The Philippines is rich in natural resources. Filipinos are also one of the most skilled and talented people on the planet. No wonder why we are one of the top exporters of agricultural, mineral, arts and crafts and other products to the world.
The business of exporting products to the world can be profitable. Your market is bigger. However, the competition is also bigger since you will be competing with suppliers all over the globe. To penetrate the international market, you have to utilize the power of information technology to reach your target partners or consumers who are miles and miles away from you.
Here are some tips to market and promote your products to your target market outside the Philippines.
1. Build a website.
To connect and keep in touch with your target customers or business partners abroad, you need to have a website. A professional and responsive website will showcase your company, place, people, and most importantly, your products. It will serve as your own place online where your customers can reach anytime and anywhere. If you are selling and accepting payments online, your website should also be secure and e-commerce enabled.
Having your own website will help you initiate various online marketing strategies and tactics, such as search engine optimization, social media marketing and content marketing. If you need a website, which is e-commerce enabled, easy to manage and optimized for your digital marketing campaigns, you may contact us to build one for your export business.
2. Blog your products.
A blog can be a powerful tool to promote your products and increase brand awareness. If you are selling or exporting products to the world, such as “banig” mats, woodcraft and coconut products, write and publish interesting blog posts about them. If your business website is built with WordPress CMS, you can write and easily publish blog posts using the platform. Blogging will not only help you promote your brand, but it will also help establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
3. Invest in rich media marketing.
Your manufacturing plant or office is far from your target market. Hence, invest in rich media like engaging images, infographics, slide presentations and videos of your products, then share them to your target market thru your digital channels, such as your website, blog, social media pages and emails. By creating and sharing rich and informative digital marketing materials, you’re bringing your business and products closer to your market.
4. Optimize your website for search engines.
Importers around the world use Google and other search engines to find potential exporters or suppliers of the products they need. To capitalize the opportunity, hire SEO professionals to optimize your website for search engines and their users. Your homepage and other web pages should have titles, descriptions and content that will make them rank higher in the search engine results pages for keywords that are relevant to your target market.
Another way to make your export business more visible on search engines is to advertise using Google AdWords. Organic SEO can take time to generate results. If you like to get timely leads, then PPC marketing might help you. AdWords lets you advertise products on search engine results pages for targeted keywords and location, then pay only for results (Pay Per Click or Impressions).
5. Promote your business on social media.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other social media platforms can help you boost your brand awareness. By creating social media pages and attracting relevant followers, you can encourage people to share, make a buzz, and spread the great news about your brand. You can also use paid advertising, like Facebook Ads, to increase your social media reach and engagements.
6. Promote your products on B2B marketplaces.
Register an account on B2B marketplaces, such as Alibaba, Tradekey, Importers.com and Go4WorldBusiness.com. These B2B portals will help you connect to importers around the world. You can post your export products on these sites to find buyers or you can also send quotations to importers who are posting RFQs (request for quotations). Most of these portals offer free account registrations, but to maximize their features you might need to register for a premium membership.
7. Do email marketing.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective and efficient marketing strategies online. This strategy can be outbound or inbound. Outbound tactics include directly contacting your prospects to introduce your company and products. On the other hand, inbound email marketing tactics include creating a valuable resource in your website, like a useful blog, to encourage target importers to subscribe their emails to receive your newsletters and product offers in their inbox.
8. Invite media, bloggers and other influencers.
Get help from influencers who can spread the words about your business. Invite the press, bloggers and social media influencers to taste and experience your products so they can publish articles or news about them. Great blog posts about your business from relevant bloggers can increase your search engine visibility and even boost your social media presence. But if you are planning to invite bloggers, invite only the ones whose niche are highly relevant to your business and those who can write engaging blog posts that can attract a large audience.
9. Join trade fairs or expos.
Join trade fairs to exhibit your products to thousands of potential international business partners. If you’re into food manufacturing and exporting, you might want to join the upcoming Foodex Japan in 2017. You can also visit the website of World Trade Center in Manila to check upcoming international trade shows that are relevant to your business. Joining trade fairs as an exhibitor will not only give you an opportunity to showcase your products to the participants, but it will also give your business and opportunity to be featured by the media agencies and people who are covering the event.
10. Join associations of exporters.
Joining associations of exporters in your industry will provide you a lot of opportunities, such as networking, more exposure to business partners, and access to business and marketing support. In the Philippines, you may apply as a member of The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) to get a lot of benefits, including the inclusion of your company in their directory. You may also look for an association that is specific to your industry. For example, if you’re exporting coconut products, the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP) can help you in many ways.
11. Get certifications.
The international market, especially the first world or developed countries, can be demanding when it comes to product certifications like quality, organic and fair trade certifications. Therefore, if you like to stand out from the competition, consider getting certifications that can make your products stand out from the crowd.
12. Get help from the government.
The Philippine government has programs that are aimed to help the export industry in the country. There are also government agencies that can help you promote your export business. These agencies include the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its export promotion arm The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). If your product is related to Philippine tourism, you can also connect with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to collaborate with their marketing campaigns.
There you are. I hope that the marketing tips I’ve mentioned above will help you connect to more business partners and make your export business grow. There are still many other marketing strategies, tactics and techniques that you can implement to ensure your success. To discover them, know your business deeper and understand your target market better. Moreover, before doing any marketing campaigns, make sure that you have a great marketing plan.
If you have questions, feel free to make a comment below. If you need digital marketing solutions for your export business, such as website development, SEO, content marketing and social media marketing, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.