International Digital Marketing Challenges in 2021

2020 was a year that saw many changes and it was the year that underlined the importance of digital marketing. The global COVID pandemic pushed industries to embrace new digital solutions, allowing B2B and B2C companies to use digital marketing as an essential tool for communicating and engaging with new and existing customers across the globe.

In a study carried out by Forbes it was found that innovations in digital marketing in 2021 have provided a greater variety of platforms to create more effective marketing communications. And with a huge number of digital tools and tactics available for companies to reach their target audience, this has been challenging for many companies.

In this article we will analyse the international digital marketing challenges companies face in 2021 and how companies can embrace change by being open to new opportunities for growth as follows:

• Adapting creative marketing strategies that respond to current consumer needs who are living and working in the “new normal”.
• The importance of enhancing the user experience of your website and how translation and localisation can play a vital role.
• Understanding your consumer and monitoring online purchasing behaviour.
• Breaking through the noise and opportunities to reach customers in multiple languages in an ever-increasing and rapidly evolving digital world.

Digital Marketing and Personalised engagement

With many of us still working from home or adopting a hybrid working model, marketers need to adapt to this change and be where their customers are in their life/work journey. Now is the time to adopt personalised engagement for a true two-way dialogue, for example via mobile messaging, as this will help to enhance customer experience and loyalty. Not only do customers want a seamless shopping experience, but they are also seeking brands that show humanity, compassion and a desire to use their power for the general good and not just the bottom line.

Think out of the box: International Digital Marketing

Now that more companies have moved online, consumers are becoming tired of digital advertising. As a result, marketers need to think out of the box and use a mixture of social media content, content placement on quality news and business sites as well as company-owned content channels. And if your brand is present in, or you wish to expand to, international markets, this may require employing an international marketing agency that has the local knowledge of the market you wish to target to successfully engage with your consumers.

Increased competition and market saturation

Increased competition leads to more demand and higher costs for brands. An online marketing 2021 strategy should focus on quality not quantity to drive conversion. Market saturation is one of the biggest worries and to rise above the rest it will be key to adapt quickly and stay ahead of the curve.

Enhancing user experience in multiple languages

Google is putting huge importance on the user experience, implementing “Core Web Vitals” (CWV) metrics to assess areas of website design that relate to good user experience. In fact, according to research carried out by CSA, 40% of consumers will not buy from websites in another language. Therefore, a website that has been translated and localised for its target market can play a critical role in enhancing user experience.

Third-party tools for international digital marketing

Use third-party tools such as Google Analytics to monitor online purchasing behaviour. It is essential to carry out keyword research to understand how consumers are searching for products across global markets in multiple languages. Third-party data can also help businesses to understand consumer profiles. Audience building, identity graphs, intent data and other strategies should empower marketers to achieve greater precision marketing and insights into buyer behaviour across international markets. Current challenges include search volumes showing low numbers for specific industries like hospitality as a result of not being able to travel regularly in the past 18 months. Opportunities come in the shape of new ways of searching, new keywords and shopping habits that need to be taken into account.

Social media

Social media policy changes are likely to be made across the social media giants. It is important to watch these changes closely for companies to effectively sell across these platforms. The use of local social media platforms within your target market can also help companies to successfully reach international customers. For example, in Russia social media giants Facebook and Twitter do not have the same market share as they have in Europe or North America. Instead, social media platforms such as VKontakte (VK) and OdnoKlassnik dominate the market. What is more, international companies need to adapt to the local market and understand that social media strategies that work in one country may not work in another.

Embracing change
Inevitably, keeping up with constant change since the start of the global pandemic has proved difficult for many companies and adapting to a new digital era has posed challenges.

These challenges can be turned into opportunities if companies can remain flexible, react quickly, monitor business metrics, change, or develop new assets and update their core message to reflect changes during the pandemic.

It is clear that we are now living in a new era of digital marketing that has opened the door to reach new audiences, allowing companies to rediscover consumer needs in multiple countries.

By adopting an openness to growth, working together, sharing knowledge, research and developing innovative international digital marketing strategies, businesses can look to succeed domestically and internationally in the “new normal” digital world we now live in.

Where are you at?

If you are looking to expand your business to international markets and need help to create a successful international digital strategy, translate and localise your product or service offering, contact us today.

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