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Global content marketing in a multicultural world

Blog post   •   Oct 15, 2014 12:46 BST

The principles behind effective marketing and communication may have been around for millennia, but you can’t use your 2004 marketing strategy in 2014.

What’s changed? The world opened up. We are all more connected than ever, and highly social. We’re demanding – we want content written for us, about us, by people who understand us. And, despite fears that the widespread use of American English on the internet would lead to other languages being marginalised, the trend is now in the other direction.

What does that mean for brands? They need to start getting serious about creating original content locally. They need stories, not billboards. Viral videos, not TV ads. The right social media platforms to reach the right markets.

In essence: global content marketing should be at the core of a brand’s marketing strategy.

Content marketing facts and figures

  1. Content marketing reaps greater benefits than paid search.study by Kapost and Eloqua looking at the cost of lead generation found that the ROI of content marketing was more than three times that of paid search. The average cost-per-lead for paid search was $111. For content marketing, it was $32.25.

2.  Content marketing boosts conversion rates. According to a report by the AberdeenGroup, website conversion rates are nearly six times higher for content marketing adopters compared to non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%).

3.  Quality content attracts serious shoppers. Nielsen research found that 67 percent of consumers were more likely to buy a new product if they found it through an online search. (Source:CMI)

4.  Content builds lasting relationships with customers. Sales Force Marketing reports on a study by TMG Custom Media that found that 78 percent of consumers believe that organizations that offer custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (Source:CMI)

5.  Customers almost always research before they buy. Edelman8095 Insights found that 94 percent of millennials use at least one outside source to make a brand purchase decision, up from 86 percent in 2010. (Source:CMI)

6.  Quality content trumps advertising. ContentPlus found that 70 percent of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (Source:CMI)

Numbers like these are enough to convince me that global content marketing should constitute a significant portion of any brand’s marketing budget.

Fastest-growing languages on the internet

When the internet was first born 25 years ago, some people worried that English would take over the world and that other languages would be marginalised.

However, the trend now favours languages other than English. The number of English speakers online has grown by around 300 percent over the last decade, which sounds huge – but not when compared to Chinese (1,500 percent), Russian (1,800 percent) and Arabic (over 2,500 percent). Internet penetration may only be 20 percent in Africa, 49 percent in Latin America and 31 percent in Asia, but growth rates are staggering. By focusing on English alone, brands are missing out on reaching a large portion of their potential markets – now and in the near future.

English is spoken by 365 million people, but Spanish is used by over 400 million and Mandarin by over a billion. However currently, just under 30 percent of written content online is English, 24 percent is Mandarin, and less than 8 percent is Spanish. So there is huge potential for growth in these languages and markets.

Global marketing through local social media

The world in now highly social, but not everyone’s on Facebook and Twitter. And whatever social media channels your customers are using, they’re not necessarily interested in the same things as your customers on the other side of the world.

That’s why brands need to tell stories about local people, local events and local news. And they need to use the most popular local social media channels to spread those stories. Learn more about storytelling in our white paper: How to tell your story to the world: the power of multicultural content marketing.

Afraid to lose control?

Social media and our interconnected world mean that brands can’t avoid having an international profile.

By developing a strong global content marketing strategy, brands will:

  • better understand the needs of target audiences and existing customers in all areas of the world
  • achieve more insights from analytics and financial data from global markets
  • regain control over brand image and the stories told about the brand
  • improve organic traffic, loyalty and conversion rates
  • save money on adverts and paid search

Learn more at ad:tech

Please come to my ad:tech seminar at 10:40am on Tuesday, 21st October 2014. I’ll be in Theatre 1 to talk about Global content marketing in a multicultural and multi device world. If you have global ambitions, then this is for you.

If you miss me there, come and find me in the Innovation Lab, Pod A, or email eric@enveritasgroup.com.

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