7 mistakes to avoid when internationalising your content marketing

24 November 2022
4 minutes

In this blog, you’ll discover:

  • Why a nuanced, professionalised international content strategy matters
  • The most common mistakes that can slow down your international content strategy
  • Tips for how to avoid them when internationalising content marketing 

1. Not working with cultural insiders when internationalising content marketing

Let’s just face it: there is no way to effectively expand your content to a new national market unless you are working with content creators who grew up in that country. If you do not work with native speakers and cultural insiders, your content will never feel authentic to local audiences. That’s why the first step to internationalising content marketing is to bring local talent on board.

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2. Not localising brand and product names

Marketing history is filled with brands who thought their brand and product names were strong enough to cross international boundaries – only to find out that they were all wrong. It’s important not to overestimate how recognisable a brand or product name may be to local audiences. If you’re using English words in your product names, for example, then this may work well in some countries, but may fail to resonate in others. Do your research, work with locals, and see how your competitors approach this.

3. Not choosing the right keywords

Keyword research is crucial to any online marketing campaign. And when expanding into internationalising content marketing, it’s important to choose the keywords that truly resonate with your local audience. This is another case where you’ll need the help of a local cultural insider. Be sure to have a native speaker of the local language check your keyword matrix to ensure you are using authentic keywords.

4. Not choosing the right channels

Online behaviour varies greatly from one country to the next. Each country has its most popular social media platforms, and some countries are more mobile-oriented than others. Be sure you’re up to speed on where local audiences are spending their time online, so you can target them in the most effective way. If you’re expanding to a predominantly mobile market like the UK, make sure all your content is optimised for mobile.

5. Treating all new markets the same

What works in one country may not necessarily work in another when internationalising content marketing. Take a nuanced approach and create separate campaigns for each country. Some international marketers divide local markets into 4 categories:

  1. Regions that have the same native language as your brand
  2. Regions that have a different native language but are culturally similar and open to your brand, as long as key information is effectively translated or at least available in English
  3. Regions where the language barrier is high enough that you need to translate and localise most content, including your product information and UI
  4. Regions where you can only do business if you fully localise all material

Try segmenting your local markets according to this model and developing an action plan for each different category.

6. Choosing the wrong tone of voice

The business environment can vary heavily from one country to the next. It’s important not to overlook cultural differences when it comes to choosing the right tone of voice. While your brand’s fun, informal tone may be appreciated in your home market, it may come across as insincere or unserious in other markets, for example. In many languages, you’ll also need to choose between using a formal or informal tone. This is something that only native speakers and true cultural insiders can help you determine.

7. Failing to generate local visibility for your website

Lastly, it’s important to truly immerse yourself in the online climate when entering a new market. Be sure to build citations on local listing sites like Google Places and Yelp (again, choose whichever sites are most popular in your new market). These can help boost your website’s local visibility. Even better, try earning backlinks with authoritative local sites (especially .org and .edu sites). You can use backlink monitoring software to find clues into how your competitors earn backlinks locally.

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Tapping into the power of local talent

As you can see, building a local presence relies heavily on working with native speakers and cultural insiders. This is why the content creators at Contentoo only offer services in their native languages. Our customers know that they will always get authentic, native content when working on our platform.

It’s also important to remember that successful SEO content always starts with adding real value for your customers. Be sure to check out our related posts for some top tips to creating excellent content and smart ideas for improving the quality and performance of your content

If you’d like to learn more about our unique approach to content marketing, please download our E-Book on the state of content marketing and contact our content advisors today to book your free demo.


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