It was reported in the wsj Thursday that Internet companies from blogs to large Amazon.com types are now drawing more of their web traffic from overseas. I know from personal experience that this blog’s traffic is more than 50% international. I’ve seen this trend rising the last couple of years (research data).
What exactly does this mean for companies that charge advertising? It means that when a foreign overseas visitor clicks on your site and your running banner ads that get you a monetary % of click thru’s, you are leaving money on the table. How? For example: European visitors clicks on your landing page and you (or the ad network platform you use) serve them a Verizon ad special that is only available in the United States. Is that ad compelling to the visitor? Do you think this International visitor is interested in clicking thru the US centric ad? No way!
Thousands upon thousands of ad revenue is lost and sitting right there on the table. The problem is that if your running a global media company and your serving up US ads, your potential revenue is in danger. Most of the US ad network platforms that websites use, only serve up US ads. What can you do to solve this issue? If your ad network is in house, make sure you serve your clients international visitors a country specific ad. it’s real easy to identify these visitors thru international domains, first-party cookies, and IP addresses. If it’s a U.S. visitor, serve up a U.S. ad. If you outsource to an online ad network that does not have these capabilities, try hiring an international advertising platform company. There are a lot of them that are London based. Need an ad network platform on the Pacific Rim or India where Internet usage is sky rocketing with the arrival of DSL? Try ad companies such as Komli Media (India). Selling internet ads to local international markets is a tough issue right now. Larger companies with resources have sales teams set up outside the US. Companies such as MySpace and Facebook (that now get over 50% of traffic from overseas) are trying to ramp up their sales teams internationally. The majority of Facebook's growth is international. Of the 75 million uniques it added in the last year, just 13 million (17%) were in the U.S., where MySpace is still twice Facebook's size. Internet usage overseas is anywhere from a few years behind to ground zero. As they gain access to telephone lines (DSL) and cable, this customer base will grow exponentially. You have to prepare to exploit your platform to serve these international visitors. Get to them now before your competitor does.