Content syndication is a central element of modern growth marketing.
It always has been. But the nature of content syndication has changed over the years.
Content syndication has evolved along with the content formats that fuel it.
It’s a common misconception that blogs and articles are the only content types that are appropriate for syndication.
You have the tools to create and publish extensively in a variety of formats in addition to blogs and articles:
The scope and quality of content is skyrocketing.
There has never been a more exciting time to begin your journey in content syndication.
Here, we will discuss how you can use account-based marketing, intent-driven marketing, and other lead generation techniques as parts of your overall content syndication strategy.
What Is Content Syndication?
Content syndication the process of publishing your proprietary online content on a third-party platform with the aim of reaching a larger audience.
Content syndication is a growth marketing strategy that can be used to achieve many goals.
Fundamentally, you can enhance reach, but the key to effective content syndication is choosing platforms that can connect you with an audience that is ready to make a purchasing decision.
This is where content syndication becomes performance marketing.
There are various approaches these platforms can take when syndicating content.
They can choose to:
- Republish the work in its entirety.
- Edit it down to a shorter piece.
- Post a small excerpt from the original.
Credit is assigned to the original publishing location, but syndication benefits both parties: the syndicate gets new content and the business that created the original content gets to connect to a new set of potential customers.
Who Can Benefit from Content Syndication?
Almost any business can benefit from content syndication if the right syndicate and audience are available.
However, businesses that are already creating substantive and creative thought leadership content are best positioned to see an immediate benefit.
B2B technology brands are frequently in the position of having excellent content but no established audience to read it.
Why Use Content Syndication?
If you have great content but are not reaching a large audience, you need to focus your efforts on improving reach.
Content marketing without an audience is a waste of resources.
Syndicating to a third party can allow you to get more use of your content by placing it in front of the types of people you want to attract as customers.
There are also content syndication platforms that can help businesses build awareness among a core audience, but also establish themselves as thought leaders.
The best strategies will consequently generate leads and grow their bottom line through the application of intent and account-based marketing approaches.
The syndication of content is just the first step in connecting with potential buyers.
There are also plenty of secondary benefits.
Syndication can help boost organic and referral traffic to your web properties, as links from authoritative websites indicate a high level of quality from your content.
For example, if your content is published on a media publication, any links you receive back to your website can help boost your domain authority, helping you rank higher for organic search terms.
Your online presence and brand recognition will also grow as long as you continue to publish consistent, quality content.
It will then be easier to reach out to other industry experts for further opportunities to distribute or cross-promote your content.
In a crowded market, publishing your content on several platforms with large and appropriate audiences can solidify your role in your industry and help differentiate your brand.
On another level, content syndication demonstrates the importance of content within an organization.
When content syndication is so closely aligned with performance, it becomes a powerful tool for:
Proving to Business Leaders That Content Drives Value
Syndication draws a direct line between the perceived and actual worth of content as a lead generation tool.
There is no faster and more effective way to demonstrate the business value of thought leadership.
Achieving Revenue Goals
Content marketers are largely judged by their ability to generate revenue for their business.
Content syndication drives actual, tangible revenue through thought leadership, while also making it much easier to attribute revenue to individual pieces of content or campaigns.
Connecting with a Larger Audience
Content marketers are creators, driven by an urge to connect with an audience.
Content syndication is a way to ensure that content is seen by those that can appreciate its value.
By enhancing reach, marketers can improve brand recognition and improve stickiness for all efforts.
How Does Content Syndication Work?
There are easily over 50 companies that provide content syndication as a service.
For most, the process is fundamentally the same.
These companies operate on a Cost Per Lead (CPL) basis.
They customize targeting for each campaign with the aim of presenting content only to the most suitable audience.
Typically, the more specific the targeting, the higher the CPL.
With any partner, the goal should be to test their capabilities by starting with a small budget, and then evaluate and repeat to optimize results.
The best partners will help you do that work, and use their experience to help minimize risk and maximize yield.
Many syndicates do not provide service support.
However, the industry is evolving.
Growth enabled by content syndication must go beyond publication.
Intent marketing and account-based marketing approaches utilize the reach that content syndication provides.
They bring that prospective audience down the funnel by incorporating precision targeting methods that focus on prospects that are ready to buy or working within targeted businesses.
There are also other forms of content syndication, such as:
Some blogs and news outlets use syndicated content as the backbone of their editorial output.
As a content creator, you simply need to reach out to the publication and see if they are interested in republishing your content.
Social syndication involves two companies agreeing to promote the other’s content on their respective social media channels.
This is another straightforward tactic, as sharing on social media requires little effort and most businesses have connections to peers and partners who will be willing to cross-promote.
This is when two or more companies collaborate on a joint promotional effort.
All parties share the effort of creating and promoting a piece of content and then share any leads that are generated from co-marketing.
Where Should You Syndicate Your Content?
Like any other marketing strategy, the success of your content syndication will be determined by the tactics you use.
The first step in achieving your syndication goals is to decide upon the source of your content.
This will more than likely be your proprietary content, but content published elsewhere (such as a corporate or executive LinkedIn page) are also appropriate and valuable.
Search Engine Journal, for example, allows guest bloggers to syndicate their posts, provided they wait two weeks after the date of publication.
Look for specialized content syndication players that have experience in helping their clients find the best possible outcome.
Types of Syndication Outlets
Consider syndicating content on several platforms or networks, to increase your potential audience reach.
Several multi-author publications openly accept syndicated content and allow you to republish whole or partial articles as well as connect your blog’s RSS feed.
Business 2 Community and Social Media Today are two popular syndication sites for business-related topics.
Blogging platforms allow users to create their own blog on the platform’s website.
They are a great option for syndicating content as they have their own built-in audiences and you can dictate the volume and cadence at which you would like to publish.
Content syndication networks help you distribute your content by placing recommendation links across their network of blogs and news sites.
Many syndication networks partner with authoritative websites and can help get your content in front of a massive audience.
Many of the top social media platforms have the option to publish your content directly onto the platform, including Facebook’s Instant Articles and LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform.
These are great options as you’ll have access to content discovery features and analytics, and can optimize your posts for social sharing.
Popular Syndication Outlets
Outbrain is a content marketing platform that serves up your work as recommended content on large media outlets like CNN, MSN, and ESPN.
Taboola is another content discovery engine that helps you by recommending your content on websites that will yield the best engagement.
Taboola merged with Outbrain in 2019 and mostly serves large scale publishers such as USA Today, NBC, and Bloomberg.
INFUSEmedia’s network of 30+ publications covers verticals including software, IT, healthcare, mobility, and many others. (Disclosure: I am the founder and CEO of INFUSEmedia.)
When Should You Republish Your Content?
Content syndication should be an “always-on” part of your growth strategy.
Businesses should always be looking for the opportunity to drive high-quality traffic to good content and to generate leads.
Timing is key.
If the content is originally posted on a platform that you own, you’ll want to wait to syndicate until after the original version is indexed by search engines.
Depending on the authority of your site, you may even want to wait for the content to rank high before choosing to syndicate.
This is because your syndicated version can easily outrank the original if you syndicate to websites with much higher authority.
As any brand marketer knows, preserving and enhancing your brand authority is paramount.
How to Improve Your Content Syndication Strategy
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of content syndication, you can begin finding the right syndication partnerships and creating the best content to connect with your target audience.
Here are three steps to help you succeed with your syndication strategy.
1. Master Your Outreach
Relationship building is an important part of establishing connections with the right syndication partners.
After you find publications that will help you reach your target audience, you’ll want to research them to learn about their style and other types of content on their website.
Once you have a better understanding of each publication, you can send a highly customized outreach message that will increase the chances that they will accept your syndicated content.
2. Syndicate ‘Up’
When syndicating your content, you should focus on partnering with syndicates that provide access to a larger audience than your own.
Audience size and quality is the major factor in being able to drive revenue at scale.
These partners will have established themselves as industry leaders in your field.
Their partnership will help you improve the reputation of your brand while developing your own authority and that of your thought leadership.
As this happens, it will be easier for you to find other partners willing to syndicate your works, and your business can gain momentum as your content is distributed across a variety of outlets.
As I mentioned earlier, syndication can also provide valuable backlinks that can improve the domain reputation of your website, helping you to gradually improve your SEO and the ability to attract organic visitors of your own.
3. Evaluate & Improve
Strategy is not a set-and-forget factor.
The goal of any campaign should be to constantly evaluate and improve outcomes by refining your approach.
For content syndication, the true determining metric of success is return on investment (ROI), but this can take time to ascertain.
The metrics that allow for ongoing evaluation and optimization relate to the quality of leads that you generate from your content syndication efforts.
To understand lead quality, pay attention to factors such as:
- Engagement rate: The number of opportunities that your sales executives can connect with or engage.
- Qualification rate: The number of opportunities that met the qualification criteria.
- Conversion rate: The speed at which qualified opportunities convert across the sales pipeline when compared with other channels.
- Win rate: The number of opportunities that convert to customers.
Consider secondary factors, also.
Brand lift and traffic can indicate campaign success, even if it is not easy to identify ROI for those outcomes.
Content syndication is the fastest way to make your content work for you, even at the earliest stages of your content marketing efforts.
Not only is this a way to generate revenue and directly impact your business’s bottom line, but it creates longstanding and ongoing equity by elevating your brand.
Reward your investment in content marketing with an audience that appreciates its value and can create value for your business.