The Latest International Search and Social Insights for 2024

May 28, 2024

With the global digital landscape constantly shifting, it is vital that international digital marketers stay up to date with the latest trends and developments.

It is also essential to be aware of local differences among various markets—from the platforms locals use for search, social, and e-commerce to the behaviors they exhibit online and the languages they consume content in.

Only a digital marketing strategy that has been adapted and localized to account for all these different factors will be successful.

That is why Webcertain, a TransPerfect company, has published the Webcertain search and social report 2024, a comprehensive report that gives an overview of the digital marketing landscape in 57 countries!

This blog post will take you through some of the highlights from the report.

International Search Engine Marketing in 2024

Most digital marketers will be used to concentrating their SEO and PPC efforts on the global behemoth Google—but Google is not the only important search engine worldwide.

There are certain markets where you will need to use completely different platforms in order to reach your target customers and succeed in your search marketing efforts.

China is one key example. With Google being partially banned in the country, local alternatives have thrived in its place. Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, with around 60% of the market share, meaning this is where you should focus your SEO and PPC efforts to succeed. Baidu’s dominance is a result of its superior local knowledge, its better understanding of the nuances of the Chinese language, and its compliance with local laws and censorship.

South Korea is another market where the search engine landscape looks radically different. In South Korea, the search engine market is split between Google and Naver, meaning that both search engines should be included in your search marketing strategy to maximize success. Just be aware that Naver typically prioritizes ad visibility, with ads being distinctly separated from organic results. This means that advertising should form a key part of your Naver strategy, as without it, it can be quite challenging to reach users organically.

The Japanese search engine landscape also looks rather different from anywhere else. Google is the most popular search engine in Japan, with around 78% of the market share. But, Yahoo Japan commands a respectable 13%, and Bing comes in third place with 8%. However, it would perhaps be reductive to refer to Yahoo Japan as a search engine, as it is more accurate to describe it as a web portal—and as a web portal, Yahoo Japan reigns supreme. Yahoo Japan is actually the most visited website in Japan, attracting users seeking a wide range of information and services. It is therefore a good idea to include both Google and Yahoo Japan in your search marketing strategy in Japan.

Switching our attention to Europe, a notable mention has to go to the Czech Republic, where its local search engine Seznam holds a respectable 12% of the search engine market, in second place after Google’s 82%. Here, Google should be the focus of your search marketing efforts, but if you have any spare budget, it may also be worth including Seznam. Specifically, you may find that Seznam works better for searches related to local businesses.

And finally, let’s not forget about Bing. If you are targeting Belgium or the United States, it may be a good idea to include Bing in your search marketing strategy, alongside Google. In Belgium, Bing accounts for around one in five searches with 18% of the search engine market share—significantly higher than most countries. And in the US, Bing’s market share sits at 17% and 14% for desktop and tablet searches, respectively. When you take into account the large size of the American population, that actually translates into a lot of searches!

International Social Media Marketing in 2024

Now let’s turn our attention to international social media marketing.

China’s social media landscape is totally unique, so you will need a completely different approach to social media marketing in this country. Many Western social platforms are blocked by the so-called “Great Firewall of China.” Instead, local rivals have grown and thrived in their place, creating a unique social media ecosystem. The five most popular social networks in China are WeChat, Douyin, QQ, Baidu Tieba, and Xiaohongshu. WeChat is known as China’s “super-app” due to its huge range of functions. Whatever your business, there is likely a place for you on WeChat, as Chinese consumers use it every day for almost everything. Looking at the other popular social networks, Douyin is the Chinese version of TikTok, QQ is an instant messaging platform, Baidu Tieba is a content-oriented discussion forum, and Xiaohongshu is a social shopping platform.

South Korea is another country with popular homegrown social platforms. The most popular in the country is KakaoTalk. KakaoTalk began life as a messenger app, but it has grown to become far more than that. It has various other features including Kakao Gift, Kakao Shopping, Kakao News, and, most importantly for businesses, KakaoTalk Channel. KakaoTalk Channel is a business tool commonly used by companies of all sizes in South Korea to communicate and promote their services or products. Used effectively, KakaoTalk Channel can be an excellent PR and sales channel for your brand in South Korea.

Vietnam has its own social platform too—Zalo is used by 89% of internet users in the country. Zalo is a messaging platform that allows users to search for and communicate with friends and brands via text, voice, and video. Businesses can open an official account, which allows them to provide customer support, publish content, and access various advertising and e-commerce features. Given the popularity of Zalo in Vietnam, it is a no-brainer to include this platform in your social marketing efforts when targeting this country.

And finally, let’s look at Line, which is a popular social platform in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. Line started as an instant communication app similar to WhatsApp before expanding its range of features to include Line Pay (its mobile payments system), Line Manga (for reading manga on your cell phone), Line Music (for music streaming), Line News (for reading the news), and many more services. Line allows businesses to open an official account to advertise on the platform, making it useful for companies targeting users in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, or Thailand.

Want to Learn More?

To get more of the latest international digital marketing insights, check out the Webcertain search and social report 2024!

Elin Box – Content Marketing Manager