BOOM! The Increasing Explosion of Global Content
By Louise Law, Communications Manager, Welocalize
When I learned Welocalize was one of the sponsors of the up and coming Content Marketing World 2014 in Ohio, USA this September I have to admit, I was very excited. I live and breathe content – not only in my role at Welocalize but in the roles I have worked in over the past 20 years of my professional life. To see online content explode and become such a significant driver for global businesses, well, that’s the kind of thing that makes a passionate communications manager wake up very early and run into the office to create more.
We know that content creation, curation, development and delivery have changed significantly over the years due to the Internet and explosion in technological advances. The resulting changes are massive growth of online consumers with a healthy appetite for loads of new content in their language.
Our role of providing innovative translation and localization services to support businesses busy with content creation is also exploding. There are more advanced content creation tools, improved applications for posting content, APIs to translation management systems for streamlined translation and more revenue opportunities to be made from creating and posting global content. All this has fueled the growth of more and more content every day being published to reach and satisfy our intended global content consumers.
It’s not just the volume of content and information that is growing rapidly, it’s also the type of content that is being published. Traditional printed manuals are reducing in numbers as global organizations now publishing digital content which, can be searched for, updated quickly and tend to be more cost-effective in this on-demand world we live in.
Physical printed matter is no longer the primary or most profitable means of delivering content and engaging with consumers. Consumers today want to be more involved in providing feedback, reviewing products and then of course, SHARING IT WITH EVERYONE! Today’s Internet generation want instant gratification; content that is published regularly in bite-sized chunks and accessible (and searchable) from all platforms.
A good example of this is the exponential growth in social media models and user generated content (UGC). As people access content through their never-ending supply of readily charged mobile devices, being able to engage and take part in the conversation gives them a voice to influence lifestyles, trends and the way business is done.
Big digital companies are taking content and content strategy VERY seriously as a direct source of revenue. Consider eBay, Facebook and Twitter – all simply publish or facilitate the publishing of content and as a result, make oodles of money. In July 2004, the valuation of Facebook was $192 billion after a good first quarter earnings. Facebook is only 10 years old and its content now reaches 1.3 billion consumers around the world. Twitter now has over 220 million users around the world and LinkedIn has 300 million users (source). The numbers speak for themselves of what these giant publishing platforms mean to global businesses today.
Billion dollar businesses have resulted from simply publishing content and the optimizing the UGC model – the significant examples of UGC being YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, eBay and TripAdvisor. Others business models that rely heavily on article feedback and content influencing include Amazon, CNN and IMDB.
Most organizations with international growth targets will have some form of a global content strategy. Each global organization pumps out millions of words each year, whether marketing and training collateral or complex, detailed instructions on how to use a product. Having a global content strategy in place is crucial. It not only provides a structure for managing your entire source content portfolio, it also considers all consumers and publishing content in languages other than the source. You can read more about this in a blog written by our Global Marketing Director, Jamie Glass, “Reaching One Global Content Consumer at a Time.”
When I wrote my trendspotting blog from Localization World 2014 in Dublin, one noteworthy trend was the growing significance of global content strategy at the event. Scott Abel’s excellent content strategies track will remain one of my highlights. It provided excellent food-for-thought for any global content and localization leader or key decision-maker. I would imagine anyone attending Content Marketing World 2014 in September will gain a similar experience that will also result in them rising early, just to create more readable, well-targeted content.
Welocalize is a sponsor and exhibitor at Content Marketing World 2014 Conference.