Successful business-to-business (b2b) marketing communications in the Middle East ’ part 3

Content Generation

Our definition of content generation: ‘creating educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers’. More often than not in this region a company’s definition of content generation is ‘here’s our brochure’. 

Content provided by clients is generally of poor quality but many don’t recognise that the only way to improve this is to outsource the creation. The main challenges with this are cited as ‘difficulty producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers’; ‘producing enough content'; and ‘budget challenges.’

What is even more challenging for the region is the localisation of content.

You need different content in English and Arabic – the smallest word mis-translated can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Arabic content is important but hard to find – especially video. But then SEO opportunities are easier to come by in Arabic, as the user base is smaller.

UAE-based companies are also experimenting more with languages including Hindi, Bengali, Tagalog, Chinese and Russian to cater for the diverse audiences living in, travelling to or doing business with the region. It goes without saying that the same content does not necessarily work across different languages.

‘One size fits all’ does not work in the Middle East, where content needs to be both niche and local. This means understanding the best-fit languages for clients and tailoring content to suit different cultures in different languages. It is indeed a multi-tasking region when it comes to making content work.

The main challenges to marketing in Arabic:

  • language barriers between teams
  • different dialects make it difficult to please everyone
  • not enough Arabic content creators and providers
  • non-Arabic speakers leading a marketing team
  • lack of mainstream Arabic creativity
  • lack of good translators and Arabic copywriters

While English is still considered the common business language in the UAE and caters for the masses, Arabic is the de facto language for Saudi Arabia, Egypt and even other GCC countries such as Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.