By Fatima Zehra, special to The Content Wrangler
Joe Pulizzi, author of Epic Content Marketing and founder of Content Marketing Institute. He’s right, because you won’t find many books like Global Content Marketing. It’s an intermediate level book aimed at content marketers with multilingual or global audiences.Quick Summary: “Few people understand cross-border content marketing as well as Pam Didner,” says
Author Pam Didner builds on Amanda Maksymiw’s definition of content marketing to explain global content marketing:
“Global content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content with target audiences across countries with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers globally.”
Pam’s book is a crash course in global content marketing, chock-full of practical tips, advice and real-world knowledge. It has a deceptively simple title for a book in which she has distilled her years of experience as global integrated marketing strategist at Intel.
Global Content Marketing doesn’t linger too long in the realm of theories. Instead, it delves quickly—and candidly—into hands-on tips gleaned from Pam’s extensive experience. For professionals in the field, that’s gold.
Global Content Marketing is about Connecting the Dots
Pam says she believes there is nothing new under the sun. In today’s content-rich world, the ability to connect ideas and experiences is a prerequisite for marketing. Recycle, repurpose, repackage—these threads run through the book.
In order to connect the dots, however, you need to know where and what the dots are. According to Pam, the ‘granddaddy’ of all marketing plans (will come to that in a bit) reveals core relevant dots. She insists that you think of the multi-use potential of content.
To Lead is to Serve
The beauty of Global Content Marketing lies in making it a point to highlight the people behind the scenes — who they are, what they do, and how they should handle communication and compromise while working through the complex processes from strategy to execution — across multiple time zones, languages and cultures.
The book never loses its grip on the subtleties of the human element. On a global scale in content operations, the tug of war between headquarters and local regarding who will take the lead never goes away, so “the task is to understand what to centralize and decentralize.”
It’s critical for successful global content marketing that local/regional teams work together with headquarters. Pam breaks down the roles at all levels of the global hierarchy, claiming at the outset that the role of the headquarters is to ‘serve.’
In the real world, the hierarchy is fraught with difficulties that Pam sums up in a witty analogy: “Staying together as a global team is like maintaining the relationship of a married couple who don’t live together.”
The 4 Ps get a makeover
According to Didner, from the original 4 Ps of McCarthy (product, price, promotion, place), to Lauterborn’s 4 Cs (consumer, cost, convenience, communication) and then Rethinking the 4 Ps by Ettenson et al (solution, value, access, education), the essence does not change.
Didner has adapted these marketing 101 concepts and developed a comprehensive model for global content marketing. At each stage, Pam dishes out a wealth of useful advice to corporate and regional marketers, as well as agencies. This is the most important takeaway from her book.
A plan is documentation of what’s been planned. Planning, on the other hand, is an active way of discussing the goals, objectives, strategies, and tasks that need to be accomplished. Pam’s process expands on a rock-solid footing she calls ‘the granddaddy of all marketing plans.’ This plan entails elements like business and marketing objectives, competitive landscape, customers and audiences, as well as priority countries and/or regions, among other things. The ‘Plan’ stage is where you crystallize objectives, metrics, tools, etc. in cohesion with the big marketing plan.
Pam lays down eight steps for global content production starting from target personas and brainstorming of relevant topics to publishing the content and creating a content kit to share with the local teams. There is strong emphasis on carrying out a content audit, both internally and through an unbiased third party, to discover content gaps that need to be covered.
The ‘Produce’ stage discussed original content. At the ‘Promote’ stage you can mix original content with curated content. Pam elaborates on the four steps of the content promotional process and how to scale globally.
Content can be difficult to measure as it tends to be viewed as an enabler and not an outcome. Pam’s take? Understand your reasons for creating content and how that content relates, directly or indirectly, to your marketing objectives. Didner compels her readers to rethink their approach and ask questions differently—to help them make the case for content marketing’s return on investment to the C-suite.
Didner rounds out her book by proactively analyzing the challenges and opportunities that the future holds for global content marketers. So whether you’re an entrepreneur, a company or an agency, do yourself a favor: Get this book and keep it nearby.
Remember, it’s people who make global content marketing successful. You can do it too. And if something doesn’t work out, keep trying until you succeed. Like Pam says, that’s OK.