Marco Valente has been in the content marketing game for over ten years. His Marketing degree dates back to the dark ages, or what he likes to call the early 2000s. This relaxed content manager and content consultant picked up experience across multiple industries. The result? He supports a small team dedicated to delivering some of the finest Portuguese Content services for businesses of all dimensions.
Today we steer him away from the screen and let him answer ten questions on content marketing, the specifics of the Portuguese-speaking markets and what clients can expect from our business.
He claims this interview will make millions as an immediate cure for insomnia. But since his sleeping hours are becoming more erratic, he will answer our team’s questions anyway in the hopes that this page will help him sleep better at night. Some promises, it seems, aren’t ours to make.
Can you tell us a little about the services your boutique content agency offers for small and medium businesses looking to advertise in Portuguese-speaking markets?
Sure. We spent years working for content marketing agencies everywhere, from some of the world’s top advertising names to working directly with the kind of brands everyone knows, owns and uses. What we learned through trial and error, associated with content curation for wide audiences, ingredients which work wonders for smaller and medium businesses.
Brazil and Portugal are super interesting markets and very unique. Brazil has truly immense potential across several niches, whether we’re talking about the regulation of igaming or adapting E-Commerce brands to a market that has 200+ million people. The potential is there and, very often, unexplored. I’ve had long conversations with one of our experts, and how gaming content – even AAA titles – is often sub-par in this geo.
Portugal offers unique challenges, but it’s also part of the EU, which makes it an appealing arena. There’s money and intent, but many times the delivery is off. Plus, it’s sometimes limited by a traditional advertising mindset. We’re based in the country, but we’re definitely a global agency working with international clients.
The majority of these clients approach us on two of our main verticals: content localization and content writing. There’s been an increase in SEO research from some brands, but overall, it’s the global content services articulation that makes wonders for these businesses. Now, everyone is talking about AI and replacing content professionals. We’re not even close, but we find AI tool implementation an essential part of our business.
Still, clients come to us with a final product, a brand voice, or even software and say: “Can you make this resonate with audiences in Brazil or Portugal?” – and yes, we can. It may take a few conversations to get it right, but I’d go as far as saying we know our audience, if not better, at least as well as the finest names operating in these markets.
How does your agency approach content creation for different niches such as iGaming, app localization, B2C, and B2B markets?
We don’t simply count on native speakers of our languages to show up and make magic happen. Over the years, we worked with true experts across several niches. I wouldn’t ask a B2B writer to look after an igaming article for us, as it wouldn’t make sense. The objective is to provide value for our clients, not deliver randomly processed content – we have ChatGPT for that or even most UpWork freelancers.
It all starts with a good conversation or a few emails back and forward. We need to understand our client’s needs first and foremost. Even if their requests are simple and very familiar to us, we still want to know their expectations so that we can overdeliver. Meeting expectations is usually a poor excuse to grab more and do less. We like to think a little differently, and a content manager has added responsibility in that area.
Plus, besides ourselves, we rely on a solid network of specialists in several areas who act as our consultants. They’ll either work around the main processes of the materials we need, which will then be edited by our team, or we’ll be able to craft them directly. Again, each client has unique needs, and we address them in such a fashion.
Finally, we try not to overexpand. Clients might not trust the generic nature of a small content agency, but truth be told, our CVs are filled with distinct experiences and great results. That works wonders in terms of content quality and uniqueness. If something comes up that we feel we’re not qualified to deliver brilliantly, we’ll let you know right away.
What are some unique challenges that arise when creating content for Portuguese-speaking markets compared to other markets?
First, ensuring our clients understand that European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese aren’t the same language. We can transcreate content with fantastic accuracy, but we still rely on native speakers to look after each geo. In our early years, we would meet clients who spent thousands on budgets and wrongly allocated content. It’s no surprise that most of the European audience will resist Brazilian content and vice-versa.
The main issue is that the customer journey is then irremediably spoiled. Prospective clients will break the connection with a brand or service if they spot even the slightest linguistic offset. We ensure every piece speaks the audience’s language, and that goes far deeper than a simple translation.
Personally, you can’t inspire me to buy into anything if I spot typos, linguistic inaccuracies, or lazy, bland content. I wish it were just my marketing-formatted mind speaking, but most people I know have the same stance. Still, I like to think we’re helping build bridges rather than splitting these two nations apart.
You need to get to know the audience and their pain points. Only then are you entitled to address them. It’s a complex, dynamic process that grows alongside your business – but one that is super exciting to work on. The more you know, the deeper you can dig.
How do you ensure that the content you create is culturally sensitive and resonates with the target audience?
We discuss these matters in a timely fashion. Above everything else, we’re professionals. Our team is composed of people who curated content for some of the world’s biggest brands. There’s no room for mistakes or inappropriate delivery there. That know-how is transported and visible across everything we do. Be creative and bold but not ordinary. We need to ensure we can elevate the discussion and the message, rather than be dragged to the gutter.
Nowadays, there’s a growing debate on ensuring content is more inclusive. We’ve been doing it for years – not assuming our readers are stuck to stereotypes. Even if an igaming audience is majorly composed of young men from 21-25 in a certain geo, it doesn’t mean women can’t play. Or transgender. Or non-binary. We want to welcome everyone while keeping a close eye on the main profiles which compose our audiences. That thinking process is more complex than it seems, and it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Can you give us some examples of successful content campaigns you have created for small and medium businesses in the past?
One of our clients wanted his website to gain traction since his numbers stagnated. His niche is rather competitive and very specific. Previous experiences weren’t very reliable, and results were hard to come by despite spending thousands on marketing services. It turns out he was splattering his budget around instead of hiring a small team to look after his needs.
We suggested starting simple and taking off from there. Considering the specifics of his target audience, we suggested the creation of 4 articles a month and promoting content with the help of a social media manager – which we also provided.
Copywriting ensured new pages offered new services, and leads started coming in. This was an effort on at least three fronts – Social Media, Blog Curation and Copywriting. The more, the merrier. But if one of the verticals doesn’t work, we’ll advise our clients to drop it – saving time and money in the process.
Traffic picked up quite quickly, and we observed a 1,400% growth in the first year. The numbers are still rising with every little push and what we consider a humble budget. Leads multiplied, and he now “risks” becoming one of the main players in his industry.
There are several pages ranking either #1 or on the “front results” on Google, which is the ultimate goal for conversion. It’s a great example of what content marketing can do for small/medium businesses when it’s well-crafted, and we get to look after every stage, from production to delivery.
What sets your boutique content agency apart from other content providers in the Portuguese-speaking market?
There are some really cool names out there when it comes to agencies operating in the Portuguese-speaking markets. However, I sometimes feel they lack the attention to detail and customer service we can offer. We’re a small team, and we plan to remain a small team because that’s what allows us to get to know our clients.
We never bite more than we can chew, even if we appreciate a good challenge. I know several people who went from school to an agency, and there they remained. We’ve been around, and grabbing our experience from so many sources adds huge value to our product.
The reason why we went into the whole agency model in the first place was that our experience had been validated by numerous top players over the years. We wanted to bring that know-how to more people on our own terms.
How does your agency stay up-to-date with the latest trends and changes in the Portuguese-speaking markets?
By avoiding sleep! Now a bit more seriously; we are compulsive consumers of information. Politics, technology, and marketing; these are the things that feed our minds around the clock. We were aware of Brazil’s igaming regulation long before it hit the hype and remained cautious about time frames while influence marketing kept trying to boost its urgency. Had they known better how things really work in Brazil or Portugal, they would have measured expectations accordingly.
Everyone wants to have a foot ahead of the starting line. We want to keep running long after our competitors have lost their breath. We allocate enough learning time, there’s plenty of networking going on behind the scenes, and then there’s something else: we’re genuinely interested in what we do.
What metrics do you use to measure the success of your content campaigns, and how do you ensure that your clients get a good ROI?
Our clients are the best reflection of that success. They come for a trial, and they end up staying for months or years. Every time there’s even the slightest chance that a new project will open across our markets of expertise, they don’t think of anyone else first other than our team.
We constantly check the numbers and can spot what’s working and what’s not. There are time frames for content to be “planted” and ways to make it show on the audiences’ radar. If we run through those efforts and nothing happens, we go back to the drawing board – either by improving and changing what underperformed or by creating new concepts and promoting them.
I’m yet to meet a client who hasn’t benefited from our content services. Then again, it’s all about creating humble expectations and working hard to deliver above and beyond.
How do you tailor your content to target specific demographics within the Portuguese-speaking markets, such as age groups or regional differences?
I don’t use TikTok, but that’s not to say I don’t understand its value from a marketing professional’s perspective. What I do know is how to implement content campaigns and how that engine works. If I want to reach a specific demographic that is outside my span, I can rely on our network of consultants and have them work alongside our team.
Regional differences are more important in Brazil, which is a huge nation, and not so much in Portugal, where content resonates from north to south. Sometimes, a global approach to content feels like fishing with a huge net – you’ll always get a good catch. Other times, we need to look at local SEO and define a content strategy for that specific niche.
One thing I know: the more you niche down, the more interesting things get.
Can you walk us through the process of working with a small or medium business to create a successful content campaign for the Portuguese-speaking market from start to finish?
Sure. It all starts with an introductory call with our clients or a series of emails where they explain what they’re after. We present them with a few options, usually backed up by experience in a given niche. If they’re happy with that course of action, we can move further and discuss budget expectations while giving an idea of how many hours we’ll need to work around a project to make it work.
If the client is happy with our terms, we’ll roll our sleeves and allocate their project to a member of our team – a project manager – who will then work alongside the right professionals. Once the first drafts are done, we can either share them with the client to find out if we’re on the same page or present them with a more complete version of our vision – according to their instructions.
I’d say 9 out of 10 times, clients are super happy with initial drafts, and many first efforts rapidly turn into final content, which will then move to delivery.
Portuguese Content is a small boutique content marketing agency specialising in Portuguese-speaking markets. We create and adapt content for 200+ million users. Get in touch today if our values resonate with your business, and discover our extensive range of content services.