Thinking of taking your marketing across the border? Facebook offers the ability to scale your international presence and reach key audiences in new markets. Not only is the platform able to provide you with a wealth of targeting capabilities but there is also a large scope of international features such as cross-border resources, insights to go and advanced measurement and reporting tools. In this blog, we'll talk about some of the ways to think about your international Facebook strategy and tools available to expand your digital strategy internationally.
Things to consider when going abroad with Facebook marketing
Just like with travelling, it is important to consider local aspects of the country you are expanding to. With markets varying drastically you always want to be sensitive to their local customs, holidays, regulations and landscapes to avoid missing the mark. You should consider:
- Market maturity and seasonality: before expanding to a new territory, you need to ensure how receptive the market is to your product. Using tools like Google Trends you can gather the insight on search behaviour of the local audience and learn about seasonality insights for specific products. For example, UK searches for beach holidays are high during June and July, while in Australia they spike during the New Year celebrations in December and January.
- Local competitors: with any expansion, a competitive landscape is important in order to assess the strategic approach needed in the specific market. While your company’s brand awareness and interest may be highly competitive in the UK, German companies within the same vertical may have a strong market share in the country, influencing your digital strategy.
- Tone and language: in order to connect with local audiences, you need to have a capability to communicate with them in their language. Using translator tools is not the best choice as local subtleties may not translate well and make your company look incompetent. At Merkle, we always recommend working with native speakers to translate and proofread your ads before sending them out to the public. Get in touch for details of our trusted translation partners.
- Your online and offline coverage of the market: are you able to handle the demand off the back of your Facebook activation? Ensuring you have a comprehensive fulfilment and customer support strategy is important to present your company in the best light.
Facebook also offers a free global readiness tool to support you with expansion plans with a personalised report covering topics of reach, customer engagement, payments and logistics based on your responses.
Understand your audience with Facebook Insights
Once you have considered all of the above and feel comfortable with the nuances of your chosen markets, the next important step is to start researching your local target audience. Facebook Audience Insights tool is a quick way to gather learnings on the key audience of interest in the selected country.
Here you can select your target age, gender and interests closely related to your business and begin to understand who your audience is. In advanced settings, you can also filter by relationship status, education, life events and other categories that can be useful for specific verticals, e.g. advertising dating apps to single Facebook users. In return, the tool provides quick stats of most affiliated demographics, job titles and education levels. Most importantly, you can get a look into what your audience is also interested in with top categories and affinity pages.
This tool is also useful for competitor analysis to identify the most popular pages amongst your target audience within your vertical. Once your presence is large enough in the market, you can use the tool again to learn more about people connected to your Facebook page and re-assess your targeting.
Learn about your market with cross-border insights
Another useful Facebook resource is Insights To Go. Here you can filter by markets, verticals, people, moments and platforms to find quick insights to assist you in strategy and planning. For example, did you know that 48% of makeup shoppers in France use Messenger for beauty-related conversations? With this insight, you may want to consider your chatbot strategy in the market if you operate in the beauty space.
Additionally, you can explore more Facebook insights with global resources and case studies on a dedicated global solutions page.
Reach your audience with a range of targeting options
Due to its large user base, on Facebook you can target precisely and accurately the audience you are after. The platform offers a wide range of targeting options including interests, customer lists, lookalikes and more. From international point of view, you can:
- Target at region, country, city and postcode levels. With the latter you can ensure you are reaching those closest to your physical locations
- Filter by language, which is useful if you are targeting expats in a new market
- Specify permanent residents or temporary visitors depending on the nature of your business
Creative wins with Facebook
With Facebook’s dynamic language features you can upload your ad copy in different languages within the same ad unit, which would enable automation and help your campaigns optimise efficiently. We recommend having your copy translated professionally rather than relying on the automated tool to account for local language and tone nuances and avoid having negative attention on your posts.
Measure and report your international success with Facebook
It is common to separate your ad accounts by a country or market for currency consistency or budget needs. To manage the growing number of accounts, Facebook allows the creation of cross-account reports to have a single dashboard to review performance. Here you can also standardise currency based on Facebook’s rates to have comparable data.
If all territories are managed from a single ad account, Facebook allows you to break down your data by country, giving you an added level of granularity needed to assess performance of each market.
With tools ranging from insights and targeting to measurement and reporting, Facebook is a great platform to include in your go-to-market strategy. Interested in expanding your social presence internationally? Reach out to Merkle and learn how our International Growth team can help!