We asked search expert and internet marketer Matt Capala to write a guest blog on ways to scale your content across the globe. Matt will be a featured speaker, along with Smartling’s Alison Toon, at an American Marketing Association (AMA) webinar on October 16 at 1:00 pm EST – they’ll be discussing “How To Make Google Love Your Global Content.” Register for Thursday’s webinar now, and keep reading to learn how you can get started with scaling your content marketing globally today.
“Many of us treat the worldwide web like the Ohio web or American English web. Marketers are overwhelmed and unprepared to produce content for a global audience.” –Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler
Gone are the days of creating content only for a domestic audience. Users around the globe are thirsting for information from a variety of sources and places.
Increased global mobile usage combined with the rise of social media among many international markets has placed an increasing demand for geo-targeting your content globally to get discovered in search.
While Google holds a dominant search engine market share globally, pay attention to local search engines and social networks in high-growth markets, such as Baidu and Sina Weibo, one of the largest social media networks in China.
Content marketing has become a global game. Mobile adoption rates are increasing around the world. Whether you’re sitting in an internet café in Laos or checking your smart phone in Costa Rica more users are expecting a personalized, intimate web experience.
“The global market for international domain names (IDN) is greater than 2.5 billion people.” John Yunker, Author and Founder of Global by Design.
Content marketers need to scale intelligently across the globe to tap into these emerging markets. Here is a playbook:
Where to Start
Budgeting your time and money while developing your talents can create an ideal mix for an intelligent content marketing scaling campaign. Bootstrapping requires you to hone your skills in as little time as possible. Investing capital into the equation creates a “perfect storm” scenario for content marketers.
At the enterprise level consider a centralized versus decentralized approach to scaling. Large businesses can use staff resources and some translation and localization services to accurately translate website content and create a pleasant experience for users within their target market.
Small to mid-sized businesses would use a centralized model. Build local market partnerships to leverage your presence and use translation and localization to expand your digital footprint across the globe.
Use Google Analytics to gauge metrics and to identifying your existing international audience before investing in a translating service. Pinpoint your market to ensure that your dollars and energy are well spent.
The Most Important Question to Ask
Is the potential traffic and conversions from additional countries and languages worth developing a new Web presence? Gauge the cost and time effectiveness of your scaling campaign to answer this question truthfully.
3 Models for Global Content Success:
Transcreation is a winning strategy but is quite expensive to maintain and requires local teams to make it work.
Localization is a scalable solution based on human translators who adjust content for local audiences.
Translation is a fully automated model which may result in lower quality content.
Localization entails translation and adjusting content to increase relevance for a local audience. Using international SEO ensures that your content is geo-targeted and optimized.
To scale, consider using a translated model of the same website template with geo-targeted content to improve user experience and boost revenue.
Online translation tools like Google Translate will not capture the nuances of language that are essential to engaging members of an international audience. Colloquialisms, humor and cultural sensitivities are lost when using Google Translate to make a site readable.
Automated translation is already available to both users and search engines. Pages can be converted in a pinch using an automated translator but this increased convenience comes at the cost of losing some context.
What We’ve Learned
Pick the right model to effectively target the right market. Observe both data and analytics to make intelligent, informed decisions regarding your content marketing scaling campaign.
Do not use automated translations without a human element. Make an emotional connection with your audience by adding a human touch and avoid the risk of offending your target viewers.
Be highly mindful of local cultures and differences. Many regions of the world view human interactions through different prisms. Research your target market to better understand local customs and to generate good cultural karma.
Be creative. Applying each of the tips discussed with some ingenuity helps you scale effectively in an emerging and competitive global market.