07/17/2014 Leave a comment
Global content marketing is a big topic. It comes up at every content marketing event I attend, and it involves a lot of moving pieces and people—not to mention multiple languages, regions, and timezones. It’s a lot to wrap your head around.
And there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy or step-by-step formula. Every company has unique considerations influencing global marketing operations, including corporate structures, approval guidelines, and goals. But—across the board—there are three areas that stand out as the most difficult to tackle.
Based on conversations with Kapost customers and our Customer Success gurus, there are three critical and interconnected areas that need to be evaluated and planned before an efficient operation is possible: team structure, process, and categorization.
How to Tackle the 3 Most Difficult Pieces of Your Global Content Operation
Map out the org chart for your global marketing team. And I mean visually. Create a chart in PowerPoint, draw it on a whiteboard, or sketch it on a napkin while you’re eating lunch. This visual representation of your global marketing team will clarify the chain of command and the chain of approval—key for understanding how content will move through your organization.
Next, think through what matters to each of these individuals and the role they have (or, if you’re conceptualizing this for the first time, the role they should have) when in comes to content. For example, a global lead won’t be responsible for creating or translating content. They’re interested in performance analytics and strategy. However, a regional lead needs more insight into the actual content being created, including topics, timing, and how it’s going to be distributed to the market. Writers, on the other hand, have to know their deadlines and context for each content asset.
By understanding who is on your team, what they want and need to know, and the role each person plays in global content creation and distribution, you’ll be able to more effectively organize and plan your processes.
Process consistently emerges as one of the most challenging areas to tackle for global content operations. In fact, Heidi Lorenzen dedicated a chunk of her session to this issue at our content marketing events in San Francisco, Austin, and New York. It’s also a reason companies seek out Kapost.
Process is a difficult frontier, largely because it varies depending in the structure of your organization and your content goals. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to process.
With that in mind, there are questions that every global marketer should answer about their organization to help define processes. The answers will vary company to company, but they’ll help you tailor your global content marketing process to your needs.
- How do you decide which content assets are region-specific and should be translated?
- Who approves content ideas for translation?
- Once it’s been translated or localized, who reviews the asset for publication?
- Who is responsible for distribution at the global and regional level?
- For each content type (blog post, social update, video), what steps that need to be taken before an asset is complete?
- Is there a consistent workflow that can be followed for each type of asset or campaign?
Obviously, these are not yes or no answers. Some will take longer to answer, but I promise you, it’s worth it.
60% of global marketers don’t have a strategy in place for global content marketing, yet reading content in one’s own language is more important than price when making a purchase decision. By spending the time to understand and refine your global content process, you’ll be able to deliver multilingual content more efficiently and effectively to the appropriate markets and capitalize on these huge opportunities.
Once you answer the questions above, tackle organizing the workflow tasks for each type of asset you create.
For each step, define an “owner” by role. For example, does final approval on an asset always go through the project lead? Is there one person responsible for publishing blog posts? Map out each step in the process and who is responsible for completing it. Make this into a template that can be followed and, if necessary, customized every time an asset is created. It will save your team a ton of time, because you’re not starting from scratch with each new asset.
Content Categorization and Organization
Again, no two content operations are identical, and there are a few questions that need to be answered to be able to properly organize and categorize content. This piece of the global content puzzle is critical for finding the content you’re looking for, providing visibility and insight into content campaigns and upcoming efforts, and evaluating performance.
Don’t skip this part. Setting up categorization properly from the start means access to valuable data and insight, and less work down the line.
- What’s important for the global lead, project lead, writer, and translator to know about each content asset?
- When reviewing content performance, how do you want to slice and dice the data (i.e., by team, business unit, region, content type, author, topic, theme, etc.)?
- How will you search for content that’s in production or completed?
- Do you currently use naming conventions to organize content assets? If so, what are they?
Once you have each of these questions answered, prioritize. What are the most important things you need to know about every single piece of content? Then, is there asset-specific information you need to know? Once you have these defined, make sure it becomes part of your team’s process to consistently identify those categories for each asset they’re involved in creating.
Tackle these three areas, and you’ll have incredible insight into what’s important to consider for a global content marketing organization, making it much easier to organize assets and evaluate analytics.
About our Author:
Ann Murphy is the Senior Managing Editor at Kapost, where she overseas the Content Marketeer and dedicates her time to the art and science of content creation. On a personal note, she loves puns and the Oxford comma. Follow her on Twitter at @amurphias.