Inward Looking Digital Marketing Losing Businesses International Sales

Just 10% of smaller enterprises use Instagram to promote themselves internationally as firms fail to cater to non-English speaking audiences

Inward Looking Digital Marketing Losing Businesses International Sales

Small businesses are losing out on a potential global reach by failing to cater their digital marketing to international audiences, according to a new report by Barclays.

The survey of 500 small enterprises revealed that while respondents are availing of free social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram for their domestic sales and marketing needs, they are failing to cater for non-English speaking audiences and thus alienating potential customers.

While 66% of those surveyed used Facebook to connect with the UK public, this figure more than halves (31%) when referring to the international market.

This trend continued throughout all other social media channels such as a company’s website (43% and 28%) Twitter (36% and 17%) LinkedIn (21% and 12%) and Instagram (16% and 10%).

When quizzed about their reasoning for such a strategy, business owners responded that:

  • The UK is their biggest market
  • What works in the UK will work just as well overseas
  • They have no interest in exporting abroad
  • There is no need to as English is an international language
  • They had never thought about exporting abroad

Steve Childs, head of international at Barclays Business, said:

“A website or Instagram page can be your shop window to the world, delivering growth and bigger market share with minimal costs. With more consumers shopping online, business owners are missing out on sales if they aren’t using or tailoring their digital platforms and targeting international e-marketplaces to attract customers abroad.

“Worse still, by not understanding your target market you could even be putting off customers through unintended translation or currency errors.”

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