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Multicultural marketing: How to use tech and local experts to localize content

Kaya Ismail
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Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

Every brand has a goal to keep its customers excited, engaged, and entertained. Usually, their ability to do that comes down to the type of content they create and whether or not it resonates with their target audience. In our increasingly globalized world, brands must bring diversity and inclusion into their marketing strategies.

Also, when we factor in the growth of remote work and the rise of global eCommerce, companies have a lot to consider when trying to serve a global customer base through multicultural marketing. Brands want to do multicultural marketing but need the right technology and collaboration capabilities to make it work.

We’ll explain how a headless CMS can provide the foundation for your company and internal teams to handle multicultural campaigns.

Section titled What is multicultural marketing (And why is it important?)

Multicultural marketing is the practice of marketing to audiences of a specific ethnic or cultural background that is outside of the general target market. Multicultural marketing is meant to avoid stereotypes and help brands find ways to appeal to different consumer groups.

Even though many global brands may sell the same products or services in different countries worldwide, they can’t simply reuse the same marketing campaigns to advertise them. Whether the differences are due to religion, cultural norms, or even ethnic representation, customers in different markets around the world want to see themselves involved in campaigns before they choose to engage with a brand.

As a result, marketers need to change how they approach their content, imagery, and messaging when delivering content in a multicultural society or expanding into different regions. Rather than simply make adjustments to language or minor details, they need to produce inclusive and appropriate content for various demographics of people.

Section titled How to do multicultural marketing right

Multicultural marketing is an important undertaking for any organization. But to get it right, there are a few things to consider.

Section titled Hire a multicultural team

Wherever possible, you should hire team members from different cultural backgrounds either as part of your internal team or as specialized experts that can come in to assist you. Having technology that can help you to localize content quickly is equally important. You also need local experts who can advise you; to ensure that you’re choosing the right content and following cultural best practices when localizing content for other audiences.

Section titled Check authenticity and accuracy

When conducting multicultural marketing campaigns, your internal team should be aware of the following critical points:

  1. Specific words, images, or cultural practices may be commonplace in one region but may cause sensitivity issues in another.
  2. Consulting local experts and having dedicated localization teams in different regions wherever possible can help to ensure inaccuracies are limited.

Language differences also need to be taken into account. For example, there are differences between written and spoken Brazilian Portuguese and differences between how Spanish is spoken in various Latin American countries and Spain. While some of these differences may seem innocuous at first glance, they could have catastrophic effects on marketing campaigns.

Section titled Brands getting multicultural marketing right

Until now, we’ve made multicultural marketing seem like something difficult to do with no room for error, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some examples of brands getting multicultural marketing right:

Section titled Starbucks

Starbucks is known the world over for its chain of coffee houses. According to Statista, the company has over 32,000 stores worldwide and is currently present in 73 countries. The brand relies on multicultural marketing to adapt to the tastes of people in different cultures.

While some countries have a preference for coffee, others in Asia, for instance, retain a preference for tea. As a result, Starbucks localizes its marketing campaigns to remain appealing. From making changes to their store layouts to menu items and branding, these changes are reflected prominently in the Starbucks marketing campaigns.

A screenshot of Starbucks HongKong website showing the Tea-Ology campaing.

TEA-OLOGY Campaign in Starbucks Asia 2020

Section titled Coca-Cola

Another brand seen all over the world that manages to appeal to various cultures is Coca-Cola. For years, the soft drink has diversified its marketing campaigns to be more culturally and racially diverse.

For example, the Share a Coke campaign was used to personalize Coca-Cola bottles, allowing consumers to find a coke bottle with their name on it. The campaign was internationalized to serve global audiences, including a version for persons in Muslim countries celebrating Eid al-Fitr post-Ramadan.

An image of a series of coca cola bottles with different names on the labels.

Personalized bottles by Coca-Cola

Coca Cola has also adjusted their advertisements on their delivery vans, magazines and more across multiple countries.

An image of a coca cola delivery van in Indonesia with regional design.

A Coca-Cola delivery van in Indonesia

Section titled Fenty Beauty

The Fenty Beauty makeup brand caters to customers with varying skin complexions and conditions who may have previously struggled to find the perfect makeup. The brand has managed to make people from all backgrounds feel included and frequently relies on influencers, from celebrities to bloggers and makeup artists, to assist with marketing campaigns and garner more attention for the product.

Screensht of Fenty Beauty advertising campaign showing a series of headshots of people with different skin complexions.

Fenty Beauty advertising campaign

Section titled How Storyblok enables multicultural marketing

Multicultural marketing isn’t just about making it easier for the team at your main office to manage content and distribute it to different regions. You also need to arm the local teams with the resources to create their own campaigns that complement your primary campaigns or, in many cases, are completely distinct from your other marketing efforts.

Storyblok’s headless CMS capabilities make it an ideal resource for running your next multicultural marketing campaign. Here’s how you can set up your campaign in Storyblok:

Section titled Step 1: Set your interface to your local language

Obviously, your first step is to sign up for Storyblok using your email address. After that, you can go to your account settings and change the language to your local language. This is perfect for companies with team members scattered around the globe where English might not be their primary language.

Screenshot of Storyblok signup form.

Storyblok sign up

A screenshot showing the language options in Storyblok.

Choose your language

Section titled Step 2: Start with our translations options for your content

For most brands, a multicultural marketing campaign begins by translating pillar content into another language. Storyblok offers two options for translating content. Field-level translations and folder-level translations.

Section titled Field-level translations

As long as the content structure remains the same, for example, translating a blog post to another language, you can use field-level translations to translate your content.

Start by adding a new language under the “Languages” tab in the settings of your space. Here you can define which fields are translatable within the schema of your components. And once you’ve enabled a new language, a language switch will appear in your content editor interface.

Screenshot of the Settings of a Space in Storyblok.

Add a new language in the Settings of your Space

Screenshot of the language dropdown menu in Storyblok

The language dropdown menu

To change fields to be translatable, the checkbox {1} in the schema definition needs to be enabled.

A screenshot showing the box that should be checked for translations.

Once the field is enabled for translations, switching the language in the UI allows you to add a translation for each previously activated field separately. Fields that are not enabled for translation are included but use the default language in every story.


For a compelte guide of fied-level translations see our Internationalization Guide.

Section titled Step 3: Leverage our built-in CDN for global distribution

Making sure your content reaches a global audience is essential if you want to embark on a multicultural marketing campaign. With Storyblok, you can leverage a global content delivery network (CDN) via AWS, allowing you to deliver data to your viewers across the globe securely.

The first API calls from our content delivery API are routed to central locations. Others are cached and kept as long as possible in the CDN to avoid overloading the origin server.

Section titled Step 4: Organize content with our asset manager

For your multicultural campaign to be effective, all of your content must be properly organized and easily located. Many brands have a wealth of digital assets that, while beneficial, can lead to challenges when marketing teams can’t find what they’re looking for. With Storyblok, you can custom configure images and videos to only show chosen ones to editors in certain regions.

Using folder restrictions, you can create a folder of assets that include region-specific appropriate images. Create the folders you need and drag and drop items into place. You can also multi-select bulk actions to quickly move around multiple assets, all at the same time.

Section titled Step 5: Create user permissions for localization teams

Not everyone on a localized team will need access to the same content. With user permissions, you can fully customize access to folders, assets, and content. This way, your local editors can only access specific components in Storyblok, as well as certain images or videos, ensuring your multicultural marketing strategy remains consistent and free of unnecessary variation.

Section titled Step 6: Set up workflows and content schedules

When organizing marketing campaigns that need to go live simultaneously in different timezones, you need to get things right or run the risk of limiting the effectiveness of the campaign. By setting up workflows and content schedules in Storyblok, you can release content at different times for different regions. Content can be scheduled ahead of time, giving editors more time to work on specific campaigns and facilitating easier collaboration.

The custom workflow functionality in Storyblok allows you to define your workflow process. You can configure your workflow stages and define rules for each of them.

Section titled Step 7: Publish your content and see the results

Like any content marketing campaign, you won’t know the effectiveness of your multicultural campaign until you publish it and see the results. After you’ve seen the results from your first campaigns, you can use Storyblok to personalize content for different audiences, A/B test to see which campaign is most effective, and implement omnichannel marketing campaigns that resonate across multiple devices.

Section titled Getting more out of multicultural marketing campaigns with Storyblok

If you want to maximize your multicultural campaigns’ reach and effectiveness, arm your team with the right technology. Storyblok’s headless CMS capabilities make it the ideal solution for your multicultural marketing needs. Not only can content be delivered to multiple digital touchpoints with ease, but content editors can also edit content for each channel as necessary. Plus, with some of the localization and internationalization features we’ve mentioned, you can follow multicultural marketing best practices to meet the demands of your worldwide audience.

Swedish lifestyle brand Stronger can be found in 120 countries around the world. As a global brand, they need to tailor their content to the needs of their audience. As they expanded into new markets, Stronger needed to speed up their time to market. This meant that they had to ditch their monolithic infrastructure and shift to a modern solution that could meet their need for new engaging customer experiences.

After making the shift to Storyblok, with assistance from the Made People agency, the brand increased conversion rates and drove more sales. With Storyblok’s best-of-breed approach, they could use it as the headless CMS while all other systems from eCommerce to newsletter platforms were integrated. Stronger was able to leverage Storyblok’s features to apply localization changes to all of their content assets, no matter where they were being published. They could also personalize campaigns to cater to specific markets and countries and A/B test to see which campaigns work best and which needed tweaking.

To learn more about Stronger’s rebranding and how Storyblok helped, look no further than our case study: How Made People used Storyblok to optimize growth and rebrand for Stronger.