Tackle the 3 Most Challenging Areas of Building a Global Content Operation

Content-MarketingGlobal 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

Team Structure
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.

Defining 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 FranciscoAustin, 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.

Ask yourself:

  • 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:

Headshot (1)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.

 

Cloudwords’ New “Campaign Manager” Addresses Challenges of Global Marketing Campaign Management

 

Multi-channel product, brand campaign, event and other marketing launches have a lot of moving parts, requiring extensive collaboration among departments and teams, and can take weeks—more often many months—to plan and execute successfully. But when organizations launch a campaign in many global markets simultaneously on one launch date, the process is even more complex. Think about global tech giant Apple for a moment. There’s already a lot of buzz surrounding Apple’s next iPhone 6 release, generating speculation about the product’s size, features and rumored launch date in September. Their team has likely spent many, many months developing campaign assets and preparing them for localization in multiple languages to engage global audiences. For each region’s language, all touch points, from the website home pages, product landing pages, blog posts, emails, product specs, to videos, and more, must be localized and customized to be culturally-relevant for all target markets.

What does it take to launch a global campaign on such a grand scale? While many organizations’ marketing teams—and product launches—are smaller compared to Apple’s, regardless of size, enterprises all face similar challenges: How to manage the globalization of marketing initiatives for multi-channel marketing campaigns concurrently worldwide.

Introducing Cloudwords’ Campaign Manager
Addressing this challenge was the motivation behind Cloudwords’ newest product feature: Campaign Manager. Announced today, Campaign Manager enables marketing and product teams to plan, execute and track the localization of all campaign assets from a single dashboard, allowing senior marketers to more effectively and efficiently collaborate across departments and regions to ensure all content is localized and available to meet target launch dates.

Collaborate Toward a Common Goal: Global Growth and Engagement
Campaign Manager delivers new strategic value for Cloudwords customers. Now marketing leaders can manage the globalization of any type of marketing campaign from a single dashboard. Multi-channel, multi-geography campaigns can be developed and tracked to ensure projects are progressing on time and on budget. At a glance, users can monitor the overall campaign’s globalization process, and identify any bottlenecks, such as a French email and landing page translation that is late, or eBook content that hasn’t been reviewed by the China marketing manager, or web copy that is trailing in all languages, and take initiative to correct the issue before it delays the entire campaign’s launch date. This way, all of a campaign’s projects—website, landing pages, blogs, data sheets, sales collateral, etc.—can be ready to engage global customers faster. This means marketers can pull forward the growth potential of the various markets they’re supporting.

Cloudwords’ Campaign Manager also empowers marketers to optimize their entire campaign localization process by enabling them to track all campaign assets, measure actionable KPIs, and monitor spend. By giving marketers a strategic lens with which to view their campaigns’ localization process from a holistic viewpoint, Campaign Manager delivers improved productivity now to maximize efficiencies later.

Go for Maximum Impact
Fortune 500 and Global 2000 organizations worldwide depend on Cloudwords to accelerate the localization of marketing content, campaigns and conversations to engage multilingual audiences, increase demand gen, and generate revenue on a global scale. Whether your next global campaign will launch a new software application, promote a global conference, or announce the availability of services, Campaign Manager allows you to coordinate all assets simultaneously so you can reach your goals and your multilingual audiences more effectively. To learn more about how Campaign Manager can optimize your campaign globalization process, visit www.cloudwords.com/campaign-manager.

Campaign Dashboard

LocWorld Dublin 2014

the cloud blog croppedA couple of weeks ago, I was honored to be invited to join a session on the Cloud, and how it was going to change the face of the localization industry. A message stated often throughout the panel was: “The Cloud – it’s just easy.”  While true in most cases, that really isn’t the main point.

The Cloud has brought many benefits: connecting important value chains, transforming customer relationships, simplifying user experience, and accelerating internal operations. Yes, the cloud application provider can update code fast and frequently, but that’s not what the customer ultimately cares about.

For the localization industry, what customers really care about is this: how can your technology, and more importantly their experience with it, allow them to get better insight into actionable data, reduce manual tasks of their teams, and connect with each other and external constituents better, improve productivity, and ultimately improve their time to revenue and customer satisfaction.

In short, customers care about one thing – SPEED.  Speed to market, speed to revenue, and speed to solving their customers’ challenges.  Speed is the dominant attribute enterprise customers need to fully take advantage of global opportunities—even above cost and quality.  Just ask the team at Cisco – it seems Tim Young has presented on this fact in the last 8 Localization World events.  Cisco doesn’t put the plight of the service provider, translator or even project managers above their ability to serve their customers well worldwide.  So why are we as an industry still talking about these challenges? They are old, boring, and really don’t materially impact the customer buyer’s experience.

I would humbly propose that we focus on the broadest definition of the Cloud – as a technology advancement that allows us to help our customers get to market faster and drive more global growth. Here’s what it’s not:

  •  It doesn’t require Professional Services to benefit from the experience
  • It doesn’t take you weeks/months of configuration to get started
  • You don’t have to get IT involved

What does the Cloud offer?

  •  Immediate utilization, instantly provisioned for your use, without IT involvement
  • Always on, always available
  • Easy access for all stakeholders important to a process
  • On demand insights and analytics
  • Cloud-to-cloud connectivity to other technologies where content is created, stored and delivered
  • Automation of processes and workflows that let customer teams complete their tasks in, at a minimum, 50% less time
  • Makes the purchaser look like a hero internally – because of the improvements to key performance indicators for the company

LocWorld is always great to connect with those people who are truly passionate about localization, translation, and all things global. The cool thing about this recent event is that it indicated the industry will truly begin to embrace the power of Cloud technology and improve the entire experience across the global content supply chain.

We have a unique opportunity as an industry not only to continue growing at exponential rates, but also to make sure we shift the focus to the interests of those who are investing in, and using, our offerings.  It is going to require a bit of a refocus, but I think this first session at LocWorld Dublin was a good start.

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