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Getting your international PPC campaigns off on the right foot

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Creating international PPC campaigns can be a complicated affair, as different markets behave in many different ways. Once you’ve carried out the necessary keyword research into each market and are ready to launch international PPC activity, below are some of the key areas to bear in mind.

1. Don’t focus purely on Google

There are different search engines in different markets so make sure your are present where your customers are shopping. At Croud, for example, we have experts able to manage a wide range of search engines, from Bing, Seznam and Yandex to international engines such as Baidu, Naver or Yahoo! Japan.

2. PPC localisation – don’t just translate your English account to local languages

Firstly, because often the translations will be inaccurate (too literal) and might not reflect the local search habits. And secondly, because local users may use completely different keywords to search for your product or service (even between markets speaking the same language).

3. Understand what’s working for you

If you’ve got existing activity in certain markets, identify what’s been performing well for you and use that as a basis to replicate in new accounts. Saying that, don’t forget to try new things! Over time you’ll get to know which keywords, messaging and offers work best in each market. Testing is imperative so be open to suggestions and adapt your strategy.

4. Be logical with account set-up

Do your research and ensure everyone’s on the same page before setting up your currencies and time zones, as you won’t be able to change these details afterwards.

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With naming conventions, adopt a similar structure in all of your accounts to make them more manageable, especially if you’re managing a large number of accounts and/or markets. This ensures consistency between accounts and makes it easier to switch between them and report on performance. Choose simple and universal acronyms, such as country or language abbreviations, engines, campaign type, etc.

5. Automate optimisations

The use of bid strategies and budget management tools will allow you to manage accounts in the most efficient way, meaning you can spend more time developing your accounts and understanding your audiences. Once you have enough data, you will be able to identify markets/accounts behaving in a similar way and tailor your optimisation strategy in a more granular and sophisticated way. Working closely with the engine’s representative, the account management teams will be able to provide the best recommendations on the strategy to optimise the accounts, as well as providing valuable insights for your business.

Other automation tools, such as Dynamic Search Ads, Shopping ads, Display Campaign Optimiser and Universal App campaigns will allow you to test campaigns in new markets. They will also help to expand your accounts and spot new search trends.

A Multichannel approach

Top of funnel investment in markets where brand awareness is low is essential. You can’t expect to launch your site in a country and expect users to search for you immediately. Depending on your industry and audience target, you may want to use different social media pages or websites to drive awareness. Take advice from our teams to get recommendations!

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Set different targets depending on market maturity – newer markets needing much more investment in the upper funnel are less likely to deliver a high ROI straight away, whereas mature markets may allow for more refined audience testing and work towards tighter targets.

Get your story straight – be consistent with your messaging and offers. It is key to use the same narrative across all of your channels and website to improve the user’s journey and avoid confusion and misleading information.

To  sum up

Research, localise, launch and learn! Set your expectations and test the water. Whilst some markets might give you almost instant results, others might take a little longer. Trust your management team, be open to suggestions and be prepared to revise your marketing plan.

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