Content Syndication Pitfalls for Your Brand
October 31, 2016
Augmenting your original content through syndication, aggregation, and curation are crucial strategies marketers use to increase their target audience reach and boost demand generation. While these terms are so closely related that they’re often interchanged, it’s important to note that each is quite distinct.
Content syndication is the process of promoting your content on third-party websites as full articles, snippets, links, or thumbnails. The idea is to gain exposure and drive engagement by plugging your content into as many related digital contexts as possible.
On the other hand, content aggregation is the process of collecting content from different online sources for reuse or resale. This can be done by a real person or via automated software, as the results are organized systematically based on various characteristics.
Content curation is similar to aggregation in terms of gathering content. However, it is different in that the content can also be original and the curation process uses a person’s editorial skills and expertise.
Content syndication is one of the most effective ways of amplifying your content and increasing traffic to your website. If done correctly, it can improve your brand reputation. But if done poorly, it can potentially hurt your brand image. Here are a few mistakes to avoid.
1. Ignore the Fine Print
Make sure that you take a close look at any syndication agreements you enter into with publishers. Remember that not all websites are reputable. Look for those that not only have a good reputation and online presence but a well-established content syndication program in place.
2. Don’t Use Content Syndication Software
Apps and software tools such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social are easy to use and help you amplify your syndicated content to reach as many readers as possible. If you’re still doing it manually via multiple online platforms, you’re missing out on the ease and convenience that these readily available tools bring to the table. They’ll also save you from endless hours of searching for syndication opportunities.
3. Don’t Follow Up on Leads
If your syndicated content manages to drive prospects towards your sales funnel, you should act quickly. As the saying goes, you must strike while the iron is still hot! See to it that you institute a timely lead follow-up strategy after capturing those leads.
Every one of them should immediately receive a welcome email after they appear on your prospect list. This ensures that leads are acknowledged, and there are no missed opportunities for turning a lead into a paying customer.
4. Share Uninspired Content
It’s not enough to just share product features and upcoming events. Come up with a syndication strategy for content that resonates with your target audience and encourages engagement.
If what you share doesn’t grab their attention and keep them interested, your audience will tune out. Take time to define your messaging strategy. If it doesn’t pull at their heartstrings, entertain them, or convince them to take the next step, perhaps it’s time to review your storytelling approach.
5. Don’t Post Enough Content
In this case, the more, the merrier. The more content you syndicate, the higher your potential lead volume. This, in turn, improves your ability to meet lead targets at a more efficient rate. Just make sure that you’re keeping enough unique content to publish on your website. Otherwise, users won’t have a good reason to visit.
The only additional cost for providing more syndicated content is the time spent creating the content to syndicate. Explore which types of content get the best reception from different channels. Whether it’s eBooks, videos, webinars, infographics, or white papers, pay attention to which types of content generate the most leads and decide what to focus on from there.
6. Write Bad Abstracts
An abstract is typically about 200 words long and is used to describe the content you’ve shared on a website. Many fall into the trap of writing abstracts in an uninspired manner, which is an excellent strategy if you want readers to ignore the great content you’ve created.
To encourage clicks, you should write an abstract that inspires whoever reads it. You can do this by describing the value of the content and perhaps some key selling points. Use action words like “learn” or “find out more” to ensure readers know precisely what to do next.
7. Create Duplicate Content
One of the biggest issues with syndicating content is the potential for creating duplicate content and hurting your SEO. Thankfully, there are a few ways to ensure that search engines handle it correctly.
- “rel=canonical” tags that point back to the original article tell search engines that the syndicated copy is just a copy of the original. This way, any links to the syndicated content will accrue to the benefit of the original article. Yoast has a great guide on the rules of implementing this tag.
- “No index” tags tell search engines not to include the syndicated copy in their index. This will fix the duplicate content issue, but it won’t pass any authority gained from the syndicated content back to the original. Find out more about no index tags from Google Support.
- Direct attribution links that point to the original article within the syndicated content can also help reduce the risk of duplicate content. However, you should only use this method if the previous two routes aren’t an option because there’s a slight risk of it not working properly.
Indeed, if executed correctly, content syndication can provide a host of benefits to improve your brand reputation. The increased exposure will bring more awareness to the particular niche market you are targeting. Also, greater brand awareness will help boost trust and your level of authority within your industry.
As much as possible, try to avoid the blunders mentioned above, and you’ll be well on your way toward reaping the rewards afforded by a sound, well-executed content syndication strategy.
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