As a recent report from the World Trade Organization (WTO) details, “Global trade recorded its highest growth rate in six years in 2017, both in volume and value terms. Merchandise trade volume, as measured by the average of exports and imports, grew by 4.7 per cent, marking the first annual increase in excess of 3.0 per cent since 2011. The dollar value of merchandise exports rose by 11 per cent, to US$ 17.73 trillion, while commercial services exports increased by 8 per cent to US$ 5.2 trillion.”
This is very good news for companies seeking new markets overseas. And as anyone who is exporting knows, there is much assistance available from local, municipal, regional and national governments to help the private sector in these efforts.
Governments play an important role in helping facilitate foreign trade
Many examples of this sort of assistance exist — one among them is the efforts of the recent UK Government Exporting is GREAT initiative in Yorkshire and Humber, which was detailed recently in Bdaily. The initiative, which operated in 2016, was “designed to help businesses in construction and related sectors identify and secure new contracts overseas”.
At the time of the initiative, Bdaily reported that Yorkshire and Humber were “seeing an upward trend in the exporting of construction services and products… reporting a 122% year-on-year rise in new overseas deals in 2016, a near doubling of a 67% increase in 2015.”
“Businesses from the region have won and are exploring potential contracts in Western Europe, the Middle East, North America, Eastern Europe, Africa, Australasia, South East Asia and Latin America”, they detailed.
Another example of these sorts of efforts is the UK Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative, where, for example, UK construction and infrastructure companies were promoted in Sweden, who has recently developed a high-speed rail system.
The private sector utilizes a variety of traditional methods to increase exports
While the efforts of national and regional governments are one examples of some important efforts which help companies expand overseas, other efforts conducted by exporters themselves like trade show attendance and marketing and business development efforts and outreach via private sector trade organizations are some of the other tried-and-tested methods.
But as the internet has become ascendant in international commerce, it is important that exporters utilize this new means to help build connections and secure opportunities in promising overseas markets.
A blog can help attract much attention from overseas markets
Nataly Kelly, writing in HubSpot, explains how a blog can help “attract incredible traffic from a [foreign market] by covering country-relevant trends”. She cites the “example of how Matthew Capala did this for China [while utilizing the services of a professional writer]”. She further explains the importance of determining what topics readers in your target market are most interested in (based on an analysis of the data of what is being most read on your blog) – while continuing to hone your blog content to meet the preferences of your target market readers. She also notes, importantly, how blogs can permit you to be read in local languages.
In a previous blogpost entitled Social media has made international trade more accessible I detail how the “global internet market [is now] in excess of 2.5 billion [people] — and how “content marketing to a global audience via [a blog]’, as Esther Curiel writes, “will increase brand awareness, trust, likeability, accessibility, and engagement, and ultimately, new business leads”. The cost-effective benefits that blogging offers exporters can and should, therefore, serve as an additional, integral element to their already existing export marketing efforts.
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