Michael Haut’s Online Marketing Deutsch – How to Build a Successful Business in Germany

Since 2015, Michael Haut has been actively running a successful business in Germany, where he now lives with his family. In this interview, he shares his insights on how to market your products online in Germany, where he sees a lot of potential for growth.

The Rise Of Online Marketing In Germany

Ten years ago, if you wanted to sell your goods or services online in Germany, you would have needed an extensive budget and a team of people to support you. While there is still a lot of skepticism towards online marketplaces and social media in general in Germany, the industry is growing. According to Statista, there were 23.3 million visitors to online stores in Germany in 2018, a 39% increase from 2017. This makes Germany the 8th-largest online shopping market in Europe.

While traditional offline marketing (such as television commercials) continue to exist, savvy entrepreneurs are finding innovative ways to grow their businesses using digital marketing and social media.

Why Did The Industry Increase Its Profile In Germany?

There are many reasons why the online marketing industry grew so much in popularity in Germany. First, the country’s e-commerce market is one of the largest in Europe, and it’s also growing at a fast pace. As a result, there’s a lot of potential for business growth.

In addition, Germany has a very high number of digital nomads. Nomads are digital natives who’ve grown up in the digital world and possess the skills needed to market products online. According to Statista, there were 1.7 million digitally nomadic individuals living in Germany in 2018, a 51% increase from the year before.

Even more impressively, the number of digitally nomadic individuals aged between 20 and 29 in Germany increased by 92% between 2017 and 2018. This generation grew up in a world of smartphones and social media, and they understand how to use digital channels to achieve results.

Last but not least, Germany’s economic situation is improving. Once considered one of the most unstable economies in the European Union, recent years have seen the country achieve some stability and growth. This is likely due to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy and willingness to allow in refugees from Africa and the Middle East. As a result, more and more Germans are now able to support themselves, and this trend is increasing the demand for both traditional and online marketing.

How Does Online Marketing Work In Germany?

Just like any other country, Germany has specific regulations that apply to digital marketing and social media. The key differences are that you can register your business for free with the Federal Ministry of Justice, and you don’t need to register your product with the German Food and Beverage Industry Federation (MKTSBV).

With that said, let’s take a closer look at how online marketing in Germany works.

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing

While it’s always important to have both traditional and digital marketing strategies, you need to understand the key differences between the two. For example, with traditional marketing, you would have sold your product or service in a shop or restaurant. The salesperson would have been your physical contact, and you would have interacted with the customer through face-to-face meetings. In addition, you would have had to rely on word-of-mouth marketing to get the message out there.

On the other hand, digital marketing involves various strategies and tactics to attract online audiences to your product or service, and then convert them into customers. You can use online platforms, such as social media, to connect with potential customers. In addition, you can use online marketing to track the product or service you’ve advertised and see how much interest there is in your niche. This is also known as digital marketing analytics.

One of the major differences between digital marketing and traditional marketing is that you cannot rely on just one source of income with digital marketing. While you might make a sale through a traditional marketing campaign, the likelihood of you making another is much higher with digital marketing. This is because you are targeting an audience that is already looking for your product or service, and you can retain them with a free trial or discount.

Building A Successful Business In Germany

With the right strategy and some solid online marketing efforts, it’s possible to build a successful business in Germany. Here are some of the main things you need to keep in mind:

Product Research

The first step is to do extensive research on your product. This means that you will examine the market demand for your product or service, and consider all the different types of customers you can target with your product.

To get started, set up a small research team. Depending on your product, you might need a chemical engineer, food scientist, or retail expert. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to find someone who is an expert in your field, but is also familiar with your product.

Product research can help you determine things such as the following:

  • The price range customers are willing to spend on your product (if you’re planning on selling it)
  • The quality your product should maintain (to retain customers)
  • The amount of time and energy it should take to manufacture your product
  • The resources you should allocate to market your product

Marketing Plan

After you’ve thoroughly examined your product, setup a marketing plan for it. This plan should include the following aspects:

  • The strategy you’ll use to spread the word about your product (such as Facebook ads, Twitter campaigns, etc.)
  • The target audience you’ll choose (based on demographics, psychographics, and geography)
  • The content you’ll create to attract potential customers (blog articles, video content, infographics, etc.)
  • The deadlines for each piece of content you create (to set yourself a schedule and ensure you don’t miss any deadlines)

Social Media Marketing

If you’re planning on using social media to market your product, you have several options. For example, you can create a Facebook page for your product, and use the platform’s analytics to track engagement and see how many people are interested in your content.

Alternatively, you can use Twitter to gain credibility with your target audience. With that said, it’s important to keep in mind that not all Twitter users are created equal. You can target qualified leads based on specific criteria and demographics using Twitter’s Lead Generation platform. For instance, you can choose to target webmasters, digital marketers, researchers, etc. with your Twitter campaign.

Last but not least, you can use LinkedIn to establish your credibility, and engage with potential customers. For example, you can create a profile for your business, and then connect with other professionals in your industry. When someone connects with you on LinkedIn, they usually expect to hear from someone with your level of expertise. So, rather than just treating your profile as a place to put your contact details, you can engage with potential customers by sharing valuable information.

Web Analytics

Web analytics is the measurement, analysis, and interpretation of web traffic. Once you’ve set up your marketing plan, you can use free tools to track the progress, and determine the effectiveness of your strategy.

Google Analytics is the most popular and free web analytics tool. With this tool, you can view multiple metrics, including traffic, revenue, conversions, and more.

You can also use Google Analytics to track the performance of specific pages on your site. This way, you can see how effectively your marketing efforts are converting potential customers into paying customers. For example, you can use Google Analytics to track the conversion rate of a specific webpage, or piece of content. You can then use this information to determine the effectiveness of that content.

Pricing Strategy

If you’re planning on selling your product or service at a price point that is higher than the market average, you will need to develop a pricing strategy. While there is no set rule for how much your product should cost, you should aim to price it at a level that will make you profit and satisfy your customers.

To determine the pricing for your product, you will need to examine your competitors. This way, you’ll be able to set a price that is comparable to, or slightly above their prices. However, you should also make sure you price it reasonably, so that you don’t lose customers due to high prices.