Episode 25: International Audiences on Facebook
Looking for scale with your Facebook advertising? It's time you considered marketing to international audiences.
00:01 Stewart Anderson: Welcome back to the Spend 10K a Day podcast, your hosts, Stewart Anderson and Steve Weiss. Today we are talking about international audiences on Facebook. Big opportunity, but you have to do it right.
00:14 Steve Weiss: Yup, international is probably one of our biggest growth areas this year, as far as a lot of our e-commerce partners. Expanding into more English speaking countries that you're able to ship to, is probably one of the biggest wins for a lot of people we work with. We usually base our strategy around the fulfillment of a logistical strategy of, "Can you actually ship," or if you have an electronic product, "can you deliver this product in this language to this audience?" Usually, we start off by opening up Canada after the US. Obviously, Canada's a very... From a fulfillment perspective, it's a lot easier to fulfill, if you're a US company, from your 3PL to a Canadian user.
01:00 SA: Yeah, absolutely.
01:01 SW: And then, from after Canada, we usually start looking at other English-speaking countries, where the majority of people are speaking English: Australia, England, Ireland, New Zealand, etcetera, etcetera. And then, from there, our strategy is mapped out. Once we hit those audiences pretty hard, then we start hitting places where there's large military bases. Obviously...
01:22 SA: Military bases potentially as well, as well as other Western Civilization countries, either places that have large populations and have a great deal of familiarity with American culture. So places like France, Germany, South Korea have typically performed fairly well for a lot of our e-commerce trade.
01:38 SW: Which is surprising, because they're not 100% English speaking. You'd be surprised that people in those countries respond to English ads. I've done a lot of passive... Actually had worked with a translator team that I found off of oDesk or Upwork, and they did some awesome work of translating my ads to Brazil into Portuguese, 'cause I did a lot of marketing in Brazil. Brazil has a very fast growing middle class, as well as, obviously, there's no Facebook in China yet. It'd be good to have Facebook there, but some of the bigger countries to target, obviously Germany, England, France, Ireland, Australia, Canada, and then, if you really wanna go the translator route, looking into marketing in Brazil is probably a really, really good mapping out strategy. Obviously getting products into Brazil is a different story.
02:31 SA: Yeah, you really have to factor in your supply chain, of course. I think another good point to make in this, and you touched on it a little bit, if you have the resources to translate in other languages, by all means, if you know Spanish or you have somebody in your office who knows Spanish, translate that stuff into Spanish and sell in Mexico, sell in Latin America. Those are big opportunities. There's not a lot of people... There's far less people that are trying to advertise in other countries as there are in America, so the ad inventory is gonna be lower.
03:00 SW: Oh yeah, we've also done stuff in India, as well. India is also a really, really, really hot market. Another little tactic that we've used in the past, is having influencers in those countries actually create content for you that you could run on the Facebook ads. We've done that in Brazil and India, and those are two main places I've kind of messed with it, just hiring content creators in those countries to actually create ads for you, whether they be video ads, or... Most likely video testimonial type ads.
03:31 SA: Steve, we've talked a little bit in the early part of this episode about countries and languages, that sort of strategy. Let's go... We're going within a country now. Let's say we're targeting within Germany, hypothetically. One of the things that people might not realize, is that Facebook has a lot less data, comparatively, on people in other countries, as they do on people in the United States.
03:58 SW: And remember, there's different laws in these countries...
04:01 SA: Definitely.
04:02 SW: Regarding the type of data that Facebook can harness. I think there was a big debate or court case, where Germany actually went after Facebook, because that they pretty much said that, "You can't harness all this user data [chuckle] without being held liable." And I think, with that said, we haven't...Look-a-like audiences, obviously, great audience type in the US. They don't work as good in other countries, because remember, you're taking a US audience that Facebook knows, and you're telling Facebook, "Find us an audience that looks similar to this, in say England, or Brazil, or India," and Facebook just doesn't have the same user data that it has in the US.
04:43 SA: Yeah, exactly. The other thing too with that, is culturally, the data points and how they connect to each other in our country is gonna be different. There's just different cultures, different interests, and stuff like that. What might make somebody very, very similar in our country or might have a sensible connection between different sets of data, it might not be the same as in other countries, which means that when you build a lookalike or you try to build a lookalike for these countries, it's probably not gonna be as effective. So, interest based targeting becomes really important again when you're going international.
05:19 SW: Exactly, so your goal is, when you look at interest based targeting in, say India or Australia, is to try and really figure out what types of publications your users read, people who are most likely to be interested in your product. Try and find some websites that they are most likely shopping at. So if you're a sunglass company, as an example, and you have a company in this specific region that also creates sunglasses, maybe look into targeting similar products. Maybe look into targeting them in a specific demo. Maybe there's American brands that are really popular in those countries that you could target. But remember, interest targeting, I'm usually never a big proponent of it in the US, 'cause I'm like, "Oh, those pieces of audiences are already baked into your look-a-likes." Well, when you go internationally, I think that interest targeting is actually really important.
06:11 SA: Yeah, I completely agree, and anything you can do, just doing a little bit of research... Publications, the perfect example. There's other things, especially if... Countries that are fairly similar to ours, you can look at TV shows, just do a little bit of research and get an idea of what people like, in ways that you can break down cultural interests.
06:34 SW: But also remember, I know we're talking about interest targeting and it's very important, but also remember the population density of some of these countries. [laughter] Don't get too granular on those interest targeting, because some of these countries don't have huge population densities. Obviously, if you're going into India, or Brazil, or even the UK, or Australia, you have plenty of audience, or Canada. But if you're drilling down to Ireland, or some of these smaller countries, or Belgium, or... You really have to remember that there's just not a lot of people here, so maybe even just testing out open audiences to some of these high income or high demographic areas of these countries might be something that you could really focus on. You can also target people who speak English in these countries. You can target people traveling. You have a whole plethora of different targeting options, so I highly recommend creating your ad sets around specific targeting, figuring out which type of ads and which messaging are working to these audiences, and then testing them out over a large swath of different audiences, testing out a bunch of creative, and then testing those creatives out across multiple audiences.
07:40 SA: Yeah, that sounds great. There's a whole lot... [chuckle] And we could probably talk about over several podcast episodes, in terms of everything that goes into marketing internationally, but I think this is a pretty good primer to get somebody started, in terms of doing an audience targeting internationally.
07:55 SW: I think this is the biggest opportunity right now on Facebook. I wish I could go back to the earlier part of this podcast, and preface this podcast, and say, "The biggest opportunity right now on Facebook ads is internationally."
08:08 SA: It's true.
08:08 SW: 'Cause I am gonna tell you that that's the honest truth. If you can figure out your supply chain and ship to these countries, you are gonna be very profitable.
08:16 SA: Yeah, and it's funny, I can't tell you how many times recently I've heard media buyers on Facebook, even some of our own employees, who are, they're just like, "Man, costs are going up, prices are going up. Do you notice today it seems like inventory's more expensive?" It's like, "There's always an option, man. Check out some of these international audiences."
08:33 SW: Also another interesting... About international, which I don't think we mentioned, is that it doesn't have the same wave of rapid change in ad prices like they do in the US. And obviously in the US, everybody knows end of Q2, end of Q3, these big ad networks or these big ad media companies need to spend their end of Q2 budget to get more budget, so there's always this rapid surge of pricing on the platform, because all these big media houses need to blow through budget. Well, it's not really like that in other countries, just from what we're seeing. We're not seeing the destabilization of ad prices like we are here in the US. We're seeing a lot of consistency, which is in my opinion, pretty amazing, pretty amazing from a ad prices perspective. Obviously, in some places, they don't have a ton of audiences, but I really just am a huge proponent of opening international up, seeing if you can make it work and scaling it.
09:31 SA: Love it. Well, I think this has been a great start to open up international targeting and really expanding what you're doing on Facebook ads. We'll touch on international some more on upcoming podcast episodes, but for today, this has been Stewart Anderson and Steve Weiss, on the Spend 10K a Day podcast.
09:50 SW: We also have another awesome Facebook video podcast update coming in the Popper, so stay tuned. We're unleashing some amazing new video insights, coming up on one of the next podcasts, so stay tuned.