In today’s global business environment, successfully reaching international markets is crucial for business growth.
This guide is designed specifically for business owners and marketers who want to acquire international leads for their businesses.
Packed with practical insights and hands-on strategies, it draws on real-world experience to explore proven techniques that deliver tangible results for businesses aiming to establish connections with a diverse international audience.
Let’s get started.
Generating leads isn’t an easy task on its own, it can be even harder in foreign markets. The reason is that you have to be aware of cultural differences and language barriers if you want to succeed.
Along with that, there are other things, such as understanding the needs of the market you’re targeting, knowing who your competitors are, and leveraging social media and the web correctly.
But surely, in this global world, anyone can do that.
It’s a great idea in many cases, especially when you are from a developing country and want to target high-end users, or if you belong to a developed country equipped with great resources and have solutions to the problems of underdeveloped countries.
In any case, acquiring international leads is a win-win.
For instance, if you are running a software development company and have low labor costs, you can offer your services to premium countries; you both benefit in this scenario. In fact, this is a very common practice nowadays.
So let’s see how to do it.
There are many strategies and best practices you can adopt to acquire international leads. Ideally, you should focus on many of those because you never know from where you will get your first client.
Your first client is the one that matters the most. The reason is that you often have some insecurities when dealing with international clients. If you successfully onboard your first client and deliver the job, it will build unbreakable confidence.
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Know your ideal customer:
As you know, lead generation involves the identification and cultivation of potential customers or clients. Therefore, understanding your potential clients and building an ideal customer profile (ICP) is the key step.
It seems obvious, but many of us don’t know who our customers are, let alone what makes them ideal. You can have all the lead generation strategies and assets in the world, but they won’t do anything if we’re not aiming at the right people.
That’s why it’s very important to build an ICP.
An ICP is a detailed description of the characteristics and traits that define a business’s ideal customer. It involves identifying and understanding the demographic, psychographic, and firmographic attributes of the customers who are most likely to benefit from and engage with a product or service.
So, you should understand their age, education level, and pain points. This is very important when trying to create a buyer persona. The same goes for figuring out where they go online.
Here, the pain points of customers play a significant role in running any successful campaign. It’s the point where many startups fail to conduct proper research.
You really need to dig deep and learn everything you can about your target audience if you want a chance at success. What is their buying power? Behavior? Preferred method of communication?
If you want answers to these questions, be ready to spend hours doing research. The best sources are usually consumer and market data about the country you’re trying to tap into.
There could be many resources that you can leverage to collect this data. It can be gathered through reports, surveys, and interviews with others who’ve already had a presence in that market.
But what I do is a bit different. Once I build an ICP, I figure out on which platforms they spend most of their time. It’s often Reddit and LinkedIn. These two platforms, in my case, matter the most because here people discuss their problems (pain points) and goals (aspirations), and working on both is a game-changer.
Going this much deeper will help you understand how your clients are going to respond to your ads or what messages will work best.
Now let’s discuss the best practices to generate international leads. Here are top 9 strategies that every business owner can leverage.
Attract Leads Using SEO:
When creating a marketing strategy, you can’t forget about search engine optimization (SEO). The top reason is its highest conversion rate and cost-effective strategies, but there are many other benefits that come along with SEO for a business.
The reason is that SEO is no longer the same as it was a decade ago when it was enough to stuff keywords and build backlinks from any website.
It’s not like that anymore; SEO is now about providing a great user experience, which, as a result, improves many areas of your websites and business. For instance, if you focus on SEO, you are indirectly improving your business website’s UI, UX, credibility, and search visibility.
In a nutshell, if you can find a reliable SEO team, it can transform your business brand.
Look at the benefits of SEO in this image
Now let’s see how SEO is important in generating international leads.
It doesn’t matter if you only want to target people in your country or globally. There are two things it does. It increases your online presence around the globe and brings in organic traffic.
But if you want to acquire leads from a specific country, the best is to dig deep and optimize your website for that specific country.
It will involve finding trends and keywords that are unique to that country. By doing this, you’ll be able to see what people from there look up and when.
In this way, you can create personalized content for your targeted audience.
SEO is a long-term strategy; it often takes 6 to 12 months to show significant results, so you should not rely on this alone if you are just getting started.
However, once you start acquiring leads with SEO, you can reduce your PPC costs by removing the keywords from your PPC campaigns that you are already targeting in your SEO campaigns.
You can reach out to Sturdy Business’s digital marketing team at [email protected].
Make sure your website is top-notch:
Create a website to attract customers and retain their information. Remember, it has to be easy to navigate and have your company’s details, products, and services. Using a form asking them about their needs, you will gather information from potential clients.
A good strategy for this is a quote form.
Check that your website is listed with the top search engines. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the least you should do. Test this out by searching for your site on each engine to see what comes up.
Remember, the visual side of the website must be presentable and professional. A good image can catch the eye of customers faster than anything else. While it doesn’t need to be an art piece, make sure it’s at least high quality.
If you don’t have a website, here is how much a business website will cost you.
PPC (pay-per-click) is very important in the beginning. With paid marketing, you can quickly generate a lot of leads. Unlike other strategies, you don’t have to wait for results; you will surely generate quick international leads within a couple of hours or days, depending on your budget.
This strategy works by using search language to your advantage and mixing it with social media interactions. Once you have this combination, you can throw ads at the right people on search engines and social media.
Secondly, you get to choose where and when your ads show up.
Not only does it deliver quick results, but it also takes out the guesswork. You can track your ads to see how well they’re generating leads.
With paid marketing, you have the ability to spend as little or as much money as you want on paid searches and paid social media marketing.
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a good thing to incorporate into any other digital marketing strategy that aims at generating leads quickly, like:
- Make lead generation more powerful
- Target any country, city, or town for leads
- Set your price for every click-through
- Manage overall spending
Online marketing videos:
Billions of people use YouTube, TikTok Instagram, and other similar platforms to watch videos.
Videos are all over the internet now, and it’s no surprise.
So, it’s an incredible way to market a service firm.
If you are an established business, try to get testimonials from your clients.
Video testimonials bring crazy results. Nothing builds trust like a customer testimonial. It feels like a miracle to see a customer talk about how outstanding your business is.
One of the greatest things about these videos is how versatile they are. Want to show off your firm? Use video. Want to explain the difficult services you offer? The video’s got you covered there too! This one technique is crucial for both creating and nurturing leads.
Quality Site Content and Content Marketing:
A lot of customers will spend time researching what they might buy, especially those spending a lot of money. According to Hubspot, 89% of B2B researchers begin their search online.
The better you get at adding details and useful information to your product page, the more likely your prospect will choose you.
Give errand buyers a meal with engaging information and they’ll most likely choose you.
Content marketing allows you to make all sorts of things: opinion pieces, blog posts, buying guides, FAQs, case studies, etc. The list goes on. Each of these works well on its own to convert casual visitors into leads.
And when combined, it gives visitors the feeling that they’re getting value out of your website.
For example, you can write an opinion piece that educates readers while also making them feel smart. If the title were “Do You Need 25 Hours a Day,” people would be curious and click on it because they know it’s impossible.
However, after reading it, they’ll be surprisingly convinced that they don’t need another hour but rather need to be more organized and productive. And just like that, it snatches the lead.
The best part? You can also use your content as a lead magnet – an opportunity to inspire your readers and collect email addresses in exchange for premium content. You can do it with a Newsletter.
Through an exchange, you can continue to provide them with useful information and foster a relationship of trust.
Develop Relationships with Local Companies:
Local companies are the perfect friends when it comes to expanding your business in a foreign market.
They provide qualitative and quantitative data about their local market. You can also join forces with them to increase your brand’s visibility and generate more leads.
Here are some ideas: write a guest blog post for their website, sponsor their events, or offer discounts for their customers if you can promote your brand.
Something like this doesn’t have to stop at one single thing. A partnership like this can grow in many ways and turn into a relationship that will help both of you achieve long-term goals.
Participate in relevant forums:
Forums are a great place to have open discussions and get to know your consumers better. It’s a little harder to reach out to one person on it than on social media, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The first step is to be as active as you can by answering questions made by other users (ideally prospects) and sharing your thoughts on topics.
After that, you want to be able to use the principle of action. You can make the most of answering questions in forums such as Quora and Reddit. Look for categories that relate to your business.
Coming across new leads is a major pain. On top of that, it’s even harder to expand your company while keeping your existing customers happy. The solution? An email newsletter. Both will be satisfied if you do it correctly.
Once someone signs up for your newsletter, you can offer them as much “quality education” as they want and watch the sign-ups flood in return. And when that happens, you can keep them engaged.
This is also an opportunity for you to make announcements about new services and special offers. It would be smart to give people a sample of what they could be getting, then hit them with a deal they can’t refuse.
A free subscription can be added to your website or automatically added to your signature block to help you grow your subscriber list. But don’t forget the cardinal rule…the better the content, the more it will be read and remembered by those who get it, which makes them less likely to click that spam button.
Write Guest Blog Posts
One of the best ways to improve SEO and get more business is by writing guest blogs. This is an effective strategy that should not be underestimated.
If you discover a highly relevant blog where your potential clients are likely already reading content, guest blogging offers numerous benefits.
- Connects you with industry pros
- Improves your SEO by giving you meaningful backlinks
- Brings referral traffic from a relevant audience
To find leads, write guest posts that relate to what you do. Just be careful they are not direct rivals—after all, nobody enjoys rivalry.
If you’re in marketing, sign companies would be perfect because their audience will likely be looking to market themselves, and your services help with that need.
Collaborate with local influencers:
Finally, an effective strategy involves collaborating with local influencers. For example, try finding popular podcasters in your target area and participate in their podcasts.
Alternatively, seek out relevant social media influencers and sponsor their content directly. By doing so, they will share information about your business and the benefits you provide with their audience.
This approach proves to be a great marketing strategy for acquiring international leads.