Creating engaging content is one of the top challenges facing marketers today. According to a survey carried out by the Content Marketing Institute, 54 per cent of B2B and 50 per cent of B2C marketers find it a challenge to produce engaging content. Throw creating engaging, personalised content that meets the needs of different markets into the mix, it’s no wonder that only 38 per cent of B2B and 37 per cent of B2C marketers consider their organisation to be effective at Global content marketing.

Creating content that meets the local customer’s needs does not need to be a daunting task. This article will provide marketers with a step-by-step approach to producing engaging content that speaks to their right audiences.

Set your goals

The first step is to identify what you want this content to achieve. Is the aim to drive conversations, build brand awareness, acquire new customers or simply engage customers in conversation? Chances are, you want all of these things, but it’s important to remain focused and identify the one goal you want this content to achieve, whilst ensuring that this goal ties in with the overall global marketing strategic goals and requirements. As well as helping you to track the effectiveness, it will also help with securing budget. If you can clearly outline the desired results and expected return on investment to the business, you’ll be more likely to get the investment you need.

Using social to understand local conversations

In order to understand what your business needs, the best place to start is by auditing the target audience you want to reach. To produce content that will resonate, it’s imperative to understand what makes your audience tick.

An easy way to start is by analysing existing conversations using social media monitoring tools and collating secondary data which highlights relevant trends in certain markets. For example, if you are interested in reaching a Chinese audience, Echo is great monitoring tool, and taps into a hard to reach audience, whereas other tools such as Meltwater analyse coverage and mentions of your company, whilst also giving insight into the level of customer engagement with your brand.

Social media monitoring tools let you see what your target audience is talking about, and who they’re talking with. This will either verify the existing thoughts you had about your target market, or open you up to new ways of thinking. Either way, it allows your business to see the similarities and differences in your target markets.

Industry reports are also a great source of secondary data which could shed some insight into your target audience, letting you know nuggets of information, such as what their shopping habits are or when local holidays take place. At a first glance, this type of information may seem of little consequence, but it’s these small details that let your customers know you’re not overly familiar with their culture and the local market.

Another option that works nicely with secondary research is doing primary research in each country. You can complement this by speaking to your sales team on the ground. Having these insights can really help boost your knowledge of the local market and understand how customers are reacting to different products.

A great example of how businesses can best leverage customer intelligence from different sources is within the travel industry. For example, a travel company looking to drive more people to a particular destination/country could start by collating regional information to understand the most popular destinations for holiday makers. This data could then be segmented by age group and sub-groups, such as families or young couples. The next step would be to monitor the social channels of these groups, adding intelligence by listening to conversations to determine exactly what it was about these destinations that made them so popular.

Once you’ve got a good overview of your customer base, and understand who you want to reach and how to reach them, the next step is establishing whether you will need to generate new, fresh content, or whether existing content you already have would work if re-purposed. This process should also include those responsible for your search strategy, as it can also have a positive impact on your SEO if worked correctly.

Collaboration is key

If your research points you towards creating new content, this is where it can become tricky. Content, especially good content, can be pricey so many executives are wary about putting such a large investment into developing brand new materials. This extra investment can be especially hard to get if you’re dealing with a results led executive – will they be able to see their return on investment? This is where social media monitoring really comes to fruition – it provides you with the evidence you need to develop that new content and also shows how well similar collateral has been received when it does go live.

Executives may not be as keen at first to invest in something that they think doesn’t offer visible results, but by keeping track of analytics and data, they can see just how much of a difference there is if you do take the time to tailor the right content for the right market. If you can monitor this globally, in a centralised report that can easily be shared with ‘C’ level budget holders, even better!

Presenting your case to the board isn’t always easy, so go prepared with the research you’ve obtained as well as some stats on the benefits of investing in new content. This is also a great time to work with colleagues across all areas of the business to pool content and resources. Budget doesn’t have to be in silos anymore – any kind of personalised marketing and personalised content is going to have a knock on effect on sales, which will then have a knock on effect on a company’s finances and bottom line. In order to have a strong message that works with different customers in different regions, your company needs to try and have a truly integrated approach in how they work. From an operational perspective, if teams are integrated correctly, then it’s much easier to work together and produce better content that stays on brand and on message, but is also relevant to the local market. Collaborating also stops different departments from duplicating efforts, ensuring cost efficiencies and the sharing of expensive collateral where appropriate.

Content that improves customer relations

As well as showing your executives and colleagues the cold hard stats when it comes to personalising and localising content, it’s also important to show how this kind of investment could boost your customer relationships and in a way, the affection the customer has for you as a brand. Getting the customer experience right is one of the main focuses for most global companies and personalisation of both content and marketing is proving popular with customers. A recent study conducted by Yahoo found that most consumers are aware of online personalisation, and they believe it provides an added relevance - with 78 per cent of those surveyed expressing a desire for some type of personalised content.

It’s imperative, that customers in every market know you understand their interests and lifestyle choices.

By using social media monitoring tools, analytics, speaking openly with the board and working with other departments, this approach will help you to understand the types of content you need to create or in some cases repurpose. This in turn, will make your life easier and ensure the content you create resonates with your audience.


By Emma Durant, Global Marketing Strategist at Lionbridge. 

How do you best ensure that you're putting out the content your customers want to see? Let us know your top tips below! 

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