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A strategic and effective paid media strategy introduces users to and educates them about your brand at a consistent frequency as they navigate across the web. Through a varied mix of placements, ad types, and messaging, paid media can be used to create brand awareness, drive engagement, generate leads, or capture sales.

A strong global marketing partner can recommend a different mix of channels and targeting to create a comprehensive plan that aligns with your goals – and intersects with your target market in meaningful ways. 

Because paid media gives you access to audiences that your organic search and social efforts are not able to reach, it’s a critical tool when entering a new global market. Here are seven key components that your global paid media strategy should include.

1. RESEARCH

Research specific to your paid media strategy should be conducted whenever you’re looking to enter a new market. It’s critical to understand cultural nuances and pinpoint specific terms people are using related to the problems your brand solves.

You will also want to gain a deeper understanding of how your new audience interacts with the web at large. A global marketing partner can pair budget-informing data (such as market size and general cost-per-click rates or impression availability) with foundational discovery around customer intent to help guide your strategy in the right direction.

A core element of paid media research is to identify where your audience interacts online so you can meet them on the sites and platforms where your message will have the biggest impact. As with any global marketing effort, it’s important to continually optimize with ongoing research and iterate throughout the campaign lifecycle.

2. CREATIVE ADAPTATION

Sometimes brands lean toward machine translation to save costs. But for creative marketing content, its one-to-one translation often misses the mark. When adapting a campaign to a new language, the direct translation doesn’t account for the overall context of the original message. This means the software will make an approximate word choice in the direct translation, which often skews or weakens your message. An in-market linguist who understands the culture you’re targeting is your best bet at maintaining the intent of your message in a way that resonates.

Of course, words matter. But words alone won’t get global users to convert. The themes, messaging, and visuals are equally as important to reach international audiences. A campaign that’s successful in your market can easily fall flat if it’s not creatively adapted for other markets you’re targeting.

3. NICHE PLACEMENTS

Major platforms like Google, LinkedIn, and Meta that are used for domestic campaigns will often reach your new, global audience as well. It’s tempting for brands to simply place ads across these platforms they’re already familiar with. But you should also consider additional niche placements on smaller, local platforms or specific sites and places of influence. These can be good uses for experimental budgets as you test and iterate what works in a new market.

As an example, Wordbank has a B2B client in the HR space that we helped launch in Germany. Even though LinkedIn is popular in this market, the local platform Xing – a comparable, but smaller, social professional platform for German-speaking countries – proved to be a more effective placement for their efforts. By advertising on this other platform, we were able to achieve lower cost-per-lead and increased lead volume.

Advertising on market-specific platforms like this makes sense from a numbers standpoint. And it also builds brand trust and awareness by showing your audience you understand their culture and specific needs. A good marketing localization partner can help you determine what portion of your budget should go toward these niche placements. They can seek out key opportunities that your existing existing demand side platform (DSP) may not be able to reach within their network.

4. BRAND AWARENESS

Many companies are tempted to rush to bottom-of-funnel tactics like paid search that can connect more directly to ROI. But don’t overlook the significance of top-of-funnel marketing efforts to create brand awareness and trust when entering a global market. Creating familiarity and trust with your brand to underpin your eventual conversion tactics will be essential to your success.  

In global markets, your audience may strongly prefer local companies or hesitate to trust the integrity of international brands. And chances are, local competitors (and potentially other global competitors) are already targeting your audience. Entering that conversation and positioning your brand as a trustworthy solution is a valuable investment. 

To establish your presence in the market, a paid brand awareness campaign can increase how frequently your audience sees your messaging across their trusted channels. Programmatic placements can be useful for this. They present messaging to your specific audience at many different touch-points across the web.

5. KEYWORD RESEARCH

Paid search is often the best driver of sales and conversions. It meets users at the point where they are actively searching for solutions to their specific pain points. This requires local keyword research, which can tell you a lot about your new market. 

In some cases, your brand’s priority keywords may not have a direct equivalent in the local language. They may use differing terms or approach the conversation around your offerings differently than your domestic customers. Understanding the ways your audience is searching for solutions relative to your offerings will help you hone in more precisely on the market’s motivations and desires. In-country marketing strategists can help navigate these challenges with informed research and make recommendations about how to adapt your strategies and tactics accordingly.

On the other hand, if keywords around your offering are lacking altogether, there also could be a need to educate the market about your product space and create demand through other paid media placements. This can happen through a variety of paid placements and tactics, including self-generated content like market-specific case studies, or third-party support such as PR or existing client stories from your audience’s market. Tapping into local influencer circles to create a story of local support around your offerings can also be powerful as you establish your brand in a new market.

6. UNDERSTANDING REGULATORY CHALLENGES

All markets come with regulatory considerations, particularly in the digital space as it pertains to privacy and your online properties. One key challenge with paid social is targeting restrictions that come with the rise in privacy regulations in recent years. This varies substantially by market, so brands will have to be flexible when looking at social targeting in new markets. And they’ll need a savvy global marketing partner who can push forward their strategy while navigating compliance restrictions.

7. LOCALIZED END-TO-END USER EXPERIENCE

With global marketing, any disruption in the tone, visual theme, and language usage across the user experience can easily shatter the hard-earned trust in your brand. This is especially true for international audiences who already prefer local brands and have a deep concern for data security. 

Whatever visual, style, and messaging strategies were established for your paid media campaign, you’ll want to carry through into the endpoints of the user journey. This may be as robust as creating culturally relevant UX across your web properties and having in-market support services, or simply creating a custom landing page or microsite as you test out a new market.

FINAL THOUGHT

Developing an effective paid media strategy for global markets requires localized content and a tailored user experience for each locale. A strong marketing localization partner can help you gain insights to inform your strategy and messaging. You can meet users where they are on the web, while taking into account their linguistic and cultural needs.

Thoughtful, human-led localization processes will allow you to drive forward campaigns in new markets that are not only linguistically accurate but also conceptually true to your brand. The secret sauce to an impactful global paid media strategy lies in weaving these elements together to craft campaigns that carry a punch.