The concept of globalizing a brand isn’t particularly new, but it’s still greatly relevant to marketers in almost every sector.
When you decide to take your brand global, you must do so in a way that reaches all your customers—not just those who speak your language. Craft a multi-channel customer experience globally, so customers around the world can interact with your brand at each step of their journey.
To support this experience, you need content.
“Content is King”—that includes multilingual content, too
Firstly, you have to think about content at the core.
Creating engaging content is one of the top challenges marketers face today. Managing the multi-channel customer experience is an ever-changing process. And the complexities only increase when you expand across markets and languages. Scaling the customer experience globally introduces new challenges around balancing global consistency and local relevance of content.
Numerous studies and focus groups have shown that online content must be locally relevant to be impactful, something that brands too often ignore. To meet this need, the rise of “glocal” (global and local) campaign preparation and localization has become an imperative for brands.
No one’s saying it’s easy! A survey by the Content Marketing Institute, for example, revealed that 54% of B2B and 50% of B2C marketers find it a challenge to produce engaging content. And only 38% of B2B and 37% of B2C marketers consider their organization to be effective at global content marketing.
So where should you begin?
With your target audience.
Reach your audience with the right content
Tough as it may be, you cannot ignore the fact that consumer expectations have dramatically increased. Consumers expect personalization, globally. As a result, marketers have to strike a balance between core global brand objectives and creating—or adapting—content so it’s relevant to consumers.
Personalizing content shows customers you care about them—a first step to gaining their loyalty. This process is often seen as complex and time consuming. But it doesn’t need to be.
Go global, think local
When it comes to expanding your brand, it’s not as scary as you might think. After you determine your audience, think about strategy. Strategy development for multi-channel content globalization is critical to brand activity.
Successful strategy development includes creating global-ready content while thinking about how you can tailor it to local markets. What’s global-ready content? It’s content that’s culturally neutral, so it translates with ease.
To start your plan, conduct market research and learn about individual market requirements. You must understand what interests your audience in each market.
One way to do this is to incorporate social media into your research. Social listening and in-market organic research can heavily influence local content popularity. This information will allow you to build a global-ready program and avoid any stumbling blocks later in the globalization process.
Once you’ve done your research, you can begin content creation.
5 top tips for creating global-ready content:
- Ensure your writing is simple and avoids cultural references. A White Christmas may work in the UK, but it’s alien to Australians.
- Use culturally neutral, flexible design elements to accommodate different character sets and text orientations. German, for example, will expand your text by up to 30%. And Arabic will reverse your design orientation.
- Make sure the technologies you plan to use are compatible with regional capabilities, like available bandwidth and end-user devices.
- Be sure your social content and channels are appropriate for local markets. It’s not just Facebook and Twitter you need to consider—Weibo is the most popular social site in China, for example.
- Understand the legal implications of marketing to and doing business in each locale.
These tips will help improve global content quality, providing a better experience for your customers. Being “global ready” also cuts translation costs and timelines, so your business operations benefit too.
By following these steps, you’ll have a culturally neutral, global-ready brand plan, which means only good things for your business and your customers.