When you’re working with global clients, it is important to ensure that you are aware of all of the elements that might impact the content and your client’s image and reputation. As more and more brands and organisations are now looking for content marketing strategies that will provide real value to their global audience, it becomes clear that content needs to be customised to each target group. What might be very engaging and effective in Spain will most likely not have the same effect in Japan and while the engagement rate is very important, this might be the least of your problems. What happens when the promoted content is offensive or inappropriate in the area where you are publishing it and how can you prevent this from happening?
Well, if you are building a content strategy for one of your clients in an area you are not familiar with, it might be worth focusing on researching first in order for you, as a marketer, to get a better idea of any habits and interests that audience might have. Once you have already formed an idea about that, here are 6 things you need to consider when creating content for international clients:
Translation and Slang
As you are building a marketing campaign to launch a product in a new market, you will mention the name of your product, as well as the campaign slogan, pretty much all the time. It is crucial to check the meaning of the words (or the way they sound) in the country or region where you are launching it. You will think this is a no-brainer and shouldn’t even be mentioned, but you would be surprised to find out how many brands have failed to do that.
A classic example of translation gone wrong is Pepsi with the “Pepsi Brings you Back to Life” campaign. In China, the translated slogan actually read “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave”, which is obviously not what they intended. When Swedish company Electrolux launched their vacuum cleaner in the U.S., the translation of the company’s ad read “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”, which did not appeal to U.S. shoppers.
If you’re creating content for an international client and especially when you are managing their social media, it is crucial to be aware of local holidays and the significance of certain dates. You can either write all the dates in your calendar or can use a calendar tool (there are plenty online) where you can customise your own calendar. It will have international holidays and you can also add any other dates that are relevant to your audience or your client, depending on their area. At Social Gamma, we even create these calendars for some of our social media clients depending on their industry. For example, we have worked with clients within the nutrition and wellness sector and keeping a calendar with fun dates, such as Pancake Day, helped us stay on top of trending social media content and also provide our audience with recipes, recommendations and tips for healthier alternatives.
When considering creating a calendar, keep in mind this might not only serve as a checklist for local holidays but also as a reference document for when you plan to launch a new product or service. Timing is a key element that will contribute to the success of your launch and it would be a shame to do it at a time when it won’t have the same impact or worse, be deemed as inappropriate.
This is probably the most important or at least, one of the top things marketers need to consider when creating content for international clients. As more and more brands started taking a global approach to their marketing, they completely forgot to add the local touch and ensure they adjust their marketing messages accordingly. A perfect example of how this can go wrong quickly is Pepsodent. The oral care brand prepared to launch their toothpaste in a new region without factoring in that their marketing approach might not be suitable for that specific area. “Pepsodent attempted to sell its toothpaste in a remote area of Southeast Asia via a message that stressed how the toothpaste helped whiten teeth. Unfortunately, this campaign had little effect, as this was an area where many local people deliberately chewed betel nut in order to achieve darkly stained teeth – a sign of prestige.” (Mueller, B., 2011. Dynamics Of International Advertising).
If you are focusing your attention on social media and are thinking of building a strategy that includes influencer marketing, always keep in mind that there are local influencers that you can collaborate with on your campaign. Not only they understand their audience’s interests and needs but they will also be credible brand ambassadors. With a followers base made up by locals, these influencers are trusted by their audience to promote products and services that benefit them and their lifestyle.
Now is also the time to look into smaller influencers (micro and nano) who usually have smaller local audiences and higher engagement rates. You will be thrilled to find out that sometimes, a strong base of micro and nano influencers can perform better and spread the word about your product faster and more effectively than one big influencer.
This is available more for scheduling and publishing the content, rather than creating it but I thought it is a key element that some marketers don’t consider as important. I feel it is important specifically regarding organic content on social media, where you want to maximise your reach, impressions and eventually, engagements. We work with global clients who are based in Singapore, Bangladesh or India and since we are based in London, it is crucial to ensure that posts go out at an optimal time in the client’s time-zone.
That being said, after you’ve made sure your content is suitable for an international audience, the last step before publishing it would be to take into consideration the time-zone in which you are sharing the content and take advantage of the optimal time for it.
As a digital marketing agency, Social Gamma provides full marketing services to clients across the globe and can help you create customised content that will enhance your online presence and achieve your goals in the digital space so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.