For our regular readers is not a secret that we pay special attention to the video strategies of different companies. Nowadays the visual content is very popular for many reasons: it is informative, it is easier to digest and it can be interactive. Video strategies in different companies and firms are different and with a twist, in spite of its apparent simplicity. So today, we suggest you consider the case of Babbel – the world’s first language-learning app.



If you’ve never heard about Babbel before, here’s the most necessary information for you to be in the subject. Babbel, as we have previously noted, the world’s first language-learning app. It was founded in 2007 as online language learning software and e-learning platform available in various languages. In January 2008, the language learning platform went online with community features as a free beta version. By the first year, Babbel already had 180,000 members from 200 countries. According to, now it has over 20,000,000 users from more than 190 countries.


Unique Material

Languages Learning. Babel App Global Video Strategy

Languages Learning. Babel App Global Video Strategy

One of the Babbel’s advantages is the production of the video as entertaining and informative piece. For example, the most popular deemed a series of video that follows polyglot Matthew, who speaks nine languages fluently, in his multilingual adventures around the world. So, the first episode titled «Matthew’s 9 Language Monologue», where the guy is speaking nine languages, collected over 6.6 million YouTube views. Matthew’s cozy croissant chat with Erika – another polyglot – is at 2.5 million views on YouTube and counting. Matthew also has a twin brother. They speak more than 10 languages combined. Babbel realized on time that this is a source of high-quality content and launched a series of episodes where siblings try to learn a new language in just a week.

Besides, Matthew with Babbel also visited New York, where he talked with a French Ph.D. student about the nuances of French culture and with two actors in Repertorio Español, a Spanish theater in Manhattan, about challenges building life abroad. As you can see, the company has an ambitious goal: not only to create training content, but also inspire people to the discovery of new cultures and languages.


Double Punch

But as you know, no matter how noble was the goal, no matter how good was the video, without a good plan and a well thought-out marketing work all of this could remain only as an idea. Babbel’s video strategy is good because it relies on two different types of content: sensational and local. All that we have said above is about the sensational stories. «Oh, look, this man learn a language in an hour!». They bring in organic traffic and rank well for SEO. Edward Wood, head of content marketing at Babbel, explains that such stories suit any audience. Spectators themselves are distributors of these videos all over the world. Because wow-effect works. The videos go up on the company’s online magazine, and subtitles are translated into six main languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Portuguese. Company just has to spread videos and blog posts through social channels and newsletters for different languages.


Languages Learning. Babel App Global Video Strategy


Another mentioned type of material called a local or, according to Wood, «self-referential». It is such kind of content that works on the specifics of a particular language or culture. You probably had to deal with such video, where people try to pronounce the word that is written in a foreign language. «Can you pronounce these 8 German words?» – it is exactly Babbel’s work. Similar videos are gaining hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. For Wood it is easier to present them on social networks, like Facebook, where the audience can be targeted by location. That is how approximately works Babbel’s video strategy.



But if you thought that everything is so simple – you rushed to conclusions. The fact is that when dealing with languages, it is likely to make a mistake in the translation, if you do not take into account all the nuances. «If we release something with an error, we’ll get crucified, so everything gets double- or triple-checked,» – Wood explained. Thus, the creating a permanent and stable content stream is under the threat. «This creates a situation where we’ll have this great content, but if we push one deadline, all the others go back,» – Wood added.

The company has found a way out. Babbel enlisted Contently’s content technology platform to manage its editorial projects. With this approach to facilitate editorial logistics, Babbel increased its output between 200 and 300 percent, depending on the language. Previously the content team has released only one story per week, now, it is two or three. Wood said: «Our production rate has massively improved in the last years, and one of the important factors is Contently».


Reward For Work

The work being done by Wood and his team, gives fruit. Besides numerous views on YouTube, Babbel’s six magazine sites each generate at least 7 million visitors each month. Wood himself calls it «the spillover effect». «Organic and paid traffic from the digital sites spills into social channels like YouTube. Then YouTube subscriptions and other social channel engagement get people to come back to the site. That’s what’s so great about content marketing».

But likes, views, and visits are just the tip of the iceberg. Babbel monitors how people interact with each article. «Higher engagement time—meaning, the time spent on the page and watching videos—tends to correlate with a higher registration rate,» – Wood defines the content ROI formula.

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