Why translating your content is killing your global content strategy?

global content strategy


Everybody want to be global, having a global influence we can get access to a bigger amount of readers, users and of course, clients. Using an online business we can go anywhere in the world and we believe that we have a global business. And don’t misunderstand me, potentially it is a global business, but not in the practice.

Let’s review in this post why so many digital companies and infopreneurs are leaving a lot of money on the table simply because they don’t take care of those people in different markets ready to pay for the problem they solve just because they are not engaging with them.

Online is not global

If you upload a content to the internet it becomes globally accessible, but it doesn’t mean that it becomes global in terms of impact and market penetration.

Coca-Cola is global because it is accessible in (almost) every part of the planet and they have a different strategy which affects to packaging, branding, cost, distribution, bottles size, the variety of products and of course, specific adverts to adapt the final product to every different market. This is the kind of “global” I am talking about.

Conversely, we can identify a lot of brands in a different range of industries that trade online via e-commerce and they are virtually accessible from any point on the planet. And they don’t do any relevant sales in their neighbour market, even if there is no problem about logistics and they translate the whole website into their local language.

Why are they not doing sales in the other market? The website is translated, is in the local currency, logistics are perfect and they are spending some money in online advertisement.

The answer is because all of these is not enough!

Online don’t mean global!

If you want to do global your brand you will need to invest in adapting your brand for the local needs even if you are trading online. Every market has a particular culture and peculiarities and if you don’t understand this you will never engage with your audience in any new market.

Translating your content is the worst global content strategy

Translating your content is the worst decision that you can make if you want to connect with a new audience, even if you subcontract translators to do the job unless you understand the audience in the new market and what are their pains translating is just a not human piece of content lost on the internet.

Sometimes is really hard starting again to discover who is your potential reader in a new different market when you already did the job years ago on your natural market where you are well known. But indeed this is a job that you have to do if you want to connect and engage with a new audience.

Let me show you how important could be a bad content adaptation to another language, or even to a different market using the same language. As a Spaniard we use in Spain the verb “coger” which actually means “to take”. Nothing wrong with that, “to take the car” or “to take the bus” or whatever.

But actually would have a funny misunderstand if we use the same verb in any Spanish-speaking country in Latin America, where the verb “coger” have a very different meaning (basically a sexual meaning). So you can imagine how weird sounds a guy from Spain saying “coger el bus” (take the bus) in South America.

Connecting with people from different markets implies understand different cultures, even if you are talking the same language like in Spanish.

Why should you adapt your global content strategy to other markets even if English is international?

Because in the countries where English is not the first language, there is a little percentage of the population who actually understand deeply in English your message. People want to engage with something only if they feel identify with that message, and nothing penetrates better and deeper than a message in your natural language.global content strategy

You are leaving a lot of money on the table

Let me tell you an uncomfortable truth about your work. In countries with a different language than English, other people is translating and adapting (or copying) your content and using it as an original content in a market where you are completely unknown.

In other words, using your content they are making the money in those markets that you are leaving on the table.

Let me talk you about an example, you probably know Brain Dean from Backlinko.com, he is a world reference in SEO. One of the most popular posts in his blog is one called Google’s 200 Ranking Factors, a very well ranked post. Let me tell you that in Spain not too many people speak English fluently, and somebody thought that translating this great post into Spanish will be a great way to create a completely new (but not original) post. You can check the post “Los 200 factores que Google tiene en cuenta para posicionar tu página” (200 factors that Google pay attention to rank your site).

Do you find some similarities?

I am quite sure that Brian Dean doesn’t care about that because SEO content is one of the most copied on the internet but this example shows how powerful could be adapt your content to a specific market and engage with a new whole audience.

Adapting is the key

Translating is not enough to engage with a global audience, you will need to adapt your content, your message, your voice and your products/services if you want to have a real impact in that new market.

Another great example of this is the Spanish market inside the US, which is around 41 million people. What if I tell you that the most popular infopreneurs and digital companies from Spain don’t make any relevant sales in the US?

Same channel, same language, but different country and culture, and the truth is that they are not engaging with a massive potential market with the same size as the whole population of Spain.


Quite often we think that global is anything that has a global access, which actually this is basically the new standard in the new digital economy Anything created in these days online have a global access, is nothing special in this.

Being online is not enough to become global and infopreneurs and digital companies have to invest a lot of effort in the next years to adapt their strategies to those key foreign markets where they want to be.

Or other sneaky local professionals will take advantage and stole the first positions as we saw before.

What do you think about this, tell me about where come from your audience and which strategies are you using to create new audiences in new markets?


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