowledge who understands your products or services clearly.

Localise content to each market. Currency, contact details, sizes, measurements, visual elements (images and what’s pictured in them), characters accepted in contact forms, tone of voice (formal vs. informal), page layout (some languages take 25% more space than English), dates and times, payment and shipping options, customer service in the local language…this list could go on and on!

If you’re going to export successfully – whether it is through your website or not – you need to understand the language, traditions and ways of doing business in your new market. Then your website should reflect these. By making this a central part of your strategic approach to exporting, you can help to build your new customers’ trust and confidence in your company.

What are the benefits of being part of an international marketing network like Comvort?
Easy access to key information and contacts are definitely the top two advantages of being part of an international network like Comvort. If you are looking to export to the UK please get in touch with UK Trade and Investment as there are professional advisers in more than 100 countries.

Professional Guest post by OWB-UK. (Agency Comvort Member since 2009).

*On behalf the Comvort Group, many thanks OWB and UKTI for the time in giving our members and readers all these interesting tips.

How can business awards raise your international profile?

Is entering your business into industry awards a priority in your marketing strategy? Here are five reasons why it should be:

  1. Marketing & PR Even if you don’t win on the night (obviously it would be nice if you did), being shortlisted is already enough to improve your brand awareness, helping your business take advantage of invaluable PR opportunities. This will be especially effective and help build reputation if your burgeoning brand is relatively unknown in a new international market.
  1. Benchmarking
    Entering an award could often mean looking at your business from a different perspective. A complete review of your business or analysing your competitors will provide you with the opportunity to compare and contrast within the industry. The whole process will urge you to consider new ways of improving the overall performance of your business.
  2. Seal of approval
    Whether you end up winning the award or finish only being shortlisted, being associated with a prestigious industry award will be viewed as a seal of approval by any new customers. This seal of approval will be a mark of quality, credibility and industry recognition, potentially forming a distinct centrepiece of your international sales pitch.
  1. Employee motivation
    Being shortlisted for an award will recognise the hard work of your employees. Selecting a few key members of staff to attend the night will also make them feel valued and appreciated, also providing great networking opportunities.
  1. Attract talent
    Who doesn’t want to work for an award winning company? By marketing yourself as an award winning company, you will position yourself as an industry leader and attract talented individuals that will push your business forward.

Professional Guest post by OWB-UK. (Agency Comvort Member since 2009).

Five techniques to get your business ideas heard and sold more effectively

Having what you believe is a good business idea is only the start of your journey. In order to get your product or service into the market place you will need to ensure that potential customers and investors know about your product and are interested in either supporting you or purchasing from you. The following techniques will help you to get your business off the ground:

Business ideas Comvort Blog

  1. Investors

If you need to obtain finance and support to get your product made and onto the market you will need to attract the attention of investors. To do this you should consider the following three aspects:

  • Technology is everywhere; you should use it to assist with your efforts. Create a page for your business on one of the social networks and get your company out there. If the idea is good this may be enough to attract an investor. Alternatively you can try crowd funding websites.
  • Targeting investors which will be interested in your business and market will increase your chances of securing funding and will save you time and effort.
  • Personal networks can also lead to opportunities. Make sure all your family and friends know what you are doing; they may be able to help or know someone who can.
  1. Customer Base

You need to build a customer base in order to have people to purchase your products. You can do this before your product is even ready. The best way to build a customer base is to start discussing your product on the social sites and discover if they are interested in your proposed product.

The feedback from your social sites can also help you to establish which customers may be interested in your product. This will provide you with an idea of the age range and type of consumer you need to attract and may help with your marketing efforts.

efforts Comvort Blog

  1. Complementary Products

An excellent way of reaching new customers and building a good reputation is to approach businesses which offer a product that is complementary to yours. If you can convince them that you product is of interest and will add value to their business then you may be able to piggy back their promotion or simply approach their customers through a carefully designed leaflet. This can be a great way of building a customer base quickly.

  1. Business Plan

It is imperative that you have a business plan; this will provide you with a set of goals and allow you to track your progress in comparison to your expected progress. A business plan will be essential if you need to calculate the amount of funds required to start your business and particularly if you need to convince others to invest in you. It will also show you are professional and take your business seriously; this will encourage others to believe in you and support you. A business plan does not need to be complicated; it simply needs to highlight expected sales and how you expect to get these sales.  You will then need to record your known costs and estimate any other costs to show that your business is a worthwhile venture.

  1. Marketing Plan & Sound Speaking Abilities

To complement your business plan you will need to develop a marketing plan. You may wish to target social media sites and offer discounts on a first purchase or repeat purchases. You could even offer a loyalty card. Your marketing plan should also ensure you utilize the opportunity to do direct marketing.  There is still a place for this and, if properly done, you can send every prospective customer a free gift which will ensure they remember you when they need your services.

However, to do this properly you must have a good idea of which customers are likely to purchase your products. You do not want to send free gifts to anyone! To create a really successful marketing plan you should create a thirty second pitch, this should summarize your business and you, ensuring the listener is interested in what you have to offer.

Last but not least, it is equally important to entice the audience; the best way to do that is with public speaking. Organize workshops and attend business seminars to let people know about you and your business. By creating brand awareness you make other curious to know more. However, for an audience to trust your product and your company, they must first get to know you.

Professional Guest post by Denny Averill & LondonSpeakerBureau.com!