In the past few years, the translation industry has engaged in a discussion about diversification, broadly understood as expanding your portfolio of services beyond “just translating”. Be it due to a multitude of passions, or simply interest in other domains, translators started offering services from coaching to websites, from design to DTP. Among other possibilities, content marketing has recently emerged as an interesting avenue to follow for professionals working with languages, including translators.
What’s content marketing?
Since 2012, content marketing has been one of the most dynamic branches of marketing worldwide. It’s aligned with inbound marketing, that is building a brand in such a way that visitors are naturally attracted to visit a website or read an article.
Content marketing isn’t aimed at selling anything to anybody directly. Some of the goals of a content marketing campaign may include increasing traffic, increasing brand awareness, expert positioning or user engagement.
Steps in a content marketing strategy
Establishing the main goal together with measureable targets is the first step to developing a content marketing strategy. Second, detailed market segmentation is needed to build customer personas. Content marketing is based on understanding the needs and expectations of the target market, and as a result leads to providing valuable content in an attractive form. Third, a content marketing strategy should be aimed at positioning every brand as “top of mind” for specific features. Finally, every content marketing strategy needs an editorial calendar, that is a detailed plan of actions.
Without a doubt, content is king. The majority of companies these days rely on this relatively cheap way of building visibility and attracting visitors. Translators who’re looking for areas into which they could diversify should definitely take content marketing into consideration.
At the moment, the majority of content is created either by companies themselves or is outsourced to marketing and content agencies, which in turn rely on a strong base of freelancers to help out especially with content writing.
What types of content could you create?
The types of content you may be required to create are as follows:
- Articles, news, blog posts – this is one of the most popular and easy to produce forms of content, aimed at presenting a topic in detail.
- Infographics – are all about presenting bits of information in a visually-appealing way, often accompany longer reports or pieces of research. Preparing an infographic would most probably require cooperating with a designer.
- Reports – summaries of research projects ordered or conducted by the client containing key data and its interpretation.
- Emails and newsletters – preparing newsletter messages for automated and mass-distributed bulletins.
- Press releases – usually concerning important events taking place within the business, press releases are aimed at generating interest among journalists and users.
- Guides and manuals – publications containing tips and best practices for users or readers in a specific area.
- E-books – longer pieces of text may be aggregated in an e-book. Companies nowadays are eager to share e-books in exchange for an email address.
- Videos – videos are increasingly gaining popularity as marketing tools. When comes to content, they’re most often covering a product presentation, webinar recording, or an ad.
- Games and apps – in collaboration with a programmer and designer, you may create interactive games and apps enabling users to interact with a product or brand.
- Folders or catalogues – digital or printed, folders and catalogues present the readers with details and main functionalities of specific products and services. The main goal is to increase user awareness before purchase.
- Case studies – within content marketing, case studies present real cases of how the product worked and has helped somebody else, as a result increasing credibility and reliability of the brand.
- Webinars – brands more and more often use live webinars to promote their offers. In here, you may be asked to prepare a suitable presentation or even present a webinar to the target audience in a different language.
- Contests – in the age of social media, contests run on Facebook or similar platforms are gaining popularity. In here, a diversifying translator may be asked to create the contest itself or help managing the audience speaking a different language.
- Social media updates – major brands maintain their social media profiles across different languages, therefore you may consider offering them a service consisting of managing these accounts on their behalf.
If you’re a translator, especially if you’re specialising in specific areas, you may consider expanding your portfolio of services to include creating content in a different language for your clients. Taking into account the fact that you’re equipped with essential target culture and market knowledge, you can always tell your potential client that your content is likely to be more effective.
Do you think this is an interesting area to expand into?
Image credit: Unsplash
Marta Stelmaszak is a Polish – English translator and interpreter helping businesses in Poland and the UK grow their businesses through better online communication. She graduated in Management, Information Systems and Innovation from the LSE. She’s one of top 15 freelancers in the UK as selected by IPSE. Marta runs the Business School for Translators, recently turned into an online course for translators, and has published a book, the Business Guide for Translators.