The Power of Localized Content

Thanks to my colleague Nick Thomas for pointing this one out.

A Parisian Turkish immigrant kebab seller has got himself a record deal thanks in no small part to French based YouTube competitor DailyMotion. The kebab seller composed a song with the immortal words “Eat kebab, eat kebab my friend!”. A friend filmed him and posted it on Daily Motion and nearly half a million views later his EMI signed single is in the shops.

This of course illustrates the power of viral marketing and User Generated Content for the music industry, but more pertinently it shows the importance of localization. This was a French track that built its following through a French UGC site. UGC and social media to date have achieve significant European success with a predominately US / English language bias. But that wonít suffice to move to the next level of success in continental Europe. The smart players are recognizing that they either need to seriously consider localization strategies or face market share cannibalization from local players like Daily Motion.

Youíd think it was a no-brainer to provide local language sites etc. but take a look at how many social media offerings currently do not. For some American companies there is an assumption that local language domains, translations, local language support staff etc are an unnecessary cost. But how much higher would adoption rates with more widespread localized offerings. And itís not just about translations, protecting your local brand by registering obvious domains is an easy but often ignored step. For example, MySpace have a German subsite http://de.myspace.com/ but havenít registered http://www.myspace.de. I could go on, but Iíll leave that to Nick who is mid way through writing a major report on Social Networks that is going to answer some questions that many people arenít even asking yet but really should be. Watch this space for more details.