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What Is a Global Content Marketing Strategy? And Why You Need One

Global content marketing extends and adapts your home-market content strategy for all your target markets. But you can’t just take your home-market content, translate it, promote it in your new market, and call it global content.

Getting content right for new markets requires a strategy specifically for that market. Do this and you will:

  • create relevant content for your customers in new global markets,
  • build trust-centred relationships with those customers,
  • drive brand awareness and authority in the new market,
  • see better marketing performance, and
  • exceed outreach and sales objectives for that market.

Let’s explore what a global content marketing strategy looks like and how you begin building yours.

In this post:

What is global content marketing?

To effectively connect with buyers in a new market, you need to speak to audiences in their own language, with respect to their own culture and preferences, and about the issues relevant to them. At the same time, you have to maintain a common and consistent brand that’s instantly recognisable wherever in the world you are.

This is the formula:
Culturally-centred messaging + recognisable brand = brand success in a new market.

For example, if your content is full of stories and data specific to your home market, you might be putting off local audiences and undermining your ability to build relationships there. Or the colours and images of your web page might put off a reader in another market. Yet, if you change your logo, colours or tagline for a new market, you may seem like two different brands.

It’s easier said than done: maintaining your brand’s look/feel/tone, but making the way you talk about your brand work well in other markets.

So how do you take your brand to new markets in ways that will reach them specifically yet keep your brand strong? With a global content marketing strategy.

The elements of a global content marketing strategy

You need to do some strategic planning with your team before you can expect to truly reach your target market and grow your business through content. Your marketing strategy for each locale should include:

Goals for your content

Deciding what you want your content to achieve for you in that new market is an important first step and influences all the rest. Is your goal brand awareness? Website traffic? Increased leads?

Your voice and tone

Do you want to speak to your audiences in your new market in the same way as in your home market? Some locales prefer to be addressed more formally than is typical for North America. Other countries really don’t understand or care for a sarcastic tone. Many global companies build style guides for each market.

Who your buyer is

Your top-value or highest-volume buyers may not be the same in all markets. While it may be the same target demographic, they may not research and purchase in the same way as that demographic in your home market. You need to know:

  • What they believe, feel, prefer, and value
  • Their buying preferences, processes, and behaviours
  • Where they get their information and how they prefer to consume content
  • Their language and linguistic preferences

Determine demographics (name, age, location, marriage status, income, education, etc.), and psychographics (their beliefs, how they buy, preferences, values, fears, etc.). Check out this
ebook
for more information on creating a buyer persona.

What topics you need to cover

What themes are hot right now in that market? What’s of concern in their business? Their challenges and pain points may be different than in your home market. You’ll need to talk to sales representatives, account managers, and actual customers to figure this out.

Keyword research can also offer a clue: what are people searching for related to your industry? Also, you
can check out Reddit and Google Trends, and Ubersuggest to understand what people are talking about.

The types (formats) of content you’ll create

You need to find out what types of content your buyers consume most in that new market and create that content. Does your target demographic prefer blog posts over videos? Long-form content?

How you’ll distribute and promote the content

Where does the customer search for and get their information? For example, some go to reviews, others perform Google searches, and others still ask friends. Some go straight to social, but keep in mind that different countries prefer different social channels.

Your SEO strategy

What local users search for is different than in your home market and you need to understand those keywords and how they use them. This is NOT just a translation process; it’s research-based, just like it was for your home market.

What content you’ll prioritise

Before you just localise everything—hardly any business can afford the time and money for that – you’ll want to ask:

  • Which countries are represented by visits to my website/social page (to determine which languages to choose)?
  • Will the money spent be worthwhile in terms of reach and the number of new leads?
  • Will localisation make content more relevant or just different?
  • How many locally generated or localised pieces of content do we really need?

Generally, a global business would prioritise hero content or key messaging, the website, sales-critical content, customer support content, and the most visited/downloaded online content (i.e., top blog posts).

Your adaptation strategy: translation, transcreation, or in-country copywriting

There are different ways to adapt your content.

  • Translation is the activity of changing words from one language to another. It is often thought of as a one-to-one exchange from one language to another, a literal swap of words from one language to the next. It works best for technical texts, user guides, FAQs, online help, and other straightforward, generic content.
  • Transcreation takes it a step further and changes the meaning from one culture to another. It is a creative adaptation process from one language (culture) to the next (culture). Transcreation work is rooted in a thorough understanding of local customer needs, interests, and preferences.
  • In-country copywriting is required when the content needs to be completely local, or if the transcreation process is more work than just starting over and creating something for your target market in the first place. In this case, a local linguist creates a deliverable from scratch, maybe using the home market piece as a reference or inspiration.

Above all, don’t forget to look at what your competitors are doing. The languages they chose, the topics they cover, and the channels where they publish and promote can give you big clues about how you should handle your global content strategy.

You don’t need to have all this understood and documented before you create local content—when it comes to content marketing, getting started is more important than doing it perfectly. But you do need to nail all this down before your content will meaningfully impact your growth in your new market.


Lee Densmer Globia Content Marketing

Authored by: Lee Densmer, Globia Content Marketing

Now you understand what a global content strategy is and why you need one. If you need help
creating your content strategy for new markets, then we’re here to help. You can connect with
us at info@globiacontent.com or visit us at www.globiacontent.com.

Globia Content Marketing is a full-service global content marketing agency helping small B2B
businesses that have an eye on global markets with content strategy, editorial planning,
content development, and translation planning.

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