Content & Communication
On The Content Wrangler: Our world revolves around content. These days, buying decisions are often based on experiences not with products, but with information about products. People consume more content in more ways than ever. We have printed books, newspapers, and magazines. We have e-readers, smartphones, and tablets. We have TV, radio, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Hulu. We consume more content in more ways than ever before. […]
The following is an excerpt from Global Content Strategy: A Primer by Val Swisher, the third book in The Content Wrangler Content Strategy Series of books from XML Press (2014).
CHAPTER 1. WHAT IS A GLOBAL CONTENT STRATEGY?
Content. Our world revolves around content. These days, buying decisions are often based on experiences not with products, but with information about products. People consume more content in more ways than ever. We have printed books, newspapers, and magazines. We have e-readers, smartphones, and tablets. We have TV, radio, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Hulu. We consume more content in more ways than ever before.
No one can dispute the increasingly important role that content plays in our lives, our work, and just about everything we do.
Naturally, with the growing importance of content, a lot of attention is being paid to content strategy. This is a good thing. Companies need to stop throwing content out to the world without a good reason. They need to manage content strategically to contain their expenses, control brand, avoid confusion, improve search and findability, and more.
But what about global content? What about all the content that your company produces for people in other parts of the world? Content professionals who focus on in-country strategy, failing to think strategically about millions of words, images, and media that are destined for other languages and locales, do so at their peril.
According to Common Sense Advisory, in 2014, the translation industry (that includes both tools and services) was US$37 billion and growing over six percent per year. They predict that by 2018 the language-services market will increase to US$47 billion.
Companies that spend big bucks on translation need to spend time, energy, and money creating strategies to manage all that content.
Let’s start with a definition of global content strategy:
A global content strategy is a plan for managing content that is intended for people whose main language is something other than the source language.
COMPONENTS OF A GLOBAL CONTENT STRATEGY
A global content strategy can be broken into three parts.
PART I – UNDERSTANDING WHERE YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU WANT TO BE
- What are your goals for managing global content?
- How is your global content currently created and managed?
- How do you currently create and translate content?
- What content do you currently have?
PART II – ANALYZING THE GAP
- How far off is your current situation from your goals?
- How far off is your current situation from industry best practices?
PART III – MOVING AHEAD
- What do you need to do to narrow the gap?
- What tools and infrastructure changes do you need?
- How can you improve the quality of your source content before it is translated?
- What changes do you need to make to your workflow to support your global content strategy?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Here’s why should you care about having a global content strategy:
- You care about the money you spend translating content.
- You care about the quality of your content in all languages.
- You care about the time it takes to localize and translate content.
- Someone told you that you’d better figure out this mess (probably because of reasons 1–3).
Global content strategy is a large topic. Think of it as putting the topics of structured authoring, single sourcing, and web-content management into a global blender. Puree on high, then add those cumbersome tasks of tracking the number of languages, the number of translation vendors, the content created in other countries, and more. Garnish with a nice chunk of pineapple.[…]
The post Global Content Strategy: A Primer appeared first on The Content Wrangler.
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