Considering all the benefits content syndication brings to your business—namely, its ability to increase brand reach, generate quality leads, and drive valuable marketing revenue—it’s understandable more and more B2B marketers now put content syndication at the forefront of their lead generation strategy.
But what about the investment factor? How much marketing spend does it really take to reap the rewards of an effective content syndication campaign? These are the questions you need to ask yourself before mapping out a comprehensive plan. You don’t want to go full steam ahead before knowing how much money it’s going to cost. Fortunately, content syndication offers a lot of flexibility in terms of financial investment, so you can design an approach that works best for you and your budget.
Figuring out your content syndication budget
Yes, it is possible to execute an effective content syndication campaign on any budget and still deliver meaningful results—it just depends on the approach you take. There’s the DIY option, which you can manage completely in-house with little to no added investment. And then there’s the paid approach, which, as the name implies, requires some additional costs on your end.
Here’s a helpful breakdown of both strategies, including estimated costs, pricing models, and other key financial details to help you determine an appropriate budget for your content syndication efforts.
DIY content syndication: what’s the cost?
Handling content syndication in house means you don’t have to include an additional line item in the budget to cover costs—technically speaking, it’s free. That’s because DIY content syndication doesn’t require a third-party stakeholder (a.k.a. paid vendor) to do the heavy lifting for you. With the free approach, you and your team are the ones responsible for choosing the most optimal content formats, topics, and distribution channels for your company’s target audiences. Most important to note, you’re also the ones in charge of tracking generated leads and measuring campaign performance. So, from a budgetary standpoint, DIY content syndication seems to be the more cost-efficient option.
But bear in mind, there are hidden costs associated with DIY content syndication that have less to do with dollars and cents and more to do with time—more specifically, how much of it you’re willing to invest.
Here are some of the more inconspicuous costs of DIY content syndication you’ll need to consider when deciding on an appropriate budget:
Hidden costs of DIY content syndication
- Leveraging data for market research
Before you begin mapping out a syndication strategy, you first need to take a deep dive into market research to determine who your target buyers are and what makes them tick. You’ll also need to get a sense of how they like to consume content, what content topics pique their interests, and which digital platforms they prefer. Once you combine all these insights, you start to get a clearer picture your ideal customer.
To do this, you need access to critical first-party data, which you can collect from your company’s own digital properties and communication channels, including your website, mobile app, social media accounts, and CRM platform, to name a few. These owned-and-operated systems compile key customer data, like records of digital interaction, purchase histories, and preferences, so you can create ads, offers, and additional content catered to customers’ needs.
You can also take your research a step further by applying second and third-party data to the mix. These additional insights give you a much deeper understanding of your target audience, and the granular details help sharpen that initial image of your ideal customer, putting it more into focus.
However, you can’t access second and third-party data on your own. Instead, you need to partner with a trusted data vendor who can reliably source customer insights from across the web, including social media interactions, search histories, and online transactions to give you a more holistic picture of your buyer personas. Of course, you’ll first need to assess potential data vendors before landing on the right partner, so in your review process, make sure to take these factors into consideration. It’ll help you zero in on the vendor best fit for your data needs.
- Data quality
High-quality data ensures your content syndication efforts actually produce high-quality leads. In your vendor assessments, make sure they can provide accurate, industry-relevant customer data so you don’t waste money on insights they’ve aggregated from irrelevant buyers or pesky bot traffic.
- Data range
Most data providers often highlight their total data range, and it’s important to see if the scope of their data coves the range of audience segments you want to reach via content syndication.
- Data compliance
Most importantly, you want to work with a vendor who’s GDPR or CCPA compliant. Check vendors’ websites to see if they’ve dedicated a section to data privacy. If not, go ahead and ask. If a vendor doesn’t have a compliancy rule in place, move on to the next.
Research cost report card
These are some of the potential costs you could encounter in the research phase of DIY content syndication:
|Research Activity||Potential Cost|
|Researching customer insights to establish ICP||Significant time investment|
|First-party data||Free (comes from your owned digital properties)|
|Choosing second or third-party data vendor||Significant time investment|
|Second-party data||Cost varies|
|Third-party data||Cost varies|
Choosing and/or creating content
Content syndication is the republishing of your top-performing content (meaning, content you’ve already published on your website) to other sites and digital networks outside your owned channels. So, in terms of investment, the “content” part of content syndication shouldn’t be too taxing, since your assets will already be in place. Still, you’ll need to spend time analyzing your current content library to determine the most relevant pieces to use for your syndication campaign.
The main concern at this point is value—you want to choose content that will provide considerable business value to your target audience. What kind of value, you ask? Well, your assets should convey at least one of the following: (1) a clear understanding of your buyers’ pain points, needs, and industry challenges, (2) a showcasing of your industry expertise or thought leadership, and (3) a source of business-related entertainment.
Now, if you don’t have any high-quality content ready for syndication, you need to invest both time and money into ideation, development, and production. But remember, you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch or spend extra cash on new pieces. You can lighten your load using tools like ChatGPT to optimize and repurpose existing assets.
Content cost report card
Depending on how robust your existing content library is, you might have to spend a decent amount of time, effort, and money not only choosing the right pieces for your syndication campaign, but also creating new ones, if need be.
|Content Activity||Potential Cost|
|Deciding which existing assets to syndicate||Moderate time investment|
|Creating new content||Significant time investment; cost varies|
Identifying optimal syndication channels
Much like the initial research phase, this part of the process also relies heavily on data-driven customer insights, because you need to know where on the web your ideal customers like to hang. There’s no use syndicating content to platforms where your target audience is nowhere to be found.
To start, you want to compile a list of potential syndication channels (i.e., social media sites, publication networks, platforms, etc.) that really resonate with your target audience. On that list, you can also include possible co-marketing opportunities with various publishers whose audience segments align with your ideal customer profile. For a more targeted reach, you can also explore niche outlets, like industry-specific blogs or forums where you share content to a concentrated group of relevant buyers.
If you don’t already have a solid breakdown of the publications or communities you might want to leverage, you’ll have to do some digging to find the right ones capable of supporting your content syndication goals. And if you’d like to establish partnerships with leading syndication outlets like Forbes, Inc., or Business Insider, be prepared to put in the time to build those relationships with editors or fellow contributors.
Channel ID cost report card
The more research required to pinpoint your most optimal syndication channels, the more you’ll have to invest your precious time and resources.
|Channel ID Activity||Potential Cost|
|Researching optimal syndication channels||Significant time investment|
|Access to first-party customer insights||Free|
|Access to second and third-party customer insights||Cost varies|
|Building co-marketing partnerships with publishers||Significant time investment; cost varies|
Unfortunately, content syndication isn’t a “set it and forget it” program—you need to run your campaign for a certain amount of time to accurately gauge its performance, identify elements in need of an upgrade, and refine those elements to improve your content syndication ROI. You and your team should decide for how long you want to run the campaign, then agree on a set of metrics to properly measure and track its performance and overall effectiveness. For example, here are some metrics you might want to use to analyze the success of your content syndication campaign:
- Number/volume of generated leads
- Quality of generated leads
- Conversion rate
- Asset downloads
- Social media shares
- Number of registrations (newsletter, webinar, event, etc.)
- Web traffic
- Click-through rate
Depending on your in-house analytics savvy, this may require additional resourcing or technological intervention, so make sure to factor in those costs to ensure you can properly assess your content syndication performance.
Analysis cost report card
The work doesn’t stop once your content syndication campaign is up and running. Performance tracking involves a lot of effort, and you might even need extra assistance to help streamline the process.
|Analysis Activity||Potential Cost|
|Establishing a performance tracking strategy||Moderate time investment|
|Analyzing campaign performance data||Significant time investment; cost varies|
Paid content syndication: what’s the cost?
Paid content syndication is exactly what the name implies—it’s a paid service in which a content syndication vendor performs all the tasks involved in designing an effective content syndication campaign. But don’t think your participation isn’t needed—you still have to be in lockstep with your syndication partner to determine the most relevant channels for your target audience. That way, your campaign can drive the most favorable results possible, whether that’s high-quality leads, increased brand awareness, or expanded reach. Not only that, but you and your chosen vendor also have to work together to come to an agreed-upon pricing structure. The good news is, most content syndication vendors can work within your existing budget, so pricing options are often flexible.
Based on your campaign goals (e.g., drive increased engagement or generate high-quality leads) a vendor will craft a bespoke campaign strategy that’s priced accordingly. The more clicks you want to drive or the more leads you want to bring in, the more money you’ll have to pay. So, if you’ve never worked with a syndication partner before, start conservatively. You can always build upon your efforts afterward.
Not-so-hidden costs of paid content syndication
Most content syndication vendors offer a cost-per-lead (CPL) pricing model, and they’ll work with you directly to design the most optimal content syndication campaign to fit your budget. Vendors set a specific rate for every lead you want to generate, and then, based on your total budget, you decide how many leads that’ll be. This pricing model guarantees you fixed results before your campaign even begins, since you already know the number of leads your budget will allow.
Depending on your industry or audience type, CPL prices may be relatively high, but good syndication vendors will leverage audience targeting, intent data, and other criteria to ensure your content reaches high-quality, well-screened, marketing-qualified leads. Remember, the better the lead quality, the more expensive the price tag.
Measuring content syndication ROI
You might think, “Why would I pay a content syndication vendor to handle my campaign when I can do it myself at a fraction of the cost?” The answer boils down to three crucial factors: efficiency, accuracy, and speed. A vendor can leverage buyer analytics and AI-powered technology to capture key behavioral signals and engagement data across various interaction points, then use that data to get granular with audience segmentation. This ensures you get legitimate, marketing-qualified leads in the fastest way possible.
Upgrade your content syndication strategy
Ready to generate high-quality leads using your existing content? Check out our webinar, “Let’s Upgrade Your Content Syndication Approach.” You’ll get a comprehensive breakdown of both free and paid content syndication methods and discover the benefit of working with a trusted syndication partner.
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