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West Virginia Development Office

The WV Development Office received funding from the Appalachian Regional Council to help West Virginia businesses export their products. We created a plan to maximize the number of businesses that could participate in two separate phases. Find out how we were able to help 13 different companies reach new international markets.

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Their Challenge

Exports have been the unsung hero of the U.S. economy – growing three times faster than GDP product since 2005. Digital marketing for export business allows companies with international interests to tap into that opportunity without the time and financial costs associated with global travel.

96% of all customers reside outside the U.S., yet only 1% of U.S. businesses export. Less than 0.5% export to more than one country. This shift in global economics furthers the need for U.S. based businesses to extend their presence in emerging global markets to increase growth.

Our Solution

Acknowledging this landscape, the West Virginia Development Office (WVDO), through Appalachian Regional Council funding, reached out to agencies for help in designing a program to help WV businesses increase their exporting. WVDO selected Direct Online Marketing’s plan to develop a strategy to improve digital marketing for export business to assist more than a dozen companies.

The companies were as diverse in their industries as they were in their targets, representing eleven different industries targeting nine countries and seven languages. Sites ranged from specialty shoe manufacturers with eCommerce capabilities to large scale mining equipment.

In order to help the maximum number of companies, we developed a short-term program to allow them to receive as much data as possible. The learnings were key; we wanted to ensure they could take this information and apply it to their own efforts for future success. We developed a program in two phases.

PHASE 1: SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION We performed a full Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis of their websites and created a strategy for entering the global market, targeting one market for each company. Each company received:

  1. A full SEO audit of its website, reviewing technical factors, content, backlinks, and analytics
  2. Keyword research to find the most commonly used terms in the target country in English and a local language, and performance analysis against those terms
  3. Research to identify in-market competition and how it stacked up to that competition online

PHASE 2: PAY-PER-CLICK ADVERTISING Based on the keyword research from Phase 1, we then ran short, one-month search engine advertising campaigns. Most campaigns were on Google; one was on Yahoo! Japan. Each company received:

  1. A tailored advertising strategy to determine the most profitable digital strategy for each company
  2. Landing page creation to enhance lead (either distributions or end clients) generation efforts
  3. Translation of landing pages, keywords, and text ads to the target language
  4. Full ad management with daily optimization

A Culture Of Transparency

“DOM is truly the most transparent advertising team I’ve worked with in this industry, and I am so grateful. I know we made the right decision.”

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Christina Fleming
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The Results

The main purpose of the project was to help businesses get more data to determine if a country held demand for them. Companies could then use the information to evaluate markets for:

  • Offline efforts, such as requesting a Gold Key Service from the U.S. Commercial Service or evaluating state-run trade missions
  • Improving their online efforts and extending their campaigns
  • Testing which messaging works best in market
  • Deciding to test other markets instead

In addition to this data, we were able to drive results for many of these companies, including:

  • Search ads shown 633,000 times
  • 4,400 website visits
  • An average cost per click of $1.73

Highlights include:

  • A coal mining equipment manufacturer received six leads on less than $180 spend in their target market
  • A waterproofing product and service provider received five leads on less than $250 in total spend
  • One tool manufacturer did not achieve success in their original foreign market (Australia), but through experimentation found a better market (India) generating contacts at just $50.88 per lead