What’s the Difference Between Content Syndication and Guest Posting? 

B2B content often caters to a more specific audience, which means that the available distribution channels may be limited compared to B2C content. B2B marketers may need to find niche platforms or industry-specific publications to reach their target audience effectively. 

With this in mind, two popular strategies often come to mind for increasing reach and exposure: content syndication and guest posting. Both methods have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, but when used strategically, they can help you maximize your content’s exposure and drive more traffic to your website. 

Content syndication takes your proven, top-performing content and places it strategically in front of a targeted audience across third-party platforms and channels. Guest posting, on the other hand, is when you partner with a third-party publisher to create new content specifically for their site. In doing so, these third-party publishers include a link back to your website, which encourages visitors to click through and explore your page.   

Both tactics drive brand awareness and improve reach. But there are a lot of key differences between the two. This article will discuss the key differences between content syndication and guest posting and help you better strategize for your content distribution. 

Important Factors to Consider for B2B Content Distribution

First, let us discuss several challenges when it comes to content distribution. B2B content often targets a specific niche audience, which can make it challenging to reach a wide audience. This limited reach can pose challenges in terms of gaining visibility and generating leads. 

Complex buying cycle

B2B purchases typically involve a longer and more complex buying cycle compared to B2C. Decision-makers in B2B organizations need to carefully evaluate and consider multiple factors before making a purchase decision. This means that B2B content marketers need to create content that addresses different stages of the buying cycle and provides value throughout the process. 

Limited resources 

B2B content marketing often involves creating high-quality, in-depth content such as whitepapers, case studies, and research reports. However, creating such content requires significant resources in terms of time, expertise, and budget. B2B content marketers often face challenges in allocating resources to create and distribute content effectively. 

Reaching decision-makers

B2B content marketers often struggle to reach decision-makers who are busy and receive a high volume of content on a daily basis. Cutting through the noise and grabbing the attention of these decision-makers can be a significant challenge. To overcome this challenge, B2B content marketers should focus on personalization and relevance. Tailoring the content to the specific needs and pain points of decision-makers can help grab their attention and increase the chances of engagement. 

Pros and Cons of Syndicating for Content Distribution

We’ve talked about content syndication a lot, but in this section, we’ll look at it as a method for content distribution more than a lead generation boost. Content syndication offers several benefits, including increased reach, brand exposure, and the potential for more backlinks. By getting your content published on reputable platforms, you can establish yourself as an authority in your industry and attract a larger audience. 

However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. Duplicate content can be a concern, and if not managed properly, it can harm your website’s SEO. Syndicated content may also dilute your brand’s identity if it is not aligned with your messaging and values. Furthermore, you may have less control over the formatting and presentation of your content when it is published on third-party platforms. 

Pros and Cons of Guest Posting

Guest posting, or guest blogging, has a long history in content marketing. While it seems to mirror the idea of content syndication, it’s an entirely different strategy altogether. However, it still provides tremendous brand visibility and expands audience reach, making it a highly relevant tool for your content marketing bag of tricks.   

  • Increased visibility: By getting your content published on reputable websites, you can reach a wider audience and gain exposure among potential customers or clients. 
  • Enhanced credibility and authority: By showcasing your expertise through well-written guest posts, you can position yourself as an authority in your field, which can lead to more trust and credibility among your target audience. 
  • Expanded network: Guest posting allows you to connect with other industry experts, influencers, and website owners, which can open up new collaboration opportunities and expand your professional network. 

Despite these benefits, guest posting also has its drawbacks. One challenge is the time and effort required to research, pitch, and create high-quality content for each guest post. Additionally, not all websites accept guest posts, and even if they do, they may have strict guidelines or long publishing queues. Therefore, it is important to carefully choose the websites you target for guest posting and ensure that they align with your goals and target audience. 

Content Syndication Explained

Content syndication is a tried-and-true lead generation tactic for B2B marketers, and there’s data to back that up. According to Activate Marketing Services, content syndication ranked as the fastest-growing strategy to increase audience reach and expand brand awareness. It’s a proven and proactive approach to get your top-performing content in front of the people who matter most: in-market buyers with purchase intent.   

With content syndication, you can look at your existing content to identify articles, eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, and other top-performing assets to determine which ones will generate the most engagement among targeted leads. Then, either through your own in-house efforts (a.k.a. free content syndication) or by working with a content syndication partner (a.k.a. paid content syndication), you can strategically place and promote these pieces across third-party sites and channels, all in the hopes of attracting high-quality, in-market prospects.  

Free v. paid content syndication

Now, since there are two possible ways to syndicate content, let’s take a look at these individual methods to better understand the key differences, overall benefits, and potential pitfalls of each approach.   

DIY content syndication: the free approach

If you’re just getting started with content syndication or working with a limited budget, you may want to begin your journey in-house, using your own resources to share top-performing content on company-owned channels and other social platforms. Here are a few examples of how you can do it using the free approach:  

  • Republish articles on Medium  
  • Post videos on YouTube  
  • Pin infographics on Pinterest  
  • Answer questions on Quora  

But let’s say you want to expand brand awareness to a more substantial audience, republishing your existing content to well-known, top-authority sites with mass readerships. Well then, that takes a little bit more effort on your end. First, you’ll need to identify the most ideal publications to support this goal, pitch your content to the right sites, and build strong relationships with top-authority publishers. For example, Business Insider offers opportunities for content syndication, but you have to connect with their contributing writer network via email to pitch your idea to get the ball rolling. It’s more of a lift than simply republishing content to other free platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook, but in return, you’ll be able to connect more with relevant audiences and strengthen ties with prominent publishers.   

All in all, this DIY approach allows you to experiment with content syndication on a smaller scale and learn what kinds of content perform best among target audiences. Also, it’s a great first step in positioning your brand as a thought leader, boosting organic traffic to your website, and enhancing website authority. Better yet, you can even leverage AI tools like ChatGPT to create content for you, which helps teams that are light on resources.    

And one more thing before we move onto paid syndication—even though the free approach is an easy go-to solution for expanding brand awareness to large audiences, you still need to be mindful of best practices, especially if you want to perform well in search engine results. To avoid a search engine penalty for duplicate content, make sure to use canonical tags to indicate that the “master copy” of your syndicated content is available on your website.  

Partnering with a content syndication vendor: the paid approach

If you want to ramp up your content syndication program quickly and start driving measurable results in the fastest way possible, then consider working with a trusted content syndication vendor. Paying for professionals to do the legwork for you is simpler, more efficient, and, according to our research, the preferred method of most successful marketing teams.   

  • Typically, there are two ways paid content syndication vendors operate:  
  • Ones that offer a cost-per-click (CPC) solution (like Outbrain or Taboola)  
  • Ones that offer a cost-per-lead (CPL) solution (like PureSyndication)  

CPC vendors recommend your content to the most receptive audiences across top publisher sites, using algorithmic targeting to drive clicks, traffic, and conversion. CPL vendors, on the other hand, leverage criteria from your ICP, as well as campaign data, like your targeted number of leads and allocated budget, to determine an overall price tag for your syndication efforts.   

Strong content syndication partners will also integrate robust data sets to better target in-market leads, including technographic, demographic, and firmographic data, as well as multi-source intent data. All these factors combine to signal whether a prospect is interested in purchasing a solution to solve their existing business challenge. By engaging these potential customers with relevant content at the right time, you can start building trust, drive engagement, and help accelerate conversion.   

How to Create an Effective Guest Posting Campaign?

Unlike content syndication, guest posting involves the creation of new content for another publisher’s website. So, instead of sharing one of your existing blogs to an outside channel, you write a whole new piece and publish it specifically to your site of choice. This, then, highlights the importance of choosing the right publishing partner to work with.   

To guest post successfully, here are a few tips to follow:  

Identify the right partner

This part of the process can be considered as “identifying friendlies” This is when you identify and find companies that share a similar audience as your own, but pose no competitive threat. Look for company blogs or industry-specific outlets that cover topics relevant to your own area of expertise. It’s a good opportunity to drive real value with like-minded audiences.   

Build a relationship

Once you find the right publication for your guest post, get to know your publishing partner. Initiate a friendly business relationship to build trust and begin pitching ideas.  

Set clear expectations

Have a clear understanding of how your content will be used and confirm whether you can link the post back to your own site. Also, find out what kind of promotional plan is in place and see if you can be involved in any way.  

Get to know their audience

If your publishing partner is willing to share, look over their buyer personas and get to know their specific business needs and challenges. This way, you can see if your content properly addresses these points.   

Create your guest post (collaboratively)

Expect to work with your publishing partner in tandem, especially during the editing phase. If they have guest posting guidelines, review those before getting started. Since it is their website, you’ll need to follow their style guide and preferences accordingly.   

Promote and share

If it makes sense for your audience and it’s been approved by your publishing partner, promote and share your guest post on your own social channels.

Guest posting examples

DemandScience CEO, Peter Cannone, guest authored a piece for RTInsights titled, “How Agility Helps Overcome Sales and Marketing Challenges.” The online publication, which focuses on helping business leaders use data to accelerate enterprise growth, provided an ideal platform for Pete to share original research we conducted on sales and marketing alignment. As a result, we were able to position ourselves and our company as thought leaders in the B2B marketing space. 

Content syndication versus guest posting: which is right for you?

Both content syndication and guest posting are worthwhile marketing tactics. And they’re not mutually exclusive—you can do both. But when resources are limited, especially around content creation, you could get a bigger, more reliable return through content syndication.  

Guest blogging is a wonderful opportunity to publish an original piece of content on a third-party site. But if you post that blog on your own website and then syndicate it to a third party, you not only reach your own audience, but the audiences of all those third-party sites as well. This drastically increases your reach, which is really the strength of content syndication. 

Partnering with DemandScience for a Maximized Content Exposure

At DemandScience, our approach to content distribution is data-driven and strategically focused. We have a vast network of publishing partners and media outlets, allowing us to effectively syndicate your content and amplify its reach. By leveraging our data ecosystem with the right connections and the right distribution channels, we can help you reach a wider audience and increase your brand visibility. On top of that, by understanding what resonates with your target audience, we can create content that is tailored to their needs and preferences, maximizing engagement and conversion rates. 

For a more in-depth comparative analysis between content syndication and guest posting, download this ebook here.