It’s the third most commonly spoken language in the world, with 68 countries listing it as their official language. It has an estimated 800 million speakers worldwide, and more than 72 countries have one million+ residents who speak it. It’s the language of the Internet. Can you guess what it is?
Which leads us to ask: From a marketing standpoint, why should you care about people outside of the United States speaking English? Hint: If you do any affiliate marketing, online advertising, or run your own business, you should care.
By the end of this post, I hope to introduce you to the opportunities advertising outside of the United States brings to the table–whether you’re advertising with RTX Platform or elsewhere. It’s a great big world out there. Let’s go international!
Where are all these English speakers?
I want to start by looking at these 25 English-speaking countries, alongside some general statistics and numbers from several sources, including RTX Platform data. I’ll get into the different color-coding and countries in bold font later on, but for now, just focus on the cold, hard stats:
|Country||% English Speakers*||Total English Speakers*||Estimated % of Total English Users|
|Republic of Ireland||98.37||4,350,000||0.46|
Sources: CIA.gov, Ethnologue.com, Wikipedia
Do any of the numbers above surprise you? Maybe Egypt with 28 million English speakers? Or Singapore, where 80% of its population can speak English? Or Pakistan, with almost 100 million English speaking citizens? Some of these numbers are relatively old estimates, so the true numbers are likely even higher today.
So, what does this data mean? It means limiting your online marketing efforts to the US limits your campaign’s potential. It means you can have a larger audience, often for a cheaper cost per action. Which brings me to my next point…
Broaden your reach on the cheap.
For most ad networks, the United States is the most expensive country to target. When you create additional campaigns that target countries outside the US, you’re likely to get volume at cheaper rates.
For reference, here’s a table of our minimum bid prices for the various ad types we offer on RTX Platform:
|Minimum Bid Prices by Country and Ad Type on RTX Platform ($USD)|
|United Kingdom, Canada, Australia||$0.020||$0.005||$0.050|
|France, and Italy||$0.020||$0.005||$0.030|
Keep in mind: The minimum bid price does not necessarily mean that a keyword in, say, a UK-targeted campaign will be less competitive than it’d be in a US-targeted campaign, but these prices are a good indicator to use as a baseline. In many cases, the same keywords in a campaign targeting countries outside of the US will be a little bit cheaper than in a US-targeted campaign, and they’ll still achieve the same percent of impressions.
Once your campaign is created and you’ve picked your keywords, you can use our handy built in tools to optimize your bids from the get-go.
So, where should you target?
At this point, you know you can get more traffic by creating internationally targeted campaigns, and you can get this traffic at cheaper rates. Next, you need to make sure you’re targeting locations that will deliver quality traffic to your offer, which–don’t forget!–is being promoted in English.
Let’s take a look back at the first table in this post. The the countries in bold (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Netherlands) are your best bets for targeting. You’ll notice each of the 5 countries has a full row of green highlighted cells. Here’s why:
- They have a high percentage of English speakers (more than 79%).
- They have a large number of total English speakers (more than 10 million).
- They hold a large share of English speaking users on the RTX Platform network (more than 2%).
These are some of the preliminary indicators I use when determining what countries I want to target. If I want to keep things relatively simple by only targeting a few more countries, I’ll want to choose locations that are high volume with fewer non-English speaking users.
So, the countries in bold are relatively safe bets, but the countries listed below are your next best choices. I suggest experimenting with these if you’re looking for an extra boost in English traffic outside of the bolded countries:
- New Zealand
If you need as much traffic as you can get, experiment with the countries below. They might surprise you (% English speaking population):
- Bermuda (97%)
- Dominica (95%)
- Bahamas (88%)
- Sierra Leone (84%)
- Austria (73%)
- Finland (70%)
- Germany (64%)
- Switzerland (62%)
- Belgium (59%)
- Slovenia (59%)
- Philippines (57%)
Obviously, you want to avoid serving impressions to users who can’t read your copy. Those, essentially, are wasted impressions, and there are some techniques like keyword strategy, negative targeting, and advanced geo targeting that can minimize wasted impressions like these. But that’s another topic for another day.
Even in the United States, there’s a possibility that your ad will be shown to someone who doesn’t speak English. In fact, there’s more potential for wasted impressions in the US, where 5.8% of the population doesn’t speak English, than there is in the UK and Australia combined, where non-English speakers make up 5.2% of the population.
Check your offer before expanding.
This all sounds grand, but before you broaden your marketing to a global scale, you’ll need to make sure your campaign is able to run internationally (Affiliate marketers, this goes out especially to you!).
Not all offers accept conversions or traffic from other countries. Here are some questions to answer before adding another geographic target to your ad campaign:
- Is my offer allowed to be promoted in this country?
- Does my offer accept this country’s currency?
- If shipping is involved, can my product be shipped to this country?
- Will users in this country understand my ad copy, including any words or phrases that may be unfamiliar or mean something else?
If you answered “yes” to the questions above, your campaign is good to go international.
Follow best practices for targeting internationally.
Rather than adding additional geo-targets to an existing campaign, it’s better to group similar geo-targets into separate campaigns. This allows you to optimize for specific countries, and you’ll save on costs by grouping together geo-targets with the same minimum bids.
On RTX Platform, you can easily duplicate campaigns, creatives, and keywords. After that, just change the geo-targets in the duplicated campaigns, and you’re all set!
Okay, so here’s the TL;DR.
Running campaigns internationally has serious benefits, like:
- Increased traffic.
- Increased reach.
- Decreased cost.
When you target more locations, you increase traffic by broadening your reach. Your bid price per target is generally lower because of decreased competition. Together, this leads to a greater return on investment (aka, bigger profits). As marketers, that’s always our goal right? To increase profit. Going international just might be the perfect strategy to achieve that.
Have any questions? Interested in joining us? Want to take your campaigns to the next level? Sign up or contact us today. We’ll hook you up with one of our expert Account Managers to help you achieve bigger profits.
Did I miss anything in this post? Did I skip over a topic you want to know more about? Did I inspire you to try advertising outside of the United States? Do you have any tips or stories you’d like to share about advertising internationally to English speakers? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you!