Conquering international digital marketing

We’ve already learned about the value of localising marketing content, ensuring brand and marketing messages are communicated appropriately in various countries. Armed with a first-rate localised website, complete with cross-cultural considerations of colour and phraseology, the next step is introduce your brand to the world through direct-response digital marketing campaigns. Time to take the successful digital programme from your native country and replicate it to new markets. Simple, right?

The good news is that in some cases, it may be that simple. If the expansion is from the US to Canada, or France to Italy, chances are good that those existing campaigns can be cloned, translated, and targeted to audiences in the new market. But in more diverse markets, there may be a whole host of more complex considerations beyond simple language translation.



Customers in the western world, especially in B2B industries, are often consuming content on a desktop computer. While mobile usage is steadily growing in most sectors, certain markets including China and India are mobile-first, and digital efforts should correspond. Not only is it essential for websites to be responsive and adapt to any screen size, but mobile-specific ad platforms should also be considered to augment any display advertising.


International SEO & PPC

International search engine optimisation and marketing is a mixture of choosing the right search engines, localising content, and understanding keywords. While Google is the dominant player in English-speaking markets, there are local platforms that should be considered if targeting certain countries.

China is the most obvious standout, with 70% of search traffic on Baidu and only 10% on Google (which is typically difficult to access at all). Yandex serves 40% of the Russian market, and Naver holds about 50% in South Korea. In addition to optimising SEO for these platforms, a variety of advertising options enable you to reach a larger proportion of the target market with your localised keywords and content.


Social Media

Like search engines, there are unique platforms to take into account when implementing a global social media strategy. The globally popular Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all essentially inaccessible in China, which has created it’s own alternatives. Most popular is WeChat, which began as an instant messaging app and has evolved into a content sharing and m-commerce platform. Developing a plan for local platforms is essential to penetrate these audiences.

There are two key strategies for reaching global audiences, particularly on Facebook – one page or many. To determine which is best for your brand, analyse your current traffic and overall brand awareness. With a single page, you can target posts to specific regions and keep your content all in one place, and generally this will be the preferred option for most marketers. If, however, your international markets have more unique identities, require a high level of personalisation, or make up a large percentage of your social media traffic, individual pages may be a better approach.

Digital marketing is one of the most cost-effective and accessible means for introducing your brand to international markets. Taking the time to do a bit of research into the specifics of your target country is well worth the effort and not only will your advertising dollars produce a better ROI, but it will be easier for your audience to interact with you.

Need help with your digital marketing?

Mara Nieuwsma,
CEO, Contrast Creative Marketing