Scaling Content Across Regions Needs Strategy

In a global B2B marketing enterprise or a mid-size company with select geo locations, scaling content across regions is an ideal option to repurpose and reuse original content to broaden outreach to multiple countries.

If done right, you can get the most bang for your content buck. Why not?

Marketers are quick to jump to what to scale, how to scale, and who should make these calls.

These questions are important, but it’s important to start with a strategic discussion to get the ball rolling in a positive and sustainable direction before you get into the thick of scaling content.

Here is a quote from Henry Ford that describes the essence of global content marketing well: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

Once you make it a strategic discussion to rally the team, your effort becomes everyone’s effort.

No global content marketing effort should be impromptu or spontaneous.

Why are we doing this in the first place?

Wouldn’t it be nice if global branding were as easy as using a single piece of content across multiple regions seamlessly?

Unfortunately, it’s much more complicated than that.

Audiences in various markets around the world will have different pain points and goals, not to mention they may speak a different language, observe different cultural customs, etc.

All of those factors affect how a piece of content is received in various places. So, it’s important that we have strategic discussions about all of these factors as we create a scalable marketing plan.

In some cases, the products are vastly different, so you may need to customize the content drastically. In some cases, the products are homogenous, and the users all understand English (such as IT managers), so the content may be able to be scaled without much customization, translation or localization.

You need to think about content scaling from the perspective of products and audiences.

In addition, when we are asked to scale content across regions, we immediately focus on which content to translate, trans-create, or localize.

That’s fine when we are under deadlines. But the best way to scale content is to sit back and have a real conversation (or multiple real conversations) with relevant stakeholders or country marketing managers first.

A face-to-face conversation is preferred, but a conference call is also effective.

Either way, starting a dialogue with the intention of helping to address locals’ needs is the best place to start. Create a plan for a list of content to scale collectively, and then really dig into the strategy side before anything else.

I’ll highlight some key first steps to take and questions to ask below.

For clients:

If you are thinking of scaling content across regions, there are several steps that you should take before selecting content:

  • Identify relevant stakeholders; these could include business units, sales, marketing peers, research, and regional colleagues
  • Understand regional and local needs and concerns
  • Jointly agree on content marketing objectives and metrics
  • Identify a list of content to be created, customized, and translated
  • Determine who should do what
  • Follow through with regular communications, whether those happen in person or virtually

Identifying relevant stakeholders will help you get a lay of the land, so that’s a crucial first step as you plan out who to include in your planning conversations.

Once you’re able to connect with these key players, you should be able to better understand regional and local pain points and goals, which will help you tailor existing content (or create new content) with precision.

Assigning roles for who should do what (and when) will be useful in streamlining the actual process of scaling your content. This will help to ensure no one is stepping on each other’s toes.

And establishing regular progress meetings will help to keep everyone on task and on the same page.

For agencies:

If you receive requests from your clients to translate or trans-create a piece of content, you will be tempted to just start working on it.

Before going all out, you should make an effort to ask the following questions for maximum clarity and efficiency:

  • Why did you choose this piece of content to scale?
  • Was the decision to scale this piece of content jointly made by headquarters and regional offices?
  • What are key stakeholders’ feedback, especially regional or local partners?
  • What marketing objectives are you trying to accomplish?
  • How should we measure expected results?
  • What other content can we translate or trans-create at the same time?

It’s important to ensure the content being scaled is going to have an impact, so knowing exactly why clients have chosen certain pieces to get a complete picture.

Similarly, knowing who made the decision to scale each piece of content is critical because you may need to involve more people in the discussion to make a more informed decision.

Meanwhile, you should always know the “why” behind the choice to scale content; will it actually help to achieve specific marketing objectives?

And if so, how will you measure the success of the scaled content? You need to be able to quantify the effectiveness of your efforts, so make sure you nail those down before launching into scaling mode.

While you’re at it, these strategic discussions are a great time to talk about other pieces of content that might be ideal for translating or trans-create simultaneously. Again, this is all about efficiency and effectiveness.

Ultimately, scaling content across regions is just a collaborative tactic

We can select which content to translate, localize, trans-create, or customize at any time when it comes to regional marketing.

A lot of agencies or in-house staff are equipped to do all that.

Three questions will turn scaling content into a strategic discussion and make it a collaborative effort among key stakeholders.

That’s why it’s crucial to determine the following from the outset:

  1. What are the overall goals, and how do those tie in with your marketing objectives?
  2. What are the success metrics you’ll use to determine effectiveness?
  3. Who are you targeting (what segment of customers) specifically?

By answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what and how to scale rather than just going about the process blindly.

We’ve all heard the saying “work smarter, not harder.” While scaling content across regions always takes some elbow grease, working strategically from the get-go will maximize efficiency and effectiveness.

So, don’t skip these important conversations!

If you’re interested in learning more about creating a scalable global content marketing plan, I’ve got a guide complete with templates for you to check out.

I also break down how to find a balance between global marketing and local marketing efforts, which you can read here.

Let me know what you think. Reach out if you have any questions about scaling content across regions! I’d love to hear from you.

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