As an entrepreneur, you are always looking for new and more effective ways to grow your business. But have you considered local monthly SEO services?
Since the internet has made the global economy accessible to nearly everyone, you’ve probably at least considered selling your company’s goods or services in overseas markets. After you conducted initial research on your chosen geographic market, you were likely pleasantly surprised to find prospective customers within the region’s expat communities. These population segments within foreign markets are growing due to globalisation and relaxed immigration rules that are in place in many parts of the world. Entrepreneurs who want to market goods or services in Hong Kong will find expats there who are technologists, logisticians, educators and healthcare professionals.
Here are five tips that will help you to reach this smart, skilled and well-travelled Hong Kong demographic.
#1 Associate Your Offerings With Popular Culture Products From their Home Countries
With a little creativity, you can endear yourself and your company’s products to members of Hong Kong’s expat community. Hong Kong hosts expats from numerous countries who are there for a variety of reasons. While these people probably would not trade their free-spirited lifestyles for anything, most of them love things that remind them of home and that cast a good light upon their native land. You can differentiate your company’s offerings to expats who live in Hong Kong by offering one of these nostalgic items as a free gift with purchase.
For instance, a company that wants to sell homoeopathic healthcare e-books, journals or a subscription e-zine to New Zealanders or Australians who now live in Hong Kong can offer their new customers a free, sample-size jar of Manuka honey. Wellness enthusiasts the world over recognise the honey for its extensive healing properties, and it is positively associated with New Zealand and Australia. A company that wants to sells skateboards to American youth who are living abroad may try offering a Vans t-shirt with each purchase. These free items are mostly non-perishable, they clearly identify with expats’ native cultures and they enhance brands.
Not all expats are alike – don’t offer a Brit Vegemite or an Ozzie Marmite! Unless, of course, you wanted to start a comment war to increase your social engagement. Just saying.
#2 Establish Common Ground by Recognising Common Nationality
The internet offers many ways to connect to prospective customers even when they are half a world away, and that connection to home is what many expats crave occasionally. If you’re trying to promote your business to expats who live in Hong Kong, you should start blogging and posting interesting visual and textual content on social media platforms. If you or a member of your staff is from the native country of your targeted expat community, mention it periodically among your blog posts and on your website’s About Us page.
Video blogging and educational podcasts are extremely popular, and they allow you to communicate with your audience in more transparent ways. When using these communication channels, there is no need to mention your country of origin because the accent and personality of you or your colleague will attract the right audience. Make sure that the informational topics that you feature on your videos are customised to pique your readers’ interests and not just to sell them your products or services. Social media platforms such as Instagram give you another way to start and build relationships with the expat community in Hong Kong. Eventually, you will establish your business as a wealth of information that also sells great products or services.
#3 Promote Your Offerings Through Expat Clubs
Many expat clubs meet virtually, and they have newsletters in which you can place advertisements. Expats also belong to clubs and associations that have in-person meetings. Some of them promote good causes, and others facilitate social events that relate to hobbies such as cycling, gardening and language learning. When these groups want to earn extra money for their organisations, they often partner with businesses that will sponsor their causes in exchange for special advertising. You could ask to become a one-time or long-term sponsor of their events to generate buzz about your company’s products or services to new and long-time expats who live in Hong Kong.
#4 Perform Comprehensive Local SEO
While selling your company’s goods or services to expats who live in Hong Kong sounds really exciting, you’ve got to find a way to get the right expats to your website, blog or other e-commerce platform. Search engine optimisation or SEO can help you to do this. Effective SEO optimisation starts with great custom content that provides value to readers whether they become customers or not. Identifying and judiciously using targeted keywords in the headlines and body of your site’s content can help it to rank well in search engines.
Today’s search engine are more sophisticated than ever. They understand not everybody is in the same place, and that when you want a coffee it doesn’t matter if the best one in the world is 100 miles away, you need one nearby.
That is where Local SEO comes in. It is a variation on SEO that focuses on there here and here, location location location.
Google algorithms attempt to match content seekers to information in their local areas. To attract a niche group like expats in Hong Kong to your site, you will likely need the help of local SEO services. By getting your site listed on expat-related forums and directories in local markets, it can be seen by prospective expat customers in Hong Kong even if those web surfers cannot easily pick up your site through organic searches. Sites such as AsiaXpat, Geoexpat and Geobaby offer local SEO services that allow your company to leave advertisements about offerings and links back to landing and sales pages. But don’t forget to start with the 3 step, 45 minutes, guide to being listed to promote your local business.
Company listings need to focus on actual physical addresses that are going to be close to customer locations. While Google considers “close” to mean within a few 10s of miles, it is still better than general SEO which is global.
#5 Tailor Language for Your Specific Audience Down to the Dialect
Don’t skimp on custom content. Part of effective SEO optimisation is delivering a good user experience to website visitors. Creating content that allows you to speak to a visitor in their own language and regional vernacular is one of the best ways to do this. Your audience can recognise authenticity issues a mile away, and language-specific content helps expat visitors to feel at home on your website. This type of content also cuts down on linguistic confusion because who wants to read about American biscuits when you were expecting an article about gourmet English biscuits that would go nicely with tea.
To truly connect with U.K., Australian or American expats who are living in Hong Kong, have a native speaker of their language and dialect write or at least proof read the content that you use on communication channels that target them.