Visual content is a very subjective concept.
People have access to visuals regardless of where they live in the world. Thanks to mobile devices and wi-fi connections, any location where you can connect to the internet is an environment where you can view visual content at your leisure.
You can really say that mobile behavior and advancements in technology have torn down virtual border walls. People also have the freedom to consume content while on the go, increasing the amount of time they spend actively discovering new concepts or ideas.
What does this mean for you as a brand marketer?
Well, there are two trains of thought on this. Positively speaking, mobile behavior provides ample opportunities to connect with vast numbers of people living in any community. This alone improves your opportunity to fulfill one of your key brand objectives - generating greater brand awareness.
On the other hand, you need to recognize that people who live in one part of the world will perceive your content very differently than people living in another part of the world. If you take a one-size-fits-all approach to your content creation plans, you’ll quickly learn that decision is an ineffective one to implement.
To truly help your brand make inroads in various communities, you need to rethink how you create visual content and scale your new creative model.
Traditional Content Creation is No Longer Effective
This is the reality facing brand marketers everywhere.
Global content is a mythical concept and an ineffective tactic. Creating content for the purpose of reaching as many people in as many locations as possible will not yield the results you expect.
The fact of the matter is that global content is too bland for people to care about. There’s nothing that incentivizes people to learn more about your brand or enter the buying journey. As a result, the content fails to achieve any of your brand objectives.
Technological advancements empower everyone to interact with content in new ways. Technology gives the consumer control of how they will spend their time with content that appears in mobile news feeds. Millennials are particularly adept at taking control of how they interact with content, which is why traditional content creation is no longer an effective tactic for brand marketers.
Traditional Content Creation is No Longer Scalable
Since global content is a myth, how can you truly scale your content creation process?
If you go too broad with your content, you’ll fail to engage with any viable group of prospective customers. If you struggle to generate engagement and build brand awareness, what’s the point in creating all of that content in the first place?
Traditional approaches to visual content creation are not scalable. The fact of the matter is that cultural cues influence how people react to content, especially visual content. Visuals designed to reach target demographics in one geographic location will not have the same effect if you promote that content to markets in other parts of the world.
There are studies that analyze how people respond to visuals and changes to visuals based on a number of cultural factors. In some instances, participants live in communities that are very different from where they grew up yet their cultural values remain closely aligned to those shared back home. On other occasions, participants who strongly identify themselves as part of one corner of the world are compared with participants who identify with another part of the world.
The differences in reactions to content are very telling. People who identify themselves as North American typically notice if focal objects in content have changed. On the flip side, people with values closely aligned to Asian culture recognize when backgrounds within content have changed.
Why is this relevant for you as a marketer?
Those may seem like minuscule differences, but their impact on your plans for content is massive. You need to think about how people in a certain culture will register the types of content you create for your brand.
If the focus of your content is a focal object and you promote it to an Asian market, guess what? It’s less likely to be effective than a visual that encourages viewers to consume the entire landscape of the content. Similarly, if you deviate the focus of your content away from focal objects when promoting in North America, viewers become disengaged.
All of those factors explain why traditional content creation is not scalable. You need to position your brand into so many different markets that you can’t simply repurpose the same visuals for every one of your promotions. You need to create content that aligns with the cultural identities of each individual market you wish to entrench your brand.
To truly scale, you need to rethink how you create your content.
Localized Content Creation Scales with Effect
What do we mean by localized content?
There’s a big difference between creating content within your office and creating content on the ground in localized environments. Localized content is a visual representation of your brand’s connection to each individual market.
Visuals with a localized touch demonstrate to viewers that your brand is a part of their community and that you’re actively invested in the welfare of that environment.
Technology takes you local
While technology shifts the power of content consumption into the hands of the consumer, it also reinforces the power of content creation for brand marketers. You can use technology to extend the capabilities of your creative team and create more localized content at scale.
Use technology to connect with creative talent who live in each of the markets you want to establish or enhance your brand identity. These specialists are on the ground in these markets, eliminating the need for you to incorporate travel and hospitality costs into your marketing budget. Localized talent is also far more familiar with the local trends and hotspots than anyone among your in-house creative team.
Technology allows you to seamlessly connect with this talent and share your visual brand guidelines for agile creation and fast delivery of content. Partner with creative talent whose capabilities run parallel to your visual brand guidelines and you can truly scale the creation of social and digital visual content.
Are you ready to learn more about creating visual content at scale? Download our “How to Scale Content Creation for Social and Digital Channels” ebook for advice on how to streamline content production, align your content to overarching themes, and implement solutions that help you scale.