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How Lee Densmer, Globia, Creates Global Content
Find out how this global content marketing expert approaches her work
Welcome to a free edition of the Content Captains Newsletter where I answer your questions about creating content, generating traction, and becoming a full-stack content marketer.
Lee Densmer is the founder of Globia, a global content marketing agency.
For over 20 years, Lee has held a variety of in-house roles ranging from product marketing to content marketing, all equipping her with specialized experiences in the global content marketing world. Of the discipline in general she says:
“There’s been a huge shift recently from generating traffic through content to sharing value through content. The flood of AI content has made it worse. Brands need to slow down, share expertise, and provide value instead of just churning out content. Content marketers need to focus now more than ever on creating high-impact assets.”
In today’s interview, we cover her career journey, what global content marketing is, and she even shares a story about a faulty content marketing initiative that cost over $20,000.
1. How did you end up in content marketing?
Over the last ten years I’ve been a content marketer in the IT space. But I’ll start from the beginning.
I have been a project manager, a client services manager, a product marketer, a solution architect, and all throughout a blogger.
I have always been a writer, but through the latter role I learned how to adapt to a company’s tone of voice, capture their angle, themes, and topics. After blogging for a while I was invited to join the marketing team as the content marketing lead. I grew from there to run the content program. And after holding a few jobs in senior content marketing roles, I decided to become an entrepreneur.
I realized I had expertise to offer marketing teams and years of experience in the translation services industry. So I founded Globia, which is a content marketing firm with an emphasis on content that is global.
Once I decided to open a business, I spent two days on a business plan. I filled out a template I found online. As I got started, the ideas and inspiration just bubbled to the surface. It was like a flood; a waterfall.
That’s how I started Globia.
2. If you had to outline the 3 most important skills content marketers should know, what would they be?
The three most important skills for content marketers are writing, SEO, and strategy.
Many content marketers start out as writers. It's important for an aspiring content marketer to learn how to write really well. You need to learn how to write marketing copy that converts, including copy for social media, blogs, and long-form assets. Being great at writing often requires college coursework, training, on-the-job experience, and talent. I think a lot of people trivialize what it takes to be a great writer.
You need to know SEO, too. I encourage all marketers to learn how it works, what tools are out there, and how you should use that knowledge in your content. . There are lots of courses online – free and paid - that can teach you what you need.
And lastly, you need to learn content strategy. Follow the greats like Andy Crestodina, Amanda Natividad, and Joe Pulizi. Read their books. Take their classes.
And all content marketers should be well-versed in areas like demand generation, digital marketing, social media marketing, and customer marketing. You need to have breadth of expertise plus a specialization in a core skill, like copywriting.
It’s also a must to understand the buyer’s journey – Awareness, Consideration, Decision – and be able to craft content that maps to how buyers act and feel in each stage
For example, whereas an awareness (top of funnel) asset can be a high-level blog post educating your audience around a specific problem they might have (and that you solve), a conversion (bottom of funnel) asset might be a specific landing page that communicates your value proposition or a customer story that shows how your specific product solved big problems for a similar customer.
3. What makes global content marketing different?
This is a big and important question in an online world that is global, and I wrote an ebook on it that I’d invite you to download here.
But the fact is, all businesses are already global. If you have a website, if you sell online, you are global.
It’s likely that you have people outside of your home market who don’t speak your primary language - that would be English for the readers of this post. And many businesses are hoping for growth from abroad. That’s where the growth is, not in saturated national markets.
To sell globally, you have to “localize,” which is the adaptation of your content for a foreign market. It’s about translation, but there is much more to it than that.
You have to make sure you deeply understand the buyer personas you’re targeting in other countries and craft your content accordingly. .The buyers are different, the way they buy is different, the reasons they buy are different, and the places they go for information are different. It’s a customized approach for each market.
4. Can you discuss a time when a content marketing campaign didn’t go as planned? What did you learn from it?
I had a manager who, to his credit, was experimental and happy to take risks.
The agency we were working with convinced us to create a 4x6 foot poster,a diagram of something complicated, and then put that poster in a tube and mail it to hundreds of prospects around the world.
We put a QR code on it so that people who got the poster would scan the code, leading them to a landing page. That would have helped us track engagement.
I don’t think anybody scanned that QR code.
I remember the poor secretary just struggling with the tubes and the labels to get these things shipped.
It was a $20,000 mistake.
I learned a couple things: to trust your gut (I had a feeling it was going to be bad), be careful with your money, and if an idea seems weird, it probably is.
5. How do you believe content marketing is evolving? And how can content marketers adapt?
There’s been a huge shift recently from generating traffic through content – a pure SEO play – to sharing value through content. The flood of AI content has made it worse. Brands need to slow down, share expertise, and provide value instead of just churning out content. Content marketers need to focus now more than ever on creating high-impact assets.
Also, social media is now the top content marketing channel for most businesses.
Understanding how to create content specific to each social media channel is crucial - things like the length, the tone, the way you use images, etc, are specific to the channel. And with social, you can leverage the power of repurposing. You can, for example, turn your blog post into a dozen social posts, or you can test a concept on social media, and if it resonates, you can create longer form pieces from that. I am advocating social-first content programs for many of my clients.
Then you have generative AI. AI is great at creating awareness (TOFU) content. It can also support the content marketer in many ways like research, idea generation, editing, and brainstorming. But I caution any business to generate content with AI and publish it as is. AI can be redundant, incorrect, and often the language comes out stilted and weird. It requires an editor who understands how to fix AI-generated content.
One thing that will never change is the need for what I call a content culture. By this I mean that the entire organization is aware of the power of content for growing business and their role in creating it. For example, the best content teams depend heavily on product teams because they are the closest to the product. Product teams have to be involved in content initiatives.
And content marketers should also be close to sales teams. How else do you get the customer voice unless you work with sales teams to learn directly from them? And the sales team needs to understand how to use content to close deals. The support that the content gives to sales is called sales enablement.
The content team also has to be aligned with the digital team, because that team is often responsible for distribution, and content formats and topics align with distribution channels.
Product teams know the product, sales team knows the customer, the digital team knows how to distribute, and content teams know content creation, messaging, and channels. They all have to work closely together.
Thank you, Lee, for jumping aboard and sharing your story with us.
For a lot more content marketing tips you can follow Lee on LinkedIn or check out her blog for a deeper exploration of content marketing topics like determining a content budget, empowering sales with content, and creating a global content strategy.
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Thanks for reading,