Want to reach further with your marketing? An international PPC campaign can be a key part of getting the word out about your product or service.

Overseas consumers are coming online at an incredible rate. According to Internet World Stats, the Middle East and Africa have the fastest growing online populations, while Asia accounts for 44.8 per cent of internet users. A survey by eMarketer also revealed the social media boom that’s happening in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, while South America is a key market for Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Don’t rely on English to reach these consumers. Even where the educated elite speak English as a second language, research shows that the majority of web users prefer to browse in their mother tongue. This figure was as high as 90% in Europe, a European Commission survey revealed.

Use international PPC advertising to reach these speakers of other languages and you can tap into these valuable markets.

PPC international

Keywords Matter in Any Language

PPC campaigns revolve around choosing the right keywords, and your international campaigns need careful research. Direct translations of your high-performing English-language keywords aren’t always the best choice. Instead, aim to select keywords based on your target consumers’ search patterns.

You might be pleasantly surprised at how far your budget goes. The emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China generally have lower keyword competition, and your ad campaign will cost less too.

Use Google Trends

Examine the ways in which web users search for your product or service by using a tool like Google Trends. Take the Honda brand as an example, using the GMC, BMW, Honda case study. The Trends dashboard shows you top search terms related to Honda worldwide, but narrowing this down by region reveals the interest of web users by region. Switch to India and notice how the search terms for cars and parts are largely replaced by searches for Honda bikes. Just as revealing is the Rising tab that displays hot new search topics for a brand or product.

Use the color-coded search fields to enter your own terms and see how they compare in your overseas markets. Enter both English-language and your potential foreign-language keywords to discover which ones will perform best in different regions. Especially when talking about modern technologies, searchers will often mix English keywords with their native language.

Understand Your Market – And Brand to Match

Doing what you’ve always done isn’t the way to approach international consumers. Each regional market has its own characteristics. You don’t get much screen real estate to make an impression with banner ads, so make sure you make the most of it. Appeal to the cultural values of your target consumers if you want their attention.

For instance, in Asian countries such as Hong Kong, glamour and status are essential marketing techniques – even when it comes to selling private education. Make sure your own branding matches the trends in your overseas markets, even if this means having individually-tailored campaigns for each region.

Know Your Best Ad Network

Google AdWords has an almost global reach, and that’s reason enough for it to be top of the list for most search marketers. However, don’t automatically opt for AdWords until you’ve checked out other alternatives. This is especially important for Asia, where Google has regional competitors. South Korea prefers Naver, which works hand in hand with NHN Business Platform for search marketing. In China, AdChina and Madhouse are the leading ad networks.

Other regions might also be better served by more specific ad networks. Etarget claims first place as the PPC network for Central and Eastern Europe. Harrenmedia Network boasts 21 million monthly impressions and specializes in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets.


Be Mobile-Friendly for International Business


Mobile devices are already the browsing method of choice for many people throughout the world. The 2012 Accenture Consumer Electronics report reveals that people in Brazil, Russians, India and South Africa readily use mobile devices for business as well as personal use. Emerging economies have high numbers of mobile-only web users, e.g. 59% in India according to mobiThinking.

The figures prove that the world is adopting mobile technologies, but are they also buying? It would seem so. Google states that 36% of their monthly conversions from AdWords came from mobile search ads. If you are not yet optimized for mobile and actively advertising via this channel, it’s high time you were. Google Mobile Ads will be your top choice right now for your international PPC campaign, although this could change in the future.

If you are still hesitating, here’s a statistic that should encourage you. According to a survey by the World Federation of Advertisers, your competition is probably lagging behind in its search marketing strategy. Taking time to plan your international PPC campaign truly can give you the edge in global business.