Put simply, content syndication helps your content go further.
Through the publishing of assets on third party platforms to reach larger audiences, content syndication has become a fundamental strategy for growth marketing which can be adapted to meet the evolving needs of both businesses and consumers.
The type of content that is appropriate for syndication is constantly expanding and includes:
As people consume information differently, the opportunity to cater formats to personal preferences and connect with target audiences in new and engaging ways has never been greater.
What’s more, by utilising different syndication networks, companies stand to benefit from the different approaches each network takes in optimising their content’s reach.
If considered the best approach, syndication partners may re-publish content unaltered. However, they may also edit content for different audiences or segment it through different channels to boost interest and outreach.
Content syndication is mutually beneficial. The content creator stands to benefit from greater brand exposure, more publicity, backlinks to their own assets, higher search engine hits and greater domain authority, not to mention the potential generation of more leads and sales.
Syndication networks typically charge via Cost Per Lead (CPL), with higher rates depending on how targeted the leads are. Networks also stand to benefit in other ways, not least through mutual associations with successful businesses but also through the hosting of valued content that enables them to justify their own existence as a relevant platform.
The real challenge companies face in the martech arena is twofold: firstly, to create genuine quality content that prospective clients will value and secondly, to ensure that said content is successfully delivered to them.
Getting content seen by the right audience is difficult. With multiple channels and platforms abound, the online marketing space is becoming more crowded and competitive.
Modern consumers are generally well-informed and active in respect of pursuing their own objectives. As such, tracking leads in an aggressive manner can be counterproductive as prospects already know what they want and where to find it.
In an ideal world, all strategies should be developed to form a natural part of the consumer journey. Businesses should focus on enabling potential clients with optimised content that interests and benefits them, rather than simply bombarding them with content in the hopes that it has the desired effect.
This is where content syndication can shine; by focusing tactics with pre-defined audiences designed to optimise outreach and brand exposure in an engaging way. It is also a low-cost, often no cost, strategy to implement (depending on the platform).
By working with syndication networks to create more successful campaigns, companies can expect more quality leads, greater ROI and ultimately increased revenue.
To get the most out of any campaign it is worth considering the following points:
Before sending content to syndication partners for distribution, companies should consider exactly what it is they want to achieve. For instance, if the goal to boost website traffic, generate more sales or simply to learn more about the consumer base to target future campaigns more effectively?
A sensible approach sees companies work with clients to test effective strategies on a limited budget before identifying those networks best placed to maximise effectiveness.
As detailed in the introduction, the best type of content to syndicate is shareable. Interactive content is even better, and metrics from this can be tracked and qualified.
Content should be tailored to the consumer and designed to nurture them through different stages of the consumer journey. As detailed in the Demand Gen Report 2020, buyers are increasingly reliant on content to drive sales, with 67% of respondents claiming they relied more on content to inform purchasing in 2020 than the year before.
But beware, there are boundaries and Google penalties exist for those companies that employ ‘black hat’ SEO techniques. Or in other words, who create low-quality content full of guideline violations like keyword stuffing.
Stay informed about Webmaster Guidelines here.
Multiple platforms and channels exist to ensure companies can find the right outlet for their
Blogging platforms provide relative freedom when it comes to the format or style of content provided to them, and benefit marketers with their own established audience. Companies can normally choose how and when content is published giving creators more control over what happens to their work.
Platforms such as Medium and WordPress allow users to import content directly. By using their categorisation systems creators can ensure posts appeal to the right kind of readers. Metrics such as read time, shares, and general engagement for each post also allow companies to track content and adjust posts and scheduling accordingly.
Social networks form an integral part of everyone’s day-to-day life and as such offer huge potential for content syndication strategies.
Facebook’s Instant Articles platform is a powerful content syndication tool that gives users the ability to automate publications directly onto the platform, as well as embed a variety of media such as Tweets, YouTube videos, images and ‘intelligent Facebook ads’.
The LinkedIn Publishing Platform allows users to take advantage of the site’s primary function to build relationships, with connections notified of posts and given the ability to share in much the same way that word-of-mouth functions.
In addition, social networks offer invaluable metrics that allow users to analyse and adapt campaigns as needed. Social networks are also configured to mobile devices and have a huge potential to reach audiences regardless of their location.
Content Syndication Networks
The best networks have an established user base that values it as a trusted source of useful information. There are basically two types:
1. Paid for, such as Taboola, Outbrain or Scoop.it.
2. Free, such as LinkedIn, Quora or Medium.
Each content syndication platform will have its own specialty, area of expertise and methodology.
For example, the internet search engine, Firefox, syndicates content from various news sources through its Pocket platform, which is curated by a team of editors. This ensures that users are presented with the latest trending stories from those sites every time they open a web browser.
It is important to not only choose a platform which aligns with a campaign’s objectives but also has an audience, tone of language and style that are beneficial.
While the benefits of other content syndication options typically revolve around direct control, content syndication networks offer a higher level of support, enabling partners to better track metrics and develop strategies that actually work.
Evaluate and Improve
Unfortunately, no marketing strategy is successful forever. And that’s supposing it was perfect to begin with.
There are plenty of KPIs to consider when trying to determine whether your content syndication strategy is working so it’s important to recognise the important information for guiding campaigns and to not get bogged down with trivial data.
The following metrics can help businesses track and measure the success of campaigns:
Lead volume: arguably the most important single metric, lead volume measures how many qualified leads are being generated by analysing industry, company and behavioural data, along with demonstrated levels of intent. The important thing is to define what constitutes a qualified lead beforehand, and to compare results against a minimum base line target.
Engagement rate: the level of interaction with content, for instance likes, shares or comments.
Qualification rate: the number of leads that meet the qualification criteria (see lead volume).
Conversion rate: the speed at which qualified opportunities become sales, compared to other channels.
Win rate: the number of new clients successfully acquired.
Content syndication allows companies to push their brand and services to larger audiences than might otherwise be possible through their own channels. The objectives for each strategy should be defined beforehand along with what constitutes a win, which is most cases are qualified leads. Together with actionable data generated by syndication partners, it will help businesses be better placed to understand successes or failures which is essential for adapting campaigns as they run.
Although syndication is a relatively cheap method of self-promotion and peer networking, businesses should nevertheless ensure content is of a sufficiently high quality. Afterall, content is a direct extension of a brand. Plus, SEO penalties exist for those companies which flood the market with low quality content. To learn more about effective content syndication strategies, read INFUSEmedia’s CMO Guide to Modern Content Syndication.