Brands building a global social content marketing strategy need to focus on in-depth transcreation rather than simply translate posts and Tweets in order to engage with regional audiences effectively. This was one of the key takeaways from the Marketing Technologist Forum 2017, which took place in London last week.
Many enterprises now want to go global with localised content to reach overseas markets, but marketers are often unaware of the extra work involved in tailoring a content strategy to overcome common obstacles such as language and culture. Leading figures at the marketing event revealed that a total rebrand, region by region, may be required to really connect and engage with overseas consumers.
Tom McLoughlin, Head of Social Media at Hotels.com, said that the travel enterprise has redesigned its logo, changed its strapline, dropped its mascot and optimised content for social differently depending on the region. It has also changed its brand name entirely, as the word “hotel” doesn’t make sense in some languages.
“A global brand needs a unified [social media marketing] aim, but not necessarily a unified campaign, as each region is different,” McLoughlin said. “For the US market, we’re quite fun and playful on social media, but [we adopt that approach] less so in Japan.”
Casey Winters, who works as a growth advisor for Pinterest and other brands, echoed McLoughlin’s sentiments and went on to say that a simple translation service isn’t enough to win over new markets after brands switch their attentions to overseas territories. He added that transcreation and the ability to ensure that content, tone, style and intent are communicated effectively for each region is critical to engagement.
In addition to creating bespoke content from the ground up, Pinterest also overhauled its onsite discovery engine so that it could serve up local content to users in their native language and prevent them from being exposed to news, articles and images that don’t align with their culture. Winters added that the entire process of optimising content is important when targeting each new country and that brands should aim to connect rather than project their image to best suit target audiences across the globe.