‘Not invented here’ applies to content marketing too

October 21, 2015

News & Trends

By Anu Ramani

Anu Ramani is a specialist in international B2B communications.

More articles from Anu Ramani

In the tech B2B space, doing business today means crossing borders – and that goes for all sectors: sales, operations, and marketing – the company that is lucky enough to find all its buyers in one market is very rare. Take Isoline, for example, every single one of our campaigns covers multiple geographies and regions.

Tech B2B marketers are no different than the businesses they serve. Doing business requires crossing borders. Today in this field, campaigns small and large involve addressing target audience pain points, demonstrating service or product value and engaging prospects at different stages of the sales funnel – and this all depends on where your audience is located. Rolling out a single, undifferentiated campaign across all markets will at best not yield any results, and at worst can even put off audiences who may see your brand as an ‘outsider’ with no understanding of their specific situation.

Take marketer A, who is promoting a conferencing service platform. In the US, their messaging revolves around remote collaboration, promoting remote ways of working, and tapping into diverse talent located across the country. However, in Mumbai, this message will not resonate as much. Why? A range of other factors come into play such as limited/ unreliable internet connectivity at home and the prestige factor associated with comuting to work in the business district.

We call it the NIH (not-invented-here) syndrome – basically, an aversion to content that is meant for say corporate headquarters and fired out without any idea of the ground realities. Any advertising exec will tell you that different markets respond differently to creative ideas. Humour, for example, does not work across markets. As a result, tailoring content to the audience has been an established best practice in marketing for decades. Here’s what tech B2B marketers can do to easily incorporate it into their work cycles.

1. Understand the differences between your international audiences

One key thing to remember is that the way these audiences consume information is very different – and it’s not just about the language. Appetite for technical content, for instance, is completely different in – say China, compared to Spain. What works for one region isn’t going to work for another and it’s important to ensure content differentiation that caters to specific audiences. Engaging with local sales teams and attending local webinars and events is a great way to understand any customer imperatives. Creating different regional versions of the same report or white paper, for example, can ensure you reach multiple geographies effectively with limited extra effort.

Marketing platforms such as Salesforce and even social media channels like LinkedIn provide the granular filters marketers need to target really specific sectors, regions, and roles.

2. Ensure you cater to specific roles

Sales teams are highly sensitive to frontline realities and know first-hand the benefit of tailoring the product and message to cater to a specific audience. It’s something ingrained into you when you work in the marketing or content marketing space. But why do so many marketers still get it wrong? Time and again we see content specifically developed for a market such as the UK or the USA being distributed in markets in LatAm or Africa, with no regard for its relevance or suitability. The only outcome this type of blanket outreach achieves is rubbing the audience up the wrong way. This needs to change, or the business is at risk of quickly losing credibility.

If you’re writing an article for a fraud prevention website in Hong Kong that talks about the rise of fraud in the region, and you want to talk to a Hong Kong business audience, for example, you need to cater to that specific audience – here’s how…

  • First, your content should not be highly technical – you’re likely targeting CEOs or senior execs who will have extensive knowledge of Hong kong, but may have limited knowledge of the rise of fraud in Hong Kong. Make your content simple to understand and easy to digest.
  • Second, ensure any examples or case studies you include are specific to your target region. There’s little point in including a story about how a company in Europe lost millions due to SMS phishing. Your intended Hong Kong audience will wonder why you’ve included it – and the lack of specificity will not go unnoticed.

3. Research is king

If you’re new to catering to different geographic audiences and roles, don’t worry. Desktop research will become your new best friend. Find the key regional publications that publish articles for the sector your targeting. Look at competitors in the region too. What topics are they talking about? What sort of content do they post and how often? Find out what tech B2B buyers are looking for from content in our recent survey.

Discovery doesn’t stop at desktop research either. Uncover the experts and influencers for the region you’re targeting by watching webinars, listening to podcasts, or connecting with them on LinkedIn. Follow the discussions and groups they’re involved in – once you’re clued up enough, you can then participate in these, and in turn, others will start to recognise you as an expert in that very same field – it’s a win-win situation.

The road to success

Ensuring content marketing success is all about hyper-personalisation. The more you drill down into your target audiences’ pain points and how your product/ solution/ service solves these problems, the more engagement your content will get. This will result in more leads and inevitably, more credibility.

Need to learn how to personalise your marketing content for different markets and regions? Talk to our team of tech B2B experts to find out how we can help. Contact us at: [email protected] to find out more.

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