Blogging for a Global Audience

content marketingLocation-based marketing matters to your future clients, and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t get your brand much closer to it’s goal of world domination. If your plan is to expand into new, global markets in the near future, it’s going to pay to ensure your content translates well.

According to the latest data by eConsultancy, 91% of digital marketers are currently investing in content marketing, and 90% believe the discipline is only going to become more important in the years to come. Just plugging your latest blog content or Tweet into Google Translate isn’t going to produce relevant or readable results. If your hope is to tap into a global audience, you need to invest into speaking their words in a way they can really believe:

1. Speak to Your Audience in Their Language

When you’re writing to readers who live in your country, it’s important to speak with words that resonate with your buyer personas. Are they after technical case studies or light, humorous language? Don’t use jargon unless they dig it. When you’re taking your content marketing strategy global, writing in your readers’ language becomes more literal then ever. Whatever you do, don’t take advantage of Google Translate or other free or low-cost machine translators. Check out a native translation service to ensure your blog content don’t sound like it was written by an inarticulate robot. If you need to outsource translation services, here are some expert tips to ensure nothing is missed:

  • Keep it Clear – Avoid Slang, Figures of Speech and Pop Culture References.
  • Plan for Text Expansion – Many translations run up to 20% longer than English.
  • Use Short Sentences – Longer strings of words are much more difficult to translate and can be easily misconstrued. Try use no more than one thought per sentence. When in doubt, add a period.

2. Hire a Native Speaker for Customer Service

If you’re going to be heavily geo-targeting an area that speaks a different language, it’s likely going to be worth your time and cash to bring a native speaker on board. Sure, you can fill up your content calendar a full month in advance and outsource your translation needs. But do you have the resources to really generate content to engage on social media and respond to client queries?

25% of consumers who complain about products or services via social media expect a response within an hour, and 6% expect a response within 10 minutes. While over a quarter of internet users who attempt contact through a company website are happy to wait three days for a response, research has found millennials are increasingly turning to social media for real-time resolution.

3. Context, Context, Context

Make sure your content’s relevant. This could matter more than you think. Emailing deals on winter clothes to your contacts in New Zealand will only generate eye rolls during the months of November, December and January, when the area is having their hottest weather. While tutorials and instructional content offers will likely have global relevance, ensure your newsjacking and events-related content has relevance to readers.

Whether it’s conscious or not, letting your market know that you’re making an effort to get the context right may work better than you think. Monetate A/B tested a series of sales banners among their website visitors from Australia and New Zealand for a clothing retailer during the winter months. The banner that read “Summer Clothes Sale” was 49% more successful at converting customers than a generic banner that just advertised a sale. Your clients want to know you’re speaking their language!

4. Talk Like a Local

Just because you’re able to translate that perfect longtail keyword into a second language, or you’ve changed spellings of “color” to “colour” for your British readers doesn’t mean your thoughts will translate well. Even among English speakers, key terms and colloquialisms will vary dramatically. Did you know “construction equipment” is called “plant” in the U.K.? It’s worth your while to invest in talking like a local, which means identifying the key terms that will drive search and engagement for that market.

5. Be Visual

When it doubt, visual content is never a bad plan for your global social media or business blogging strategy. It’s also not an unwise manuever for your domestic efforts, either: 40% of people globally respond better to images than plain text. Using infographics has been shown to result in a 12% increase in traffic, no matter where in the world you’re trying to expand. As cliché as it is to say a picture is worth 1,000 words, using minimalist infographics and visual content in your marketing strategy will allow you to connect with your audience, with much less translation required.

How Do You Geo-Target Your Content Marketing Strategy?