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EducationImplementing a global website in 30 locales and 10 languages

Crimson Education was founded in 2013 by three students from New Zealand, including CEO Jamie Beaton, who had just been accepted to 25 of the world’s best universities, including Harvard, Princeton, and Cambridge. With the vision of equalizing university admissions, Crimson Education equips high-achieving and ambitious students worldwide with the right tools and supports to reach their dream university.

3 to 4
Months of implementation

The origins and challenges that Crimson Education faced

Having launched in 2013, Crimson Education was previously on another headless CMS setup where all previous versions of their website were delivered through that system. While their previous setup worked well in terms of delivering global content, over years of usage and as the company grew, the development team found recurring limitations in the platform with issues in delivery on a global scale as the company grew into new geographies, languages, and markets.

This ultimately triggered the search for a new solution in 2020, that could grow and expand with the company’s ambitious global growth efforts in over 30 markets while needing an efficient way to manage and deliver content across those markets and locales. While this was the main factor that pushed Crimson Education to search for an alternative solution, a few other immediate issues also hindered their scalability internally within their content management efforts with their previous setup, such as:

  • Overall content management was considered messy as pieces had to be put together rather than built or organized in a unified manner
  • Anytime a piece of content had to be localized, there was no standard process or tool within the CMS that could accommodate localization across various markets and languages. This created a growing issue amongst local country managers that could not create content that could best match and connect with their market audience

Throughout their CMS search, the development team led the investigation into their next solution, as solving the localization issue was considered a technical issue. While solutions were presented to their product managers, ultimately, everyone ended up voting for Storyblok that best suited their criteria and could solve the matter at hand internally while being compared to the projected revenue per market that could be made and the cost of acquisition per market localized content could deliver.

Storyblok ended up being a fit as Crimson Education’s CMS of choice, as it managed to fulfill all important requirements set by the team:

  • The ability to enable localization efforts for different locales and languages that allow local content editors and managers to focus on their unique market’s content experience
  • The ability and flexibility to use or build plug-ins within the CMS to deliver that localized content as a bespoke solution while giving back full control to the development to manage and update the CMS to their needs
  • A Visual Editor to allow teams in each market to visualize the pages and campaigns they are building efficiently for their specific locale and language

Implementing Storyblok: From one headless CMS to another

The overall implementation process took around 3 to 4 months, where plug-ins were firstly built to accommodate localization efforts. From there, as they scaled and launched from their foundation global website through various content items and folders within Storyblok, the headquarters marketing team communicated with each country manager to roll out a localized version of the global site. When content was localized, the website team created a folder for their locale in Storyblok using folder-level translations. Each folder represented a language of each country’s version of content. This meant any content could easily be duplicated from the original global website and customized or built accordingly to fit a market’s needs in terms of language and content while being organized in folders per country and locale.

  • Quote from Angus Macdonald, Revenue Product Manager at Crimson Education

    The ability to easily reuse content for different markets and locales has allowed us to scale effortlessly. The website team can move away from being content-heavy, and focus on enabling instead what our content editors need or want to do, in tracking and measuring results.

    Angus Macdonald
    Angus Macdonald
    Revenue Product Manager at Crimson Education
A screenshot of Crimson Education's website with their previous setup

Crimson Education's website with their previous setup

How does Crimson Education use Storyblok as their CMS?

Crimson Education uses Storyblok with Gatsby as a frontend codebase to build their website, in working with their website team in scoping and building components that best fit their local markets, depending on the type of campaigns that are being run or customer feedback per local market, components are specifically created to be adapted to each market’s needs.

One of the ways Crimson Education uses Storyblok, apart from their main websites through organic traffic, is through paid advertisement landing pages that enable markets to optimize content and SEO/site performance on the go for each market. With Storyblok’s reusability feature, marketers are able to accelerate their go-to-market speed by simply duplicating a campaign and dropping in the content they need in the language of the market for such a campaign before launching it live at a click of a button.

  • Quote from Angus Macdonald, Revenue Product Manager at Crimson Education

    Having personally worked with WordPress in previous roles moving to Storyblok with Crimson was eye-opening. The ability to use a structured and secure CMS that enables different teams to interact with each other while keeping your brand intact globally really provides value for our developers, marketers, and also our designers to re-focus on the value-added things rather than keeping things in check.

    Angus Macdonald
    Angus Macdonald
    Revenue Product Manager at Crimson Education

Through Storyblok’s design library and its capabilities for reusing content, content editors can stay in line with the company’s branding without having to bring designer involvement to double-check each page. This has brought back focus and innovation to Crimson Education’s teams - Developers are able to focus on developmental work rather than upkeeping the CMS, and marketers can independently create and update content to their market without being off-brand to their designer’s worry.

With Storyblok’s Visual Editor, content editors and marketers can dynamically build and focus on their campaigns and localization while seeing their content in real-time and in the eyes and lingo of their customers.

A screenshot of Crimson Education's current global site

Crimson Education's current global site

Using Storyblok for localization to expand into new markets

Currently, Crimson Education hosts over 30 locales (10 languages) within Storyblok. Country managers can now take advantage of localization functionality to update messaging, content, and information that best resonates with each market's colloquial lingo and messaging. Within the company’s organizational structure on the marketing front, localized marketing teams lead its content efforts to translate, adapt, and update content according to their market.

The company’s different Storyblok Spaces (i.e., a content repository holding Stories, content types, assets, and blocks) consist of their consulting business (Crimson Education), Crimson Global Academy (online high school), and MedView (medical school consulting business). Within the Crimson Education Space of over 50 users, all its regional marketing teams for 30 locales and 10 languages work together. The website team works to administrate and scope the entire layout for bugs, optimizations and build new components. Once those are ready to go, the deliveries and components are passed to their content editors to use in building new pages and campaigns across various locales (each locale will have 2 to 3 content editors).

A screenshot of Crimson Education's current site (in Thai, for Thailand))

Crimson Education's current site (in Thai - Thailand)

Key Takeaways

Storyblok is excited to grow with Crimson Education as they take the education world by storm in connecting high-achieving students worldwide to their educational dreams. Crimson Education was able to use Storyblok to reuse content in order to set themselves up for success in global growth and expansion into new markets. Giving back independence to their content editors and marketers allowed the development team to re-focus on essential development tasks rather than content updates. Overall, Crimson Education were able to also standardize their branding also for their designers to innovate and maintain their overall brand identity, one language at a time.

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