Is your business currently debating whether content syndication is a good fit? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. In this post we’ll unpack what content syndication is, what its advantages are, and how to use it for maximum success.
Getting Started with Content Syndication
Seasoned marketers may be wary of content syndication. Perhaps the concept dredges up memories of failed campaigns, mismanaged expectations, and broken promises. Others will recall a huge volume of cost-effective leads entering their CRM, but also the subsequent internal challenge of tracking ROI. But a select few marketers will know the truth: when used correctly, a content syndication platform is a powerful tool for effective B2B lead generation.
What is Content Syndication & Why Should You Care?
In case content syndication is new to you, here’s a brief overview: An advertiser (your company for example) gives their content—whitepapers, eBooks, seasonal reports etc.—to a publisher. That publisher then sends your content to contacts in their database, segmented to match your specific target audience.
This content is gated. If prospects want to get their hands on it, they must provide their contact data and consent to being contacted by you at a later date. This data is then passed on to you as a lead.
There are two main advantages to having content syndication as part of your B2B lead generation strategy. First, you generate much higher lead volumes than is possible with your own database. Second, you create an initial engagement with a potential prospect right off the bat. This is the important part. Anyone can buy data, but getting that database to actually engage with your brand can be tricky. Content syndication solves this challenge.
What’s more, content syndication is usually based on a performance model. The advantage of this? You only pay for the leads you get, creating a relatively risk-free marketing program.
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Content Syndication
Like anything, content syndication has its pitfalls. Truly understanding them and knowing how to avoid them can transform this channel from a source of endless frustration into a powerful tool that will feed your funnel with quality leads in a cost-effective, targeted way.
The biggest challenge is managing your sales team’s expectations. Leads generated by content syndication are at the very top of the marketing funnel, so regardless of how much qualification you add through questions, intent, or BANT, they are not sales-ready leads. Anyone claiming otherwise is simply filling you with sales nonsense.
Because these leads aren’t sales-ready, you must nurture them to extract their true value. Lead nurture can take many forms: sending more content, carefully tracking web activity, or gentle sales calls to better understand a lead’s needs can all do wonders.
The most common complaints from advertisers are “the prospects weren’t interested” or “they don’t remember downloading our content.” This is generally because no lead nurture has taken place. Instead, it’s likely a salesperson has called the prospect and said something along the lines of, “I saw you downloaded our whitepaper and may be interested in buying our product or solution.”
Unsurprisingly, this rarely works. Picture yourself receiving a flashy brochure for the latest BMW in your inbox. You may download it out of curiosity. Why not? It’s a BMW. You already have a car, so this isn’t a critical purchase, but it’s nice to have a browse. But then two days later you get a call from a BMW sales rep saying, “I saw you downloaded our brochure, I understand you want to buy a BMW.” Unless this rep has been exceptionally lucky and happened to find you deep in the buying process, your answer is likely going to be a surprised “what, no! I didn’t download anything” or, more simply, a “sorry no, not interested.”
Imagine an alternate scenario. Over the course of a few months, you receive subtle teasers about the great features of the BMW. You start noticing the advantages the BMW has over your 10-year-old Ford. What’s more, you’re offered a free test drive at the weekend, and then shown how affordable the car really is. If after all this, you receive a call saying, “Have you considered upgrading your car recently?” the odds are much higher that you’re going to say yes. You may not be 100% ready to purchase the shiny new car, but you’re seriously thinking about it, you’re deeper into the funnel, and it’s much easier to get you to buy
The Nature of Nurturing
Apply this same process to B2B content syndicated leads. These prospects have downloaded a report about your product or service. Even if they’ve established that it can improve their business, they still need some teasing and a little more information to get them to trust your brand, and to be ready to part with their precious budget.
These are the basics of nurturing, and you don’t necessarily need expensive marketing automation software to get a great nurture program in place. Your sales teams can even do it themselves, by:
- Treating the leads as cool
- Refraining from referencing the content at all
- Simply asking broad, open-ended questions
They can then start building a working relationship, understanding the lead’s needs and sending them interesting articles to give them more information before jumping in with a full pitch.
Is Content Syndication For You?
Content syndication is a cost-effective way to generate high volumes of relevant leads. When you manage expectations and a robust follow-up process is in place, content syndication drives engaged leads straight to your funnel and keeps your sales team happy. This is especially true if you partner with a dependable lead generation company.
If you’re considering adding content syndication to your B2B marketing strategy, why not jump in now? Here at DemandScience we’ve helped customers of all sizes to set up a successful content syndication program. With no minimum spend, and a guaranteed cost-per-lead, you’ve got nothing to lose! Get in touch with us today.
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