Brand equity is often seen as not measurable, intangible and almost an ethereal part of any business. Yet, brand can be the most valuable asset many companies possess as noted in the recent Economist article, “What are brands for?“.
Companies build brand equity through the infinite touches and experiences that users and consumers have with any aspect of our company and its products and services. Each touch represents a promise and as you build a brand, each promise lays down certain expectations that must continue to be met and exceeded, to all audiences.
Next week, the doors to Content Marketing World 2014 will open in Cleveland, Ohio. Leading the discussion topics will be over 80 brand marketing experts from all over the world. One of the key topics for discussion is the role of brand in the overall global content marketing strategy. Welocalize will be on hand to discuss what the ability to publish content online has meant for companies who have gained immediate access to a global audience without having to make huge investments in physical storefronts.
Whether marketing, corporate, product or technical communications, global content plays an integral role in building brand equity and has a direct source of revenue. New digital publishing and e-commerce channels are great for reach; however, there are some fundamental things to be considered before going global with your content.
Here are five tips for developing and publishing global content:
- Develop Content with Localization and Translation in Mind. If you create source content taking all target languages into consideration, then localized materials will be more cost-effective. Clever use of video and animated images and graphics can help communicate more effectively with a global audience and minimizes the amount of content that requires translation. Do be aware that heavy use of multimedia can create a complex localization workflow. A single corporate video with multiples voices can result in having to use A LOT of multilingual actors for the localized versions.
- Centralize the Global Content Strategy and Team. One central body to ensure all global and locals needs and legal requirements are met and that all brand messaging is consistent. Think of the global content team as one big virtual editor, checking that anything published is truly representative of the brand.
- Integrate Processes and Workflows across Content Departments. Everyone in the content creation and localization supply chain has to be connected. Having authors, designers, agencies, translators, engineers and project managers all working in silos can result in a mess. Connecting the localization supply chain with open technology and shared practices will keep content and brand consistent.
- Consider ALL Content. Not just the obvious million-dollar digital marketing campaign, but all content that touches and shakes all your audiences: consumers, employees, fans, followers, dealers, distributors, stakeholders and investors needs to be considered for it’s global appeal. This includes training videos, technical and product documentation, internal and corporate communications.
- Monitor and Measure User Feedback. Never has there been such a good time to have a two-way conversation with your global consumers and communities thanks to social media and UGC. Use feedback to improve and manage the brand and also prevent potential brand disaster and decay. This means being able to understand all feedback but also being able to quickly respond in all target languages. Your brand fans, again thanks to social media, mobile devices and 24 hour online access, can be your greatest advocate but beware, bad news tends to travel faster in the virtual world so keep an eye on what is being said about your brand.
Now is a great time to publish global content that will reach all your international and multilingual audiences. As an example, I’m not too sure exactly which of my local sports shops in the UK sells Nike running shoes; however, for the past four years it has been a pleasure to take part in the Nike online experience through web, apps and social media and then go on to repeatedly buy Nike footwear – thanks to some awesome global online content. I’m part of this global brand’s target and the content is rich in resources and precise in it’s local reach. As noted, their global content has me talking and more importantly, buying.
How is your global brand reaching and impacting your target audience? It is crucial that in order to maximize your global content marketing and brand equity, you manage and monitor your global content strategy using the right team, in the right place, with the right technology.
Louise Law, Communications Manager at Welocalize
Welocalize will be at Content Marketing World which takes place September 8-11, 2014 at the Cleveland Convention Center, Ohio. To discuss global content strategy, come and meet the Welocalize team at booth 31.