When targeting Germany in your digital campaigns, it is necessary to take into consideration several important factors.
- Search Engine Marketing: the dominance of Google
Germany is an example of a country, in which Google has a dominant position. According to statistics from 2014/15, online population uses Google for over 92 percent of all searches. Bing and Yahoo are used in around 5 percent of all searches. Last, but not least, there are smaller search engines, such as web.de, GMX.de or T-Online. They use Google as a source of search results.
Accordingly, the search network advertising is dominated by Google and its AdWords network. However, it would be a mistake not to take Bing and Yahoo seriously, because for a targeting of certain type of users, this network might be very beneficial.
- The influence of events
Current events have a big impact on the digital behaviour of German users. To completely assess its impact, it is necessary to know the type of business and its target audience. However, for the majority of B2C businesses, current events have an impact of search behaviour of users. You may see the amount of trending topics and their variety, using Google Trends Germany or trends in search using GMX.
- Social media in Germany
The most popular network in Germany is Facebook. Over 70 percent of its users visit the network daily. Other big social networks, popular in Germany, are Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and foursquare.
However, Germany offers possibilities for less traditional marketing activities. Firstly, it is the existence of KWICK! social network. It is a network for meeting new people, based on similar interests, events, etc. Similarly, yelp is a popular network in Germany, especially after it acquired qype.de. Finally, a very popular website is Xing.com – a German LinkedIn, with around 14 millions of users.
Accordingly, despite the presence of all major social media players, anyone willing to enter a digital market in Germany has to take into consideration country-specific networks.
- Care about privacy
Finally, for anyone willing to invest in German market, it is necessary to address a greater level of privacy demands of German users.
It has several implications for online campaigns. The German website has to include an “Impressum” section. “German websites must disclose information about the publisher, including their name and address, telephone number or e-mail address, trade registry number, VAT number, and other information depending on the type of company. (source)”.
Moreover, German users often use fake accounts, names and information for their social media profiles. National data protection authority had even decided that this activity of the users is legal.
But there are even more examples. Accordingly, for any digital campaign, marketers have to think about a user, who is more aware of online privacy issues.
German digital market is a huge market of one of the most developed economies in Europe. According to this article, it has over 71 million users. That means over 86 percent penetration of internet use in the the general population. Accordingly, the user base is very wide and interesting as a target audience.
One must take into consideration the specifics of search engine marketing, the popularity of several social media platforms and certain cultural limitations. However, in general, it is very likely that anyone investing money in Germany with a quality product, would benefit from entering it.