In 2021, the International Division embarked upon a new journey—a digital one. In search of some post-pandemic lessons on virtual international marketing, we created a pilot program entitled just that—Virtual International Marketing (VIM). Through this program, we recruited eight Kansas companies who currently export and walked through their digital strategies with them, looking for opportunities for growth and ways to align their virtual and export engagements. In partnership with Kansas Global Trade Services, the U.S. Commercial Service and the Kansas Small Business Development Centers, we determined several basic lessons about VIM in relation to a company’s export strategy.
Since virtual is here for good, businesses will have to increase their digital marketing strategies including their websites, social media accounts, blog posts, video content, ads, etc. For exporters, that means incorporating digital tools and platforms into your Since virtual is here for good, businesses will have to increase their digital marketing strategies including their websites, social media accounts, blog posts, video content, ads, etc. For exporters, that means incorporating digital tools and platforms into your sales practices. Utilizing video communications can be a cheaper and surprisingly effective way to communicate with distributors, agents, partners and customers around the world. When it comes to social media, company leaders should be considering ways they can align their social media presence with the values and practices of their businesses. Another tip for companies who want to show the value of their products to target customers is by displaying on every page of your website that your products are Made in the U.S.A.
It is also valuable to ensure text on your website is easily translatable, allowing for greater accessibility across the world, since the internet is different in every country. Consider if graphics on your webpages have words in them. Have you tried to translate them?
What does your contact form look like? Are there required fields that are formatted in a specific way? Most other countries do not have the same phone number format as the United States, so considering this when creating contact forms can be the difference between gaining a sales lead and losing one. When addressing VIM, it is important to consider digital strategies such as SEO and localization. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is about the continual process of updating keywords, metadata descriptions and creating backlinks to your websites from other sites such as social media platforms. Using tools such as Google Analytics can help you determine where most of your website traffic is and what people respond to. Focusing on those areas can increase your ranking on search engines and ultimately get your company in front of customers looking for solutions.
Virtual International Marketing is a valuable process that can help make your job of selling your product easier, simply by focusing on your company’s digital presence. For more VIM guidance and other best practices, we will be developing a Best Practices in VIM Guide that will be available for public use in early July. Stay tuned for the official release of that guide. To learn more about the program and review webinars from our VIM Webinar Series on topics such as SEO, Website Localization or Funding Opportunities, visit www.kansascommerce.gov/virtualinternationalmarketing.
To learn more about the VIM program, contact Rosie Nichols or read more online.