How Can Brands Manage a Global Audience?

April 20, 2016

Written by NewsWhip
feature image typing newswhip

The digital world has few borders. For brands, this means more people than ever can see their content from different regions and markets.

For global brands and brands looking to expand into new territories, there are a few considerations. There is a need to create content that best tells their stories, while appealing to each local audience and traversing language barriers. 
So how to do it? We took a look at our data to analyze the best ways brands are going global.

Consistent brand theme

Successful brands are those that can tell stories. Successful global brands are those that can keep that story consistent across the world.  
Coca-Cola has long been adept at promoting their brand globally. The famous “Hilltop” ad of 1971 painted a world of togetherness, happiness, and light-hearted moments.

Coca-Cola has had a long time to figure out the core themes of their brand. They use a ‘one brand’ vision that they use globally for their audience (including 97 million fans on Facebook).
Their current tagline, “Taste the Feeling”, is all about exploring the simple moments of happiness—a condensed message that is universal and easily be variated across markets.

This global storytelling keeps Coca-Cola consistent. No matter where someone is in the world, they can experience the same awareness and emotions around the Coca-Cola brand. 
Even small brands can see success this way as long as they have a defined focus. French confectionary brand, Michel et Augustin, has a natural, grassroots, “Ben and Jerry’s” feel.
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Part of their mission is to both “whip up simple yet gourmet recipes made from natural, quality ingredients often found in your very own kitchen” and to share their “funny, human, cheerful, sincere and a little crazy adventure daily ;)”.
This consistent brand culture has seen success. Michel et Augustin has successfully made it into multiple countries (and over 7,000 Starbucks in the United States).
For brands going global, it’s vital to reiterate your brand’s core message. Keep it as simple as ‘happiness’ or ‘authenticity’ and then go from there.  
Brands should strive to appeal to people regardless of where they are. Even the titular Facebook managed to distill the spectrum of human emotions into six reactions, so other brands should be able to find their key messages that ring true again and again.

Global but also local

Going local, globally, is another way brands grow their reach and build awareness.  
You’ve likely seen the posts floating around the internet about McDonald’s or other chains’ menus in other countries. You can order curry in McDonald’s in India, or oddly enough, churros in South Korea.
Even the design of your ‘glocal’ content can shift region to region. Asian content favors loud colors and multimedia, while Scandinavian markets lean toward more muted and minimalistic design.
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A bright, fun McDonald’s post from their Japanese Facebook page.
Facebook allows for brands to have multiple pages that auto-direct the user based on their country. This lets brands ensure that users are seeing the best page for them.
This also allows brands to customize local content around what’s important to that market’s culture. There can be content for important days and seasonal trends. Content can be tailored to reflect local tastes and what’s acceptable in the culture.
[bctt tweet=”For global success, brands can tailor their approach to each region’s culture and customs” username=”NewsWhip”]
Carrefour is one of the largest hypermarket and retail chains in the world. With different social media pages, they can engage their audience on a more granular level.
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After their home market of France, they are biggest in Spain. On their Spanish Facebook page, they engage their audience through a variety of ways, including recipe videos (always a hit!) with local ingredients and culturally popular dishes.
By reflecting the local culture while staying true to their brand, Carrefour is able to make a deeper impact on their global audiences. 

Tell stories that don’t need language

Brands that can rely on visuals are suited for a global audience. Food, fashion, travel, sports, and automobiles are the obvious sectors.
Mercedes Benz’s global Instagram channel boasts over five million followers to the US account’s one million. While captions are in English, the gorgeous photos and videos of the cars regularly get tens of thousands of comments and likes from a global audience.

And for sports, teams like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United have a huge international fanbase. The action of the game is the medium instead of language.
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Now with video being so prevalent on social media platforms, along with emoji, the pictures and videos can tell the whole story. Since video on social media is advised to be watchable without sound, the visuals can really take your message global.
[bctt tweet=”For global brands, visual mediums like video and emoji can help your content overcome language barriers” username=”NewsWhip”]
Not a visual brand? If you’ve distilled your brand message enough, there may still be ways to make your content truly global. Try Spike to start discovering your brand’s global potential.
Google’s Instagram account embraces everything that is Google: bright colors, innovation, and curiosity.

Very much about boosting brand awareness, Google’s Instagram channel captures the culture and mission of the brand well through visuals.

Back yourself up with the numbers

Making broad generalizations about a region is selling both that region and your brand short. Seek to make authentic content that has a real resonance with your audience.
How to do that? With the right tools and data, brands can create content for specific markets and manage their brand reputation across borders.
Our media intelligence platform, Spike, monitors millions of posts, stories, and video a day, from over 60 countries and in 30 different languages.
travel in Europe global brands
This panel shows the most-engaging travel content for the European region, and by English language sources. For travel brands, this can help them decide what trends to jump on with their own content.
You can dive into each different country or region to see the trending stories in that area. You can narrow your scope to a particular industry, or search for keywords and see how they perform across regions.
It’s a vital part of discovery for content that actually engages. Spike is also a great way to benchmark your own content’s global outreach.  
M&Ms in Spike
This panel in Spike shows the performance of M&M’s Facebook pages in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States across one week.
For brands, knowing both the numbers and your core content themes are invaluable for your marketing strategy. 
We’re advocates here of the brand newsroom. Creating content that meets your audience’s wants and also drives your brand globally? That’s a win for everyone. 

Want to start finding the content that will take your brand global? Try Spike free today


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