How to keep it local when you outsource digital marketing abroad

Posted by Jess Gamble on 21 September 2015 | Comments


More and more businesses - not to mention marketing agencies themselves - are opting to outsource digital marketing execution abroad. In many cases, doing this makes a lot of sense; there are a few excellent reasons why you might decide to outsource your digital marketing to a specialist agency based in a different country.

For starters, outsourcing the implementation of your digital marketing strategy frees up your time to focus on doing the things you really love, like cooking up your next genius strategy (or kicking back with a daiquiri in the Bahamas).

Outsourcing digital marketing abroad can help keep costs down and eliminate HR hassles.

Deciding to outsource digital marketing means you don’t have to employ additional permanent staff to get the job done in-house. Skilled digital marketing strategists and talented writers don’t work for peanuts, so putting together a top-notch team can result in a heart attack of a salary bill each month. Plus, no matter how much you love your staff, employing more people means opening yourself up to more ‘people problems’ and inevitable HR headaches.

Plus, if you’re based somewhere like the UK or US, outsourcing to an agency based in a country like South Africa can work out to be a very cost-effective option. This blog delves into the idea of outsourcing digital marketing to South Africa in more detail.

Digital marketing strategies are only effective when the content and messaging are relevant to the target market.

Outsourcing digital marketing to a foreign agency poses an obvious challenge: what if the agency can’t create content and marketing materials that resonate with your target market? Consumers respond best to localised content that they can personally relate to. You know it as well as I do: local is lekker.

Fortunately, there are digital marketing agencies out there that have extensive experience in creating inbound and content marketing strategies for both local and foreign clients (actually, we’re one of them).

Here are a few quick tips for tailoring a digital marketing strategy to a local market:

Always take the local culture into account.

It’s absolutely essential that your digital marketing strategy takes your target market’s unique culture into account. This means conducting thorough research into their traditions, religions, habits, beliefs and cultural preferences. This is especially important when it comes to creating content; if your content doesn’t resonate with local people - or worse, causes offence - your digital marketing strategy is going to backfire.

Public holidays and national events will have an impact on your digital marketing strategy.

National events and public holidays impact your digital marketing strategy in two ways. Firstly, they provide a great opportunity to create topical, localised content that can piggyback off the media buzz these events create. Secondly, it’s worth noting that posting new blogs or launching new conversion assets on public holidays could negatively impact your stats as fewer people are likely to see them on the day - they’ll be too busy taking advantage of the day off work to read business-related articles.

Effective content marketing requires flawless language.

It’s absolutely imperative that all content produced by your digital marketing agency boasts faultless grammar, natural style and eloquence - in the native language of your target market. Algorithms like Hummingbird use the quality of writing as a ranking signal, and consumers are easily put off by second-rate writing. In fact, language fluency is so important that if you’re trying to target a market that doesn’t speak your own first language, it’s advisable to look into outsourcing your digital strategy to an agency that shares the same mother tongue as your potential customers.

Don’t forget about time zones.

It’s essential that your digital marketing agency is aware of time differences between their country and that of your target market. This is because what time of day you post new content or social media updates affects engagement and click-through rates. When the ‘golden hour’ is depends on your specific region, industry, product and target market. For example, social media updates posted during siesta in Spain might not get as much action as those posted at times when consumers are sitting in front of their computers.  

Of course, I’ve only scratched the tip of the iceberg here; there’s a lot more to discuss when it comes to successfully partnering with an agency abroad. If you’re debating whether or not to outsource digital marketing, our new handbook Effectively Scale your Agency or Marketing Department is a comprehensive guide to outsourcing and offshoring your inbound marketing strategy. Download it for free here.

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Author: Jess Gamble

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