What is Content Syndication?

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. Put simply, content syndication marketing helps your content go further.

Using content syndication for lead generation strategies allows companies to improve brand awareness and reach larger audiences than might be possible through their own channels.

The type of content that is appropriate for content syndication marketing is constantly expanding and includes:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Case studies
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Social media posts
  • Webinars
  • Whitepapers

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 utilizing different content syndication networks, companies stand to benefit from the different approaches each network takes in optimizing 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.

B2C vs. B2B Content Syndication

Content syndication is a marketing strategy used by both B2C and B2B companies, yet with different goals (and on different publishers).

B2C content syndication is mostly focused on promoting a product and works similarly to a press release. Many B2C brands consider content syndication in fact to be a part of their larger Public Relations (PR) strategy as a way to get their product seen by as many prospects as possible.

Meanwhile, B2B content syndication is more geared towards thought leadership and to attract prospects to the brand. Of course, many campaigns have a lead generation goal, but it is common for syndicated B2B content to prioritize brand awareness. Backlink strategies are also a part of B2B content syndication to boost a brand website’s authority.

So, in a nutshell, what is content syndication for B2C and B2B companies? For both, it is a method to promote awareness of products/services, while for B2B it is specifically about thought leadership and lead generation.

 

Who Benefits from Content Syndication?

Content syndication marketing 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.

Content syndication benefits content creators (and brands) by promoting assets to a wider audience than possible with proprietary channels and at a lower cost than paid media campaigns. Thus, it is one of the most leveraged distribution methods for B2B marketers. In fact, 30% of B2B marketers consider content syndication their most successful lead generation tactic.

 

Why Use Content Syndication?

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.

Each platform has its own speciality, potential of content syndication for lead generation, area of expertise, and methodology.

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 optimized 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 marketing can shine; by focusing tactics with pre-defined audiences designed to optimize outreach and brand exposure in an engaging way. It is also a low-cost, often no cost, strategy to implement (depending on the platform).

Utilizing content syndication for lead generation is an efficient strategy. By working with syndication networks, companies can create successful campaigns, higher-quality leafs, greater ROI, and ultimately, increased revenue.

 

Discover the latest buyer enablement trends in Outlook 2022: What’s Next in B2B Marketing?

 

How to Make Content Syndication Work

To get the most out of content marketing campaigns and use content syndication for lead generation, it is worth considering the following points:

 

Set A Strategy

Before sending content to syndication partners for distribution, companies should consider exactly what it is they want to achieve. For instance, if the goal is 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 maximize effectiveness.

 

Create the Content

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.

 

Choose the Right Content Syndication Platform

Multiple content syndication platforms and channels exist to ensure companies can find the right outlet for their
target audience.

 

Blogs

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 WordPress allow users to import content directly. By using their categorization 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

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.

You can also publish newsletters on LinkedIn to engage your followers. Keep in mind, however, that this is a new feature of the platform and, as such, engagement is not certain until this format becomes better established.

In addition, social networks offer invaluable metrics that allow users to analyze 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.

 

Here are more social media recommendations for syndicating content:

 

Medium

A text-sharing platform, Medium features articles of writers on a myriad of topics—from fanfiction to company announcements—and from a B2B marketing perspective, is ideal for thought leadership.

Take this article by a designer at Atlassian who argues why striving for consistent design (at all costs) can be harmful. It is informative first, sales-geared second with most links furthering knowledge on the topic. In fact, there’s only one link to Atlassian’s design practices page.

Thus, when promoting content on Medium, remember that readers are looking firstly for information and you should not hard-sell with CTAs. Even if this might be seen as a con, consider that consistently publishing thought-provoking articles on Medium can shape your brand as an authority to its users.

 

Reddit

The most popular forum community as of 2022, Reddit has subreddits on any topic you can think of, ranging from niche hobbies to subfields of business and marketing.

B2C marketers have been using Reddit for a while, finding subreddits on topics of their audience’s liking and promoting content or products. However, for B2B, the value is in thought leadership and in shaping the opinions of your niche. Some C-suite executives are active in subreddits of their industry to educate prospects and subtly recommend their offerings.

 

Quora

A question-and-answer website, on Quora users ask questions and receive informed answers from experts. Respondents can fill in their profile to prove their expertise, and thus, provide more authority to their answers.

From a content syndication perspective, marketers can leverage thought leadership by setting up accounts for their C-suite members and having them answer queries in their industry.

By linking to content to back up your answers, Quora provides a free content syndication opportunity.

 

Paid Content Distribution Platforms

These platforms are paid outlets for syndicating content, each one with its own network to distribute your assets to a qualified audience.

 

Read the details of each one below:

 

Taboola

A content distribution platform, Taboola works by promoting your content on partner sites with a custom feed of recommendations for web users.

Usually labeled “Taboola Feed,” these are stories contextually aligned with the host website, as well as the interests of the user according to insights collected from Taboola’s algorithm.

The network uses click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC) to calculate when and how to showcase your articles. Content with a high CTR will get displayed more across the network, and the more you bid on CPC, the more traffic you will potentially get.

 

Outbrain

Similar to Taboola, Outbrain is also a paid content distribution network with outlets such as CNN, MSN, and Sky News to showcase your content.

Outbrain features your content on recommended feeds (labeled Smartfeed) on its partner websites. There are multiple ad formats, such as ads to install apps, image carousels, and videos.

Content is promoted on a CPC basis, with the highest bids getting seen by users. Thus, like Taboola, brands with higher budgets will gain an edge on this platform.

 

Scoop It

Different from the former networks, Scoop It is a content curation platform, rather than a content syndication platform.

With Scoop It, you can find stories to increment your blog posts and newsletters, thus aiding you in your lead nurturing efforts. It is also a hub for you to easily build up content and share it on multiple social media channels, saving you precious time.

 

ITCurated

An extensive network of digital publications in 25 industry verticals, including business management, technology, and finance.

ITCurated is the proprietary content syndication network of INFUSEmedia, promoting stories to an audience of 138+ million decision makers worldwide. The network uses AI to select the best publishers according to the industry and target audience.

 

Download the ITCurated media kit for a full breakdown of each industry vertical

 

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 recognize 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 their content syndication marketing:

  • Lead volume: arguably the most important single metric, lead volume measures how many qualified leads are being generated by analyzing industry, company and behavioral 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 baseline 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.

 

Conclusion

What is content syndication? It is a marketing method that allows companies to push their brand and services to larger audiences than otherwise possible through their own channels. The objectives for each strategy should be defined beforehand along with what constitutes a win, which in 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. After all, 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.

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