How Culturally Aware is Your Content Marketing Strategy?

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Sarah Zuccaro

International Product Manager

If you’ve ever traveled abroad, you know how diverse cultures can be. Languages, social norms, currency, religion, fashion – everything varies from culture to culture. And your content marketing strategy should be no different.

Many marketers understand the need for in-language content when marketing internationally – but are all marketers really doing enough to cater to the needs of buyers in each foreign market? It seems there is still a lot of work to be done in that regard. A survey of our audience this year revealed that 53% of non-English speaking respondents are unsatisfied with the amount of in-language content available to them (TechTarget Media Consumption Report 2015). Can you imagine how maddening it must be to research a product or solution, only to be met with content that isn’t in your native language? At that point, your options are to either attempt to translate it yourself (not likely) or simply move on to content from another source in your native language (much more likely).

IT Buyers want in-language content

Don’t just take it from me – take it from the IT Pros who are actually facing this challenge. One researcher from Brazil said, “Vendor Information in my native tongue is always much appreciated, especially when we have to expose information to third parties.” And 82% of Chinese and Japanese buyers said they are more likely to download a piece of content in their native language than in English. The good news is, by simply providing in-language content, you’ll likely win your brand favorability with buyers, and increase the likelihood that your content gets downloaded. You’d be crazy not to grab that low hanging fruit and capitalize on these opportunities to make a vendor’s short list internationally. The bad news, though, is that if you’re not providing in-language content, your competitors probably are – and that means you’re allowing that low hanging fruit to hang even lower for them.

But providing in-language content should go beyond a hasty online translation tool – the quality of your content matters, too. The current lack of in-language content – and the fact that the in-language content that is available doesn’t always provide a decent translation – forces some researchers to do what they can with English content. An Argentinian researcher explains, “The majority [of content] I’ve seen in my native language had translation errors that changed the direction of interpretation of the text in some cases. This eventually leads me to refer to the original text in English.” Similar sentiments were expressed by researchers in Spain and Czech Republic. IT Pros are busy; marketers shouldn’t push these folks to jump through hoops to get their hands on a quality piece of content in their native language.

The more you know about your audience, the more culturally aware your marketing can be

As you can imagine, there are many other preferences expressed by international buyers outside of just content. To name a few: when it comes to which email address a researcher prefers to use when conducting research, APAC and LATAM folks are more likely to register with a personal email address. And while APAC buyers often engage with sales through a live chat on vendor’s website, 59% of EMEA buyers say they will never engage with sales through that vehicle. The more you know about your target audience and their preferences, the more successful – and culturally aware – your international marketing strategy will be.

The current content marketing landscape in many international markets leaves a lot to be desired by researchers and buyers. This presents a huge opportunity for brands to be seen as thought leaders and gain favorability within these markets – by creating a more culturally aware marketing strategy.

 

Did you find this information useful? Are you a marketer that has put quality in-language content in market and saw positive results? I want to talk to you! Leave a comment below, or connect with me on LinkedIn to keep the conversation going.

All references and quotes from TechTarget’s 2015 Media Consumption Study.

content development, content marketing, in-language content, international content, international marketing, localization, translation

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