B2B Marketing Executive, Global Marketing Strategies, Career Growth Advisor, Content & Digital Strategist, Business and Marketing Advisor to Small Businesses.
I agree with a comment made previously that it somewhat depends on the business you're in. A company I'm working with currently offers training to software developers. Good ratings on Google are important for them. But, the feedback is also important as it helps them shape the offering.
We ask for the Google review on the final day of class both in person and with an email that contains a direct link to the form they need to fill out. Google makes this tough to get but it's possible to locate the exact URL that pops up the form automatically without the user trying to find it. I like to make it as easy as possible to leave the feedback.
We also offer a $5 coffee card which I'm sure helps them take a few seconds to fill it out. A reminder email is sent a week after as well if they haven't filled it out.
I also like to make it clear that their feedback is valuable for us not only for ratings but to help us make sure we're offering the best possible experience. I feel people are more eager to do that than just help boost ratings.
I work for a company of 50+ employees and recently made the move to use remote, freelancers to comprise my marketing team. It's been a great experiment that I'll be sticking with.
I saw this method as an opportunity to pay less then a full time employee and get highly skilled freelancers who would bring more experience to our company.
I've separated out marketing functions such as paid search, graphic design, social media, content creation, etc. and found some great contractors to fill the need.
I've found the keys to success here are very detailed job descriptions, a good interview strategy, cloud-based tools for collaboration, and consistent communication and work direction.
Should I ever move to a larger company I would definitely bring this system along with me.
Happy to chat about the system and strategies I use to make this successful.
I agree that Content Marketing should definitely be part of the mix. Content topics that offer valuable information on how to expand internationally would be key. Highlighting the biggest challenges and how to solve them.
I would use LinkedIn and Medium (and other social platforms) to push the content out but I'd utilize your website as "home base" for the content. You have more options and flexibility with efforts on acquiring opt-ins - which gives you an idea who is expanding internationally.
Publishing search engine optimized content on a blog is a good place to start. Have a place to draw people in to get a newsletter opt-in with an email address and more expansive offer downloads requiring more contact info. Plus, you can set remarketing tags so when someone does hit your site, they'll see ads from you on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sites after they leave. Offering your content for download in those ads would be a good idea until they convert.
Are you considering Facebook/LinkedIn ads to try to hit targeted personas. I'm sure you have a good idea of what titles and functions in a company would be charged with executing international expansion. Some nicely targeted ads at those people would be good. The targeting on both platforms should help you narrow in on a good sized audience.
Google or Bing PPC might be a good option as well. A quick look shows a bunch of international business keywords that get traffic. Companies looking to start expanding internationally will for sure be searching on best practices and how-tos.
Those are just a couple thoughts. Let me know if you'd like to brainstorm further.
I see this question has been out here unanswered for a couple months. It's a tough one to answer so I'm not surprised. While not knowing your business or niche well, here are a couple thoughts. Perhaps you've pursued these ideas already, but I thought I'd toss them out.
You mentioned PPC wasn't effective. Was that only Google and/or Bing PPC? If you haven't tried targeting that space via Facebook Ads, that might be worth a try. The targeting is excellent and the clicks are still affordable. LinkedIn Ads have less targeting options and are more expensive but depending on the niche, it could be an option - especially in B2B. There are some creative ways to broaden the audiences on these mediums by highlighting conferences, trade mags, and industry websites as interests of the audience.
Do you have a list of targeted accounts in the niche? Account Based Marketing (ABM) is great way to micro target your ideal customer profile. It's not easy but can help you build awareness at the very least.
Are there some influencers or known experts in the space you could reach out to directly with your content? Have someone else in the space share your content with their following could help you reach more people.
I know directly contacting someone on LinkedIn can be intrusive but if you're approaching with content they'd find valuable, the outreach could be well-received. Linking out to experts via a blog post or Twitter post can also get attention.
Engaging influencers on LinkedIn and Twitter by first sharing their content can put you on their radar making the outreach a little warmer when you do directly contact them.
Are there smaller conferences or meet-ups in the niche you could sponsor or attend as a sponsor? Oftentimes, you'll get the attendee list as a sponsor and can follow-up with an email campaign. If the email campaign was in the form of a drip campaign, you could warm them up with your content and then follow-up with a compelling offer.
With all of these above, make sure that your remarketing tags are set on your site. If you do get the traffic, make sure they're seeing you again after they leave on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other niche sites via Google PPC.
Hope that offers a couple ideas. Happy to brainstorm further if you'd like.