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Whoever sells online quickly realizes that customers often come from abroad. Globalization continues to increase and, especially on the Internet, there have long been no borders. Content marketing comes into play when you want to gain an international foothold and reach your potential customers in a targeted manner. Below, we’ll show you how to develop the ideal strategy and give you tips on how to get the most out of your content!
What is international content marketing?
Is content marketing suitable for all businesses?
Step by Step: How to create a good content marketing campaign
What to keep in mind for keyword(-research), linkbuilding and Co. internationally?
How do you measure the success of your content marketing strategy?
Conclusion: International Content Marketing is your path to success across national borders
Content marketing is concerned with the distribution of high-quality content on the Internet. Thereby, a connection to the customer is to be built up and strengthened durably. The content used can inform, advise and/or entertain and is tailored to your target group. The content aims to generate sustainable traffic and provide added value.
You can also use content across country borders in this way to reach your potential customers. The content is always created on a country-by-country basis and according to the requirements there, or a corresponding translation is made. With international content marketing there are therefore some pitfalls and peculiarities that you should be aware of. This is the only way you will succeed in sustainably distributing your content abroad and strengthening customer relationships.
Here you’ll get a direct overview of the most important factors that go into successful international content marketing:
You will get details about the respective aspects in the further course of the article.
In itself, content and its targeted marketing is suitable for all companies. It does not matter in which industry you are active – as soon as you want to distribute something via the Internet or optimize your own Internet presence. This process helps you to become more visible as well as to better reach and address your target audience.
If this is not the case, and you do not have your own website, content marketing is of course not worthwhile for you.
To effectively distribute your content, you need to come up with a well-thought-out strategy. This is the foundation of your content success abroad. We show you how to proceed step by step!
Marketing only works if you know who to target. That’s why the foundation of any strategy is and always will be target audience analysis. Otherwise, you risk high wastage, which will have a negative impact on your performance, your success and ultimately your wallet. In addition, a wrongly played campaign leaves a lasting negative aftertaste with the users. They don’t feel addressed and in the worst case even have the impression that the content is spamy. You should avoid this! To be on the safe side, you must therefore, in addition to an individual target group analysis, deal with the cultural differences and characteristics of your target country. Often these are only subtleties, but they can determine the success or failure of your content. Only with the right preparation can you fully and ideally prepare your campaign for the customers and the market.
You really want to be sure what the mentality of a country is like? Native speakers or locals can provide you with valuable insights and support you in planning and implementing content marketing campaigns!
In order to be able to carry out a campaign successfully, you should of course be aware in advance of the goals you want to achieve. With content marketing, these can look different:
Of course, you can also pursue several goals with a content marketing campaign. Especially when opening up a new target country, several of the above points are often relevant.
Native speakers can also provide important insights from their countries of origin when identifying topics. As a result, they help significantly in topic identification. Common brainstorming also supports this process and broadens the spectrum of the individual participants
In the process, every thought counts – there is neither evaluation nor criticism! Only in this way you manage to give free rein to creativity and collect as many ideas as possible.
In addition, a research on the Internet will help you. Take a look at your direct competitors and analyze their content. Through this benchmark you may also find topics here that could be interesting for your own content marketing campaign.
To make a final selection, take a look at your collection of topics in the follow-up and check each one individually for the following aspects:
There are numerous ways to build your content well. But how exactly you want to present it is not only up to you personally, but also to the expectations of the target audience. Exciting, interesting content captivates your users and thus ensures that your content marketing campaign will be successful.
To find out which content type is best for your topic, you can revert to a SERP analysis. By using appropriate search terms, you can already see what Google plays out to the searchers. Is it rather info texts, guides, eBooks, studies or something completely different? Based on these results, you can decide how you want to prepare your topic to satisfy both the users and the search engine.
The following media might be interesting for your campaign:
|EDITORIAL TEXTS & ARTICLES||• Cost effective|
• Easy to produce
• Increase the time spent on your website
• Improve rankings and thus the visibility of your site
• External bloggers like to link content
→ provide backlinks
|• Content must be professionally sound|
• Less “nice” to distribute, as only link to website and no separate medium
|E-BOOK / WHITEPAPER||• High information density|
• Appealing layout with graphics, tables, etc.
• Very extensive
→ No limits in terms of scope
• Added reader value can be elaborated in detail
• Can be distributed as a print version in addition to the online version
|• Time intensive creation|
• High cost factor
• Can quickly get out of hand due to volume
• Length and technical terms can be off-putting
• If interviews are desired: external partners must be found
|INFOGRAPHICS||• Information condensed at a glance|
• Can be easily disseminated
• Target group-relevant preparation (e.g. for children) possible
|• Tendency to confusion with too much data|
|STATISTICS, STUDIES & RANKINGS||• Flexible in design|
• Credibility very high
• Credibility, timeliness and relevance simplify dissemination and lead to many mentions
|• Very elaborate and often time-consuming|
• Data volume cannot be estimated in advance for some topics
• Can be very expensive if institutes are brought in to collect data
• Written elaboration explaining results is required
(e.g. games, interactive graphics, etc.)
|• Captivates the user|
• Strongly memorable and thus promotes brand awareness
• Participatory content is well suited for topics that are difficult to understand
|• Very time-consuming to produce|
|VIDEO-TUTORIALS / WEBINARS||• More detailed presentation and explanation possible|
• Information is bundled and conveyed in a comprehensible way
• Complex topics can be structured well
|• Videos must be produced skillfully, otherwise they appear “inferior”|
• Information must be prepared specifically for viewers and video format
Often the solution is not one medium per se, but a mix of multiple content formats. For example, you can wonderfully include graphs and statistics in a whitepaper or create an interactive infographic for your target audience.
Depending on how you want to set up your campaign, partners can make your life a lot easier. Companies, organizations, associations or individuals who already have a certain expert reputation in the industry can actively influence the international content. Well-known names bring you prestige and increase the chance that content will be shared. If you use one and the same campaign for several countries, it can make sense to work with different or several partners. This increases the reach in the respective market.
Mere translation of content alone is often not enough – content must be adapted to the target country. Sure, a translation at least crosses the language barrier, but you still only achieve the maximum effect if they are geared to the demands of the target audience and the market-specific characteristics.
Locals and native speakers are also very advantageous here, as they know the corresponding country-specific requirements, language styles or trends. If you work with translation agencies, it is important to clarify whether the translator meets these requirements.
Of course, it’s not enough just to find the right format for your content, the presentation of it is also crucial. For this purpose, landing pages are suitable, for example, which you can adapt specifically to your topic and the target country through keyword research. Because: If the landing page is also optimized for search engines, the effect of the pages is amplified and ensures an improvement in rankings in the corresponding region. So you and your content marketing campaign become internationally more visible.
The content of the page should never seem promotional, otherwise you will scare off your readers!
Your landing page should also meet the following requirement:
Your content is created and ready to be shared on the web. That means it’s time for active content outreach! Targeted measures here provide a real boost and awareness increase for your campaign. Seeding, for example, can help create a backlink profile.
Contact webmasters and potential cooperation partners personally. A conversation can be the necessary icebreaker that helps you to convince your contact person of your content.
Also through targeted online PR-measures you can ensure that your content spreads on the Internet. In this context, you contact webmasters who run subject-relevant websites, explain your project to them and try to convince them to also distribute your content via their website. For this, value-added content is absolutely necessary, as there will be no partnership if the webmaster doesn’t see any benefit for his readership.
However, it is important that you focus on the right channel! For example, social media channels that are hot in Germany are not directly relevant to the U.S., Asia and Co. The market power of search engines also varies from country to country. Therefore, analyze exactly which channels and platforms are suitable for your target country.
“Other countries, other customs”, this saying is widely known and rightly so. Different languages, culinary specialties, diverse cultures, geographical features and varying religions – there are many aspects that distinguish countries from each other. These, in turn, feed into the different steps of your content marketing campaign.
A keyword analysis based on your target country is the base of your content and also the first step to success. It is also important if you want to carry out further optimization measures. Note that the individual search behavior in different countries often differs significantly. Google Trends can help you gain insights into country-specific keywords. The Sistrix tool also helps you find internationally appropriate search terms. Additionally, you can switch Google to your target country to get more insights via SERP analysis.
What seems disreputable in Germany is often not a problem at all in other countries. In the Czech Republic, for example, the subject of sexuality is dealt with much more openly. Such cultural peculiarities or faux pas you know and avoid only by working with native speakers. It does not matter whether this creates the content or proofreads it. Also, certain phrases or terms are used in your mother tongue, but not abroad.
Especially for countries where the same language is spoken, it is important to work with native speakers to guarantee correct terms and spellings for your content.
If you want to internationalize, you also need to be technically prepared for it. Even the best content marketing campaign is of no use to you if it is not right. For this, you should think about your domain strategy. For search engines this is a relevant factor when it comes to your visibility abroad. Moreover, they can only assign your website to a certain country via the domain. So be clear in advance what you want your international website presence to look like.
For a detailed overview on choosing the right domain, check out our eo:magazine article on international domain strategies.
Additionally, it is important to guarantee that your translated content is not considered a duplicate. There are also technical tools to avoid this. With the help of the hreflang attribute, you can align your website geographically and linguistically, and thus communicate to the search engines where your content belongs.
Duplicate Content search engines don’t like to see. With the hreflang attribute you can prevent this. In our eo:magazine you get a detailed insight into the ideal implementation of hreflang.
When it comes to targeted marketing of your content abroad, search engine compliant link building will help you. This means that only white hat link building methods are used. Additionally, it is important that the backlinks you build up come from topic-related websites. This way, you increase the relevance of your own content for the search engine, which in turn leads to an improvement of your rankings.
You want more concrete tips on international link marketing? Then take a look at our whitepaper!
Your content marketing campaign has a specific goal – be it increased revenue, higher sales, more traffic to the website, or better rankings. By comparing the developments from the start to the end of the campaign with each other, you get a more accurate insight into the success of your measures. But that’s not enough, of course. Some aspects you should definitely keep in mind.
If you take a more detailed look at the flow of visitors and consider where they come from, you will get more detailed information. The conversion rate is also an important indicator for the success of your campaign. Based on this, you can determine whether users have fulfilled the action you wanted them to take. If this is not the case, the error search begins. For example, a poor conversion rate may indicate the following:
With content marketing campaigns, you build sustainable visibility across national borders. But a good knowledge of the culture and language of your potential customers is the key! Native speakers are very helpful for your ambitions abroad. Not only do they give you valuable insights on culture, trends and customs, but they also have the language skills to help you with content creation. In addition, they can give you a helping hand with the dissemination of the content. This way, you can succeed in content marketing internationally.
Learn more about international content and link marketing.