globe over target
Expat marketers should know how to target their campaigns to the right audience and design their banners to maximize CTR.

Targeting an advertising campaign at expatriates can be difficult. What marketing mix should you use? Do you target expats before or after they have moved abroad? Where do you place your ads?

These are the questions on many advertisers minds when faced with an expat campaign.

“Narrow down your advertising channels and choose media that is already targeting expats for the best results, advises Carlos Duez, business development manager at Just Landed. “Your marketing mix needs to use different channels. The Internet is the cheapest option and you can measure results. This is particularly important if you are on a limited budget.”

Optimizing campaign results

Results are measured by looking at the click through rate (CTR), and of course conversions afterwards – if you can measure these. Using these results, ads can be weighted. Meaning different priorities are assigned to different ads, thus affecting where they appear on a page.

If you are using different creatives, we recommend you manually weight your campaign after a sufficient number of impressions have been delivered. That way you can give more importance to the banners that are performing better. This will help you to optimize your campaign.

Advertising to the right demographic

Analysing your campaign results can also help you find out more about your target audience – and how inclined they are to buy your products. For example, you can find out whether your banner gets clicked rather by those expats that have already moved country or by those that are still at home.

To do this you can use a geo-analysis of your banner performance. By tracking the origin of clicks using IP addresses, ad servers can show you where people are currently located. If you are an expat tax company in France, for example, you might find out that you get a higher clickthrough rate from people seeing your banner from outside of France. In this case, your service might be more attractive to expats not yet in France (pre-move). In other cases, you might find out that you would rather target foreigners who are already in France (post-move).

Designing banners for expatriate campaigns

The design of your banners is also vital. Banners should be fairly simple, almost editorial in style but without huge amounts of text. It’s difficult to know how exactly a banner will perform which is why testing is essential. Overall banners with a complicated message and that are overly “flashy” don’t tend to perform as well as simpler designs.

Each banner needs a call to action, as people scan banners in a couple of seconds. Those with a clear “click here” message will generate a higher CTR than those with nothing. It is also important to “adapt” your advertising to the specific situation of expatriates. If you are targeting people living abroad, think which topics will be on their mind. An expatriate advertising campaign that builds on expat emotions will have more traction than a generic message. For example, as Telco provider you might want to stress your cheap rates abroad – as opposed to the other product features you communicate in national campaigns.

A campaign example

Designing a good banner is everything but easy. Take the example of an international school in the Benelux region. The client had started with relatively complicated banners, lots of small text and no call to action. The banners generated a CTR of 0.18% – not too bad but definitely worth improving.

international school banner original
The original banner: includes a lot of small text and no call to action, generated a 0.18% CTR


Once we had redesigned the banners, using a simple picture and a call to action, the CTR improved to more than 0.36%. For the school, this translated into twice as many responses for every marketing Euro spent. An investment that pays off – especially if you run your banner on multiple sites and for a longer time period.



An animated GIF banner by frame.

international school banner frame 1
The reviewed banner: A direct pitch to target audience generated double the CTR.
international school banner frame 2
Includes a clear call to action and bold image.








Questions? Doubts? Let us know in the comments section and we will be happy to help.