This post was originally published on Demand Media on 12/10/2014. Content marketing’s gone global. But what does that mean for brands that are just getting a handle on American content marketing? We sat down with expert and author of Global Content Marketing Pam Didner to get the scoop on how to create great content for a global content marketing strategy.
What is the state of global content marketing and who is doing it well?
Many companies are doing global content marketing, but they don’t necessarily label their efforts as such. For example, subsidiaries or local branches often select, translate and localize relevant content created by their corporate offices. They then promote that same content through their local communications channels with a more organic approach. This top-down approach is just one form of global content marketing. No matter your strategy, content must be at the forefront of your corporate marketing strategy.
Several companies do a great job using global content to market their products and services. Evernote has a blog with content available in 14 different languages, varying slightly by country. Their corporate team also provides a style guide and website templates, so local teams can source and determine the right content to create or localize. Birchbox is a subscription service that sends customers a box of beauty samples every month. They use content as a way to showcase the benefits of their products. They customize their content for customers in Spain, France, the US and the UK, since each country’s customers receive different sets of beauty samples every month.
What are the biggest challenges marketers face in launching and growing their global content marketing efforts?
It depends on the maturity stage of global content marketing within each company. But in general, the most important element is to get the corporate and local teams aligned on marketing objectives. That may sound easy, but in reality, it’s quite difficult. The corporate team may want to build awareness for new product A that targets doctors and nurses, while local teams prefer to drive demand for existing product B that targets healthcare officials. Different products or target customers have huge ramifications on global content planning for a company as a whole.
How does the influx of technology influence the future of content marketing for brands?
Technology continues to play a vital role in a brand’s content marketing. There are tools which facilitate content creation, promotion, syndication and even content measurement. Technology is also helping to make sense of relevant data residing in different systems. As enterprises grow, they tend to acquire a plethora of legacy and new systems that often don’t talk to each other. While this problem exists for companies focusing on just one country, the fragmentation of systems and tools is usually even greater for companies operating in multiple countries. As long as technology continues to evolve and new tools are developed, data fragmentation will continue to exist. There is no quick-and-easy solution. However, there are new tools being developed to address these big data analytics problems, like Hadoop.
What do you think will be the biggest shift in the content marketing space in the next year?
Every company will face their own sets of challenges as they implement content marketing plans. But I expect a majority of companies will benefit from a “Mobile First” strategy as they reach consumers who have migrated to mobile as their main content consumption device.