The easiest way to break into a new country is through paid advertising – no matter which country you’re trying to reach, there are ad networks out there that will have traffic for that country. And thankfully, international traffic is usually cheaper than domestic traffic – on average, UK visitors are some of the most expensive to “buy.”
Here are a 5 tips for advertising internationally the right way – based on our 12 years’ experience in providing translation services for the marketing departments of the world’s biggest brands.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be able to have success advertising in any country.
Treat international traffic just like domestic traffic
If you create an ad campaign and proceed to target an entire country, unless you’re a massive brand with national name recognition, your campaign will likely not be profitable.
Most businesses recognise this fact for domestic traffic, but some seem to think that international traffic falls into another category where broad targeting is okay. It’s generally not – so care needs to be taken in translating your keyword research carefully.
Sometimes, broad targeting can be okay – but if you’re not advertising on a broad level domestically, then there is no reason for your international campaigns to work on a broad level. Just because the traffic might be cheaper doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to who is seeing your ads.
Drill down your campaigns internationally just as you do domestically.
Don’t be afraid to copy what works
The great thing about consumers is that, aside from cultural differences, everyone is largely the same. We all have the same inherent desires and needs – we want value. This is normally based on money and time. This translates into a good deal on price and fast shipping!
If you’ve had success with a particular type of campaign domestically, assuming it doesn’t play on a cultural aspect of that particular country, try the exact same thing internationally.
Of course, translate your campaign content perfectly (we can help you with this) and revamp your assets to relate to the particular country (for example, changing the race of any people displayed in your ads).
But there’s no need to reinvent the wheel past that. Often times, you can take a successful concept and replicate it overseas, opening yourself up to exponentially more traffic on an already-proven campaign.
What’s not to love?
Make landing pages targeted by country, no matter what
Most e-commerce stores will give you the option to change which country you’re in. For example, if a US visitor were to randomly land on a UK site, the prices would probably initially be displayed in pounds, but the visitor would have the option to change to dollars.
On your ad campaigns, you have to make sure that the visitor doesn’t have to do any of this work.
Each and every click on your ads is costing you money, and not having everything localised will increase your bounce rate. (Think about yourself – if you landed on a page and the price was displayed in Yen, would you take the time to change it yourself?)
So, you have two options:
- Send users to specific pages, such as yourdomain.com/product/country (good if you’re just getting started)
- Implement a geo-redirect script – this allows you to target multiple countries with the same ad, too (for example, multiple English-speaking countries) (recommended)
You can have a successful campaign if you make the user do the legwork him or herself… but it’s just common sense to make it as easy as possible for the person you’re advertising to.
Test out different ad networks, even if you’ve never used them before
Your primary ad network for your domestic audience might have great international traffic – or, it might not.
Many businesses give up on international traffic because they test out one ad network (usually Google) and come to the conclusion that all traffic from that country doesn’t convert.
This is simply not true – although some countries do have higher conversion rates than others on average, no matter what your product is, with the right traffic, you will always be able to be profitable.
An easy way to test traffic quality (assuming you have a successful campaign already) is by taking that campaign, setting the same targeting parameters on different networks, and seeing which one performs the best.
We know from experience that some will perform well… and some won’t perform well. It’s up to you to do your due-diligence split testing to find the most profitable networks as well as the most profitable ads.
Track your heatmap to see how different countries behave
Every country in the world uses the internet in a different way. For example, in the UK, almost everyone has access to the internet – using it is no big deal, and our attention spans online are quite short.
But if you’re advertising in a more remote country – let’s say one where the primary way to get on the internet is by going to a cafe – you might find that people tend to use the internet slower and pay more attention to each page that they land on.
Of course, these are broad examples and will not always be true across the board. But we guarantee that if you install a heat map on your e-commerce store, you’ll be able to see discrepancies between countries in who is paying attention to what.
Some popular heat mapping software to get you started
Advertising internationally can bring you more sales than you ever imagined – but it can burn a hole in your pocket quickly too. The whole journey has to be taken into account. Ensure you’ve translated your keyword research perfectly, your advertising is localised and your landing pages have also had the professional translation services treatment.
Use the above five guidelines to get started with your campaigns. Usually, there is more of a learning curve with international advertising over domestic advertising, but once you get acquainted with each country’s idiosyncrasies, you’ll have the ability to create a profitable campaign in any country!