Are you investing in global content but not seeing the return you anticipated? Are some regions seeing high conversion rates while others lag behind? Or perhaps you need best practices for targeting multinational accounts?
Reading time: 4 minutes
As part of our B2B Marketing Mini-Series on Market Segmentation, this article looks at the key challenges surrounding planning and executing global content marketing programs, including:
- How to identify which topics are universal and which are region specific
- How to avoid creating global content that’s too vanilla
- How to stop content losing its punch when translated
- Steps to becoming ‘global ready’
Global content; is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ always the right approach?
In short, no. We’ve come a long way since generic content satisfied the needs of the masses. Today’s readers have a sophisticated palate that governs their content consumption patterns. Bland ‘vanilla’ content will no longer cut it. Neither will relying on dated content formats or single channels to amplify your content to your target audiences at the right touchpoints.
What does this mean for demand generation specialists and global content marketing campaign managers?
If you’ve been tasked to build momentum across multiple markets and territories through leveraging a global content strategy, you can often find yourself at a crossroads.
Do you produce global content or do you spend your budget on producing and distributing localized assets amongst your target regions?
Here are some key pain points surrounding either option:
The first step is to look at your segmentation strategy:
- Who are your key markets/regions?
- What size opportunity do they present?
- How much localized knowledge do you have access to (localized teams vs one central content department)
- How much resource is available to you?
- What third party data and audience insights do you have access to?
Running your market segmentation strategy against these pointers will help you discern between a global or more localized approach.
How to avoid creating global content that’s too vanilla
Authentic global content tells a story that resonates with us all, regardless of nationality. But uncovering the issues, topics or trends that shape demand across the globe is no easy feat.
In the world of business, the overarching priorities that hang over all companies, regardless of size or orientation are:
- Cost effectiveness
In essence, the above form the holy grail for any business looking to achieve growth, sustainability and profitability. This is a good basis to start your planning. Think about how your content can support your audience’s quest for the above.
Could this be a story about how your services helped a business face their challenges in order to achieve market growth? Or could this be an infographic revealing the obstacles facing the current environment; providing a map for your readers to self-navigate? Perhaps this could be a set of efficiency hacks in the form of an easy to follow checklist or video?
Often practicality can be a really strong hook to wrap your message around.
Another method for discovering overarching hooks that will appeal to your markets is intent data. Leveraging data to pin point prevailing trends, will help you identify shared interests, preferences and motivations. These nuggets of insight can dramatically improve the performance of your campaigns by helping you prioritize relevant content in your marketing programs.
At Inbox Insight, our campaign teams produce a weekly report of campaign findings across EMEA, UK, US and APAC. These reports provide organization-wide insights, empowering different stakeholders within the business to discover new ways to drive campaign performance for our clients.
Top trending Intent Tags amongst our IFP audiences:
Further reading on intent data: Ready or Not? 5 Types of Buyer Intent Data to Gauge B2B Engagement
How taking a visually-led approach can boost universal appeal
Think about images. With the boom of social media and a workforce increasingly populated with millennials, taking a more visual approach can complement a global content strategy, especially when you consider the uptake in visually rich infographics dominating the B2B content marketing scene.
Not only does a more visually exciting format help with universal understanding, it can also support a multi-channel approach that leverages social channels to optimize impact and reach.
How can I stop my content losing its punch when translated?
Language is not just about the actual lexicon used, it’s about those unspoken connotations, nuances and cultural sensibilities that load on meaning, adding depth, color and relevancy.
So how can you execute powerful content marketing programs across multiple markets that deliver the right content, to the right regions to produce the right engagement?
If you’ve decided on taking a global content approach ran in localized copy, it’s important to think about contextual understanding. Does your brand message pack the same punch as a direct translation or does it require some tweaking.
For example, following rigorous testing and direct feedback from our local intel. our own strap line: ‘That’s what they want to hear!’ has evolved in German from a literal translation to ‘That’s the way it’s supposed to be!’
Here’s another example, in the UK, personalization of subject lines has a huge impact on campaign performance. However, our campaign teams have discovered that a different tactic is required when approaching our DACH audiences. After running comprehensive testing, we’ve found the top performing subject lines refrain from personalization. This is because it’s generally considered more culturally acceptable to adapt a formal approach, as this is indicative of respect and politeness.
These small considerations can make a big impact on the effectiveness of your communications, emphasizing the importance of constantly monitoring and refining your content strategy.
Is there a gateway between global and local content?
Yes. Many global content strategies will begin with the launch of global content that gets closely monitored and evolved. Here are 2 powerful techniques we use at Inbox Insight:
1. Alternative Titles
If you’re promoting a long form piece of content such as a whitepaper, it’s good practice to isolate the main themes from which to build some alternative titles. By closely monitoring which titles evoke the strongest response from your audience segments, you can begin building a better understanding around their preferences and interests. This insight should be fed back directly to your content creation team to help inspire future content.
2. Content Repurposing
Once again, if your content marketing campaign is fuelled by long form content, we recommend breaking it down into smaller bitesize assets. For example converting report insights into an easy-to-digest infographic or converting chapters into self contained PDFs that can be serialized. This practice will keep you better informed, not only in regards to what topics resonate best, but also what content formats drive conversions.
The most important thing is to test, test, test and continuously feed your observations back into your content strategy.
How to plan for the localization of assets
In some instances, merely translating content into your target region’s local languages won’t be enough to guarantee success. In order to achieve your objectives through generating real-time engagement, you have to produce unique content.
To help you with your planning, we’ve put together this helpful worksheet covering key considerations, such as:
- What keywords, topics and trends will help hook your audience to your content?
- What tone of voice is best to address your target audiences? How will this work with your current brand guidelines?
- Timescales/Deadlines (Creation, proofing process, publishing dates…etc)
Download your worksheet here.
Was this content useful? An Advanced Guide to B2B Segmentation provides even more actionable insight that can empower your team to drive campaign performance.