smart export marketing strategies trade accelerator program

5 Smart Export Marketing Strategies with TAP

Written by Rachel Richards

Do you have your sights set on international expansion? Marketing your business globally comes with plenty of opportunities. It can open the door to new audiences and growth, but to be successful, you need to come at it with a plan.

That’s what Canada’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) does best. An innovative learning experience, it’s designed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises gain knowledge and a network of contacts to unleash your export potential.

For years, we’ve been a federal digital marketing partner for TAP, mentoring members with hands-on workshops. Taking a consultative approach, we identify opportunities and gaps in your export marketing plan. Our team is obsessed with helping your brand succeed across North America and beyond.

Here are our top takeaways for promoting your business on an international scale.

#1: Know Your Worth

When you walk into a networking event, you have a personal brand (whether you like it or not!). How you dress, talk, and carry yourself speaks volumes to your peers. If you shape your personal brand in a way that aligns with your values while also appealing to your network’s needs, the right people will gravitate toward you.

Your business’ brand is no different. When launching your export marketing plan, you also need to know how to represent yourself. Have you defined a unique position that appeals to the market? Do your visuals and logo speak to who you are as a business? Is your tagline clear and compelling? When your company is expanding into new countries, you’re walking into a room of potential customers for the first time. Your brand needs to make the perfect first impression.

#2: Invest in Market Research

Who is your target market? Have you defined their age, gender, career, and stage in life? What are they passionate about? Which problems keep them awake at night? It’s important to know these details about your audience when shaping your digital marketing export strategy. This will help you create campaigns that address their pain points and help you choose the right tactics to reach them.

Don’t forget about competitive research, either. Do the established players in your industry have a strong social media presence? Is their website well-designed? Where are they struggling with their marketing? Understanding your competitors in international markets is a powerful way to know where your business can fill in the gaps. 

#3: Tailor Your Messaging

The way you speak about your brand may resonate in Canada, but people’s tastes and cultural experiences are quite different abroad. You’ll want to invest in a high-quality translator to ensure your message is enticing for your customers.

We’ve all seen the horror stories of brands getting lost in translation with their marketing. Remember when KFC launched their “Finger lickin’ good” campaign in China, only to find out that it meant “Eat your fingers off”? It’s crucial to be conscious of cultural nuances in your messaging. Be aware of local traditions, trends, and sayings. Your messaging matters, even down to the emojis you choose. 

#4: Think Strategically

With the plethora of digital marketing tools out there, it can be tempting to try the latest trend, or follow whatever your competitors are doing. Don’t fall victim to this urge.

You can design a new website, advertise on Google and Facebook, boost your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings, post on social media… The list goes on and on. So, how do you decide what to do?

When choosing your digital marketing tactics, always come back to the question: “Why?” Why are you doing this? Is it to boost brand awareness, connect with your community, or drive leads and sales? Once you know your goals, you can shape an export digital marketing strategy that guides you toward achieving them.

#5: Measure Your Success

We’re living in the digital age, so our marketing efforts better reflect it. Thanks to Google Analytics, you can discover a wealth of data about your customers from your website. Along with finding out about your users’ demographics and shopping habits, you can dial into how they found your site, where they’re clicking, how long they’re engaging, and whether they’re contacting you or buying from you.

Once you’ve begun promoting your business globally, it’s crucial to measure these metrics. Be sure to tie your marketing efforts to actual data, so that you can learn what’s working and where you need to adjust course. This will ensure you get the most value out of your export marketing investment and adapt your budget toward successful tactics.

Design Your Export Marketing Strategy

Are you ready to reach your international potential? TAP hosts plenty of mentoring programs in cities across Canada. Check out your local chapter’s website below to find out how to apply. We hope to see you at one of our next digital marketing sessions!


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