Everything to Know About Digital Marketing in France

by | Jul 27, 2022

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Everything to Know About Digital Marketing in France

Taking your business to an international level seems like the obvious next step if you’re looking to continuously grow your business and expand its reach to find new customers. As the country with the third largest GDP in Europe and the 7th in the world, France is brimming with opportunity for business, so it would be a good choice to go for.
However, the French consumer and the French market in general is not the same as in the UK for instance. All markets have their own specificities and France is no different. So, in order to carry out marketing in French effectively, you need to first understand these characteristics and then create tailored French marketing strategies to help support your move there.
Here is everything you need to know about digital marketing in France to help you succeed.

French Market Overview

As of January 2022, over 60 million people in France are online. This represents an internet penetration rate of 92%, which makes it a very attractive market when thinking about using digital channels to market your brand. In addition to this, the country is also going through a ‘start-up revolution’, which is a series on developments particularly aimed at the digital industry.
In terms of demographics, the French market is fairly evenly split between women and men, with 84% and 86% respectively having an internet connection. When it comes to age things aren’t surprising, with more younger people roaming the internet compared to the older generations.

The Typical French User

On average, a French user spends between 5-6 hours online every day. Within this time, they are doing a range of activities such as using search engines, social networks, watching online videos, making online purchases, streaming music, or listening to podcasts.
Furthermore, thanks to the ‘paperless revolution’, created by the government, a lot of administrative tasks such as renewing a driving license can also been done online. These daily activities show that when thinking about creating your French marketing strategies, search engine marketing and social media marketing will form key parts.
Overall, the key concern of a French user is their online privacy, with many taking security steps such as deleting cookies and using blocking tools. This could pose a problem when trying to collect and analyse your data for digital marketing in France; however, there are solutions to overcoming the problems of cookie tracking.

Device Usage

50% of internet traffic in France comes from desktop computers, while 47% comes from mobiles and 3% from tablets. This means it is important to make sure your website is also mobile friendly, not only because Google indexes the mobile version of sites first, but also because almost half of internet traffic is coming from a phone.
Within these mobile phone users, 68% use an Android device and 32% use and Apple device. As mentioned previously, social media is also huge in marketing in French. This is something to consider when creating an app for your business, as you will need to know what app stores to make it available in. You also need to make sure that any app you do have or create is localised in French.

Social Media Marketing for French Consumers

As mentioned previously, social media is extremely popular in France, with a typical user spending between 1-2 hours on social media every day.
According to research done by Hootsuite and We Are Social, YouTube and Facebook are the most popular social platforms in France. This is then followed by Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and then Snapchat. With the popularity of social media, it is therefore important to have a social media presence when thinking about targeting French consumers. However, in terms of a French marketing strategy for socials, it won’t differ that much from other countries e.g., you still use YouTube to post videos and use Instagram for content that is particularly visually appealing.
Use your social media presence to communicate with your potential customers and you do this by understanding your target audience, no matter where they are from. Furthermore, it is also important to have both an organic and paid social approach, so that while you are cultivating a community of loyal customers you are also attracting new ones.

Local Networks

Interestingly in France, there are also a number of local social media networks that are used alongside the typical global ones. Local channels can provide high opportunities for growth, but you have to make sure you’re using the right ones to suit your business. Some of the popular local social media networks in France are:

  • Dailymotion – an alternative to YouTube
  • Viadeo – an alternative to LinkedIn
  • Heypster – an alternative to Facebook

French Marketing Strategies for Search Engines

As expected, Google is the most popular search engine in France, with a market share of 91%. In second place is Bing, followed by Yahoo.
Therefore, if you’re not already, you should be focusing your SEO and PPC efforts on Google. In France, search engines are the primary source of new brand discovery and the primary channel for brand research so you want to make sure you can be found!
SEO and content marketing are particularly important as 37% of French users use an ad blocking tool, so it is important that you aren’t relying solely on paid ads. The following content ideas / formats work well in France:

  • Videos – keep them short
  • Images – especially showing products in use
  • Blog posts – to cover topics more in depth
  • Interactive content – such as competitions and surveys
  • Buyer’s guides – to compare products
  • Look books – for fashion related content

Within your website, it is important to make sure your content is localised. This means using a local domain, using their native language, and not simply translating your content across. For example, make sure you display your prices in the local currency and use local weights and measurements if necessary.
French people will search in their native language so make sure you’re targeting keywords and phrases in French. In addition to this, you need to keep in mind that a key phrase that works in the UK might not work in France or might not be the way they would search for it. Therefore, simply translating all of your content from one language to another won’t be attractive to a French consumer and more importantly won’t be accurate.
If you can, work with a native speaker wherever possible. They will help you avoid various language issues that you can run into such as problems with accents, slang terms, and syntax. They can also bring insights into cultural elements within your businesses’ sector. At Serps Invaders, we only work with native SEO specialists on French projects so you can have confidence in our expert SEO and transcreation services, with the added benefit of local insights. Plus, there’s the added ease of having an English speaking project manager for clarity and assurance!
If you would like any help with your digital marketing in France, we are experts in global SEO and multilingual PPC and can help you develop your strategies.
Get in touch with us today!
Photo Credit: Diggity Marketing

Article written by

Beth Chadwick

Beth Chadwick

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