So what could Crystal Swing have to do with international trade?
Crystal swing‘s recent foray into the US market is just another example of when the web, and social media in particular, acts as a communication tool to establish an overseas market.
This is a bit of fun really, but it still acts as a good example as to how a business could ‘test the waters’ online before committing capital to sales, marketing and production overseas. Now, i’m not saying if you release a YouTube Video on the in’s and out’s of textile manufacturing it will attain 532,936 views, but if it can achieve 1000 views, with feedback through comments, you could have gained clients as well as carried out your market research.
The people at the Ellen Degeneres show in the US got a hold of this clip and it was broadcast on St.Patrick’s Day this year. Honoring a vow she made to have the Cork trio appear on the show at that stage; they performed for up to 4 million viewers this week live on her show.
Using this as a kind of odd case study for business expansion overseas, a simple pattern emerges:
- When you decide to provide a product or service abroad, test the market. Create great content around your service using video, photography, articles etc. to be posted on social media sites like YouTube and Facebook.
- Its not a case of sit back and wait for the Ellen to call you up: You can actively spread your content at the beginning, perhaps emailing a gathered list of prospective customers, or using sites like LinkedIn to create connections and spread the content.
- Invite users to submit feedback on the service and to join your company on these social networking sites
You can then make a better informed decision on your expansion, and save money. While creating great content and managing your initial web-marketing activities are not cheap, it still stands well behind the cost of a mismanaged and ill-informed move abroad.
It is vital to have in place a cohesive search engine optimisation, pay per click and Analytics plan when deciding to export. You need to make sure your site appears on search engines to create awareness. Also, when dipping your foot into another market, Analytics tools are critical to measure your results and plan from there.
As a proud Corkonian, I would like to say at this point that Crystal Swing, and the views held by the group in no way represent the people of Cork!