Content Marketing Across Borders opens the doors to guest bloggers and writers

After years of being a lonely and grumpy blogger I decided to invite guest bloggers to write on ContentMarketingAcrossBorders. The first three authors that have kindly created custom content – or gave permissions to share existing content – for CMXB are Molly Clarke,  Maël Roth and Pam Didner.

CMXB is now open to all Global Content Marketing experts willing to share strategy and best practices with a global audience via this dedicated channel. Thank you!

What’s the Simplest Definition of Global Content Marketing?

Global Content Marketing

Original post has been published by Pam Didner. Pam is a Global Content Marketing Strategist and Author and this is her blog.

Content marketing is using content as a way to communicate the benefits of your products and services.

Although my teenage sons thought it was pretty cool that I published a book, Global Content Marketing, they only vaguely know that it’s a marketing book. They didn’t bother to find out until recently what it is really about when one of them finally asked me: “What exactly is [global] content marketing, mom?”

Rather than giving them a formal definition, I asked him what he usually does when he is interested in purchasing a product or a service.  He told me that he would search the name of the products, research on the Internet, read product reviews and talk to his friends. I told him the information comes up when he does his research is called content. “In the web industry, anything that conveys meaningful information to humans is called content.” (Erin Kissane). It’s as simple as that!

Continue reading “What’s the Simplest Definition of Global Content Marketing?”

Global Content Marketing and Localisation: 3 Business Strategy Frameworks

Global Content Marketing Strategy

Original post has been published here by Maël Roth. Maël is a Global Content Marketing Strategist and this is his blog.

Going global with content marketing sounds easy (just translate it, right?) but it actually takes a lot more preparation than you might expect. In this post, we’ll have a look at three frameworks with which you’ll be better prepared if you want to conquer a foreign market with your content. Continue reading “Global Content Marketing and Localisation: 3 Business Strategy Frameworks”

The Global Marketer’s Guide to User-Generated Content

Modern buyers are more educated and connected than ever before—making it increasingly difficult for marketers to capture their attention. As such, the traditional content marketing strategies of the past just won’t cut it anymore. So, what’s a marketer to do? Enter user-generated content.

User-generated content—or UGC—is exactly what it sounds like: content created by users. For brands, users are people who interact with your brand or products in some capacity but aren’t professionally affiliated with your company.

The difference between UGC and more traditional marketing tactics is that UGC relies on your customers to promote your brand, rather than doing it yourself.

Why Are Global Marketers Turning to User-Generated Content?

For global marketers it’s difficult to find one type of content that performs across all demographics, locations, and markets. This is largely due to the fact that each audience has a different set of buying habits, pain points, motivators, and other contributing factors.

The beauty of UGC is that it’s created by the customer for the customer. It naturally transcends the barriers that stand in the way of traditional content types—think language, cultural differences, and more.   Consider these statistics:

  • 41% of consumers only need to see between 1 and 4 pieces of UGC to be influenced to purchase (source) whereas 47% of consumers need to see 3 to 5 pieces of traditional content to even speak with a sales rep (source).
  • UGC is 35% more memorable than any other media and 50% more trusted (source).
  • UGC results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or websites without it (source).

Looking for more reasons to jump on the UGC bandwagon? Keep reading.

Continue reading “The Global Marketer’s Guide to User-Generated Content”

The Sexiest Job of the Century: Data Science and the Rise of “Hybrid Marketing”

It was five years ago, exactly, in October 2012, when Harvard Business Review (HBR) declared “data scientist” to be the sexiest job of the century. HBR told the stories of Jonathan Goldman and D.J. Patil from LinkedIn, and Jeff Hammerbacher from Facebook, among others. They were the ones who coined the original term “data scientist” back in 2008 while they were leading data and analytics at their respective companies. The appearance of data scientists on the business scene reflects the fact that enterprises are now dealing with information that comes in varieties and volumes never seen before – what we usually call “Big Data.”

Data scientist is the sexiest job of the century

Also in 2012, the research company Gartner suggested that there will be 4.4 million “big data jobs” in the coming years, and that only a third of them will be successfully filled. That projection should not have been surprising. Everything is moving toward data at the speed of light: big data, mobile data, performance data, content data, product data, and even data about how we measure our data.

Continue reading “The Sexiest Job of the Century: Data Science and the Rise of “Hybrid Marketing””

How to Use Global Content Marketing Tactics for Internal Communications (via NewsCred Insight)

Internal Communications

When we talk about content marketing, we share tips and advice on strategy, audience building, distribution, and ROI. We discuss the content we create and who we are targeting, but we rarely do so in the context of internal communications.

Whether we work for a large enterprise or a small start-up, internal communication is a critical function. Especially for companies running global content marketing programs, it’s critical to establish internal communication channels between teams. This will ensure that everyone knows the latest information about content processes, frameworks, methodologies, and best practices.

One solution: use content marketing tactics internally. Email newsletters, content hubs, and apps are all great ways to solve internal communications challenges and keep employees and partners aligned.

My new full post, via NewsCred’s Insights.

Featured image by Annie Spratt

How to find the Optimal Balance Between Central and Local Content Teams

This post has originally been published on NewsCred’s Insights content hub. This is my original version. It includes content and references that had to  be removed from the company’s blog. 

One of the most critical aspects of going global with a content marketing strategy in a large and complex enterprise is finding the right balance between central and local organisations. In fact, just deploying a content marketing model across multiple regions – even if it has been tested successfully in one country – will simply not work. You need to plan, find the right global to local balance, pilot and then scale at global level. In most regions, like Asia or Europe for example – with dozens of different countries and languages, – it is unrealistic to make content work for each individual market. Continue reading “How to find the Optimal Balance Between Central and Local Content Teams”

Global Content Marketing: How to Find the Right Balance Between Central and Local Teams

For a global content marketing strategy to be effective in a large and complex enterprise, central and local teams must find the right balance.

Just deploying a content marketing model across multiple regions will simply not work – even if you’ve successfully tested it in one country. In most regions, like Asia or Europe, for example, where there are dozens of countries and languages, it is unrealistic to expect that global and local teams will work together seamlessly from the beginning. It takes time for them to plan, pilot, iterate, and find the right global to local balance.

In this post, published by NewsCred’s Insight, I’ll discuss how you can find that balance.

How Editorial Boards empower Content Marketing Strategy

Content Editorial Boards

Editorial boards are an old tradition at media and newspapers. In today’s digital marketing world, brands’ content editorial boards aren’t quite as influential but still serve a critical role in content marketing strategy. This post will explain why and how to set up central and local editorial boards and is a subset of the Strategy Collection.

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It should not come as a surprise that the content marketing strategy has to stand side by side with an internal organizational transformation. In fact, today’s marketing organizations are barely designed to properly support a content marketing strategy. The content editorial board is the core of your transformation. The board has to handle all content-related requests and issues, has to define the distribution/amplification strategy and content measurement framework. In large organizations the editorial board has the key role of alignment and coordination between several division and content sources. Finally it has the task to finalize an internal content communication and distribution plan.

The board has to manage the so called content ecosystem: the combination of internal writers, internal and guest bloggers, agencies and freelances that will support your editorial efforts. External sources have to be educated and in some large firms certified, in order to be part of your ecosystem.

Without a plan, an editorial board and editorial calendar, nothing will happen.

The choice of content editorial board members depends on the central marketing organization, which can be complex or lean. In general, I suggest the following macro-areas of expertise:

  • content & persona owners: they are responsible for content and personas. Functionally, the domain could be represented by strategic marketing reps, product managers or technology leads;
  • channel/content distribution owners: they are expert of content and content distribution via different channels – email, social media, SEO, paid promotion, etc.
  • geographies: it’s always interesting to invite one of more geographies to the content meetings. Advantage is two fold: getting early inputs from geos and learning about new content created at local level which might be “elevated” at global level

The editorial calendar is the tool of the content editorial board. It is much more than just a calendar with content assigned to dates. A good editorial calendar maps content production to the audience persona and the phases of the buyer journey. Ultimately, the editorial calendar is your most powerful tool as a content marketer. Without a plan, an editorial board and editorial calendar, nothing will happen.

Fact is, there should be two calendars in place: the (content) production and the distribution calendar. Here is where software like Content Marketing Platforms (CMPs) can make the difference and increase the board’s effectiveness. In absence of a proper CMP, production and distribution could be unified under the same spreadsheet.

While the central editorial team will lead content strategy at a global level, a local editorial board should be in place in each major country or geography to manage proper local content planning and distribution. The choice of editorial board members depends one more time on the local marketing organization. In general, I suggest the following members:

  • A field marketer responsible for operations in that specific country;
  • A digital marketing lead (or individual channel distribution leads – social media, web, newsletter, SEO – in larger organizations);
  • A content lead (assuming that the country has a content lead);
  • A strategic marketing lead (or a local product marketer)
  • Members of the local content agency – if an agency is supporting local operations

The local editorial board will agree with the central team on target personas, lead the decision for adopting content created centrally, contract with local vendors, and engage members of the central team to secure a strong, continuous dialogue.

Before You “Go Global”: the Role of Pilot Programs in Global Content Marketing

Pilot Programs Content Marketing

I cannot remember a time in my life where I was not travelling. In a way, it has been a constant whether I was doing it for business or pleasure. Citing Imogen Hall, Lonely Planet’s writer: “Travel is a force for good: it broadens our mind, develops cultural empathy and gives us a better understanding of the world” And so I thought I knew the world; but when you have to develop content for different geographies, well, it feels like you never stepped outside of your front door.

If I look back at my first global content marketing journey, started in mid-2015 in Schneider Electric with the definition of the content strategy for one of the Division of the energy firm, and the process that would sustain that strategy, we spent one full year with central execution as a required preparation for the global launch. The way we prepared ourselves for the global launch was through multiple pilot programs. Learning from our own experience – and, also, from our mistakes.

Content Marketing takes time, especially if the plan is to rollout the program across different geographies. This is even more true for large enterprises where traditional marketing models might prevent the need for change to be understood in time.

Continue reading “Before You “Go Global”: the Role of Pilot Programs in Global Content Marketing”