International marketing campaigns offer exceptional reach for any brand, but there are unique considerations to keep top-of-mind, beyond what one would typically pay attention to, when focused domestically. Social media listening makes the effort much more manageable, but only when you know what to look for – and how. It’s an exercise in finely tuned targeting, and we’re here to help!

Red Rover, Red Rover Send Customers Over

It’s the furthest thing from child’s play to attract new customers, particularly when expanding internationally, but there are some pretty basic indicators to watch for when taking those first tentative steps – and chief among them is ensuring that customers even exist in the area you’re targeting.

How can you find out?

Had you read our 2018 European Luxury Accessories Report, you’d already have that answer – and many more besides, but let’s assume you haven’t seen it yet.

Let’s say you’re interested in learning more about luxury accessories audience in Europe, particularly Italy. Popping in to NetBase Pro, we can see the luxury conversation is pretty hot in the U.K., Italy, France and so on:

But what, specifically, is resonating with folks based in Italy? What are they sharing, noticing, loving about luxury accessories right now?

Poking around in the Italian stream of posts, which includes items from social networks, blogs, forums, news and review sites and any number of indexed domains, we find a new line of luxury handbags making waves – and offering a playbook, of sorts, around how to capture this market:

While Anastasiiam is a powerful brand unto herself, launching a new luxury handbag line takes legwork, and she obviously understands that, taking steps similar to what we’re walking through here, including partnering with local influencers that understand your market – and not ‘the’ market, but ‘your’ market.

And choosing those partners wisely is key. It requires careful influencer vetting and analyzing the audiences that bubble up in your sentiment search to uncover where their passion lies, as it relates to your brand. Sorting out where these potential purchasers are interacting online is super important too!

Anastasiiam obviously knows where to post – and what. Let’s knock out one after the other . . .

Where Is Everyone?

It’s a safe bet to assume a large portion of your audience is online, but that narrows it down about as neatly as saying you’re targeting all of the brightest stars in the night sky. The audience is defined, but you’ll never capture it.

Social listening shows us that the luxury accessories market in Europe, Italy specifically, can be found participating on Instagram, followed by Twitter and Tumblr, the social giants’ largely ignored (though it shouldn’t be) cousin.

And What Do They Want?

If they’re on Instagram, we can assume luxury shoppers love visually compelling imagery, clean lines and the air of exclusivity offered. All of those are guesses, of course, until we look at the actual word cloud defining these consumers’ most talked about terms.

And when we do, we see “affordable” luxury looms large, as does “vintage” and “modern” (no one said this would be simple) and finding something delightful, worthy of investment.

For some shoppers in Italy, that may mean investing in a vintage-ish, modern take on the leather purse! For others, it may mean wrinkle cream.

For you, Italian luxury goods seller, it means an opportunity to find appropriate adjacencies with whatever your luxury widget offers and latch on to some of those hashtags in a meaningful way, while posting on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr!

And now you know that your audience exists and where to find them online, you’re ready to share your top content with them and conquer a new market . . . right? Not quite. Not taking cultural differences into account is probably the biggest mistake novice international marketers make.

Avoiding Culture Shock

When considering Europe and beyond, the EMEA as a whole is vast, with an extensive variety of cultural concerns to keep in mind. One would imagine Italy doesn’t pose many challenges, but what if you’re marketing high-end athletic apparel to a Muslim audience? There are certainly sensitivities to keep in mind.

Religion isn’t the only matter to be aware of. The political climate around the world can prove volatile and you’re expected to not (albeit, unknowingly) take advantage or trending topics where emotions are running high.

Creating segments for each geographical area and exploring sentiment seen in each, each day, is entirely necessary. Don’t gloss over it and expect to skate by, because you’ll inevitably find yourself auto-posting some peppy during a tragedy.

As part of that effort, when advertising on specific social channels, you’ll want to understand and take advantage of each site’s localisation capabilities. Not only to avoid offending and potentially alienating a target market by offering hilariously worded sales on high holy days, but also so you don’t seem entirely out of touch and disinterested, peddling sweaters to those sweltering in Singapore.

Organize Your Efforts with a Landing Page 

And finally, let’s say you have the rest of it nailed – you’re on the right social networks for each segment and your posts are culturally on point for each country, but you haven’t thought through where to direct this traffic. All that work and your efforts are wasted!

You can quickly fix this, but isn’t it better to have it all in place before you get started? Of course it is. So be sure your social listening, cultural awareness and influencer selection are all on point.

Contact us to see how we help European marketers find and successfully interact in a variety of categories!

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