How A Globalized Strategy Can Help Your Brand
Business is global, so must content marketing. The need for content is universal. However, marketing your brand in a new region is not as forthright as it seems. A new language, culture, business and legal requirements as well as a new audience that interacts differently with media can present challenges. In this digital age, technology has spurred globalization. To be successful – now more ever brands need to create localized content that will resonate with their local audiences.
According to LTI here are a few reasons why companies need a global content strategy:
- 90% of internet users when given a choice always visit a website in their own language.
- 42% of internet users only purchase products and services in their native language.
- 75% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product if customer support is in their language.
- 95% of midsize companies plan to have international clients in the next three years.
- More than 32 million American consumers speak another language other than English.
- Over 83% of small to midsize businesses in the United States have overseas expansion as a top priority.
Work on a Global Content Strategy
Your global content strategy should be guided by the type of industry and business you are in, the opportunities you want to leverage, the available resources and the audiences you want to reach. A successful global content strategy should match the organizational structure and ensure you have content producers where you need them. Here are steps that will guide you in laying out a global content strategy;
Evaluate Your Global Audience
Laying out a global plan for your content starts with an appraisal. Assess your current state. Do you currently have any localization programs? If so, where and is it effective? How is it being received by your audiences? How is success being measured?
Secondly, determine who your audience is and where they live. As of 2017, only 25.3% of internet users speak English. How do you prioritize your audiences? The best way to do this is to study your sales in different markets and determine where your brand has more opportunities to grow.
Thirdly, determine what goals you want to achieve in each market. Do you want to reach and engage a new audience? Do you want to provide better content to existing customers? This information is the basis of your strategy.
Where Shall The Different Content Versions Live?
You need to decide where your localized content shall live. Do you want to have a global gateway or do you want a separate site and URL for each market? Will, there be a similar look and feel for all audiences?
Coca-Cola is an excellent example of a brand that has perfectly executed the global gateway approach on its website. On the home page, you can easily access the site you want to visit. Nestle, on the other hand, has a separate URL for each market. This is critical since these technical differences alter how you create and publish content for each of your audiences.
Bring Your Team Together
Who will execute your global content marketing? You may choose to use a vendor for the actual localization of content. In this case, you will be leveraging on their expertise to ensure that content is effectively localized. If you decide to use a vendor you may choose to use one vendor for all your markets. If it suits your brand, you can also decide to use different vendors for different markets.
This can also be done internally. You can have an overall internal project manager in charge of the program. Depending on your different audiences and how much content you want localized you may appoint project managers for each market.
What do you translate and what don’t you? Local audiences need regionally specific content that effectively tells their stories. However, remember going hyper-local can exclude some of your audiences from some content assets that would interest them. Translating content is also not a cheap affair, and you want to ensure an optimal return on investment for each piece of content translated. For specialized high-impact content such as whitepapers, the translation process may not be adequate. You may, therefore, decide to recreate the content for your different audiences. For low-impact content such as social media posts, an automated translation process would be suitable. When translating content, you should keep text to a minimum to save on costs, allow room for text expansion and don’t forget SEO and keywords.
Look at Cultural Relevancy
When marketing content globally you cannot adopt a one size fits all approach since all markets are different. Remember your brand needs to retain its originality across markets. However, you need to make it relevant to each market. For instance, when creating content for the Indian market, you need to use images of Indians. Studying your audience will guide you on which approach to take for each market. You should also be aware of regulatory restrictions in each market which is common in the alcoholic beverage market.
Distribute Where Each Audience Lives
Engage your global audiences where they consume content. Carefully study the platforms which audiences in each country use. Some audiences don’t use western social channels. Hence, you need to know which social channels they use. For instance a channel like Sina Weibo is more popular in China than Facebook or Twitter. Though global brand pages have more engagement, remember having conversations on local social platforms in local dialect makes local audiences feel supported.
It would be difficult to justify the business viability of your content globalization program without measuring its success. Key performance indicators and benchmarks should be set, but you need to continually monitor the performance of your content and make informed adjustments. Is there an increase in sales in the various markets? How is the interaction on your social platforms? Is there growth in page views for the different markets? Studying the performance of your localized content is the only way you can optimize and improve your global content marketing program.
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