Multicultural Content Marketing: Three Universal Truths

The most successful brands have homed in on strategies that speak directly to the interests of their target audiences. But when that target audience is multicultural, it takes extra effort to create engagement and reach a variety of demographics.

Multicultural Content Marketing: Three Universal Truths

Customers aren’t just shopping anymore. They’re looking to be informed and entertained by content that’s fast, relevant, and personalized. The average consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content before deciding on a purchase, while 50% of consumers online spend their time engaging with custom content.

In response to this trend, many companies are shifting from simple advertising to publishing their own content. Whether it’s an eyeglass company releasing an illustrated book or an airline launching a travel blog, the most successful brands have homed in on strategies that speak directly to the interests of their target audiences.

But when that target audience is multicultural, it takes extra effort to create engagement and reach a variety of demographics. Content marketing can still do the job—but it will take some finesse.

Crafting Personal Engagement

Successful content publishers know they’re dealing with multicultural audiences, which requires engaging a variety of customers on their own turf. The best strategies seek to connect with multiple audiences without obvious pandering to any particular group.

Red Bull is one brand that hits multiple audiences with ease. The company’s posts about people doing exciting things, such as drag racing and surfing, cover a variety of cultures and locales while maintaining a cohesive theme. Today, Red Bull has more than 4 million subscribers on YouTube and a readership of more than 2 million for its magazine, The Red Bulletin. Meanwhile, the company’s content is reinforcing a connection between its brand and dynamic living.

The multicultural efforts that fall flat are often those that shoot for a single demographic and misjudge the potential response. Even earnest attempts to address diverse audiences can lead to catastrophic blunders.

As marketers, it’s essential to be cross-cultural, multigenerational, and platform-savvy while crafting a quality story for your brand. Here are three tips to achieve this balance:

1. Build Around The User’s Lifestyle

Learn the habits of the different demographics in your audience. For instance, Latin Americans, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans show higher mobile and PC viewership than other races. Asian-Americans and several other ethnic groups also visit social networking sites while watching TV. Companies targeting these groups should be optimizing content for mobile devices and social media with shorter copy, less distracting pop-ups, or faster page loads.

BuzzFeed is a frequent publisher of organic cultural content, packaged and ready for mobile and social engagement. The site posts short videos and digestible content, and in return, it has received billions of hits in the past year alone.

Quality content isn’t enough; build around how and when your target user prefers to access it.

2. Focus On Nuance

Not all members of a certain ethnic group feel or respond the same way to certain topics. While ethnic audiences are often deeply connected to their countries of origin, they may not automatically identify with content about their home cultures. Making assumptions like these can do more harm than good for your brand.

Western Union handles this well; its Facebook page has more than 6 million global followers, but it also creates personalized pages to cater to its largest ethnicity segments, such as India, the Philippines, Africa, and Latin America. These pages allow it to establish more nuanced content specifically for these cultures. There are tens of thousands of responses per post, allowing the company to generate conversations with consumers.

Focus on how a customer’s culture interacts with other factors like generation or income background. Figuring out what resonates takes a lot of testing and optimizing. Your company should seek a place of comfort where engagement is high and sentiment is positive.

3. Seek Them Where They Browse

Creating engaging content is only half the battle; the other half is optimizing reach. In most cases, it’s a mix of pushing content to the right audience, at the right time, on the right platform, and through the accounts of the right influencers.

For instance, nearly half of Asian-Americans actively search for cultural content or news from their home countries on social media. It might be tempting to reach out to them through Facebook or Twitter, but for Chinese users who stay connected to friends and family back home, Weibo and WeChat are where social influence abounds. Information like this can help companies reach consumers more efficiently.

Engage To Build Relationships

When targeting a diverse audience, it’s one thing to translate content into Mandarin, Farsi, or Spanish. It’s another to have users feel like content was written just for them. Go beyond third-party research and focus groups, and search for underlying insights to guide content creation.

Ultimately, the goal is to build a genuine relationship with your consumers. Building content that connects will always take you far.