• equation digital

making the most of paid media advertising for the forex market

Updated: Aug 26


2020 has brought with it monumental change within a very short space of time. A global pandemic, the shutdown of a significant percentage of the world’s oil production and the ongoing uncertainty of post-Brexit, to name but a few, led to largescale economic disruptions.

During the first quarter of 2020, the US Federal Reserve Bank put a huge $1.5 trillion back into the US economy, regaining their leading role as a global benchmark currency. Equally important, the price of gold has also fluctuated. At the start of the pandemic, prices dropped due to a period of high supply and less demand, but as liquid asset availability increased, so too did demand causing prices to rise to 1637.05 us/oz.

It comes as no surprise that volatile, competitive and turbulent markets – such as Forex - have been significantly affected and, in some cases, motivated by these changes.


forex ppc

As with any sector, there are big players who dominate a large proportion of the forex market. Due to the global pandemic, many brands have become more aggressive with their bids while a number of small players exited the market. These events have presented new opportunities for businesses to leverage. With the help of an industry specialist and the correct advertising techniques, you can understand how to effectively advertise in the Forex market.

PPC is one of the most powerful channels available for forex businesses. When done well, investing in forex PPC campaigns can be a cost-effective way to drive consistent traffic, engagement and conversions. Brokers often choose to work alongside an agency partner to help them make the most of advertising opportunities and avoid making costly mistakes. A volatile and complex market, this channel requires the help of not only a paid media expert, but a sector specialist. By choosing a paid agency with undisputable forex experience who truly understands the nuances of this global market, you’re much more likely to succeed.

From our experience working with leading industry names including AvaTrade, OANDA and FXPro, we’ve built a tried and tested approach based on conversions and ROI. We understand that forex traders care about how much they paid for a live user. What’s the cost per lead (CPL)? Are you tracking live or demo accounts? How much are you paying per live account? Whilst detailed keyword research provides an understanding of search volume while working to a simple conversion triangle formula, allowing us to identify the terms that can hit your target cost per acquisitions (CPA). By identifying the keyword groups with efficient cost per clicks (CPC), we can unlock your brand’s PPC growth potential.

Here are just some of the factors that must be considered in your PPC:

  • demo vs. live accounts: One thing we often see is businesses wasting large chunks of budget optimising to attract demo accounts. Although this is an easy way to establish credibility and reach in the market, it won’t provide you with any real results. That’s why we advise to optimise towards funded accounts. As a commercially focused agency, we know that these are the accounts that will generate you an ROI.

  • disclaimers: A heavily regulated market, there are mandatory disclaimers that need to be included in your ads. You have to state that ‘XX percent of new forex traders lose money in the first XX months of trading’. Both landing page content and ad content is monitored by Google and so, the search engine is hot on taking down forex PPC ads that don’t meet their criteria.

  • connecting your crm data to adwords: In order to drive high-quality leads, it’s important to focus on keyword groups and campaigns. This can be done by leveraging and connecting your CRM data to your AdWords account to ensure the leads your PPC campaign drives are not of poor quality.

  • licenses: Google is clamping down on forex brands who advertise in regions that they are not licensed in. If you’re new to forex, obtaining the relevant license is one of the first things you should do. While forex businesses require strong codes of conduct, having a license will show you in a more favourable light in the market. Although every country has its own regulations to follow, popular forex brokerage jurisdictions usually belong to leading economies including the US, UK and Australia. Having a license issued in these regions can help with creating a higher level of trust from traders while appealing to a wider client base.

It's important to work with a partner who has knowledge of relevant regulations to create and launch approved PPC ads that meet Google’s and FFA’s criteria. You need to have trust that your forex PPC account management is in safe hands.

target the right audiences

Although keywords are the backbone to your ads, understanding the user intent behind the click is key to success. To do this, we have developed a process which creates a comprehensive targeting strategy:

  • analysing user performance: We consider a number of factors including location, language, device, gender, age and search query. Taking this audience-first approach, we can deliver maximum account efficiency and ensure you target those traders who will have the biggest commercial impact for your business.

  • building custom intent audiences: Building performance-focused campaigns, we create bespoke audiences using data from the search network and competitor websites to target users who are actively searching within the forex market. Combined with Smart Bidding, we are set to maximise conversions while using a level of flexibility with Google’s RSA functionality.

  • targeting demographics: Leveraging the data is massively important at this stage. Through Smart Bidding solutions, we use demographic and audience data to make real-time bid adjustments. Using the data acquired, we create bespoke copy with alternative messaging and tones based on the audience. Split testing ads is then continuously used to maximise results, ensuring we’re using the correct audience to boost performance. The insight from this testing can even be passed onto other digital channels.

scaling to new countries

Global forex trading has never been bigger. If you want to scale to new countries, an experienced agency can help you understand the international opportunities available. It’s important to research which countries may be best for your business to target, what’s going to work for you and then scale from this point to ensure a cost-effective approach is always maintained.

With our in-house developed opportunity score tool, we can provide a target CPA on a specific region as well as insight into search volume in each market. Fuelled by this knowledge, it becomes much easier to determine where to focus your budget with greater certainty of ROI. Typically, we see businesses expand to one country than another before beginning to scale based on where the opportunity lies. Taking this phased approach backed by data, you’re more likely to see success without wasting budget.

language considerations

When looking to scale to new countries, it’s imperative to take language into account. With many keyword variations, it can make all the difference in positioning your brand as a reputable and trustworthy one. Working with a specialist paid media agency who has experience working internationally, you can rest assured that colloquialisms and native terminology are used appropriately within your ads, ensuring they read and display correctly to the end reader.

Our team have experience working across 20 countries and are well versed in forex terminology across multiple languages. With our wide geographical spread, we have native speakers within our team who not only translate ads and landing pages into seamlessly written content, they hold all-important cultural understanding too.

ad copy testing

Keywords form the foundation of PPC ads, and this search behaviour is always evolving. Our approach to keyword research ensures we capitalise on these behavioural changes. When identifying new keyword groups to target, we give as much focus to those that are performing as we do excluding those that aren’t to help grow your account by leveraging high performing search queries.

Through years of experience, our team understand the nuances of search terminology when it comes to forex. For example, it’s very unlikely a familiar user will simply type ‘forex trading company’ into Google. Instead, we expect to see more complex searches for specific currency pairings such as ‘USD to GBP forex’ or ‘trade in gold’ which show the high intent the forex audience often has. We know what to look for to discover and target these high-value individuals.

Combining Google’s RSAs with this keyword research, multiple headlines and descriptions can be created which, over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations to learn which are the best performers. By providing a variety of ad headlines and descriptions, your ad content can be adapted to better match customer’s search intent, resonating with them to help improve campaign performance. Our data-driven team and algorithmic learning helps us drive performance, hypothesising and testing solutions before implementation to ensure only the best is implemented for your brand. Real-time bidding data and auction insights combined with user behaviour and history means we can design strategies that target users who are more likely to convert.

flexing to suit your objectives

How are you measuring success? Your paid strategy can be flexed to fit your objectives and budget.

We’ve worked with many forex brands, some who want to target the mass market over premium, preferring to target individuals who’d place bets on four or five teams in the premiership versus someone who is willing to deposit £50,000. Equally, some brands are trying to break into the market and their objective is to generate signups for their demo accounts to establish credibility in the market.

These different objectives and audiences naturally involve different strategies in order to target the correct audience based on what you want to achieve. However, no matter your objective, you will likely have a target CPA which your agency should work to.

the importance of a reputable site

In the world of forex, trust plays a big role. Ensuring your site is visible, reputable and trustworthy will go a long way in helping you succeed. While it’s important to get your PPC advertising right, there’s no point driving traffic to a poor site that users will quickly leave. Just as we mentioned the importance of licensing, it’s also important to communicate credibility on site too. These trust signals could simply involve leveraging positive reviews through a third-party platform such as Trust Pilot or offering demo accounts for those users who are initially apprehensive to pay.

Google’s algorithms are designed to reflect what the user wants to ensure the optimum online experience for each person, this means that trust, relevancy, good quality content and your site performance such as speed are just a few things that Google will also consider and that will affect your campaign success. You always want to ensure that your site encourages conversions if your site isn’t performing you may also want to consider how investing in CRO as part of your digital strategy could help you get the most from the traffic you are attracting.

think beyond regular ppc tactics

While traditional PPC is a powerful channel to capture the interest of Forex traders, consider thinking beyond the search engine as part of your strategy. Moving into video, you can capitalise on the advertising capabilities of platforms such as YouTube to reach your target audience. Although YouTube advertising used to focus on raising brand awareness alone, they’ve since introduced a whole host of new tools and features which can be leveraged used to target custom audiences, similar to Google Ads.

With YouTube ads you can:

  • target upper funnel audiences: Through demographic, interests and search interests with six second bumper ads and 15-20 seconds skippable ads to raise brand awareness.

  • target middle and lower funnel audiences: Through behaviour, live events, CRM data modelling, similar to converting users and remarketing lists to turn this awareness into a direct response. This can be achieved with 15-20 seconds skippable ads and CTA overlays.

oanda and youtube

We had great joint success with our client OANDA, generating leads with YouTube. Although the finance sector does not traditionally use YouTube as a lead generating platform, the Singapore market was relatively new to OANDA and contained key competitors, yet we were restricted by creative content due to regional regulations. We needed to think outside the box while still hitting their tight CPA target.

Predicting conversions and CPAs based on previous converting audiences, we were able to launch over 10 videos for OANDA across YouTube, generated over 100 sign ups to their forex trading accounts along with over one million engagements across the six week campaign. Following the success, OANDA plan to expand the use of YouTube across their other regions, adding this tactic as another part of their holistic digital marketing strategy.

With extensive experience working with international names including OANDA, AxiTrader, ThinkMarkets, ADSS, AvaTrade, CurrencyFair and City Index our tried and tested approach continues to deliver results that make a real impact to leads, conversions and revenue.

If you’re a forex business interested in market volumes and target CPAs in a particular region, contact our team of forex specialists who will be able to provide you with that insight based on 10 years’ worth of data.

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