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October 19, 2015

Content should not be an obvious tourist

When you travel, do people ask you for directions and address you as if you live in the area? I’ve had that happen a few times, and friends and colleagues have shared similar experiences.

You may not stand out as an obvious tourist on your travels. But does the content you distribute fit in as well across different environs?

No, not everyone speaks English

The world is now a global economy. If you expect to reach the widest audience possible for your products and services, localizing your content is a must—and in some cases, it’s a legal requirement to sell in other countries.

Also, making assumptions that everyone speaks a particular language (cough, English, cough) is a really bad idea when traveling, and it’s really, really bad idea in business. Don’t be one of those arrogant tourists (or companies!) who thinks everyone will adapt to them.

Dress for your location

tourist looking at map

Jean-François Gornet

When traveling, it’s a good idea to bring clothes that are a good match for the location’s climate and attitude. Wearing the wrong clothing makes you really stand out, and not in a good way. It’s also downright uncomfortable.

The formats in which you present your content require similar thought. If your customers are using tablets and phones to access information, distributing your content just as PDF documents is not the right fit. Also, does your web content display well in both desktop and mobile browsers?

Get feedback from your customers on how they want to consume your content, and adapt your formats accordingly. Otherwise, users will go elsewhere.

How else can companies make sure their content isn’t an obvious tourist? Leave your tips in the comments.