Launching online marketing campaigns takes time to determine successful objectives for your business. It also requires getting to know the market and your potential customers locally.
The Internet provides great opportunities for brands to expand in new markets. Here are a few ideas to take into account when doing so.
1. Market research
Before launching into a new market make sure you know the people you are targeting. People behave very differently on the Internet. This is especially true in Europe. For instance French web users spend a lot of time on social media sites and community forums, but less time online shopping than their British counterparts. Getting to know user habits will help you adjust your targets (CPA, ROI) per country.
2. Search engines
What search engine should you use? How should you split your budget? Even though Google leads search engine traffic in many countries, running campaigns on other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Yandex and Baidu must be considered based on the country/ies you are targeting. (e.g. Yandex is gigantic in Russia, Baidu completely monopolizes China, and MSN/Yahoo! own a tiny share in Europe compared to the US.) Adjust your budget following the engines market share and update according to performance. This type of split should also define where you spend the most time managing and optimizing your account.
Make sure to know who your main competitors are. This will help you determine what differentiates your services and/or products and what makes them unique to your visitors. Use this information to tailor your ads accordingly.
4. Site adapted to each market
Even though many people use English to communicate over the Internet, visitors will favour websites written in their language. Many sites are still translated by online translation tools rather than professional translators. They are therefore difficult to read and the tone of their content doesn’t always fit the target market resulting in most visitors dropping off. When launching a brand in Europe especially, consider each market separately. Don’t just transpose your campaigns from one market to another; adapt your keyword lists and ads as appropriate.
5. Special offers
Make sure to adapt the content of your site and offers to each country. Target markets should define the timing and the events you want to advertise on. For instance, Thanksgiving is a key period for US advertisers, in the UK winter sale typically starts on Boxing Day, whereas in France the dates are regulated. Therefore you should launch your campaigns in a timely manner per country. As another example, running an operation on July 4th will not have the same impact in the US compared to other countries. Your message and actions will vary accordingly. Not taking such information into consideration might result in a potential revenue loss.
The Internet facilitates the development of brands into new markets. However, cultures and customer habits remain unique. Take time to understand the specificities of each market; this will help you launch well targeting campaigns more likely to succeed.