Orchestrating Content Marketing On A Global Scale
Columnist Rebecca Lieb discusses the necessary ingredients for a successful global content marketing initiative.
Content Marketing: How do we do it globally?
Enterprises are only just beginning to integrate content marketing into their mix — and they are quickly realizing that content must permeate the organization. This applies globally just as much as it does regionally.
The need for content is universal, yet each region, country and locality in which a brand operates has diverse and specific needs unique to language and culture. Fundamentally, these needs can be divided into three buckets: Teams, Tools and Channels.
Creating a global content strategy is exponentially challenging, but absolutely essential, as so many of my clients are realizing.
Without orchestration, time and money are wasted, employees become frustrated, efforts are duplicative, and customer experience suffers, as do consistencies in brand and messaging.
Creating content marketing teams and governance is essential. Last week, I discussed the topic with a team of real experts: Michael Brenner, formerly of SAP, now with Newscred; 3Ms content lead Carlos Abler and Kyle Lacey, ExactTarget’s Director, Global Content Marketing & Research.
We unanimously agreed that content marketing requires centralized leadership, but also local authorities. Michael aptly likened this to the editorial model of a news organization’s Brazil desk, London desk, etc.
The content marketing software landscape is rapidly evolving and shifting. Selecting tools comes with additional concerns when they must serve global teams.
Do they support multiple languages? Diverse alphabets? Can they handle country specific barriers, such as firewalls or local privacy regulations? Will licenses differ on a country-by-country basis?
Research on the content tool landscape I recently conducted found 40 percent of marketers cite a lack of inter-departmental coordination as leading to investment in disparate, incompatible toolsets. And that’s just on a domestic level.
What content should be created? Where should it be published, and in what form, and for which audience? Publishing on Facebook isn’t the same as engaging with audiences on VK.com, Line, Mixi or Weibo.
Then there are regional holidays, local sporting events and festivals, superstitions, news events – ignore these differences and you’re an outsider, not a credible source of information or a potential partner.
Local input, local knowledge and an injection of local culture are all essential. It’s not nearly enough to translate content into a local language, or to push content created at headquarters out into regional divisions.
In fact, often the content surfaced in far-flung markets can bubble up into fodder for HQ, or for other markets.
Content is a team sport, and running content on a global scale is a bit like running the Olympic games.
Each regional must have teams, those teams must have captains, and they must be equipped with training, an understanding of the universal rules of the game and be equipped with the necessary equipment to play the game.
Yet at the same time, each team flies its own flag, and continues to wear its own colors.