October 3, 2014 / Uncategorized

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, multi-cultural and international search are becoming an integral component in search engine marketing. What are the best international search campaign tactics and how are marketers implementing them? SEMPO asked its members for their insights.

1. How do you conduct research for international search campaigns? Can you share any tools or tricks?

Jose Saldaña of Covario:
“First, I understand the market by researching demographics, general interests, and whereabouts. Secondly, I investigate preferences and search behaviors and patterns, and lastly I integrate emerging topics and opportunities.

Common tools:
1. Market & Demographics – Display Planner, Hitwise, ComScore, SimilarWeb
2. Target Audience – Keyword Planner, Bing Keyword Tool, YouTube Keyword Tool, Google related results
3. Trends & Insights – Google Trends, Trendsmap, Google News, Google Alerts

I use Google advanced operators to narrow down to various criteria and to discover geographically relevant terminology that I then combine with a list of purchase oriented (or other categories) terms to ID highly refined keywords.”

Elena MacGurn of Covario:
“Covario’s strategy for international search campaigns relies on proprietary technology, as well as local search engine platform services. When researching local markets’ organic demand, we also look at local paid campaign insights, user-generated content from local social activity, product reviews, competitive data, internal search results, and related data.”

Daniel Hucks of Digital Strategies, Inc.:
“Generally, the research is industry specific first and country and culture more secondary.”

2. In what ways do you accommodate international holidays and events into your search efforts?

Jose Saldaña:
“We celebrate local culture and incorporate seasonal campaigns, exclusive offerings, and semantically-related content for broader non-brand coverage.”

Elena MacGurn:
“Seasonality and local search patterns are very important factors in understanding local demand for most verticals. Accommodating international holidays, seasonal events, and any ongoing marketing efforts already targeting local markets is a significant component of our international search campaigns.”

Daniel Hucks:
“Only if they are relevant to a campaign.”

3. What search tactics do you feel are the most beneficial to reach a multi-cultural audience?

Jose Saldaña:
“1. Cross-referencing between content languages for awareness
2. Finding emotional connections to invite reviews and user generated content 3. FAQs for broader content coverage”

Elena MacGurn:
“When dealing with multiple cultures and international search, I believe it is important to go a step beyond geo-targeting in order to accommodate any blended search needs of the local consumers. At Covario, we work closely with local trending topics, localized content, local social networks and search engine tools to boost engagement and capture search demand within multi-cultural markets.”

Daniel Hucks:
“Have content written by one who is native to the language and culture.”

4. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in multi-cultural and international search?

Jose Saldaña:
“1. Acculturation – Understanding the different marketing languages of the target audience.
2. Cannibalization – Competition between various geographic areas of the same brand competing in one same area and impacting customer journey to purchase. 3. Scalable process for managing href language annotations.
4. Regional search engine updates. Centralize frameworks that make regional adoption a long or impossible process.”

Elena MacGurn:
“The biggest challenge in multi-cultural and international search is understanding real-time local demand and making the most out of those insights to target new and existing content. Scaling this effort across multiple countries or regions often results in missed targeting opportunities at a local level.”

Daniel Hucks:
“Understanding cultural nuances and regulatory environment.”

5. Do you find you are more likely to run ads globally or by country? What factors drive your media strategies?

Jose Saldaña:
1. Total market opportunity
2. Cost to reach audience
3. Brand affinity
4. Competition”

Daniel Hucks:
“By country; culture, language and regulatory.”

SEMPO thanks the contributors to this blog post and invites you to share your approach to multi-cultural and international marketing in our comments section. Also, come back soon as our contributors continue the discussion on multi-cultural search trends and opportunities.

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