There are many challenges with managing content on global websites, so anything you can do to increase collaboration and reduce the workload for other teams will be appreciated.
A variety of elements contribute to effective content on your market-specific websites, with much of the focus being on the quality of the translation and localization. Still, those are not the only factors for success.
While the quality of localization is important, other factors also impact the quality – ranging from content consistency to cultural sensitivity – each impacting customer engagement.
Beyond being a great way to manage content ideation and creation flow, globally focused-content calendars can benefit your organization in other ways.
3 Reasons You Need A Global Content Calendar
Reason 1 – Presenting Relevant Content
In terms of customer engagement, showing relevant content to the audience is one of the most important factors in engaging content.
Needless to say, not many people are interested in purchasing items that are not in season, so for example, promoting short sleeves and shorts during the winter in the Southern Hemisphere is never a good idea.
Reason 2 – Local Business Objectives
We also need to consider the business objectives to accommodate each local site’s marketing and promotional needs.
I often hear from local teams that their localized website doesn’t work for them. Yes, it is written in the local language, but the content is not designed or adjusted to the local market or does not align with their sales or marketing goals.
Reason 3 – Product Launches And Availability
Another key consideration for your content calendar is to account for market cross-over, where a new product is only launched in one market, but trade press may promote it, creating demand in other markets.
For example, if you sell running shoes and your newest model is worn by top runners in the New York Marathon, you can guarantee that it will be seen and wanted by runners around the world.
Markets must be aware of the launch and have a plan to try to deal with the increased interest even if the product is not locally available.
While the product may not be available in every market, you can create a signup or point them to similarly available products to capture this interest, rather than offering no information.
What Should Be In The Global Content Calendar?
I find it extremely effective to have and share a global content calendar, if for nothing more than helping to organize the content schedule for each site.
The global content calendar should include and align to accommodate:
- Seasonal differences.
- National holidays, festivals, and celebrations.
- Big vacation/holiday seasons.
- School calendar.
The products included may vary, but you can get the scale from centralizing similar messages.
All markets have back-to-school and similar holidays, so accounting for them helps ensure you have foundational content available as needed.
It also ensures you are not launching site releases or conflicting messages that may negatively impact a peak season in another region.
For marketing and promotional reasons, such as standardizing messages and ensuring content is available, it is also wise to include key events and activities on the calendar. For example:
- Events, conferences, exhibits.
- Products and services release.
You cannot stop people from talking across markets on social media. Hence, it is important that global markets are aware of key events and are able to leverage them to capture leads and sales, but also explain why similar opportunities and discounts are not available locally.
While not directly related to the actual management of content, it is also helpful to indicate planned website updates/release dates on the calendar.
This lets you know when you might not be able to update information on the website, ensuring updates are made prior to any blackout periods.
How To Use The Global Content Calendar
The purpose of having the global content calendar is to create an information source to give websites flexibility in showing the relevant content to each local country.
Based on the calendar, each site can identify which product and service pages to show on the top page – or to display at the top of the product pages and in the search results.
This process is about managing existing (localized) content to push on the website. Since there is no need for the local sites to create new content to meet the seasonal requirements, it minimizes the burden on the local teams.
There are some points to consider in order to keep the global content calendar effective and easy to adopt by the markets.
Make It Easy To Read And Use
While the calendar should include the information for all markets and websites, it can get unwieldy if you have many local sites.
Adding a filter function is a great way to make it user-friendly.
In addition, use color codes, symbols, etc., to make it easier to read and identify relevant opportunities for the users.
Show On/Off Dates
From the content management point of view, it is also good to show the dates when the content should be promoted and when it needs to be taken down.
For example, the date range for Mother’s Day-related items to appear on the home page, and even an email notice to the team to confirm it has been updated once the event is over.
Centrally Manage The Calendar
The calendar should be made available to all local teams. At the same time, it is generally a good idea to manage it centrally.
This does not mean the local teams cannot edit their local information.
By managing the calendar in one place, you prevent duplicates or different versions of calendars from being generated.
Content Flow/Process With Calendar
The calendar can also be used for other content-related work items, including prioritizing new content translation/localization schedules and releases and updates.
Even in a decentralized organization, some centralization of core content can save significant time and resources rather than needing to be created many times.
Organizing and projecting content needs in advance allows you to plan better for its creation and optimization.
By having your plans better organized, markets can take advantage of what has already been created or ensure that their unique needs are communicated and that content relevant to each local market is accounted for and presented in the best way possible.
Managing a global content calendar is not intended to disrupt the content workflow but to help organize it and make it more effective.
Most importantly, it ensures that what is created and presented in the local markets is the best to inform and engage the local consumers to drive sales.
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