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Taking Your Renewable Energy Content Strategy Global

By Carrie DagenhardMar 10, 2016

global-energy-content-strategyYou’re excelling in content development. Every campaign you launch is a home run and every piece of content you publish is a near instant hit. Your brand is enjoying engagement in record numbers, leads are pouring in, business has never been better and your sales team finally agrees that, just maybe, those marketing dollars were well spent after all. You’re feeling invincible.

And now your boss wants you to take your renewable energy content strategy global. Gulp.

For most alternative energy companies, expanding into global markets is an exciting endeavor—a new level of success. But the news can bring about mixed feelings for the marketing department. On the one hand, you’re excited for the opportunity to flex your marketing muscles and share your brand’s sustainability message with a larger audience. But, on the other hand, it’s nerve-racking as hell.

If done well, you can …

  • Help your brand achieve worldwide recognition

  • Launch unprecedented traffic and demand

  • Expand your resources




If done poorly, you could ...

  • Inadvertently offend people of other races, cultures and creeds

  • Make your brand seem disconnected

  • Ignite a trend of distrust


The good news is it doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. Today, we’re going to take a look at how you can successfully launch a global campaign that yields improved engagement and helps you expand your already well-loved brand.

Here are the three steps to make this happen:

1. Identify Your Goals


As is the first step in any strategy, you must start by determining your short-term and long-term goals. What do you hope to accomplish through content marketing in the next quarter? Next year? Next three years? Make sure your goals are both realistic and quantifiable.

For example, let’s say you’re a solar panel manufacturing company targeting small to mid-size businesses. Your goals may look something like this:

  • Q1: Launch educational Solar Panel ROI campaign to North America. Generate 1,000 downloads and 50 SQLs.

  • Year 1: Expand to Asia-Pacific region. Grow leads by 20 percent overall.

  • Year 3: Expand to Europe and South America. Grow leads by 50 percent. Boost client retention by 10 percent across all markets.


Having these clean and easy-to-communicate goals as your foundation, you can begin developing your strategy.

2. Devise a Realistic Plan


Now that you have your objectives in mind and you know what success looks like, you’ll need to determine what it will take to achieve these goals. This is, admittedly, a little challenging. After all, while sentiments are quickly changing, you’re still tasked with achieving buy-in from those who see renewable energy as idealistic and impractical. And while some markets already embrace these concepts with open arms, others may be apprehensive.

But here’s the silver lining: Once you’ve developed your plan, you can use it as your template for all global campaigns moving forward. And as you see your content strategy come to fruition, you can identify the areas of opportunity and continually work to better align it with the buyer’s journey—much like you’ve done with all your most successful campaigns thus far.

Only, now, there are a few more things to keep in mind. Such as …

  • Will my current tools, processes and resources be enough?

    Expanding into a second market can mean doubling your workload. Do you have what it takes to meet these growing expectations, or will you need to add new resources to meet demands?

  • How do I go about hiring local content creators? 

    Few people are going to nail perspective and adequately address pain points quite like someone who is living and working in your target market. Having a local content creator can do wonders for helping lead your brand into this new territory. If you can’t hire someone onto your team, consider a freelancer or, at the very least, a consultant who can review your work and let you know whether you’re on the right track.

  • Which content will be created locally and which will be transcreated?

    In some cases, you most certainly need a native writer or editor. In other cases, you can take the content you’ve already created and have it professionally transcreated, or adapted into another language without losing its style, context or intent. Keep in mind this must be done professionally—Google Translate doesn’t count. (Instead, check out services like those offered by Lionbridge or TransPerfect.)


Sussing out your workflow will help you identify where you need new resources and what you can manage yourself without losing quality.

3. Make Sure Both Topics & Language Translate Appropriately


Throughout most of the United States, we recognize December as a colder month. If we saw a seasonal video showing the power of wind energy in heating homes for the holidays—complete with snowflakes, cozy fireplaces and people clad in boots and scarves, it would make sense. But, for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, December looks a little more like this:

via GIPHY

In other words, if you’re trying to resonate with an Australian market, you may need to shift your theme.

But, of course, there is a lot more to consider than weather. You’ll need to tap into local pain points and challenges, as well as cultural needs and expectations, to make sure your messaging is relevant and answers key renewable energy questions.

How can you achieve this? Here are three methods:

  • Research (and lots of it)

    Become an expert on your target market. What sorts of current events are making an impact? What, from an environmental standpoint, are people concerned about most? What does day-to-day life look like, and what problems do people expect a renewable energy company to solve?

  • Tap into internal resources
    
Are there employees at your company who have lived, worked or have relationships with people in the region of your new market? If so, discover what words of wisdom they may have to share.

  • Create separate buyer personas
    
Because socio-economic situation and work-life experience can vary greatly between regions, it might make sense to create buyer personas for each new market. For example, while a prospect in Los Angeles may be primarily concerned with how quickly she’ll see ROI for a set of solar arrays, an investor in rural Ireland may be more worried about how a panel installation will affect his farmland.


Taking your alternative energy content strategy global can be daunting—especially if it's your company’s first foray into new territory. By laying out your goals, devising a well-organized plan and making sure you fully grasp the cultural norms, needs and expectations of your new market, you can create content that spans continents and aligns numerous countries around the drive for a cleaner, greener future.

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The Author

Carrie Dagenhard

Carrie is a seasoned content strategist who worked as a department editor and music journalist before making her foray into inbound marketing as a content analyst for a web development and SEO company. Carrie works hard at crafting the perfect content strategy for clients and using her hard-hitting journalism skills to tell your brand’s unique story. Outside of the office, Carrie enjoys live music, Tex-Mex, exploring the city with her husband and attempting to win the affections of her two terrible cats.
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