Content syndication is a powerful tool used by marketers to extract additional value from their existing content by giving them access to new markets and new audiences.
It works by repurposing content that’s currently live on their site for publication on third-party sites, where the hope is that their assets will generate organic traffic from untapped sources and generate new leads for their sales departments. (The reverse can also be true, where marketers publish another site’s content on their own site to enhance industry authority and credibility.)
Done right, B2B content syndication can deliver serious returns for content marketers without requiring much of a heavy (resource or operational) lift. Let’s take a look at the basics of content syndication and how you can use it to enhance your wider marketing strategy.
What is content syndication?
Content syndication is a form of marketing in which content is repurposed and published on external, third-party sites. Content syndication can bring value to both parties. For the owners of the content, it gives them exposure to new audiences and helps drive organic traffic to their own sites, while for the hosts of the content, it creates additional value for existing site visitors while aligning the brand with a recognized industry authority or personality.
Some of the benefits of content syndication include:
- Increasing website traffic: Syndicated content should include ample hyperlinks and references to existing content on your own site, helping to drive traffic to your other assets and online collateral. This can play an important role in your B2B lead generation strategies, which partly depend on a steady flow of high-quality (and conversion-ready) visitors to your landing pages.
- Generating backlinks: Content syndication drives referral traffic from external sites to your homepage, making it a key part of your link building strategy. Backlinks are critical to your larger content marketing efforts because they are one of the factors used by Google to determine the reliability of your content. A backlink signals that other users trust your content, meaning search engines are more likely to place your content at the top of search results pages.
- Extending your reach: Publishing content on third-party sites gives you access to a new audience of potential customers with whom you have no prior engagement. That helps to increase the exposure of your brand to a much wider potential customer base, helping you to boost brand awareness and reinforce your authority in the industry.
- Access to new markets: A wider reach could also mean access to new markets. When you publish content on the right third-party sites, you’re putting your brand in front of the customers that are most likely to be interested in your products or services. Not only could that help to generate new business from your ideal customer profiles (ICPs), it might also open new market segments you never knew existed.
Types of content syndication
While some outlets might choose to run syndicated content alongside the assets they produce in-house (typically in the form of guest posting), there are some platforms whose primary purpose is content syndication.
These platforms can be subdivided into paid and unpaid channels. Each one carries its own advantages and disadvantages for your marketing team, which should be weighed against your specific goals and requirements before choosing the type that works for you.
Paid content syndication
If you’re willing to devote some of your marketing dollars to syndicate your content, paid channels (like Taboola and Outbrain) offer an attractive set of services and advantages that can help you maximize your ad spend.
In addition to providing a large (usually curated) audience for your content, paid syndicators also usually supply a range of additional services to help maximize your results. They might evaluate your business needs and industry requirements to help you target the right audiences while doing much of the manual work required for content distribution.
Unpaid content syndication
There are numerous free content syndication channels (including Quora, Medium and LinkedIn) available for publication. Marketers can easily gain access to these channels and distribute their content to a wider audience, without requiring any upfront costs.
The primary benefit of unpaid channels, of course, is that your content gets free exposure to a much larger audience than you might otherwise engage. This is great for content marketers on a tighter budget who are currently struggling with brand exposure, as the right campaign can deliver the results they’re looking for without requiring a massive chunk of their ad money.
Creating a great content syndication strategy
Building a high-performing content syndication campaign requires time and patience. Consider the following steps to help you identify your objectives and maximize your chances of achieving them.
1. Understand your goals
A great content syndication strategy starts by defining the ultimate goals you want your campaigns to achieve. It’s important that your goals are attainable and measurable to maximize the chances of success (and give you the feedback you can use to inform your future campaigns).
The goals you select will help you determine the type of content you want to create and, more importantly, the websites you will partner with. For example, if one of your goals is to establish thought leadership, your strategy might include producing original content (backed by independent research) and publishing it in large outlets that are already considered industry authorities.
2. Create your content …
Creating the right content starts with identifying the appropriate target audience. Understand which of your buyer personas you are trying to target, and build content that directly addresses the needs, challenges and interests of those ICPs.
Content creation should directly reflect the goals you outlined at the beginning. Establishing thought leadership will require more original research and a unique perspective, while increasing web traffic might be best served by providing in-depth answers to common questions customers have from a new angle.
While you shouldn’t create content strictly to fit the needs of the syndication partner you eventually choose (detailed below), you should try to keep their audience in mind, too. Not only will this make your content more appealing to the syndication provider, it will also help you connect with their audience and drive your intended results.
2a. … Or repurpose your existing content
One of the great benefits of content syndication is that you don’t actually have to create new content to publish on third-party websites. Sometimes, a good content syndication strategy requires only that you repackage your existing original content and place it in front of a new, wider audience (with appropriate credits) to generate organic traffic from different sources.
When it’s time to dive in, identify content assets that currently exist on your site and determine which ones would be fit for content syndication. In addition to following the same audience and goal considerations mentioned above, content that usually works best is your evergreen and timeless pieces, enabling your syndication provider to keep your assets live for a longer period of time without requiring constant updates or management.
3. Select a content syndication partner
Once you’ve determined the content fit for syndication, take to the market to explore the available syndication partners that are best suited to your purposes. The right partners should have audiences that are similar to your own (or at least audiences that can help deliver the results you’re after).
Take the time to conduct thorough research on each of your content syndication partners’ activities and history. Part of the reason content syndication works so well is that your brand will be associated with the trustworthiness and credibility of another brand, but the opposite can also be true. Associating with a content syndication partner that has a reputation for unethical business practices can negatively affect your own brand image.
Consider whether you want to target paid or unpaid channels. This will depend largely on your goals, budget considerations and the value one channel might present over another.
4. Take a dynamic approach to content syndication
Don’t just syndicate one piece of content or optimize a single channel. This can lead to overexposure, which can cause your returns to diminish in the long run. Instead, create a selection of content assets and aim to distribute them across multiple channels for maximum performance and exposure.
In addition to taking a multichannel approach, you should also consider syndicating content from external parties on your own outlet. Partner with recognized industry experts and leaders and encourage them to write a guest post for publication under your brand. This will help drive sections of their audience to your site while raising the credibility of your company.
Using content syndication to enhance your marketing strategy
Content syndication should form one part of a larger marketing strategy. Consider the following methods and techniques to help you leverage content syndication to enhance your wider marketing efforts:
Elevate your lead generation efforts
Content syndication can play a central role in boosting your lead generation efforts and helping you drive qualified leads to your sales team. When using content syndication for lead gen, it’s first important to select the right syndication provider. Choose one that serves an engaged audience similar to yours to ensure you’re reaching potential qualified leads.
Some syndication providers might let you filter target audience settings so your content is going directly to the users you want consuming your assets. It’s important to understand beforehand what characteristics define your target audience, including titles, company sizes and industries.
When selecting content for your syndicated lead generation campaigns, consider publishing shorter versions or excerpts of longer pieces that live behind gated forms on your site. This will help generate interest in the larger content from the new audience, which can help encourage clicks and downloads.
Use data analytics to track performance
Ensure you have the data analytics infrastructure in place to track the performance of your content syndication campaigns. This will help you assess how well your content is performing in third-party channels, helping you make decisions regarding future campaigns. Key performance indicators (KPIs) you should consider tracking include:
- Page visits
- Bounce rate
- Average session duration
- Goal conversion rate
- New visitors
Measuring this information helps you quantify the ROI of each of your campaigns, helping you understand which third-party platforms are delivering the results you are looking for (and should therefore be further optimized) and which ones are not.
Leverage buyer intent data
Data is the heart and soul of a good content syndication campaign. Using intent data, you’re better able to understand the exact demographic and firmographic profile of your ideal customer (based on who is consuming content like yours and buying products similar to yours). You can leverage this information to build content that better matches the challenges, questions and interests of your ideal customers, encouraging greater engagement and more website traffic.
Intent data also helps you understand the preferred digital channels of your target audience. Not only can this help you build a more relevant digital content experience, it can also assist you in pinpointing the content syndication providers that are most suited to your needs. For example, if your data is telling you that your customers prefer consuming content on their mobile phones, you might consider partnering with a syndication provider with an excellent mobile experience.
Transform your content marketing strategy with CONTENTgine
At CONTENTgine, we syndicate content from thousands of different sources, gathering billions of intent signals our clients can use to understand what type of content performs well, who’s interested in their offerings, and what accounts are likely to be in the market.
Our content database consists of hundreds of thousands of B2B content assets, including whitepapers, case studies and more, giving marketers a wealth of insights across numerous industries they can use to transform their content marketing strategies and elevate their brand across all channels.
Connect with our team at CONTENTgine to get started today.