International expansion can seem daunting, especially when questioning whether it’s viable for your business. So we’ve picked out five foolproof ways to help you deliver paid social campaigns on an international stage.
1. Explore the potential in specific markets
First and foremost in order to tackle an international market, it’s important to gain an understanding of your audience landscape and leverage relevant industry information. This is where the Cross Border Insights Finder on Facebook will come in handy, as it’s a visual tool that displays comparison charts across a huge range of criteria.
To use this tool, you must first select your industry, conversion event and current market(s), before layering over each market you’re looking to expand into.
This method allows for seamless and quick analysis across a huge data range, including:
- Potential reach
- Expected conversion rate
- Expected cost
- Levels of competition
Additionally, a quick search that includes your current location, industry and campaign, will also be able to highlight the most relevant, opportunity-filled locations for you to investigate further.
2. Gather audience insights
Facebook Audience Insights can be a very powerful tool for gathering a more in-depth understanding of your audience demographic. This is particularly useful for targeting options and content production. You can easily acquire top-level information around your selected market and/or your current customer base, as well as more detailed criteria, such as job titles and hobbies.
Moreover, overlaying your selected location with alternate demographics and interests will enable you to gain more than just market insights, but Facebook-available market insights, with high relevance to our selected platform, industry and offering. These insights allow you to mark up how your audience compares to the country-wide audience.
Building on these insights, the ‘advanced’ option allows you to dig further into the audience profile, such as age and gender skews, and the pages your audiences follow, to get a strong understanding of who you’re talking to. This can be very handy when looking to produce global content.
3. Make the most of Free Trade Areas
So you’ve made use of Audience and Cross-Border Insights and finally established where you don’t want to go, but you’re still not confident on placing your bets just yet. This is where Free Trade Areas can be utilised to high effect.
If your business is able to deliver to multiple destinations, Free Trade Areas – which essentially select a number of countries with no trade restrictions, e.g. the EU – are an excellent way to gather first-hand data, allowing Facebook’s algorithm and machine learning tool to optimise across a huge range of users.
Once your campaign has had time to learn and initial results have been accumulated, you can then begin to dig into the performance at a market level. This can be extremely effective in terms of allowing Facebook to work their algorithmic learning magic before you select the location – which in combination with the above insights, for example, will really hone in on localising your activity towards establishing your brand, thereby driving consistent success.
4. Structure your content and align throughout campaigns
You don’t need to limit your plans to just paid social advertising for activity. Now that you have a feel for what’s really working and where, with results to prove it, it’s time to ensure you’re recognised and reputable in your selected markets.
By utilising your newly collated, first-hand data, you’ll have a much stronger understanding of the profile of your audience. Using this data, you can create personas around which you can work on tailoring content and creatives to match. Your initial success is only sustainable if the market can relate to and feel value in utilising your brand. Remember, we’re all unique, and no market can be treated with one content blanket.
At Croud we utilise our global network of on-demand experts, known as Croudies, to help gain a deeper understanding of the market, working back from our goal to our approach, starting with how we would ideally like and expect the final outcome to look. This involves not only considering the market, but also the platform, how consumers will engage with the content, whether the copy reflects and suits the chosen platform, if it resonates with your audience, and finally if the content adds value. If your content fits all these criteria, you’re off to a great start!
5. Test, learn & apply
Not all learnings apply to all activity. One of the most important success factors is not to assume anything. In order to accelerate in-market performance, you need to keep on top of what you think you know. Testing is crucial when looking to acquire reliable knowledge in order to inform future decisions – from content all the way through to optimisation.
Create a clear, consistent, achievable and measurable testing structure to ensure you are always developing in the right direction. The most valuable data is first-party – this applies directly to you and is derived from your business activity, so ensure you’re utilising it wisely. If you have a CRM audience, grow it. Create an audience group for both prospecting and remarketing using your own data and then test the third-party options available in the platform, then you can move forward with what works best in reality, not just on paper!
Look to leverage third-party data, insights and tools, available directly through Facebook. Although we’d always encourage first-hand learning, these are directly associated with Facebook and incur no additional costs.
These insights can provide useful comparative data, such as costs, available audiences and competition, with direct relevance to your selected industry.
First-hand data and insights
Once you’ve gained an understanding of your route into international expansion, it’s time to make use of your most valuable, relevant information; first-hand learnings.
Your activity is unique and entirely relevant to your business, which is an invaluable resource. From content understanding to audience lists, first-hand data can be utilised extremely effectively across your current and prospective audiences.
Test and learn culture
Never assume that your previous activity is definitive. The industry is ever-changing, so when it comes to performance, content and market insights, we also need to adapt to the current climate.
Testing allows us to compare infinite variables, from campaign set-up, content and ad formats through to market comparison. Employ a Test and Learn strategy from the get-go and ensure your next steps and decisions are as informed as possible.
To find out more about our paid social services or about Croud, get in touch.