Going Global With Content Marketing
It's not just the bigger companies that are using the internet to go global—in fact, the minute that your company is online, you've technically already gone "global." However, if you desire to extend your international reach, you will need to develop your content to cater to countries where a large number of potential clients are likely to live—which, of course, doesn't mean that you ought to attempt to be visible in every nation in the world. But large enterprises and companies tend to market to between 20 and 50 countries, and you would be doing yourself a favor if you at least attempt to break into at least two or three of these markets.
This is especially true as—even in poorer nations—the world is going online. The universality of the internet is now without question. In a Pew Research study published in February 2016, at least 40 countries now report at least two-thirds of their population use the internet. The same Pew Research study reports that internet usage is increasing in underdeveloped countries as well.
In other words, global marketing is increasingly becoming the norm, as opposed to the exception—this is true even of smaller companies. It is simply no longer economically wise or viable to remain isolated in your own region or locale.
The Main Hurdle To Globalization
The item to check off when attempting to globalize your content is the process of making your content multilingual. This is especially true as English is becoming, less and less, the economic bridge or trade language of the world. Mary Meeker—an American venture capitalist and a Kleiner Perkins & Byers senior partner, whose work focuses primarily on the internet and new technologies—recently reported in her "2014 Report On Internet Trends," that the world is increasingly going online in parts of the world where English is neither spoken nor understood. So, in order to focus on making your content multilingual, you'll want to begin by focusing on translation.
It should be said at the outset, that mere translation is not enough. The most successful international marketing agencies are increasingly focusing on a pluralistic approach, which is inherently opposed to the "home-country-to-other-strategy." In other words, the marketing community is beginning to realize that the most effective methods are ones that better cater to a specific country's idioms and culturally significant ways of communicating.
This—in the industry—is referred to as "transcreation and localization" which stand in stark contrast to the more traditional (and ancient) forms of marketing, like the "boilerplate" method. Localization that focuses on regional variation really is becoming the industry standard. One step that has been developed in recent years has been the use of cloud-based enterprise localization software—which can assist you to recognize the cultural variation of your target audience and deliver relevant material and content.
Common Mistakes In The Globalization Process
The first thing that you will want to consider, when extending your global reach, is how your brand-name will be interpreted in any new market. Often times, words are phrases which are considered harmless in English, might be similar (or exactly the same) as highly offensive phrases used in other languages. Whether you used a cloud-based software localization or a translation team to produce content in other countries, you will want to make sure that your brand name and content is not only relevant to your target audience but that no accidental offenses or misperceptions of your content can occur.
Otherwise, you'll want to consider other items like the meanings of numbers and colors in foreign lands, local currency options, and the proper display of measurements. For instance, red is highly offensive and is the color of death in some countries, and the number nine is associated with suffering in Japan—which is why many businesses do not label their products with price tags like $9.99 in that country.
In short, the transitioning of your content to the global arena is so much more than just a matter of translation—though you can't have one without the other. Globalization really boils down to presenting your content and services in as easily a digestible form as possible for your target audience. There are a great many things that you can do to accomplish this, but the first step should be taking action towards getting a fuller grasp of the cultural variation of wherever you intend to publish content.