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How to leverage the global freelance economy to scale content creation

Creating content in today’s environment is challenging for the typical brand marketer. People’s attention spans have, on average, fallen to approximately 8 seconds, which is below the recorded attention span of goldfish.

Naturally, marketers are challenged to retain people’s attention. But, perhaps even more taxing, marketers need to acquire people’s attention with limited time to have an effect.

It’s difficult to capture people’s attention, and even more vexing to instill brand name recognition every time you promote content to your target audience. Your goal as a brand marketer is to educate your prospective customers about your brand, your value propositions, and why they should purchase or subscribe to use your products.

That becomes a tall order to fill when you have, on average, 8 seconds or less to communicate your brand identity. That’s why today’s brand marketer creates campaigns with multiple touch points to consistently remind the target audience about the brand.

Consistency is the key word in that sentence. Content that contains consistent styles, designs, colors, or templates - essentially anything that uniquely describes your brand within a visual - is more likely to register with people across multiple touch points.

However, creating consistently on-brand visual content is time-consuming and potentially very expensive. If you really want to build connections with people in very localized markets, you need to create localized content that connects your brand to their communities. That means shooting visual content on the ground within the communities where you promote your brand. In the traditional sense, this means paying expensive travel and accommodation rates to create those localized assets.

Localized content is absolutely essential to resonate with today’s shifting consumption habits. Creating that content is the challenge.

Mobile Behavior Opens Virtual Borders to Content

The factor that most influences shifting content consumption behaviors is mobile. Mobile technology connects consumers of content with the brands that produce the assets regardless of their geographic location.

Did you know that nearly 4 out of 5 global internet users will use a mobile device to consume content this year?

Source:  eMarketer

Source: eMarketer

People enter social apps on their phones and are immediately presented with feeds of topical content. Social news feeds are populated by content from friends, followers, and brands alike. Mobile content consumption has facilitated Facebook’s growth into a platform with 2 billion active monthly users regularly sharing and interacting with content. This results in brands competing for attention using very limited real estate space.

The consumer is also in full control of their interaction with this content. A flick of the thumb dictates whether the viewer deems the content engaging or irrelevant. You literally have the time it takes someone to flick the screen to capture their attention and motivate them to engage deeper with your brand.

You need to create content that makes those impressions, and you need people who know how to create content that speaks to individual markets.

Global Content Won’t Capture Attention

Here’s what we mean by global content.

The idea of creating content that broadly appeals to customers anywhere in the world is a mythical and ineffective tactic. If you create broad global content, you’re really giving your followers material that’s bland and irrelevant at a localized level.

Localization is a more effective approach to content creation. People process information at a very localized level. They consume visuals from a very localized perspective. You need to factor those consumption patterns into your plans for creating content. Place yourself into the mind of your end consumer and ask yourself ‘how does this visual make me feel about the brand within my community?

This approach also aligns with mobile consumption. You need to capture people’s attention and motivate them to stop thumb scrolling on your brand’s content.

Localized Content Requires Localized Values

People’s values and perceptions are influenced by culture. This means that reactions to visual content will depend on the societal values shared within localized communities.

Say, for example, your brand is one of the world’s largest providers of household foods. You want customers in North American communities to enjoy your products but also appeal to people in communities across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Think about if you promote the same piece of content with the same type of food prepared in the same exact style across every continent. You can pretty much guarantee that you won’t see much of a return for your efforts. Suppose your office is in North America and, therefore, your primary target audience is based in North America. The cultural cues that trigger the interests of North Americans are completely different than people living in other countries around the world.

Someone who sees your content in their mobile news feeds in Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia will not respond in the same way as a North American viewer. You need to promote localized content into each community to truly have the effect you expect for your efforts.

Who Better to Create Content than Local Creative Talent?

Here’s the thing. You could fly members of your team out to each individual market where you want to build your brand and shoot localized content. But that is expensive, time-consuming, and not a scalable solution.

There are literally millions of people who work independently and offer their creative services to brands in need of content. Approximately 30% of workers in the US classify themselves as freelancers, and up to 30% of the EU15 workforce are independent contractors. These creative specialists are more affordable than agency representatives and can remove cumbersome workflows from your in-house talent to create content at scale.

On top of all that, your in-house teams don’t have on-the-ground insight into the cultural trends, styles, and environments that resonate with people who live in those neighborhoods. Creative specialists living in those communities, and raised with the same inherent values as the people you’re trying to reach, are far more qualified to create content that resonates in those markets.

Localized specialists are talented individuals who create custom high-quality visual content that can be used for numerous creative promotions. Why not put these talented specialists to work on behalf of your brand and create custom content at scale?

Connect with Localized Creative Talent Using Technology

Mobile isn’t the only technology that’s knocked down virtual international walls. Content creation platforms connect you with creative talent, regardless of where that talent is located in the world.

Platforms eliminate international barriers and allow for an efficient review of all content. This process optimizes workflows and streamlines the amount of time between ideation, brief, and delivery. You can connect with creative talent in multiple markets and scale content creation for numerous campaigns at once.

If you truly want to create social and digital content at scale, partnering with localized creative talent is your best opportunity to achieve effective results.

Ready to learn best practices on how to create custom content at scale? Download our “How to Scale Content Creation for Social and Digital Channels” eBook for insight and solutions to the real obstacles that limit your ability to create content at scale.