Creating international PPC campaigns can be a somewhat daunting prospect at the best of times. Stick to these basic rules and you’ll be sure to find success no matter where in the world you are serving your ads.
1. Prepare a budget for each country
You can’t set the same budget for all the countries you plan to target.
Your audience varies from one country to another. So should your budget.
CPC, competitions, returns, search volumes, and other parameters vary across international borders. Your budget has to reflect these changes.
2. Research what search channels are the most widely used in your target country.
Find how the country’s users use web searches.
Google and Facebook are global frontrunners among PPC channels. But, these are not the only channels.
33% of searches in the US are on Bing. An excellent channel for your campaign.
But that figure is a mere 3% in the countries in the Asia Pacific. A straight no-no.
Baidu and Sogou are the popular search engines in China with a roughly 70:30 market share ratio.
And Russia’s most used search engine isn’t Google but Yandex with a 53% market share.
If you really think Google has the same popularity everywhere, take off your G-tinted glasses.
It’s time you know where your target is searching for you. Only then do you stand a chance at being found.
No matter how eager you are to start your campaign, don’t skip on the preliminary research.
3. Address specific regional concerns
Planning to copy-paste your campaigns across different countries? Stop before you push away all your prospects.
Understand specific regional concerns before you hit the Go button for your ad campaigns.
You could sell umbrellas all year round in the UK, but won’t that make you look like an idiot if you do that in the US?
You need to understand what kind of audience you are dealing with.
Some people want to talk to a salesperson before they buy. Others don’t need that nudge.
Find out what your audience appreciates, how they react, and what gets them clicking.
Also, don’t forget the split testing and funnels testing. Test even the tiniest of variables of your campaign. That’s how pros make sure they get the max bang for their buck.
Also, consider these:
Holidays & festivals – Bank on the right holidays and festivals to pump up your sales.
Lingual slang – Refrain from using slang, even if it is accepted in English. It might have contrasting or even offensive meanings in other countries, cultures, or languages.
Local sentiments – cultural and historical factors should affect your ad copies so that they don’t hurt the local sentiments.
4. Understand demographics, including their language, time zones, and currencies
Okay, so this one’s really basic. But, very essential. And easily overlooked.
If you think that you could just use Google translate, think again. How apt is the translation tool?
Sure you could ask for the directions in a foreign land. But can you really find the right keywords with just a translation tool?
Probably not. Consider working with an expert for this.
Also, about your ad copy. Don’t just translate it. An ad copy in the local language can go a long way in gaining your audiences’ trust and attracting them.
And, make sure that your slogan is translated perfectly.
What? You don’t see the need to recheck the translated version of your slogan? Wait till you hear what happened to Parker Pen Co when they planned on entering the Mexican market.
Their very famous slogan – It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you – had a translation hazard.
“Embarrass” in the slogan, (mysteriously) got translated as “embarazar.” And guess what Embarazar meant in Mexican?
So now their slogan read – it won’t leak in your pocket and impregnate you!
Even KFC had a similar faux pas in the ’80s. They ventured into the Chinese markets. Their famous slogan (you know what it is, right?) got translated to “eat your fingers off.”
Don’t want that happening to you? Well, get some translation experts on board.
Another aspect that you should consider while carrying out cross-country PPC campaigns is the currency.
You don’t want your customers frantically trying to convert the prices from dollars to dinars or whatever other currency they are comfortable with, right?
Well, even if you don’t mind your customer having to use the currency calculator, take our word for it, your customers won’t actually do that.
They’d just switch to your competitor, where they are likely to find the prices mentioned in the currency they are comfortable with.
Now, let’s come to the timing.
Do you want to be seen in search results at ungodly hours?
Probably the devil won’t mind sharing the search ad space with you. But, who’s going to find your ad at that time?
The moral of the story, adjust your campaigns for time zones. And make sure you have targeted the right time zone(s) according to the country of your campaign.
5. Have specific landing pages
The landing pages play a key role when it comes to any SEM services. They should be in the language that you ran your ad in. And also optimized according to the local culture.
Imagine a situation. You are in a bustling marketplace. You are looking for sneakers. You find one shopkeeper shouting sale on sneakers on top of his voice. You are happy.
You enter the store. And find that every information about the “sneakers on sale” is in a foreign language.
And now you are stuck. Frustrated. Feeling duped. And definitely disappointed. Most certainly infuriated. Positively indignant. Vow to never shop from this place again. Not to mention, desperate to run out of the store.
Now, don’t let that happen to your audience.
If you have sneakers for sale written in Spanish, for example, make sure you have a Spanish landing page too.
And please don’t trust Google Translate for this!