How to Create a Global Content Marketing Plan

Chidinma Egwuogu
29 Sep 2023

11 min. read


Ignore local holidays and events when scheduling content.

Use machine translations for all your material without human oversight.

Assume that what works in one country will definitely work in another.

If you read those and thought, "Who in their right mind would do that?", congratulations! You already have an idea of how NOT to approach global content marketing.

Now, let's explore how you SHOULD go about it.

Pro tip: Streamline your global content marketing efforts with a professional localization platform — Centus. Learn more.

What is global content marketing?

Global content marketing is the practice of creating and sharing content, such as articles, videos, and graphics, to promote a product, service, or brand to audiences around the world. Unlike regular content marketing, which might focus on a single audience, global content marketing considers the varied cultural, linguistic, and behavioral nuances of a global audience.

For example, if a company sells jewelry and wants to market it in both the USA and South Korea, the content might be different for each audience. They could also use an American celebrity in the USA promotion and a K-pop star in the Korean promotion. What is global content marketing? Global content marketing goals can be to increase sales, create brand awareness, or build relationships with customers.

Why go global with content marketing?

Going global with content marketing offers multiple advantages for brands, especially those that have international aspirations or operations.

  • Wider reach & revenue: Engaging content attracts international audiences, with 67% of marketers reporting that it generates demand and leads.
  • Better brand awareness: Presenting a brand across multiple countries ensures more people recognize and remember it.
  • Local engagement: Content tailored to specific regions connects better.
  • Competitive edge: With a global content strategy, brands can establish themselves swiftly in new markets, differentiating from competitors.
  • Strengthened customer loyalty: According to 63% of marketers, content marketing helps build brand loyalty with current clients and customers.

For brands operating or looking to expand internationally, global content marketing offers an opportunity to connect, engage, and grow in multiple regions.

As they produce content for larger audiences and diverse markets, they can achieve economies of scale — meaning the cost per piece of content or engagement decreases. This approach not only maximizes both reach and revenue potential but also makes the marketing process more cost-effective over time.

Challenges in global content marketing

a person typing on a laptop Source: Pexels

Navigating content marketing on a global scale comes with distinct hurdles. Some of the most common challenges in global content marketing are:

  1. Cultural differences: Different cultures have varying preferences, humor, and sensitivities. Researching extensively before launching campaigns and collaborating with locals ensures cultural accuracy and resonance.
  2. Language barriers: Misinterpretations or mistranslations can cause misunderstandings. Employing professional translation services and native speakers for content review can prevent such issues.
  3. Varied consumer behavior: Consumer patterns might differ from one region to another. Conducting market research in each region helps tailor strategies to specific consumption patterns.
  4. Regulatory restrictions: Some countries impose strict regulations on advertising and content. Being updated with local regulations and seeking legal advice ensures compliance.
  5. Platform preferences: Countries might favor different digital and social media platforms. Facebook might be popular in one country, another might lean more towards platforms like WeChat or LINE. Understanding the most popular platforms in each area and adjusting content accordingly is crucial.
  6. Aligning with customer values: Customers now expect brands to take a stand on social and environmental issues and be authentic and transparent. This alignment has become a priority for 75% of global executives. Brands must not only be aware of these values but actively demonstrate their commitment to them.

With thorough research, collaboration, and a genuine commitment to values, brands can effectively communicate and resonate with audiences across the globe.

How to develop an global content marketing strategy

Launching a global content marketing strategy requires a combination of understanding diverse audiences, leveraging best practices, and applying key strategic elements tailored to international marketing principles.

1. Understand your audience

Your success depends on how well you know your local audiences. Besides segmenting by region or country, you should also divide your regional market into groups based on shared interests and characteristics.

This involves:

  • Demographic research: Obtain data on factors influencing buying decisions such as age, gender, and income
  • Cultural sensitivity: Familiarize yourself with cultural norms, taboos, and preferences
  • Consumer behavior insights: Use tools, social listening, analytics tools, and surveys to obtain insights on regional content consumption patterns

Recognizing cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic differences sets the foundation for any global strategy.

2. Define clear objectives and KPIs

Every successful strategy starts with well-defined objectives. Establish your global content goals. Are you targeting brand awareness, sales, customer engagement, or a mix? Clear objectives give your content direction and provide a benchmark for its success.

Once goals are set, establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will measure your success. Whether it's engagement rates, conversion metrics, or ROI, KPIs provide a clear picture of how your content performs. Regularly reviewing these metrics will also guide refinement and optimization.

3. Localize, don't simply translate

Content should fit local culture, customs, and language intricacies. Tailor your content to resonate with each unique market.

You should consider localization, which means adapting content to fit local language nuances, cultural contexts, and regional trends. Recognize that content that thrives in one region might need significant adjustments for another.

It’s important to always collaborate with local experts or agencies to create relevant and valuable content.

4. Choose the right platforms

Different digital platforms appeal differently across regions. Identify platforms that your target audience uses, whether mainstream or region-specific. Adapt your content format to align with these platforms.

To select the best platforms:

  • Research where your target audience is most active
  • Match platform features with your goals
  • Look at local competitors' platform choices
  • Balance costs against potential returns

Selecting where to engage can determine the success of your global content strategy.

5. Ensure consistent branding

Maintaining brand consistency and allowing room for regional adaptation across regions is essential. Whether it's your logo, color scheme, tone of voice, or messaging, consistency helps in building trust and making your brand recognizable. Here's how to do it:

  • Set brand guidelines: Create a document detailing logo uses, fonts, colors, and tone
  • Train your team: Ensure everyone understands and follows these guidelines
  • Review content regularly: Regular audits can spot inconsistencies
  • Gather feedback: Check if your brand messaging efforts feel authentic in different regions

Consistency strengthens brand identity, making it memorable no matter where your customers meet it.

6. Leverage tools and automation

Managing content across different regions becomes easier with the right tools. Use content management systems (CMS), automation tools, and issue-tracking platforms to streamline the process.

These tools can help in content creation, distribution, and tracking, ensuring efficiency. Automation can assist in consistently delivering content, while analytics tools provide insights into what's working and what needs tweaking.

Pro tip: Instead of jumping from tool to tool, why not use one that integrates with them all? Centus helps you efficiently streamline localization and multilingual content management in one simple platform. Learn more.

7. Team collaboration

Building a team with diverse backgrounds and expertise can offer a broader perspective on content creation. A mix of strategists, content creators, translators, and market-specific experts ensures that content is both globally and locally relevant.

But hiring is only half the job; it’s important to also ensure collaboration.

Shared insights, feedback, and brainstorming across teams enhance content quality and relevance. To help improve collaboration, establish strong communication channels and arrange regular workshops and training sessions.

8. Monitor, analyze, adjust

Regularly checking the performance of your global content ensures its effectiveness. Use analytics to measure audience engagement, content reach, and conversion rates. If something isn't working, tweak it.

Encourage comments from local teams. On-the-ground feedback and regional trends are invaluable, so use them to make timely updates.

Keep a close eye on trends, both globally and locally, and be prepared to adjust your strategy based on these insights. This iterative approach ensures your content remains relevant and impactful across local markets.

Metrics to measure your global content’s success

Metrics play a vital role in assessing how well your global content marketing efforts are faring. Here are the essential Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to keep an eye on:

Engagement metrics

Engagement metrics provide insight into how actively users interact with your content.

  • Likes, shares, and comments: These are straightforward counts. For example, if a post has 500 likes, 200 shares, and 100 comments, those are your engagement numbers. The total engagement could be the sum of these, i.e., 800 in this case.
  • Average time on page: Most analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, directly provide this metric. If you were to calculate it manually, you'd sum the total time all users spent on a page and then divide by the total number of users.

Regularly monitoring these KPIs helps marketers understand the impact of their content, ensuring that they can make informed decisions and continuously refine their strategy.

Reach and impressions

These metrics offer insight into the potential and actual visibility of your content.

  • Unique visitors: This number represents individual users who've visited your content. Unlike 'page views' that represent every visit, ‘unique visitors’ metric counts each user once regardless of how many times they visit. Most digital analytics platforms, like Google Analytics, automatically provide this number.
  • Impressions: This is a count of how often your content was displayed. For digital ads, it represents the number of times your ad was shown, not clicked on. To get this number, you'd typically rely on the platform where the content is shared, whether it's a social media platform or Google Ads.

Conversion rates

Conversion metrics help you understand the effectiveness of your content in driving specific actions.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This is calculated as (Number of clicks on content/ Total impressions of content) x 100. So if your content was seen 1,000 times and clicked on 50 times, your CTR would be 5%.
  • Lead generation: This measures leads coming from a specific piece of content. For instance, if a blog post has a call-to-action (CTA) leading to a signup form, and you get 50 signups from it, those are 50 leads generated from that content.

Not all leads are of equal value. Monitor the progress of leads through the sales funnel, so you can assess which content sources or strategies produce the most valuable leads.

Retention metrics

These metrics indicate the stickiness of your content and if users come back for more.

  • Return visitor rate: Calculated as (Number of return visits / Number of total visits) x 100. For example, if you had 1,000 total visits and 200 were by returning users, the return visitor rate would be 20%.
  • Bounce rate: Represents the percentage of visitors who leave without further interaction (visiting other pages on the site). It’s calculated as (Total number of one−page visits / Total visits) x 100.

So if 700 out of 1,000 visitors leave without visiting another page, your bounce rate would be 70%.

Feedback and sentiment analysis

Feedback offers qualitative insights, while sentiment analysis gives a more quantitative measure of user sentiment.

  • Comments and reviews: While these offer qualitative insights and don't have a strict formula, tracking the number and nature of comments and reviews can be enlightening.
  • Sentiment scores: These are derived using specialized tools that assess the sentiment of content (e.g., user reviews). These tools usually analyze language and context to assign positive, negative, or neutral scores.

Return on investment (ROI)

As of 2023, proving the ROI of content marketing activities was the second biggest challenge for 15% of global marketers, a decline from 18% in 2022. ROI measures the financial return from content marketing initiatives relative to the costs involved in producing and distributing that content internationally.

The formula for calculating ROI is straightforward:

ROI = (Net profit from content marketing − Cost of content marketing) / Cost of content marketing

The higher the ROI, the more effective your content marketing efforts are in terms of generating profit.

In a global context, it's important to consider:

  • Differences in content production costs across regions.
  • Variations in customer acquisition costs.
  • Currency conversion rates and their impact on profitability.

ROI is a powerful metric because it provides insights into which regions or types of content are the most profitable and where adjustments might be necessary.

For a detailed overview of localization ROI, read this article.

SEO rankings

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings indicate how well your content ranks on search engines like Google for specific keywords.

  • Keyword rankings: Monitor where your content appears in search engine results for specific keywords. Higher rankings (closer to the first position on the first page) generally lead to more organic traffic.
  • Domain authority (DA): A score, usually from 0-100, predicting how well a website will rank on the search engine result page (SERP). You can use tools like Ahrefs to measure your authority and track your backlinks.

Understanding and regularly tracking these KPIs is essential to ensuring your content continues to meet the needs and interests of your global audiences.

How Centus can help

Centus dashboard Recognizing the importance of a global content strategy is the first step. But how do you manage content that reaches out to so many different people?

Simple. Use good GREAT tools.

Centus is one such tool. As a professional localization management platform, it helps you organize your team, translate, and localize your content for global distribution.

Use Centus to ensure your content feels right at home wherever it lands!

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