How to do Digital Marketing For International Audiences [Guide]

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How to do Digital Marketing For International Audiences [Complete & Actionable Guide]

Digital marketing is a requirement for any business that wants to entice, engage, and excite customers online. When putting together a digital marketing strategy, there are many aspects to consider, but another element has recently become important: international audiences.

As globalisation grows in prevalence, more and more companies are deciding to target worldwide markets to increase their market share, boost brand visibility, and generate more sales.

Is the goal to acquire more worldwide sales for your products and services? If so, it’s imperative you put together a comprehensive international digital marketing campaign.

This guide will help with making that a reality!

Which Businesses Should Use International Digital Marketing?

International expansion is not on the menu for every business type. It’s essential to be realistic and understand your limitations. For instance, there’s no sense in a local company venturing into international waters – especially if they haven’t even expanded their operations nationally.

With that said, there are various business types that can profit from using international digital marketing. It’s a natural route to take for organisations that are planning an overseas expansion. However, it can also be advantageous for small businesses to make that international leap.

After all, an international expansion opens the door to new markets and the ability to stand out from the competition. It’s also a tactic that can accelerate company growth. Add in that globalisation is becoming more of a natural occurrence, and it’s not out of reach for the right small business.

With those points out of the way, now it’s time to move on to the main content of this guide: international digital marketing! We’ve listed the main tactics required to put together a comprehensive, effective marketing strategy.

International SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the foundation layer for any worthwhile digital marketing strategy. This remains the same with international digital marketing.


According to a research study by Forrester, 71 percent of consumers begin their journeys by using a search engine to discover new products and services (initiation), and 74 percent reported using a search engine for consideration and purchasing (research, comparison, transaction).

71% of consumers begin their journeys by using a search engine to discover new products and services.Click to tweet

What this demonstrates is that a heck of a lot of people use search engines – well, Google – to find what they’re looking for on the internet. This means if you want your website to be found, you have to incorporate SEO into your site’s design and content.

With international SEO, there are a few key changes to the standard process.

To begin with, you’ll have to start fresh when researching applicable keywords. The keywords that work in your local market might not necessarily work in an international one. Not only that, but these keywords can have entirely different meanings in a foreign language.

As a result, you cannot necessarily go with a literal translation and expect your keywords to function as normal. If they’re not relevant for international markets, potential customers won’t be adding these search terms to Google.

Instead, they’ll be searching with other keywords – ones you’ve missed, but your competitors haven’t.

Various tools and tactics are available to find relevant, trending international keywords. A recommended slice of software is Semrush. With this tool, you can find out the most popular search terms in a specific market and learn about what keywords the competition is using to rank organically with their SEO efforts.

As part of your international SEO, you also have to factor in changes in content production and link building – more on those later.

International Link Building

High-quality backlinks are essential for pushing your website up the Google search rankings.

The reasons for this include:

  • It assists with promoting your international website
  • It helps to build domain authority.
  • It brings in local referral traffic from high-performing, relevant local sources.

As with any link-building campaign, one of the biggest challenges is finding publishers for the work. This task is even trickier if you’re venturing into an international market with a foreign language.

It can be difficult to find high-ranking websites that publish articles from external sources, while convincing site owners to share your work is unlikely if you go with broken, unprofessional machine translations.

The good news: there are solutions to these issues. A quick bit of competitor research, for instance, can reveal a deluge of websites that will publish your backlink.

You can also learn about the type of content these sites are happy to share via their platform.

As for getting in touch with site owners, you can again bring in a professional to craft emails that flow correctly and come across as natural. Communication is important, and clear messages ensure you get off on the right foot towards building fruitful, long-term relationships with international influencers in your industry.

International PPC

Pay-per-click ads are another effective way to promote your business to an international audience. Unlike SEO where you could be waiting weeks, months, or even years for notable results, PPC can deliver instant results. Due to this, these ads are great for bridging the gap between your brand’s international expansion and your SEO efforts paying dividends.

To ensure your international PPC ads hit the mark, there are a few points to factor into the equation. First of all, you have to think about producing an ad that is compelling with a strong call to action attached. That’s naturally the case with any advert, but it is especially important to feature the right tone and language when targeting an international audience—first impressions matter.

By going the extra mile, your ads stand out from the rest and leave a lasting impression, boosting the click-through rate as a result.

Another point to remember is ensuring your PPC ads are landing in the right place. After all, if you are going with personalised ads for a specific international market, you don’t then want these ads showing up in locations on the other side of the world.

Geotargeting plays an integral role. When you utilise geotargeting, you can zone in on a specific country, region, or even city, pushing your ads to the exact geographical location you’re aiming for with your digital marketing efforts.

International Organic Social

Social media is another tactic that should be added to your international digital marketing strategy. It’s a great method for reaching new audiences, where creative, visual content can run wild – and potentially hit that viral jackpot.

However, international organic social is not something you can do with minimal commitment. It demands a lot of time and resources. Along with crafting new, regular content that follows current trends, you have to engage proactively with your audience in your target country.

Due to the amount of effort required, you must carefully select the social media platforms you wish to use.

Will you focus on just a single platform?

Perhaps you’ll have a combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn? Will you create separate profiles for each country you target?

To answer these questions, you have to account for your resources, business structure, and the prevalence of social media platforms in specific countries.


Digital marketing for international audiences isn’t too dissimilar from a regular digital marketing campaign. It still involves the usual bunch of marketing tactics, including SEO, link building, social media, and PPC.

These will also be implemented and managed in much the same way.

However, as this guide demonstrates, there are numerous differences you have to fall in line with when performing international digital marketing.

You have to carefully consider each international audience, along with their culture, trends, and so much more. Although if you get it right, there’s every chance that your business will become a permanent fixture in new, rewarding international markets!


Daniel is the founder of MediaDigi digital agency and digital marketing manager at For over 14 years he has helped hundreds of customers to establish a presence online and win the digital race.

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