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The founder of the content marketing agency on foreign resources Smile Bright Mediatalks about the budget promotion of a startup in the US, Latin America and Asia.
Going beyond the home market for any startup is not an easy test. You have limited resources, you know little about the specifics of promotion in new countries, did not work with local languages.
The task to reach even the smallest audience in different parts of the world without huge expenses seems impossible. In fact, with the help of content marketing tools, it can be solved at no extra cost. Today I will talk about how best to act in different situations, and what tools to use. Go!
USA: difficulties and ways to circumvent them
The leading country in the world, a huge market, fierce competition. That’s all you need to know before starting a project promotion activity here. What worked perfectly in Russia would most likely not work in America because of the huge competition.
If you can pick up online media on the Runet, send your column to the editor, get an answer and even publish it for free, it doesn’t work that way in the USA. Editors of popular online media are attacking hundreds of startups every day, so it’s very difficult to get their attention – there are even services that sell their contacts for money. And even if you manage to engage in a dialogue, the process of publishing a single article can take months. And no one gives guarantees that the material will be released in the right format and generally will be released.
A more effective way of content promotion in the US market today is to use the Medium platform in combination with some other social services.
To publish your content, you need to use “publications” on Medium – this is the name of thematic blogs and even entire media that have grown on the Medium platform. Moreover, the audience of such publications may exceed the number of readers of traditional online media. For example, here is a comparison of the popular Medium blog on the Hackernoon technologies and one of the largest media in the same field Venturebeat:
To search for popular publications, it is convenient to use the toppub site – and with it you can find blogs that are popular in the niche you need:
In addition, using the Smedian resource, you can find publications that are looking for authors and submit a request. One click, the editor’s approval – and you can send your articles for consideration in this publication directly from your profile to Medium. No need to even write to anyone. It is very convenient.
This way you can get a good reach – for example, here’s what the chart of the number of readers for one of the popular guides I prepared for Hackernoon looks like:
Using publications on Medium will allow you to attract a certain number of readers, but do not even neglect the independent promotion of content. After publication, get reposted (or, as marketers say, “sowing”) links to your article on various English-language resources.
The most obvious place for this is a resource called Hacker News . This is an aggregator of links to technology-oriented articles. The project was launched by one of the most famous start-up incubators Y Combinator, it is visited by more than 13 million people:
Good technology-related articles have every chance to get home and get traffic. Even a couple of tens of minutes on the main Hacker News will give you hundreds and thousands of visits.
And of course you shouldn’t forget about Reddit. It is, in fact, an aggregator-social network, divided into many subsections (subreddits) with its own audience. Not all of them can publish links, only text articles are allowed somewhere, but you can easily select several sections for PR of your article. This can be done using a simple Google query like “technology / keywords from an article in English + subreddit” – you will immediately be shown many articles listing the necessary subsections.
There are a lot of subdits on marketing, project management, usability and design – reddit covers all topics that the founder of a startup can only think about. As a result, the publication in Hacker News + several thematic subreddits may well bring several tens of thousands of readers.
Latin America: where to get content, how to promote it
If your team does not have Spanish speakers, you will need someone to help you localize the content. There is no need to invent anything – go to Upwork, where there is a huge selection of native speakers from many different countries. Publish the task and in an hour or two you will have about a dozen candidates, or even more.
Of course, you will get your content faster if you translate it into English – there are objectively not many Spanish speakers with good Russian knowledge.
After your content is ready, you need to publish it somewhere. The easiest and fastest option is to choose any free blog platform like Medium. Or, if you want to bring maximum traffic to your site, then create a dedicated version of the blog there and post texts there.
Two resources are perfect for “sowing” content:
- Taringa.net is a popular site aggregator in Latin America, with something like Reddit, more than 21 million visitors.
- Meneame.net – 9.5 million visitors.
Each of them can publish links and articles, there are no particular difficulties. Some resources, like Meneame, impose additional restrictions – for example, before publishing your post, you need to make 7-8 likes to posts of other users.
Thanks to the auto-translation function in Google Chrome, publishing the content itself also poses no difficulties:
In addition, there seems to be American Reddit subsections devoted to different countries – and the content in them is published in local languages. If the topic of your publication can be interesting from the point of view of such communities – for example, we somehow promoted the service of learning English, which many people need for work – it’s just necessary to use them.
Here are the subreddits to share your content with:
- r / aprendeingles / – section dedicated to the study of English;
- / r / es / – general Spanish-language subreddit, 14.3 thousand users;
- / r / argentina / – 92 thousand subscribers;
- / r / vzla / – section of Venezuela, 34.5 thousand subscribers;
- / r / Colombia / – 13.8 thousand subscribers;
- / r / chile / – 48 thousand users.
Using this almost free – except for the cost of localizing content – will allow you to reach thousands and tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking readers per month.
Asia: local languages + English
Perhaps the most difficult market for budget content promotion. However, the scheme that we used in Latin America also works quite well here. Thanks to Upwork, you can quickly find a performer who not only adapts your materials, but also helps with their sowing.
All this will cost you a couple of tens of dollars. Regular work in this direction can bring good results. For example, when we needed to bring Chinese users to the test for the Textly.AI English grammar checking service , we used the described scheme and in a couple of days received about a hundred registrations with just a friend of published articles.
Another not very obvious idea is that you can interact with Asian readers with the help of English! For example, in Singapore, Hong Kong or Japan, quite a few people know this language sufficiently to consume content. Therefore, there are fully English-language sites, such as Tech In Asia , which have their own programs for external authors (contributors). With a little luck, you can publish your materials there.
It is important to understand that the preferences of Asian readers differ from those of the West. According to our research , they prefer not quite short texts, as the audience from the United States, and materials of medium length:
Content marketing is not an easy way to promote, which does not provide instant huge returns. However, with a certain skill, experiments and time spent with it, you will be able to reach an audience in various parts of the world. And what is even more important for a startup at the beginning of the journey – with almost zero costs.
Such budget content marketing is an excellent option for testing hypotheses and attracting first users from new countries. Once you understand the preferences of potential buyers in the target countries, you will be able to more effectively use paid promotion tools in these regions.