Optimizing Content for a Worldwide Audience

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Content that’s worth reading is one thing. Content that everyone can read is another. Once it’s out there, content undergoes a very typical process, from which we anticipate and track its success. It gets discovered; it’s well-received and then it gets shared.

Whether your business is already global or about to launch on a worldwide scale, a key component of your growth strategy is producing valuable content that reflects the right tone and nuances of the target market. And it takes finesse.

Today, most companies realize that online machine translation doesn’t give them the quality and accuracy they need for negotiating important business decisions. Developing a partnership with a language service provider (LSP) has become more a necessity and less a choice. No matter what path your content takes- from writer to multilingual audience, however, it always begins in one language. Let’s have a look at the different types of content and how it can be optimized so as to reach and be read around the world.

Optimizing for Visibility

Attracting international users to read about your brand or product is the first step in converting them, and thus an important step in content strategy. SEO strategies, at an international level, are complex and challenging.

Translated websites must feature the right keywords across languages. Content goes much deeper than text that lives on landing pages. Optimize tags and meta-data specific to your target audience.

Where is your company logo on your page? Upper left placement is common for sites in languages that are written left-to-right. Arabic and Hebrew are among seven other modern languages written right-to-left script, therefore, in addition to the language content all product descriptions, images, labels, icons, and more should be mirrored to ensure targeted customer comprehension.

Choosing the right platform to promote or facilitate communication in different counties is very important. Understanding search engines and delivering content that gets ranked among them, is an art and a science. On-site contacts in target countries are a huge asset, though not always possible, especially for companies, new to the global game. Experts can help you navigate international search engines and work to get your content noticed by new audiences.

Copy and paste translation, done carelessly, has a negative impact in most international search results. In China, for example, the content must fall in accordance with the censorship laws and paid advertising requirements of the major search engine Baidu. Don’t assume that if Google likes it, Baidu or Weibo will too. The distinctions between platforms can make the biggest differences in SEO.

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Optimizing your Outreach

Every email you write, you tailor it to the recipient. Pretty simple. For emails that must cross the language barrier, it’s extra important to have the recipient’s experience in mind. In the translation process, the meaning of words is often lost, so composing an email must be done with consideration to details.

Salutations are the first thing they’re going to read so be sure to address customers with sensitivity to their culture. For example, in the U.S, it’s a nice personal touch to address someone by their first name, whereas, in Japan, introductions are made with last names plus the word san. An effort should always be made to convey these etiquettes.

Avoid idioms, slang and colloquialisms. Edit your email carefully, before it undergoes translation; these phrases are often overlooked and taken for granted.

Translating conversion buttons like “Sign Up” or “Subscribe” may be obvious. Don’t forget to translate the statements that pop up when clicked. Loading, and please wait, and redirecting must be readable, so the user doesn’t impatiently change his mind.

Optimizing for Social Review 

When your business takes the international stage, you want some international applause. Earning good reviews from multilingual users and then managing the reviews appropriately requires strategy. Brands can be built or broken upon customer feedback and testimony.

Encourage multilingual users to write reviews by streamlining the submission process. Nobody should have to learn to use it. It’s helpful to provide simple options. The first is an open-ended review- where they can free-write their comments or respond to questions provided. The second is a close-ended review, where users can click on the button to like or vote things.

Responding to reviews when they come back is essential. Work with LSP translation services and/or having an interpreter handy for the open-ended responses. The travel industry is a good example. Leah Preston, hospitality coordinator for staySky Hotels, puts it this way, “People work hard all year to afford a vacation, so businesses must make sure to deliver the experience promised. Connecting with guests before and after they visit allows us to understand the requests and preferences from different people all over the world and run our business to meet those needs.”

Similarly, businesses must pay close attention to the content that is getting shared that mentions their brand and respond appropriately. Use aggregate software to collect reviews, address concerns and answer questions, build international business relationships and thank customers.

Social media profiles should be accessible to multilingual users. Most companies collect feedback from their social media, so they should optimize their profiles in multiple languages to encourage multilingual engagement.

Say you make your business website available in the local language and it’s optimized with good content. Make sure it directs’ users to social media profiles in their local language as well. It’s unhelpful when a user reads only French and clicks to learn more about your business, and your profile is in English.

Content worth reading is cleverly catered to its readers. Content worth sharing is usable, understandable and valuable across multiple platforms and languages on a global scale.


courtney.capellan.headshotCourtney Capellan is a Digital Analyst for hotelmarketingWorks. When she’s not writing about marketing trends she enjoys writing fiction, practicing yoga and treasure hunting. Follow her on Twitter @courtcapellan

6 Simple Steps to Converting More leads into Opportunities with Lead Nurturing

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Hands up…

How many articles have you read on list building this year?

There’s no disputing the fact that building an engaged list of subscribers eager to hear from you, can do wonders for your business.

But, if you sell a high value product or service the chances are most of your sales will be done face-to-face and if that’s the case, how can you leverage those leads to create genuine opportunities for your business?

Lead nurturing is a process that allows you to send a series of automated emails to a lead in order to qualify them. They are ideal for leads that aren’t ready to talk to you right away; they help you educate your leads, build trust and credibility by reaching your leads at regular intervals whilst slowly moving them towards the next step.

So lets break down exactly how to create your first lead nurturing campaign so you can start nurturing more of your leads into prospects and opportunities.

Step 1. Start with the end goal in mind

John Jantsch has written a lot about the importance of creating either free or lower risk ways for your potential customers to sample your offering.

It’s a critical first step in creating opportunities for your business, if you haven’t created a ‘sample’ strategy for your business I encourage you to check out this post

Once you have created your sample strategy your goal is to drive leads towards this free or low cost ‘get your foot in the door’ offering.

Step 2. Review existing assets

Review all existing content that relates to the topic of your sample offering. These could be a mix of blog posts, customer success stories, eBook’s etc.

The goal of your campaign is to provide value, not sell. You’ll use these assets through a series of emails to incrementally give your leads more information and nurture them towards your desired course of action.

To start with I’d recommend starting with 4-5 offers.

The aim of the first two assets is to educate your lead – not on your product or service but on their problems, frustration and needs.

The first offer we’ll call this your ‘lead magnet’ should be a link to a landing page to trigger the initial opt-in and campaign.

Your final two assets should speak directly to how your service helps solve their needs, thus priming your leads for your sample offer.

Step 3. Determine the timing

The success of your campaign will depend upon the frequency of the emails, which will vary depending on your industry and business.

Best practice says that sending emails less than once per week is too frequent but sending them monthly is not enough.

The timing of your emails will depend on the sales cycle for your product or service. If the sales cycle is one month, your lead nurturing workflow might look a little like this:

Day 1 Directly after opt-in – welcome email direct link to download content

Day 1 Thank you & special offer – link to landing page

Day 5 New content related to first content – link to blog post

Day 10 Email customer success story, guide, tips, template or webinar – link to landing page

Day 15 Email your sample offering – link to landing page

Step 4. write your emails

Keep emails brief – no more than 200 words to start with. Each email should include:

From Name: ‘Your Name, Your Company Name’

Reply to email:  Email of ‘from name’

Subject Line: Keep it brief and benefit oriented – provide a compelling reason to open it.

Email Headline: The first two sentences should relate to the email subject line and provide information on the emails content.

Email Body:  Keep it short and benefit oriented, include a list of bullets if it makes sense and a visual to increase the perceived value.

Calls-to-action: Text based links to blog posts or landing pages.

Step 5. Promote the heck out of your content

To get the most out of your campaign, drive as much traffic as you can to your lead magnet and landing page. Place calls-to-action in your blog sidebar and home page, schedule a number of social media posts to different channels and consider using PPC ads or Facebook ads to promote your lead magnet.

And at launch give your other communication an editorial tilt towards the topic of your campaign.

Step 6. Keeping track

At the end of the day there are a few metrics that are important to the success of your campaign, measure the following:

  • Click-through rates – of nurturing emails.
  • New leads – subscriptions to your lead magnet.
  • Subscriptions from existing leads – opt-ins of your other offers
  • Sign-ups to your sample offering – duh!

stephen-mayall-marketing-consultantStephen Mayall is a marketing consultant and coach at New Edge Marketing . He helps B2B businesses generate more leads, create more opportunities and drive more sales. Make sure you drop by and say hi on Twitter  and Facebook

Offer These 3 Templates Free and Generate Leads for Your Business

Who doesn’t like the word “template” and “free” in the same offer? Templates mean that someone has started to do the work for you, so you’ll probably just have to shape it a little to make it what you want. This is a huge time-saver for anyone who is running their own business.

And “free” well, that’s just an amazing thing for any business owner who doesn’t have enough dough to do all the things they need to.

We use templates all the time at my startup Dasheroo. In fact, we use them so much we thought it would be great to offer them to our users as part of our business dashboards offering; save time with our dashboard templates instead of starting one from scratch.

The important thing about offering a free template is that you’re going to want to get something in return, and that’s typically just a little bit of information. You’ll either want to “gate” your template so that before your prospect can download it they at minimum provide an email address, their business name and their name, or you might consider emailing them the template in a document or a PDF so that you’ll get a working email address.

Here are three ideas that might work, or spark an idea for you depending on what type of business you’re in. 

Marketing Calendar of the Month Template

This is the gift that keeps on giving: a ‘Marketing Calendar of the Month Template’. In a calendar template for a given month mark all of the activities a business needs to do around specific holidays and events.

Your prospects should be sending email marketing campaigns all through a back-to-school season if they’re a small retailer. And they should be putting offers out every day for the 12 days of Christmas on social media. Also, if you cater to multiple industries that have different seasonal offerings, you can have multiple templates that conform to each one. Now each month you’ll be able to be in front of them with something of value!

Here is a great example of one I did of a winery marketing calendar:

Free Return on Investment Template

This is great for business consultants, financial consultants and marketing consultants to offer.

In a spreadsheet include line items for metrics like total cost, cost of marketing, revenue, gross profit etc. You’ll probably want to use excel for this and lock down some of the cells. Enable people to change their own “drivers” so they can input their own business metrics.

Here’s a great example by Hubspot and they ask for your information before they let you download it!

Free Email Marketing Templates

It’s always easy to edit something that exists rather than starting something from scratch, and this is an easy one. Write email templates for your industry (or locate them on the web). They could be in the form of thank you emails, confirmation emails, invitations, sales even newsletters.

For an example, Copyblogger has some well-written email templates. Combine that with nicely designed email templates from Campaign Monitor or Mailchimp and you’ve got yourself some great emails.

One very important thing, make sure on each template you’ve hard-coded your brand, logo and all contact information so that if your template goes viral, they’ll know where it came from!

headshotJohn Hingley brings 20+ years of sales & online marketing expertise with analytics-driven decision making & business savvy to help dozens of companies like Softkey, The Learning Company, Mattel, Wine.com, Chandon & VerticalResponse gain market share.  He founded social media analytics company Andiamo Systems, acquired by Techrigy, Alterian and later HP. Currently John is a co-founder and CEO of Dasheroo, business dashboards done right. Now you can track all of your important business metrics from social networks, email marketing, web analytics and ecommerce in one place, free, see for yourself.

7 Golden Rules for Community Engagement

7 Golden Rules for Community EngagementSocial media is like the original “frenemy.”  It can be a great resource, while also being distracting.  The difference between leveraging social media and marketing for a successful business and stagnant consumer response is the degree of community engagement.

The digital space is an inherently collaborative one; once you’ve set up a strong online presence in the milieus your target audience frequents (i.e. a Facebook business page), it’s time to produce more participation within those communities to meet your marketing goals. Here are seven key guidelines to help you in the process:

1. Feed your team.

A company trying to create great content and juggle multiple marketing channels can easily burn out if the team isn’t feeling connected to the message. Embrace the diversity of perspectives, strengths, and interests within your team while asserting shared goals and strategies for social media.

If you’re having trouble managing the different projects, look into helpful tools like HootSuite to assist with deadlines. The trick is to find a balance between structure and improvisation. Use group brainstorming sessions, acknowledge different learning styles, and keep an eye out for fruitful collaborations.

2. Mix it up.

Social media is a blend of stimulation and substance. Though you don’t want all fluff and no substance, you also don’t want convoluted or boring content. Use videos, images, quotes, and links to brew dialogue.  Variety is essential to engaging your audience.

3. Say something meaningful.

Give your target audience some thought and then find a way to share your message in a way that is inviting, accessible, and easy to share.

You may find that audiences in different networks have different interests.  For example, your Twitter following may want cutting edge industry updates while your Facebook followers are hungry for contests and interactive polls.  Adapt to your audience.

4. Shift the focus (at least a little) from promoting yourself and your business to creating value.

To be safe, make most of your content a reflection of the causes and expertise you’re passionate about.  Whether you’re distributing emails or writing a daily post, let 80% of the content be non-promotional; the other 20% can be used for your company’s upcoming events and deals.

Generating robust conversations and providing excellent commentary results in lasting relationships, good reputation, and increased ROI.

5. If updating regularly on several networks is overwhelming, create a schedule to follow.

There are several resources, like HootSuite or HubSpot’s social media tool, to help you organize what you’d like to publish and share, and when.  Use an editorial calendar to track frequency.

Getting organized makes the task more manageable, but leaving room for spontaneity is helpful too.  Social media takes place in real time, and you want to promptly share relevant news stories or popular circulating memes.

6. Let your audience “shine.”

Part of the appeal of social networks is the opportunity for self-expression.  Create a high trust environment where people feel comfortable sharing their views and experiences.  Everyone has an extraordinary story. Make the personal connection and be willing to hear it.

7. Use your time wisely.

Social networks can facilitate convenient and swift exchanges of ideas, but they can also be platforms for idle chatter.  To get a better sense of which network will be the most profitable, draw on your analytics data; it may turn out that Facebook is where you find the most engagement, and though you may still want to maintain your presence on other networks, it may become clear that the most efficient use of your time is maintaining momentum where it’s located.

Community members and customers don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  Through consistency, flexibility, and character, your business, and online presence can be part of a vibrant conversation as well as a profitable venture.


Emily ProfileEmily Hunter helps clients shine as Outreach Coordinator of the Marketing Zen Group. She loves designing strategies with her team and is excited about spreading the Zen gospel. In her spare time, she cheers for Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, creates her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen



5 Social Media Marketing Tips For Home-Based Businesses

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A home-based business might not have the resources and budget of multinational corporations, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot capitalize on the power social media provides. Social media can influence opinions, create buzz, and connect an entire community around your brand.

What’s important for you as a business owner is knowing how to put into action the social media practices proven to boost your home-based business and its online presence. Forget about expensive marketing campaigns, and certainly leave video marketing to those who can afford it. Social media is an inexpensive and sustainable way to market your home-based business. Here’s how.

Not all social media outlets are created equal

Social media tools lend themselves to short-term marketing. No matter how well-planned a campaign might be, it is meant to be short-lived. The most critical Twitter and Facebook engagement happens in the first hours of getting something out there. These are the “make or break” hours for most social media campaigns.

If an email newsletter sits unread in your subscriber’s inbox for more than 2 days, there’s a good chance it will end up in their trash bin, still unread – or worse, flagged and routed to their spam folder.

The key with social media marketing is to tailor your message for each medium. Pinterest is all about the visual focus and impression it sends out, Facebook is where your product will be talked about, and email marketing is where you have a chance to lure potential clients into a purchase. The key concept here is to adapt your marketing message for each social media aspect for better conversion rates overall.


Newsjacking is a concept invented by David Meerman Scott. His book “Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage” is simply genius.

In order to get that much-needed engagement in social media all you need to do is to tie your product to a breaking news story and put the two together to increase brand awareness. Basically, newsjacking taking advantage of the media coverage the news story is already enjoying.

By associating your business with the going-viral news, you increase your chances to get more coverage yourself. The shortfall of this marketing practice is that you need to act promptly. No, correct that, not promptly, but with hyper-speed. You need to get to newsjacking during the first few hours of the news story if you want to fully exploit its media coverage.


Don’t try to implement the same marketing strategies big names are using. They have marketing experts and whole teams of creative minds behind these campaigns and they obviously can afford to go big.

What you need to do is to narrow down the focus of your marketing strategy to amplify its impact. Your home-based business brand needs to be focused solely on its particular niche. If you promote your business by highlighting its uniqueness, you’ll tempt more people into considering doing business with you.

Smart Networking

For your social marketing efforts to pay off you need to capitalize on who you know. Especially if your business is just getting off the ground, it’s important to connect and establish relationships with people that are in your industry and are great influencers.

Connecting with influencers is the easy part – the more time-consuming and difficult part is getting them to notice you.

You can achieve this by creating informative and authoritative content they will find useful. Needless to say, good writing skills are essential, because a sound vocabulary, good knowledge of grammar, and flawless spelling will help your content shine through and get these influencers to share it with their extensive audience.

Be Reciprocal, Be Grateful

Online relationships won’t replace real-life ones any time soon, but that doesn’t give you the liberty of overlooking others’ efforts. If another business or client buys from you, you need to reciprocate. Acknowledge their contribution or purchase in their community, offer them a discount, and spark a conversation to see how satisfied they are with your business. Build relationships of trust and mutual giving that will eventually lead to the growth of your home-based business.


0d0c3a2Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of 7 Speed Reading which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.