What do venture capitalists usually invest in? If you’re thinking of IT, biotech, and media, you’re not wrong. Regular visitors to our website might also think translation software, thanks to all the VC interest in Smartling. But did you, for a moment, think “content marketing?”
In the last couple of years, venture capital firms have pumped more than $300 million into content marketing companies like Contently, Newscred, Percolate, SimpleReach, Skyword, and Visual.ly.
It’s been a long time since the written word has got such massive and clear approval from the world of commerce. Content marketing isn’t restricted to the written word, of course. It also includes videos, infographics, micro content, and so on. Still, text is a hugely important part of content marketing.
Granted, it’s not just the content part that has got attention, but the technology that helps companies find and use content in a scalable way that has attracted the investment attention. These funding developments indicate a major tipping of the hat for commercial content, but they also let us peer into the future of the next phase of development for content technology and online business.
Translate, Or Be Left Behind
Content marketing has become important not only in English-speaking countries, but in other parts of the world, too. More and more people from diverse areas of the world are going online for the first time. Many don’t speak English as their first language. What they do share with their English-speaking counterparts is the hunger for content.
Consider these statistics:
- By mid-2014, three of the world’s seven billion people were online. This marks a 741% increase over the figures just four years ago.
- Most of this growth in online populations is coming from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Africa, South East Asia, and the Middle East. Their primary language is not English. They might claim varying levels of English proficiency, but they tend to buy from a site in their native language.
- About half of the world’s online population owns a smartphone. There’s also a huge number that uses feature phones. Then, there are the users who are mobile-only. So, app translation is now becoming a top priority for businesses along with website translation. Non-localized apps will very quickly lose ground to the localized ones. The same is true for mobile websites.
Modern global marketers are already aware of the critical nature of content marketing. In fact, many are already translating. Their challenge, however, is to translate with scalability and speed.
Toward Scalable Content Marketing, and by Extension, Translation
Nearly 60% of marketers planned to increase the amount of content they produced in 2014. While this data pertains only to the North American market, let’s assume that at least some of these businesses plan to start operating in a few new markets abroad. What, then, is their global content strategy?
For an advertisement or two, it might just be okay to dump it on a multicultural ad agency and ask them to come up with something appropriate for the local market. But integrated marketing is never just about an advertisement or two, is it?
Global marketing professionals have to execute a fully localized content strategy in order to make their products appealing to local audiences. This makes them live in near-perpetual fear of losing their brand messaging with translated content. Also, they have to get translations done at pretty much the same speed as developer teams roll out products.
Here’s where translation software, or if you will, multilingual content marketing platforms come in. It provides answers to all the questions from international marketing teams, assuages their fears, and yes, helps scale content.
Many marketers are yet to fully appreciate the benefits of a translation management system (TMS): how it can contribute to quality, speed, and consistency of brand voice, to name a few. But to many others, a TMS is a key part of their marketing technology stack, a critical tool to help fuel their global expansion and market penetration strategy.
Content marketing is a business enabler, there’s no doubt about it. When combined with translation, it’s a global growth enabler too. This is why venture capitalists are getting smart about it – and so should you.