Whether you’re a new business launching for the first time or your business is expanding into new areas either geographically or through your product/service offering, digital marketing remains one of the most effective ways to market yourself. While traditional media won’t go anywhere soon, digital marketing allows you to spread your message, reach your target audience, and track your efforts for the best possible return on your marketing investment (ROMI).

While new markets are ripe with opportunity to grow, they can also present unique challenges that demand special considerations. For example, the tactics you may have used in urban settings simply won’t cut it in more rural markets and what works in the Western world may not resonate in Asian markets and so on. For digital marketers targeting audiences within emerging markets, it’s imperative to have a marketing strategy that includes a dynamic approach to identifying and connecting with potential customers.

Since digital marketing allows you to reach vast audiences while giving you the opportunity to be nimble and change messaging as you go, it’s arguably one of the best ways to launch into a new market. When creating your digital marketing strategy to launch into new markets or promote a new product or service, consider the following.

Know your consumers and their behavior

While it may seem like a no-brainer, realizing that your customers in one market may differ vastly from the customers you’ll attract in another market can help you get off on the right foot. Unless your company has the financial ability to blitz your way into market dominance, now is the time to be extra cautious with your approach. Consider this: Adding too many urban or Western references in your rural or non-Western advertising design can confuse your target audience, while relying too heavily on orthodox or indigenous messaging can appear substandard.

Sure, the end-goal may be the same regardless of what market you’re playing in, but the players themselves are altogether different. While urban consumers may be more likely to visit your business in-person, rural consumers might be heavy online shoppers. Understanding this behavior can shape your digital marketing messaging to push your audience to your website to buy, instead of promoting in-store events like you would for your urban audiences.

Finally, social media platforms can help you assess what your customers are up to in any given market, providing insight while giving you the opportunity to truly connect and close the deal.

Location is never enough – get specific and creative in your tactics

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “location is everything!”, you know that well-placed advertising is often considered paramount. With this in mind, many a marketing strategy has been launched using location-based audience selection tools as the foundation of digital marketing efforts. But, while location-based advertising may open the door, it takes more than a well-placed message to inspire your customer to walk through it, which is why you cannot trust location-based audience selection tools alone to the job for you.

In an age where most of us carry the information superhighway in our handbags and pockets, the opportunity to hit consumers at specific locations has never been higher. Do you research to really get to know your audience and build your content around their unique needs and behavior, targeting based on interests instead of simply blasting a geographical area.

Imagine your customer journey & build marketing content to guide them

Customer journey mapping should be at the beginning of your marketing efforts, but oftentimes marketers only consider the perfect journey while forgetting that our customers may make a few wrong turns along the way. Since we know most consumers must see a message seven times before they remember it, we need to start building our customer journey long before the starting line if we want to carry our audience through to finish.

In considering your new market, look at the factors that you can and can’t influence when it comes to your customer’s journey and build your content accordingly.

Employ storytelling

You customers can’t relate to generic marketing messages but they can relate to other people, which is why storytelling is one of the most effective marketing strategies today. Emotional branding through digital marketing tools like blogs, social media, and web can breathe life into the brand and giving your products and/or services identities your customers can relate to.

It’s important to remember that storytelling doesn’t mean making up a story, though! The stories about your business are built into its very existence: Why do you exist? Why did you develop products or services? Why do you do it, day in and day out?

Consider, too, the opportunity for brand ambassadors: real customers who can share their unique stories and build your digital content marketing strategy on a foundation of trust.

Don’t forget OOH opportunities

Digital out of home (DOOH) is one of the fastest growing marketing tactics, especially as more “smart cities” emerge around the world. By viewing DOOH as an extension of your digital marketing strategy, you can continue to tell your brand story while simultaneously guiding your customers through the customer journey.

With DOOH, you can create engaging ads in high-traffic locations – like bus terminals or shopping plazas – while leveraging other technologies, like QR codes and beyond, to entice consumers to interact with your advertising and buy-in before they, well, buy.