This article provides considerations and materials for building your digital brand online, with the goal of reaching more potential overseas consumers.
Last Published: 10/20/2016

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Building your digital brand online requires planning to ensure your success with your target customer segment in an overseas market.  For cross-border ecommerce brand building, determining the right mix of engagement with social media, marketplaces, and content for overseas search engine optimization (SEO) of your website can be a process of trial and error.  Adapting your brand to the market you are entering is important because the platforms you use for your current marketing strategy may differ in international markets. Your company may need to re-evaluate its position in this new market.  Take time to explore which online platforms are popular in the country that you are entering as it may differ in each region.  The benefit of this effort is increased overseas brand recognition which will translate to an increase in website traffic from targeted overseas markets, with the potential for more customers and more sales as a result.


Do I have sufficient resources for a long-term overseas brand-building strategy?

Create a step-by-step outline of how you will launch your online brand building campaign, before you announce your business to the local media overseas.  Take time to consider cultural implications like the significance of colors, language subtlety, religious symbolism, and traditions.  Major companies have made branding errors when entering international markets that have been costly by not taking the time to consider basic language translation issues of their brands and how the perceptions can vary based on perspective.  

What digital medium will suit you and your product or service online brand building best?  

Videos, articles, photos, and TV shopping all have their own strengths depending upon individual business needs.  Photography or a cascaded topic search optimization can be a way to bridge language issues.    

What resources do you already have to help build your “content commerce strategy”?  

Content is king when it comes to creating your online brand.  Ensure that you use tutorials, user-driven content, and product demonstrations published online help your “content commerce strategy”.  Creating quality content and engaging the relevant audiences online is paramount to your content commerce strategy.   Try to engage your clients and your industry online by building your network of professionals and potential consumers by providing content that drives online traffic to you as a knowledge resource.  Consider strategic partnerships with local content providers that can add credibility to your company’s cultural awareness competency.

Which social media platform would give you maximum exposure to your potential customers?

As discussed in our “Choosing the Right eCommerce Channel Mix” page, choosing the correct social media platform(s) depends heavily upon your particular products and industry.   Social Networks, Bookmarking Sites, Social News, Media Sharing, Microblogging, and Forums are all appropriate for retail consumer goods to engage with appropriate and meaningful brand content.  For heavy industries like aerospace, machinery, and chemicals, a more conservative social media approach is recommended, engaging professional Social Networks, Media Sharing, Microblogging, and online Industry Forums.

How do you leverage online analytics tools to grow your digital presence, analyzing your competitors as well as your own site?

The focus you should have when using online web analytics is first identifying what measures you will be analyzing based upon your organizational and consumer online goals.  Using website analytics for your website and competitors’ will provide you the data to determine the success or failure of these goals and will drive your strategy to improve the online experience you are providing.  Google Analytics, SmiliarWeb, are great online tools for monitoring your site traffic as well as your competitors’, while Google Alerts, WordPress Broken Link Checker,  and GigAlert are great online tools for monitoring your website links (to and from) and social media posts.

Do your overseas partners have a digital marketing strategy?  How will you leverage their knowledge of their domestic digital medial channels to build your brand?

After you have established business relations with a local partner, you may need to work with this partner to further refine a local marketing strategy that suits your product and business needs.

USG provided resources:

We always recommend contacting a local International Trade Specialist or Global eCommerce Specialist to receive free counselling on which markets are best for you through our International Expansion Blueprint service.  If you wish to look for yourself, we have prepared Country Commercial Guides on over 125 countries to better give you an idea of the business conditions for each country we have U.S. Embassy representation in.

Industry provided resources:

Please check back later!

For Further Consideration:

•    Protect Your Online Brand
•    Choosing an eCommerce Channel Mix
•    Identify eCommerce Market Opportunities
•    Optimize Your User Experience (UX)
•    Getting Paid from Cross-Border eCommerce
•    Ship Your eCommerce Products
•    Manage After-Sales Service
•    Price Your eCommerce Products


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