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The Key Elements of a Successful Global Content Strategy

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Last updated on April 4th, 2023 at 07:13 am

Multilingual SEO

In today’s digital world, having a robust and comprehensive content strategy is vital to every organization’s marketing and SEO plan. Relevant content can be current and trendy or evergreen, and having a wealth of resources for your customers to read and understand what you offer and how it can benefit them is essential for every business.

Developing a content strategy is a big task for all organizations – it takes time, energy, and human resources to create and execute. Creating multilingual content and having a strategic and effective global content plan adds complexity to content creation.

Multiple reports indicate that up to 75% of internet users will choose a product or service from a brand that offers information in their native language. That fact highlights the importance of creating content in your customers’ language and how vital it is for businesses of all sizes to select the appropriate translation company to support their global content strategy.

Creating content in multiple languages doesn’t have to be daunting, but it requires planning and clarity on the roadmap to follow. Understanding the different translation services needed to produce multilingual content is vital once a company establishes the languages it will use for its strategy.

This blog post provides guidance and a primer on the concepts and tasks you need to know when your organization is starting with a content plan and is trying to take it international. Remember the aim is to produce content that will excite the world about your company, and your global content strategy requires a learning curb and thought process.

From Local to Global: The Power of a Strong Content Strategy

A content strategy is essential to reaching your audience where they are, both online and along the buyer’s journey. A robust content plan speaks to the entire process of the buyer’s journey, from start to purchase.

A content strategy helps you create the necessary content in the most efficient way possible. It includes topics, delivery dates, and editorial calendars but goes beyond what themes to write, including drafting and editing processes, workflows, platforms, and key performance indicators. Without a content strategy, keeping up with the pace of producing appropriate digital content can feel stressful at best, and overwhelming at worst.

Taking your content strategy global means understanding where your audience is coming from and incorporating that cultural understanding into the themes, approach, and every phase of the content creation journey.

One thing is to produce local content, and another is to create content to be consumed globally. Below is a list of elements that will require consideration while creating global content:

  • Languages of your target markets
  • Keywords for those languages
  • Localization services
  • What services are needed?
  • What type of content will be used in each location?
  • Key performer indicators per language and location

How to Get Started on Your Global Content Plan

There are several steps in creating and executing a global content plan. Let’s break it down.

Assemble the Team

Who is going to be working on this content? Who will be writing it, optimizing it for SEO, researching the audience, and who edits the content? What is the promotion and distribution plan, and who is responsible? A content plan has many moving pieces, and you’ll need more than one or two people to execute it well.

If this project is too big to tackle in-house, you can outsource parts of it. You may need someone to handle the content management system or to create content for you.

Strategize

Get the key players together and brainstorm. What kind of content will you create, and how often will it be published? What larger organization goals does this content services, and who is measuring success? Does all the content come from one place, or is it sourced from other offices or team members? Will each market handle its content or receive content from a centralized office? What is the publication plan?

While strategizing, you’ll define content topics, identify the goals they serve and the KPIs, and break down the editorial process. Additionally, global content usually needs more than one SEO strategy. Each SEO strategy is optimized for one language, so if you’re translating content on a global scale, optimize it for each local audience. You will need a team that establishes, executes, and measures the international SEO of the multilingual content.

Assigning Tasks

Assign the different stages to the appropriate team members, establish due dates, and set another date to reconvince and assess progress.

Research

Who is your audience; what language are they native speakers of? What do you know about them demographically? How deeply do you understand their needs, wants, and phases of the buyer’s journey? How long is the lead time for your business to convert new customers, and how can your content assist that? It can be helpful to create buyer personas here.
During the research, note what content topics are global in appeal and which must be localized for different foreign markets.

Think About the Localization Process

Once you know the types of content you’re creating or the goals that it serves, you’ll need to examine how relevant it is to your audience. Does every market have the same goals and KPIs, or is the content targeted for different purposes in different audiences? Can existing content be translated into other languages, or will you need transcreation services to make the information relevant to new audiences? If some cases, you might even need new content developed for the new languages.

Marketing content needs to talk to your target audience. If you are performing Spanish translation for Spain, the Spanish content will be localized for Spain. On the other hand, If you are doing Spanish content for Mexico, the Spanish content will need to have the currency and choice of words for the Spanish use in Mexico and the cultural elements of the Mexican culture.

The localization process is crucial to developing global content, so each piece contains culturally sensitive material and is optimized for a target language. Localization can seem intimidating, so engaging a localization company is one way to reduce your internal workload and add partners that have experience and can guide and support your localization process. Select your translation company early in the undertaking so they can participate during the planning process, and your company will benefit from their experience with other clients and multilingual content.

Audit Existing Content

Auditing your content is a good starting point to decide what you need to do from where you are. Do you need to start from scratch? Do you have evergreen content you can translate?
Make an inventory of your existing content. What information do you have? Can you evaluate its quality and effectiveness? What topics and goals do you cover, and what languages does that content exist in? Does it speak to your core message? After you’ve established that, you can dive into the quality to classify it and select the priority of your tasks. But if this is too much, start setting your valuable existing content.

During the auditing, identify any low– hanging fruit pieces – existing content that can be translated quickly from the source to the target languages and published. Additionally, you’ll want to audit your competitors to understand what topics they’re covering, where you overlap, and where there are information gaps.

Establish a Budget

Knowing your budget will allow your organization to have realistic goals. Every plan has its budget, and after establishing the blueprint for your company’s global content strategy, you will have an outline of the activities and deliverables. With this exercise, you will be able to establish the budget required.

This forecast will help determine whether you will do website localization for all languages or a subset. What content will be developed for your global audience if the company has apps and software?

Both the website and software localization activities will require linguistic testing, and your budget and its limit will help determine to what extent you can include particular activities.

Brand Guidelines

If you don’t have brand guidelines, the planning stage is an excellent place to develop them. Brand guidelines are the fenceposts that you can set to guide your writers in creating content that is cohesive in tone and paints a clear picture of what your brand is. A brand guideline document should include information on voice, tone, acceptable and unacceptable phrases, punctuation preferences, imagery, and more. Brand guidelines can also differentiate between the language used across different platforms, such as the difference between a website and mobile apps. It includes the design and colors and the tone you want to use.

If you have existing brand guidelines, this is the stage to ensure they’re up to date, and it is an ideal moment to update them. Also, this is the perfect time to check if all the existing pieces of content comply with your style guide.

Multilingual Glossaries

These are multilingual entries for all the essential terms used for your company content and industry. Your company’s glossary is an excellent instrument to indicate words that will not require translation or terms to avoid since they identify your competitors.

Multilingual glossaries must be developed at the beginning of the project and maintained throughout your global content journey to accomplish consistency during the translation of documents and files. Your multilingual glossaries must also be kept and updated as your multilingual content evolves.

International SEO

Research and establish the International SEO that your multilingual content needs and determine the KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your content in each language. Creating the guidelines for International SEO is the subject of a blog post itself, but the elements that need to be covered are:

  • Search engines to use for each language and locale.
  • List of keywords to use for each language and market. Keyword research should follow the SEO set for the source language.
  • What type of content is going to be developed for each language? For example, some languages might not need a blog but need press releases. A new region might have localized websites, but others might only have a few landing pages.

Establish Which Channels Are You Going to Use to Publish Content

What type of content will you develop, and what channels will you use to distribute the content? Remember to research which tool can be used in each language to measure the effectiveness of the global content distributed.

Finding the appropriate channels is complex and takes time and testing different approaches since every channel requires measurements and tools, from social media to video content and websites to apps.

Work with an Experienced Translation Company

Will each piece of content your brand creates for the original language need human translation, or is machine translation sufficient for some pieces? Do blogs need translation services or transcreation? Identifying the service options and how each needs to be treated will help your company develop a budget for translating your global content.

Engaging a professional translation company can help you determine which services best fit your goals.

Support Your Global Content Strategy with Translation Services

One easy way to set your global content strategy up for success is by working with a professional language services company to help you manage and execute the number of translation projects you’ll have while developing the content in each language.

A professional language services provider will use a translation management system to help you stay organized and on top of all the moving parts. It acts as a central location to manage multiple pieces of content, enables you to collaborate in real-time, combines the power of human translation with the convenience of AI translation, and makes the workflow process smooth by providing updates. A translation management system can also integrate with a content management system to make the workflow efficient and faster.

Does My Content Strategy Need Professional Localization Services?

Yes. It will undoubtedly be some of the activities in your global content strategy. Localization is taking content or copy and optimizing it for a new audience, language, and culture. A localized translation retains the original message of the source piece but appears as if it was always written for the new target audience.

Translation services involve the grammar and syntax of a sentence, and localization services include cultural nuance and adaptation to the new culture. Localization goes beyond translation. It considers local customs, culture, slang, linguistic differences, measuring systems, space for addresses, delivery options, and postal systems.

Are you ready to reach a new market with a content strategy that includes different languages? JR Language is a translation services company with years of experience helping businesses reach international markets using translation and localization services. We go above and beyond for our customers with excellent service.

Contact us for a quote today— we’d love to learn about your needs and help you succeed in executing your global content strategy.

Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.