The popularity of web banners may be declining in the US and developed markets, however, in other “emerging” global markets they still work well to drive traffic to landing pages and to generate business leads.
The integrated campaign:
Web banners should always be part of your global marketing integrated campaign, i.e launched with integrated email shots, event collateral, print ads and social media content- the look and feel of all of these pieces should be consistent. They work well in new markets by reaching and engaging new audiences. They can be used to encourage users to click through to predefined websites or preferably optimised campaign landing pages.
Banner ads can also be used on your internal site to highlight key promotions. They can be used throughout the buying cycle. They should increase brand consideration by encouraging visitors to click through to campaign landing pages for further information and the opportunity for follow up.
You should always use an offer to entice a click through. The visitor should be able to find the offer easily on your landing page, think what’s in it for them- you offer them something and they give you their data for follow up.
Before engaging an agency to buy media placements on the web, work with partners or your local sales teams to clearly define your campaign’s objectives the user interest and overall proposition.
Engage a local marketing or PR agency to find out which sites are the best to use for advertising to reach your local target audience. Local media agencies will also be able to advise you on costs and where your competitors are advertising, plus the traffic for various sites.
Capture contact data for follow up
Data for some emerging/global markets is still rare to acquire and so ensure you capture visitors’ data. Data-capture forms should be embedded on your campaign landing pages. Keep the data entry fields on the form limited so that you don’t lose the user, it may be the first time for them to interact with your brand. The questions on the form should be in local language and you can capture data in local characters, however, your database should be set up to capture local characters in advance. Test before launching to ensure it works well and to ensure a good user experience.
Determine hat the user journey should be, make it simple, define what the follow up should look like and how much traffic you expect to click through. Make sure you have resources in place to follow up the data before placing the banner ad, the follow – up piece of marketing content should exist and users should receive it after submitting their data. Ensure trust on the thank you page with messaging and branding – again use the local business language.
Even if you achieve a high click-through rate and a high amount of traffic to your site for the duration of the campaign, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve achieved your objectives. A high number of visitors can sometimes be perceived as a good thing and some agencies will have you believe you’ve “raised awareness”, but you need to understand the contact’s interest once he or she arrives on your landing page. If you have a high bounce rate (people exit your page immediately after arriving) coupled with high traffic, that’s negative. You want them to stay on your page and follow your call to action. Take users on a journey. Plot what that looks like on paper. Take them to a data-capture form; offer a download, whitepaper, competition, freebie to entice them. Emerging markets have large young populations and so cool gadgets can entice high click through rates, however, they can also drive poor quality responses and so it may work better, for B2b products, to use something like a whitepaper, how-to guide, for example, best practice again is to localise, copy should be in local language, the message should be easy for the target audience to understand and the proposition should be right for the market.
Add contact details on your page like a local phone number to increase trust or live chat software if you have the resources so that you can engage in conversation with visitors in real-time.
Landing pages should be optimised
The landing page should be relevant and targeted to the user in the local market. Ensure call to actions are clear, do not link to your main company website or use a scroll, you want people to stay on that page and to take action, ensure call to actions are above the fold and repeat them on the page.
Ensure call to actions buttons are attractive.
Experiment with using videos on your landing page. Test different landing pages in parallel using an A/B split, one of your banner ads should send traffic to the “original version” of the landing page and another banner ad should send users to an an alternate version. You can tweak the call to action on the alternative version, or the messaging and see how conversions compare to the original version. You should test one variation on the alternative page. Measure results and use the page with the highest conversions for the full duration of your campaign.
Local sites, local content
In some countries, website owners might not accept banners that are not localised or the banner might look strange if it is not in the local language. In any scenario, images should reflect the local culture. Make sure the creative and message is accepted by the local culture, localise your landing page and use colours or images that are culturally accepted. This will increase click through rates and conversions.
Social proof in new markets
Social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus ,Pinterest and LinkedIn are popular worldwide, you can check usage per country for some of these tools by referring to socialbakers.com. Add those social media share buttons to your landing pages so that visitors in new markets can share your content with their peers increasing exposure for your campaign and the likelihood of conversions.
￼￼The benefits of effective web banner strategy in new markets includes the following:
- Can reach global markets
- Gathering prospect data
- Piggybacking established, tested popular sites in local markets with established targeted traffic
- Allowing your business to be compelling to local markets
- Building brand awareness
- Improving future campaigns based on data collection
- Can be creative
Targeting, message and last but not least…
As with any media, make sure that the timing is right. You don’t want to buy banner space during a local holiday, for instance, when traffic may tend to dip, or during a low sales period.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼To find out more about B2b Digital marketing in global markets, you can read Emerging Business Online, Global Markets and the Power of B2b Internet Marketing an New York FT Press Publication.