Planning content strategy for global markets

Multilingual Content Strategy

“Content” is today’s buzz word. Coupled with “strategy,” it can be the best tool you have for entering new markets or relaunching in an existing one. Marketers everywhere are scratching their heads—what is content strategy? It can be best described as a process of planning, creating, distributing and governing content. If your company has more than one channel for publishing your content—some of which may include websites, social media and email—then you need to have a strategy behind what you publish and to who.

The “who” is particularly important when creating a content strategy. Different audiences use different channels and respond to different messaging and that can be challenging for marketers managing more than one market. With all those different moving parts, where do you start? It’s with localization.
 

Implement a localization strategy

Before you create any content strategy, it’s important to understand each market you serve because your message may translate differently across audiences. Determine what the business goals are, and pair that with the message you’re trying to convey and key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re after. From there, work with localization experts to determine how you can best meet your goals. This usually looks like a series of content divided into distribution channels and with language that’s translated for each individual audience.

Why is this necessary? Quite simply, some international markets don’t use the same content distribution channels we do in the U.S. For example, there are five major mobile markets many companies serve. China is one of the largest and both Twitter and Facebook are unavailable to users there, which then requires a different content strategy than another large market like India with roughly 240 million Facebook users.
 

Build a content matrix

The localization strategy is in place, which means you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. The next part to any international content strategy is to create a content matrix. Process engineers, rejoice! Marketers can now organize their content into a process that makes content distribution easy to understand. While every content matrix looks different, there’s a few ways to organize it. Create a chart that includes the following:

  • Localization strategy (audience + goals for each market)
  • Content distribution channels (email, mobile, social, website, blog, etc.)
  • Types of content (articles, videos, infographics, banner ads, collateral, webinars, etc.)
  • KPIs for each piece of content (social shares, signups, clicks, etc.)

Building a content matrix can easily be outsourced. Just like using experts in localization, if this planning process isn’t your thing, leave it up to content marketing pros.
 

Create and govern content

One of the last steps to any solid content strategy is the actual creation of content. The localization strategy has already addressed your various audiences. The content matrix guides you to distribution and reaching relevant KPIs. Now it’s time to create the content and manage it. Be sure to constantly reference your localization strategy as a major part of creating content will be translations for each international market. Keep cadence in mind when creating content. Often times one piece of content isn’t enough for that particular channel. For instance, you may decide to create more than one post for each of your social media outlets, or you may decide to republish (best consult the content strategy).

Finally, governing content is not as scary as it seems. Keep an eye on the content you’ve distributed, report on metrics that help you achieve your KPIs and repurpose any content that performs well. With a solid content strategy in place, there’s no doubt your content will perform.

 
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Sarah Sharifi

The author

Sarah Sharifi

Sarah is a content strategist and tech writer with an interest in mobile technology. A die-hard traveler of 30+ countries, she has experience localizing content for global audiences and enjoys learning about different cultures.


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