Every business wants more customers, and to earn more money. Whether the economy is good or bad, business owners need to grow and advance. The Latin American market can deliver extra growth potential for small American businesses. The Commerce Department is encouraging it and available to help and the Obama administration is determined to double U.S. exports.
A recent study by Terra.com states that Latinos are the new ideal online customer. Their study found that more Spanish-speakers in the U.S. responded favorably to digital marketing than typical, native English-speaking Americans. Furthermore, they found that if marketers speak to Hispanics with a culturally relevant message, they are appreciative that the brand is trying to appeal to them and buy from that company.
So, how do small American businesses get customers and partners in Latin American countries, and gain Hispanic clients in the United States? By creating a strong presence online and conducting first-rate SEO small American companies can gain a foothold in the lucrative Latin American market. Furthermore, making contacts in Miami and testing offers online directed at the Hispanic population in Miami is key because the city is the gateway to the Latin American markets. Since Miami is predominantly Spanish-speaking, American companies can determine what offers will work in various Latin American countries and amongst Latinos in the U.S. too.
For a U.S. based company that exports to Latin America or a Latin American company that trades with American firms, finding new buyers can be challenging. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the least expensive and most effective way for small companies to get themselves in front of potential partners and consumers.
Of course, it is very important that people that might want a company’s new product to be able to easily find information about it online. SEO, in English and Spanish, is extremely effective and affordable for small import-export companies. Strong SEO will boost their sales because for many products, the competition online is not as fierce in the Spanish-speaking market, so by optimizing for terms in Spanish it becomes even more effective. Miami is the key trade hub between the U.S. and Latin America. It is a very vibrant, busy place with a lot of action. In addition, it boasts two simultaneous markets — Spanish speakers and English speakers. Any small company that wants to do business in Miami should be able to sell its products in both languages and be able to communicate and give information about itself on its website in English and Spanish.
There are hundreds of small companies in Miami that manufacture consumer goods for export to Latin America and even more that import to the U.S. to sell in the American market. Unfortunately, few of them maintain an attractive presence online and know how to get seen on Google. It is logical that if someone is looking to buy a product, or just learn more about it, that it be easy to find. Proper SEO takes the friction out of this process.
For example, an American company that sells hair care products in Panama, as well as the U.S. must give product, company, and contact information in both languages on its website. By optimizing for the best keywords in English and Spanish and building a network of links and contacts with other authoritative sites, the company can achieve the goal of getting on the first page of Google in both countries. In fact, the Spanish-language keywords are easier because there are fewer sites competing for them, and when doing Pay Per Click ads the clicks are cheaper for the same reason. Also, this process will make the company available to more Spanish-speaking customers in the U.S.
When a small company from Latin America wants to break into the U.S. market, SEO will help them introduce themselves to American buyers. It is vital that their website uses correct English and Spanish, and optimize for the best keywords in both languages in order to establish themselves. There are many products from Latin America that people in the U.S. want to buy, the trick is getting the word out.
Miami is the best place to test a bilingual product. SEO helps to convey the message in a culturally relevant way that Hispanic buyers respond well to. From a base in Miami, a company can take its test results and export to the various countries. Again, SEO will help to tailor a culturally relevant message because the marketing approach to Mexicans must be different than how the company communicates with Argentinians.
The rise of social media helps to reinforce a company’s SEO efforts by creating a network of links. More importantly, it creates a network of real people that are interested in a certain brand or product. The company can then get to know those customers and market directly to them by providing exactly what it is they want to buy. The company’s social media marketing manager can establish a relationship with these contacts and observe how they communicate about the brand to further tailor the message and to always stay in touch with them and enforce brand awareness.
Another important application of SEO for import export companies is to maintain strong relationships with distributors. Most of the time, a company in the U.S. will not sell directly to the end-user in another country, but have a network of distributors. For a much smaller investment than TV, radio, and print ads, that company can work to make sure that its website is always on page one of Google in the countries of its partners so that their distributors can continue to grow sales there. Maintaining a vibrant social media community in those countries and keeping the company’s primary bilingual site on page one of all search engine results, is an affordable and extremely effective marketing solution for a small company that wants to break into a foreign market.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Commerce considers travel and tourism to be an export product. The primary tourism destinations for Latin Americans are Miami, New York, Orlando, and Los Angeles. Hotels and tour operators could gain many new visitors by optimizing their websites in both English and Spanish. Tourism-oriented businesses that create Spanish language pages on their website and advertise online directly in the Latin American countries from which they want to attract tourists can do remarkably well. Again, correct SEO and a dynamic social media presence will help tourism operators to dominate their competition at home.