Split Testing in International Digital Marketing Campaigns For Localization

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The Importance of Split Testing in International Digital Marketing Campaigns 2

The very heart of marketing and sales success revolves around some very basic and common principles. You need to be able to talk to people on their own level, using language that they will relate to and understand, and you need to trigger an emotional response that will induce the reaction that you desire in order to close the deal, no matter what that deal may be. 

The funny thing about human nature is that it is common across most of humanity. Many of the very same techniques that work for split testing or a/b testing as it is sometimes referred to in local or even domestic markets, will work equally well in the international marketplace. If there is any major difference, it is only that you may want to consider hiring a translation agency that specializes in localization for your international digital marketing campaigns. Oddly enough, the very same principle is true, even in terms of domestic digital marketing campaigns. 

What is split testing? Split testing is, at its core, little more than trying two different approaches to the same goal. How does split testing work? Conduct your online marketing campaign with these two approaches for a limited amount of time and then examine the results. Get rid of the one that had the lower returns and replace it with another internet marketing campaign. 

Rinse and repeat as necessary and/or as desired. This process is just as effective for AdWords campaigns as it is for email marketing campaigns as it is for landing pages and testing. For the sake of this article and consistency, the primary focus here will be on the utilization of Google AdWords for your split testing and marketing campaign. 

International Digital Marketing, Localization and Split Testing

It really does not matter if your marketing campaign spans just across the United Kingdom, just across the United States or if it covers the entire globe. The Scot is going to have a different point of reference than the person from Ulster, who will likely have a very different point of view from the average Londoner. While any digital marketing campaign that was in English would likely be understandable to all of these markets, how much more effective would that digital marketing campaign be if it addressed each one with language they would recognize? 

Across the country or across the globe, the principles of localization are consistent. Just like the principles of marketing, though with a more personal touch. Oddly enough, you may need a translator even when working domestically. Why? Different words often have different meanings in different parts of the same nation. There are parts of the United states where calling for a “pop” would be calling out to the father. There are other locations where the word “pop” would reference a soft drink. In other parts of the world where English is still a primary language, it may have a more lurid, if not nefarious meaning. 

Taboos and sources of pride are going to be different in different locations. An advertisement referencing any number of issues of cultural sensitivity may be very well received in Northern Ireland, though very poorly received in other locations around the United Kingdom. In some cases, too much orange or too much green may result in a lesser appeal to the desired demographic. Localization is all important even before the digital marketing campaign begins, but even more so in regards to split testing. 

This again however, is why Google AdWords is about one of the best examples for split testing. Once a sufficient level of knowledge has been gleaned, it does not matter if the audience is domestic or foreign or even foreigners living within the same domestic locale, split testing can begin in earnest. 

Keep Records of Success and Failure in the International Digital Marketing Split Testing

Split Testing is not a one-off event to prove anyone right or wrong about what they think will work in digital marketing. Split testing is an ongoing process to improve the continued success of both the digital marketing campaign and the person running that campaign. At the end of the day, the bottom line in any advertising and marketing campaign is how it directly impacts the bottom line of the business. 

There may be some aspects of the localization campaign that work but it can be difficult to determine which ones. One test advertisement may perform very well but gets set aside as it is outperformed by one that works better. Some may show intermittent success and it will be important to keep accurate records for the split testing of your localization campaign in order to gain a better sense of direction. 

This will help to more easily fine tune future advertisement testing and to ensure a gradual gain in terms of both successful advertising campaigns and the customer base. Which times for posting worked better with which local language was working better and then combining all of that with whichever local references were working better. While split testing your localization campaign may be binary in nature, it must be substantially more complete in order to maximize the potential for positive returns. 

Timing is Everything In Split Marketing Campaigns But CTR Does Not Equate with Success

Split testing is all about your timing as well! While the sentiment here may appear crass, this is an extreme look at just why timing is key to success with any split marketing and advertising campaign. Imagine for a moment, the vendor selling teen fashion. Obviously there is nothing wrong with this, and the business itself can be about as wholesome as it gets. 

Ads run for teen fashions at two or three in the morning may see an increase in click through rates, and cost the advertiser a pretty pence or ten, but they are probably not going to be successful in terms of sales. Remember, localization is all about knowing your target audience as well on the conscious level as they know about themselves at the subconscious level. When is the target demographic online? Before work? After work? During work? When are they looking for what they will purchase? 

Running advertisements at different times of the day will provide varying results. The time of year may be a factor as may the weather. Products for children may be advertised at different times of day depending on whether they are in school or not. Winter products will not fare as well in the summer and summer products will not fare as well in the winter, though there may be some exceptions for a truly spectacular sale. It is also important to remember that many of the same marketing techniques that work for a split testing campaign domestically will work just as well internationally, and they can 

Begin Split Testing with AdWords Domestically and Internationally

To truly understand the power of localization in your split marketing campaign, it is going to be necessary to see it in action, but split testing, if it is conducted in earnest, should not just be about speaking to people in their own language. There are a great many additional factors to consider as well. The first separation for the successful starting of a split testing ad campaign should probably be geographical, but time is a factor as well. 

Who is the intended audience? When are they online? Are there local reference points that can be used to trigger an emotional response? Are there local idioms that the audience will respond to favorably? Are they a humourless bunch or do they have a keen wit?

The Google Advertising campaign is perhaps easiest to break down by geographical regions. This is something that is surprisingly easy for some internet marketers to overlook. An advertisement for heavy winter coats is going to fare a lot better when run in colder climates than it will in more tropical environments. 

Run one advertisement in the split campaign using local references and one without. Run one advertisement with local vernacular and one in a more generic form of the language of the targeted demographic. Run some advertisements that have humor and some without humor. Split testing as part of your localization strategy is about discovering which combinations will work and which combinations will not.

In areas that are currently suffering under the strain of the COVID19 global pandemic, a serious approach may be in order. In the US however, it could be very possible that an add discussing the resultant shortage of toilet tissue may come across as funny, despite the seriousness of the global pandemic. In areas suffering from such shortages from hoarding, a different approach may be necessary in order to generate effective emotional triggers with the target audience. 

In the case of China, where the Coronavirus originated, split testing could be conducted discussing the lessening impact of the virus and the success of the people in effectively combating the virus. This same campaign in other areas less severely impacted by this global pandemic will once again, require a different approach when split testing your localization campaign. 

Rinse and Repeat (and Expand) For Continued Split Marketing Success of Your Localization Campaign

As was briefly noted before in the section about recording successes and failures, the basic nature of split testing for the localization campaigns is binary in nature on its face. Underneath the binary veneer however, lies a much more complex and complete system in order to maximize the benefits and the potential return from a continued split-testing campaign. 

Once the original split testing has started in regards to the marketing campaign and localization strategies, it is time to begin mixing and matching the results until a formula for success begins to make itself clear. Over the course of time, patterns will emerge with different aspects being more successful, and different combinations of factors being a greater success or failure, even if some of the individual aspects worked fine on their own. In the case of split testing for a video marketing campaign, one video may be posted with subtitles while the other video is posted with closed captioning. While both the closed captioning and the subtitles may offer a benefit to the viewer and result in more feedback, ultimately it is most likely that the video with closed captioning will perform better. 

This is due to the fact that the subtitles are hard coded into the video, whereas the video translation and the subtitles are in text or srt files that are also indexed both on YouTube and the general search engines. Thus, they will have a more pronounced presence on the SERP or search engine results page and likely receive more views. Closed captioning over top of the hard-coded subtitles will be likely to create a distraction that makes it difficult for the viewer to read either one, thus ensuring that the video will be less likely viewed through to the conclusion, receive fewer likes and less interaction. In short, it is likely to be less effective. 

Another benefit with closed captioning is that it can be included in as many different languages as the video marketer deems appropriate. This allows for a very unique opportunity in regards to split testing and localization. Including closed captioning in different languages using professional translation services, adds some very interesting benefits. Now, instead of just the select keywords in the primary language, keywords in all of the language translations will be indexed by the search engines. Now, instead of merely ranking for the keywords in English, the video marketing campaign can be expanded into an ever-increasing number of viable markets. 

Granted, it is wise to determine which of these markets offer a viable opportunity for growth, expansion and increased profitability before the split testing is commenced, or even before the video translations expand the available numbers of closed captioning or srt files for the video. The business that is offering local lawncare service will still need to perfect their localization strategies, and may still have cause to translate their website and promotional materials into different languages. However, it is unlikely they will fare very well advertising in foreign markets, no matter how much split testing they do or how effective their advertising campaigns and localization strategies may be. 

International Digital Marketing and Split Testing (How to Get Joint Ventures and Super Affiliate Status)

It is easy to get into a rush and miss certain key aspects and results from a split-marketing campaign, especially in regards to affiliate marketing. Still, some of the more renowned internet marketers offer some pretty good incentives for hawking their projects and programs, and some of these programs are informational in nature, and may have viable foreign markets. Split testing is great as it allows for the active internet marketer to constantly refine and perfect their marketing campaign to increase sales. What if there was a possibility to get exclusive or semi-exclusive rights to that affiliate marketing opportunity though? What if it was possible to do a joint venture with an internet marketing superstar instead of being relegated to “just another affiliate”? 

Someone who has perfected the art of split testing with their localization campaign already has a major advantage. Being able to take all of the marketing materials though, and better still, informational products and expose them to foreign markets can generate opportunity where none existed before, for anyone involved in the marketing campaign. Generally, the internet marketers will promote their affiliate opportunities, along with announcing some really great prizes for the top affiliates. In such cases, a very simple approach can provide new markets, new ways to perfect the split-marketing techniques and even open the door to joint ventures and exclusive marketing rights.

Whether someone is using translation services for split testing on the local markets or on an international scale, all of the tools are already in place to capture the attention of the product owners. A simple approach is to explain to them the opportunities for sales of their products in the foreign markets where the resources are already in place. Offer to translate their materials into the foreign language of choice, in exchange for exclusive rights in that language or even as a joint venture in cooperation with the product owner. The potential for success in such ventures is practically assured, especially if the split testing is continued as an ongoing portion of the global marketing campaigns through localization strategies.