Top Tips: International expansion

Expanding your brand internationally is a daunting and exciting prospect and it goes without saying that you should do your research. While there’s no shortage of advice on what your top considerations should be, we’ve selected what we think are the most important for getting it right.

1.) Know your markets

If you’re going to break in to a new market, it’s important to understand local market conventions and laws. For instance, consumers in different countries may have different preferred payment methods and don’t forget the more obvious variations such as sizing for clothes. You’ll also need to think about taxation and other legal requirements such as import and export fees.

2.) Do the math

Expanding into any new territory will require some degree of up-front investment. Website adaptations will need to be budgeted for as well as the ongoing operating costs in your new markets. If you’re starting out as an unknown brand you’ll need to think carefully about your marketing budget. CPA isn’t always the preferred payment model for publishers outside the US so be prepared to trial CPC and CPM in the early stages. Think about how you plan to deal with conversion rates and whether you’ll need to adjust your pricing. Make sure you set realistic goals and objectives for the early stages of your expansion, don’t overestimate sales revenue in the early days and allocate contingency budget.

3.) Set yourself up for success

Take the time to set up your site properly for international trading; a localised site is always better for conversion. Invest the time in translating your site to maximise its appeal. The same goes for currency. Make sure you’re your site is optimized for handling traffic from different markets – serving the right language and currency automatically makes for a better user experience. Make sure that research you did into local market conventions is implemented and not lost! Think about an offline presence – temporary pop-up stores or concessions in big local department stores can be a cost effective way of getting offline exposure.

4.) Know your audience

Make sure you understand your consumers and remember your target audience might differ slightly in your new markets. Think about whether you’ll need to adjust your messaging or whether translations are enough. When trying to gain market share in a new territory it’s essential that you stand out from the crowd. Audit established competitors in your target markets to make sure your offers are competitive and your messaging is relevant. Think about including customer reviews on your site as a way of building trust with new audiences.

5.) Optimize your publishers

Think about how your performance strategy can help you gain market share. Think about international publishers you’re already working with can help you break in to new territories. Remember too that each market will bring with it a new set of publishers you’ll need to build relationships with and that different publisher types will perform differently in each market. Your local account managers will know their own markets – which publishers work well and how to optimise your relationships with them. Meanwhile your global account manager will be able to keep your international strategy on track.

For more guidance on how Webgains can help you launch in new markets, speak to your account manager.