So, what exactly is international content marketing, and why should you be incorporating it into your marketing strategy?
Before we delve into today’s hot topic, it’s crucial that we, first of all, get to grips with content marketing itself. Indeed, defining content marketing often stumps even the savviest of marketers. However, it needn’t be a complicated concept to wrap your head around.
Content marketing involves freely sharing and distributing content (whether it be in the form of informative blog posts, videos, e-books, or webinars) in order to establish your company as an authoritative and credible resource in your field.
It's a digital marketing strategy that has exploded in the age of the Internet. Content marketing is now a mainstay in the marketing strategies of some of the world’s biggest companies. You need only look around at industry leaders to find great examples of successful content marketing, such as Apple, Moz and Coca-Cola.
The end goal of content marketing is to provide original and engaging content for a targeted audience that will inspire customer loyalty and ultimately increase traffic, leads and sales.
Content marketing 101
Imagine that you own a fashion boutique: let's call it Dapper Fashion. As a small business in 2019, you're likely to have a listing on GMB (Google My Business) so that people can find you, a professional business website informing customers about your products, and a presence across several social media channels. You have probably also developed a focused marketing strategy, along with allocating a significant chunk of money to spend on branding and advertising.
Now let's imagine that another small fashion boutique and competitor, Chic Boutique, has a comparable online presence. However, their website also has a regularly-updated Trend Blog that features engaging and informative posts dissecting current trends, a page filled with short how-to-dress videos, and a downloadable e-book packed with style tips and ideas.
Should fashionistas in progress want to look online for guidance about how to put an outfit together for a job interview, for example, they might come across a blog post from Chic Boutique. They might then share it with their friends on Facebook, telling them about how useful they found it.
Before long, Chic Boutique may become the go-to website for up-to-date fashion advice. Regardless of your company’s products and prices, new customers will now be far more likely to buy from Chic Boutique than Dapper Fashion because Chic Boutique has established itself as a helpful, trustworthy resource in the field. This is what is likely to earn brand loyalty.
Enter: International content marketing
Now let’s imagine that Chic Boutique wants to drive international sales, particularly in Italy and Spain. They invest in translation services to translate their website, product descriptions, and contact information, and work to create a multilingual customer service. Then, they sit back and wait.
Believe it or not, while Chic Boutique pats itself on the back for making its website accessible for Italian and Spanish-speaking customers, they’re committing an all-too-common mistake.
By investing in translating their website alone, their content will be understood by their target customer. However, it won’t be optimized for their target markets. This means that they are unlikely to see the kind of ROI they might be expecting.
This is where an international content marketing strategy comes in.
Put simply, international content marketing is a method of creating or adapting your content to take into account the linguistic and cultural nuances of your target market, with the main objective being to boost your business in that particular market.
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Let’s take you through exactly how to build an international content marketing strategy that works in 3 easy steps.
1. Know your target market
Although it seems like an obvious step, you’d be surprised by how many companies fail to sufficiently research their target audience when planning a content marketing strategy. Key aspects to be conscious of including cultural norms and values, humor (including what is and isn’t acceptable to poke fun at), cultural dress codes, the role of religion in society, and culturally relevant figures.
What’s more, you should be aware of the importance of the content medium: Whilst video content may perform better in some markets, long-form blog posts may be more valued elsewhere. If you can’t find data on this, it may take a 3-month content marketing experiment to discover which content type performs best in your target markets.
However, even after thorough research and professional translation, can you be positive that your content is 100% culturally sensitive? To avoid any doubt, you should consider investing in localization services. Localization involves bringing on board a dedicated network of specialist translators (who are natives of the target country) to ensure that content is perfectly suited for the target consumer. The localization process is all about taking into account the idiosyncratic nature of culture, such as societal norms, values, traditions, and superstitions.
2. Get familiar with Multilingual SEO
If content marketing is all about getting your company noticed, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) should play a crucial role in how you create your content, from optimizing your blog posts with key phrases to adding closed captions to your videos to ensure that they can be indexed by search engines.
The process of creating content for a global audience should be no different. However, with a different language and different target markets to consider, the likelihood is that you’ll need people with specific expertise.
This is where multilingual SEO services come in. For your content to truly go global, translation is no longer enough. You need professionals who speak the local language and have plenty of experience working with SEO in your target market specifically.
This will involve key phrase research, image tagging, content optimization, and building authority of a site, all of which perform best when they are language-specific and region-specific.
3. Regularity is key
Since regular, well-optimized content is the key to a successful content marketing strategy, you need to replicate this for your international content marketing plan, too.
It’s important to understand that producing relevant, engaging international content shouldn’t be a one-off: It should be a regular activity. You can test out different schedules, but consistency is more important than quantity. Regularity is a particularly crucial aspect of winning reputable backlinks and establishing domain authority.
What’s more, by ensuring that your audience knows when to expect new content, you can demonstrate your company to be reliable and customer-focused.
Wolfestone: Your international content marketing partner
Need help crafting the perfect international content marketing strategy? Forging a working partnership with a professional language services agency, particularly one that understands your company and its objectives, will ensure that your international content marketing strategy is implemented as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Get in touch with Wolfestone Group today to discuss how our expertise and experience can help you achieve your marketing goals.