Marketing, Translation

5 Ways to Take Your Content Marketing Strategy Global

Whether selling to other businesses or consumers, content marketing is a powerful tool for growing your online presence. However, once you’re ready to expand your business globally, you’ll need to adapt your marketing strategies to better meet the needs of your target population in other countries.

As a business owner or international marketer, you’ve probably faced this dilemma: you need your content to be unified and consistent, but doing so too strictly across cultures can backfire and undermine your efforts.

This article is intended to give tips on the practical steps to take when targeting local markets.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is considered one of the most influential and impactful marketing strategies. It involves creating relevant social media posts and videos, sharing articles, and other helpful and informative content to attract potential customers and make valuable connections with them.

The Content Marketing Institute states that content marketing benefits a business and can lead to increased sales, cost savings, and higher quality loyal customers. However, suppose you are an international company looking for ways to influence and attract your local prospects. In that case, you must tailor your content marketing strategy to your target geographic area.

Assigning The Right Budget

Marketers recommend spending 25-30% of your marketing budget on content marketing. Determining the budget involves deciding on the team you’re going to hire, whether you want to go with an in-house team, hire a marketing agency or opt for freelancers. However, you should consider that the most effective marketing strategies include SEO managers, SEO content writers, web developers, copywriters, and graphic designers.

Studies show that the most successful content marketing costs 40% of the marketing budget, while the least successful takes only 14% of that budget.

The bottom line is that there is no exact budget that fits all the companies, however, what is important to note is that content marketing is cost-effective and if done correctly it will pay off.

How Can Global Businesses Succeed in Their Expansion?

Like any other marketing effort, the decision to expand into new markets requires careful preparation, including market research, knowing the culture you are targeting, and the rules you need to follow. Then, you can craft your content marketing approach to influence your prospects, get them to interact with your brand, and convert them into customers.

In their guide to an effective content marketing strategy, Semrush outlines 5 critical steps to creating a holistic content strategy, including

Identifying audience personas,

Defining the mission and content goals, and

Designing an action plan.

You can apply these steps to any content marketing approach in general, but additional steps must be taken when moving into a different culture.

Here are 5 approaches you can follow to create more compelling content when targeting a different audience.

  1. Hire Native Experts

Hiring a local team or a few members who can draw on their knowledge to understand your prospect better is a decisive move. “Companies can take their product or service to the next level by adding someone to the team who has a good idea of what customers want,” says Adrian Fisher, founder, and CEO of PropertySimple, in his Forbes article.

One way to recruit competent native experts is to hunt the talent on LinkedIn. That way, you’ll have access to their experience, skills, and references. As far as hiring costs are concerned, they depend on the location of the experts as well as their experience. For example, US-based copywriters tend to charge more than Thai copywriters. On average, an hourly rate can be between £50 and £60.

A great first step is to research local competitors and identify their salary strategy so you can offer a competitive salary.

By engaging native experts, native content writers, copywriters, and even graphic designers you’ll have the advantage of creating content that will feel natural to the audience, whether it’s social media posts, articles, or videos.

  1. Leverage Translation

If you’re striving to grow your customer base and be a strong competitor, it is essential to translate and localize your website to address each of your audiences in their local language. According to an article from the Harvard Business Review, “72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their language,” and “72.4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their language”. This reflects the benefits of having multilingual websites and the critical role translation plays in attracting local prospects. Apple is one of the fortune 500 companies that does this by allowing each country to access content in its language.

The cost of website translation can vary depending on the experience of the translator, but on average it can cost between $20 and $50 per hour. A well-translated and localized website is your gateway to attracting new customers while sounding natural, and human and maintaining your brand identity.

  1. Expand on Social Media

Starbucks is an excellent example of successful global expansion. From a single small coffee shop in Seattle to 33,833 stores worldwide by 2021, according to Statista. Starbucks has created different social media accounts to target locals in their native language and with tailored strategies.

  

From Starbucks France to Starbucks Japan to Starbucks Middle East, the brand has managed to expand and address each type of customer in its language, with content they can relate to. They also design their menu to meet the needs of the locals while maintaining their signature products, which is part of their strategy to adapt to local cultures.

  1. Focus on Local SEO

Hubspot defines local SEO as “the process of improving visibility on search engines for local businesses, primarily those with brick-and-mortar locations.” So, if you’re physically planning to expand internationally, focusing on local SEO should be one of your priorities. One piece of advice Hubspot shares includes optimizing Google My Business, ensuring your address, phone number, and all contact information is consistent across all platforms, and, most importantly, creating local content.

SEO is about getting higher search engine rankings, which you can do by completing a set of SEO checklists. However, you also need to share relevant, well-researched content and be beneficial to your audience. This content depends on the type of business you run, and the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s lifestyle blog posts or marketing guidelines, share what your prospects care about.

  1. Go for a CMS

A CMS, which stands for “content management system”, is software that allows you to create and manage a website without coding. A CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or Magento will allow you to design a user-friendly interface and offer you a wide range of templates to choose from. By opting for this type of software, you will not only reduce maintenance costs and allow multiple users to work on different projects at the same time, but it will also be simple to use, without requiring extensive technical knowledge. A CMS also allows you through plugins such as PolyLang for WordPress to make your website multilingual.

Website localization is a necessity when going global. This is where opting for translation management software (TMS) can save time. A TMS will localize your website and help you in your globalization process.

The Bottom Line

Designing a content marketing strategy is an intelligent way to increase customer interactions. Still, every global business needs to dig deeper into its target markets and customize its content to appeal to locals. Hiring a local team can be a good start, but your company needs constant research and in-depth knowledge of your audience while leveraging local SEO strategies, content translation, and Social Media customizations.

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