How To Use Digital Marketing To Set Up A Business In The United States
With their economic dynamism, and their important domestic market, the US are attracting many European companies in search of international expansion. However, there are many pitfalls to avoid when setting up in the USA. We talked with Pierre Alexandre Messner, expert in International Digital Marketing, on how digital marketing allows companies to facilitate their international expansion.
In your opinion, why is digital marketing essential for a successful launch in the US?
The cost of setting up a subsidiary in the United States is often underestimated by companies starting their international expansion. The legal and administrative complexity of the USA turns these new players into easy preys. Digital marketing, by its dematerialized nature, allows to test a market in real conditions without requiring the creation of a physical structure. This lowers significantly the costs of initial expansion.
Does the size of the company matters?
The process of internationalization by digital marketing is similar for many industries. However, start-ups and SMEs, by their flexible and reactive nature, can take full advantage of this potential.
What steps do you take to successfully launch a business in the US with online marketing?
As with any marketing project, we start with a market research. However, we will focus on the online market. We will study consumers’ expectations for a type of product or service, and see how this translates in terms of volume of online research, competition, and market prices.
According to you, do you need to create a new website when you target a new country?
At first, it is often not necessary. Once the market study has been completed, we recommend translating a few pages of your current website into the language of the targeted country. Then, we generate traffic with targeted online ads. With this method, we can test the products or services in a real situation, while limiting the costs, and therefore the risks. Once this learning stage is over, it might be necessary to translate the whole website, and implement Search Engine Optimization in order to generate organic traffic.
And social media, what role can they play in international expansion?
Social media are powerful tools. However, because of cultural differences, they require a good understanding of the targeted market and its culture before social medial can be well used. To save time, it is more efficient to set up partnerships with local influencers, who will be in charge of creating content and increasing the visibility of the brand.
Do you have any other advice for companies wishing to locate in the USA?
Human relations are very important in the United States, and contracts can be signed quickly after a first physical meeting. Digital marketing can also be an excellent tool to network and meet new contacts. For example, by generating traffic to a stand during a professional trade show.