Once you know which markets are best suited for your brand – and you’ve localized and optimized the content you’ve strategically selected – it’s time for the next step in marketing localization. This step is about getting in front of your international audience (on the channels and platforms most relevant to them) and driving engagement. Your paid digital marketing strategy can help you increase traffic, gather data, and quickly discover what resonates with your audience – and what doesn’t – before you invest in expanding your global content.

Marketing Localization: Promote Your Content


Traffic, engagement, conversions, or sales? To define a digital strategy for your target markets, you first need to decide what success means for each. This means setting realistic goals based on in-market consumer behavior, market opportunity, and brand awareness.

For example, you shouldn’t expect significant sales immediately in a market where consumers typically take their time to research and decide on a purchase, which is the case in Germany. A better indicator of success may be the number of visitors to your site, time on page, or email list signups.


Paid search and paid social advertising work particularly well for testing global opportunity. These tactics drive ROI on already localized content and inform future content needs.

With a few exceptions, the barriers to entry in setting up paid digital accounts are relatively low. And since digital marketing is by nature an iterative process, launching small, localized digital campaigns can be both quick and cost effective.

Guide: Getting Started in Global MarketingPAID SEARCH

The biggest mistake companies make with global paid search is treating their in-market campaigns as an extension of their US domestic campaigns. (Here are some other marketing myths to watch out for.)

Local keyword research

Straight translation doesn’t take local search volume, linguistic nuance, intent, or consumer behavior into account. To get results in-market, it’s critical to perform keyword research in-country, and on the market’s dominant search engine(s). For example, search engines like Yamli, Eiktub, and Yoolki could be a good choice if you’re targeting Arabic speakers in the UAE.

Locally informed ad copy

Straight translation won’t create ad copy that drives conversions. Keyword research should inform your ad localization process. And your content should inspire your target audience to take action.

Localized landing pages

To be successful, your landing pages need to align closely with the ad text and keywords you’re targeting. And all three elements should be in the same language. You should also consider landing page UX and design differences in-market that may affect your conversion rates.


Depending on the market and your goals, paid social may be a better route to test the market opportunity. For example, in China and South Korea, the set-up process on paid search platforms can be much more involved than for paid social. And for B2B companies, LinkedIn (or local equivalents) offers the best chance to micro-target in-market audiences. 

Different global platforms offer great targeting options for brands, depending on the product and target audience. And some have direct eCommerce integrations or highly popular marketplace options. Marketers can potentially test ads, measure engagement, drive sales, and optimize, while gathering direct feedback from international audiences.

Before you translate any of your social media content and localize your social strategy, research each market and identify the most popular platforms for your target audience. Incorporating these insights into your social media strategy will boost your visibility and give your content greater impact.


Whether you’re trying out paid search or paid social, if your budget is limited or you have tight deadlines, consider the level of English proficiency in your target markets. For markets with high proficiency, launching paid digital efforts in English first can be a great way to test the market opportunity in countries where you already have traffic. 

Either way, international paid digital marketing strategy, executed for local relevance, is key. You can maximize your international growth potential while proving the case for expanding your marketing localization activities.


Step 1: Know Your Markets

Step 2: Localize + Optimize

Step 4: Measure, Iterate, Expand