Going Global with an Affiliate Campaign? Avoid the Digital Culture Clash

Gil Klein

Gil Klein is senior vice president of clients at Matomy Media Group, a global performance marketing company. Contact him at gil@Matomy.com

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Going Global with an Affiliate Campaign? Avoid the Digital Culture Clash
Photo by Beth Scupham Creative Commons license

Today, when the world is ‘flat’, and globalisation is the heart of the performance marketing industry, there is no doubt that for an online marketer the international approach holds great potential. Being dependent on one market can mean a quick end to your affiliate business, while going global allows you to drop many anchors and become less vulnerable if new regulations are introduced or if a market becomes saturated.

Here are some best practices for managing international affiliate marketing campaigns.

Avoid Digital Culture Clash

After gaining years of experience in international performance marketing, we understand that trends, user behaviour and verticals differ from market to market, like their respective cultures. If you aspire to promote many verticals internationally, the key to making it work lies in learning a country’s digital culture, which can be tracked and mapped, and quickly lead to a goldmine in campaign conversions. You will need different user flows, funnels, marketing tactics, creative, messaging and of course, media buying pricing to make it work.

Why do games campaigns do so well in Germany?

Gaming is very big in Germany; it's really in the heart of the culture in every city. Not convinced? Visit Gamescom in Koln to have your mind blown. Why do fashion and e-commerce top out in the UK? This population is full of experienced e-consumers that love style and fashion. In Korea, MMO (massively multiplayer online) games are hugely popular. Download offers are a hit for internet-savvy Americans. The list goes on.

Use Your Network

I cannot state how important it is to use your affiliate manager. They can tell you what’s working by country, and can give you advice on how to get better results with ad placements on your traffic source. If you are just starting out, ask for an ad rotation tool that will display a number of international offers to the right audience and will automatically optimize. You will quickly learn how your traffic is responding and get some initial insight to guide you forward.

To Go Global, Get Local

The best way to go international is to have a local presence, where you get on-the-ground knowledge, create partnerships and keep close to the trends so you can maximise the potential. This sounds intimidating to affiliates and advertisers that are accustomed to operating only in English-speaking markets. As an Anglo-phile, I have to say that if you only collaborate with native English speakers you are losing out. If you only speak English you can explore the internet for countless localisation services to help you reach international audiences, and relax because, with the exception of France, most European populations are fluent in English. So be daring and strike up a conversation with that Dutch affiliate at the next trade show, you never know where it could lead!

Diversify Your Traffic and Reach

For advertisers and affiliates who own their own products, when you have a great product that is booming in your origin target country, you can scale in two ways: adding media diversity and media types or expanding your geographic reach. This has been the strategy for many big Fortune 500 companies. There is so much international traffic and unsold traffic that if you are daring enough to leave your comfort zone and experiment, you can find great pockets of media for cheap. Internet usage is booming in developing markets, especially mobile traffic and this trend, along with payment options for purchasing, opens up great international opportunities. International expansion should be a significant part in a growth strategy; however, within all of the potential resides some risks that you should be aware of and take into account.

Currency fluctuations, local taxes, local regulations, language aspects are all to be considered. You should gather all this knowledge and answers in advance to continue growth while avoiding unwelcome surprises.

Once you make it, you will be rewarded by the biggest buzzword this year: scale.

For us at Matomy, acting globally is one of our strongest advantages. It’s important to us to continuously learn about market trends and opportunities and assist advertisers and publishers to expand their activity on web and mobile. Via our local branches in the US, Europe, Latin America and Israel, we bring the offers, match them to local media and assist in overcoming all the barriers that I have mentioned.

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