Originally published February 22, 2022
Content syndication can help turn your best content into a powerful lead generation tool.
It is a marketing methodology that allows you to get your content in front of a much larger audience than you would if you simply posted that same content to your website. Your ebook, whitepaper, report, checklist, or webinar can then be used to educate, engage, and qualify leads before they even visit your website for the first time.
For B2B sales and marketing teams, content syndication isn’t just a way to attract more leads, but the right kinds of leads. And according to our research, that’s one of the biggest challenges facing B2B organizations today.
Content syndication is a growing industry, expected to rise from $4.5 billion to $5.3 billion between 2020 and 2027. That means there are a lot of content syndication vendors and platforms out there that can help you republish almost any format of content you have.
We’ll get into that in some detail below. But first, let’s take a moment to revisit the basics of B2B content syndication.
What is Content Syndication?
Like the name suggests, content syndication refers to the strategic republishing of content in more than one location. In the context of B2B marketing, that means partnering with other websites, sharing content on social platforms, and promoting content on syndication networks. Content syndication is the process of distributing your content in a range of ways to reach your target audience.
In many ways, it’s a combination of content marketing and sales prospecting. Most people use content syndication to source relevant, vetted marketing qualified leads (MQLs) for their sales teams. Bear in mind that these MQLs will require a fair amount of nurturing—18-24 touches, in fact—before they’re ready to convert.
Who Uses Content Syndication?
The most successful marketing teams already have a content syndication program in place. In fact, a recent report on the state of demand generation found that content syndication was the fastest-growing lead generation channel, with 44% of B2B tech marketers reporting that their organizations had increased content syndication spending.
Content syndication is nothing new; large websites, magazines, and other widely distributed media use syndicated content provided by smaller publications all the time. Content syndication is appealing because smaller players can tap a wider audience and bank on the reputation of larger companies. At the same time, giants get diverse content without having to spend any resources. It’s also important to note that there are both free and paid options to begin syndicating your content, both of which we’ll explore below.
What are the Benefits of Content Syndication?
You might be thinking, “My content already generates consistent traffic, why should I bother with content syndication?”
When it comes to content, most marketing teams rely on the idea that their ideal buyer will search for a relevant keyword, then visit their article when it pops up on search results. From there, the article makes an offer of an even more valuable piece of content, like an ebook or guide. The hope is that visitor will be so impressed with the offer, they’ll gladly input their information on a landing page form, and voila, the brand new lead gets nurtured in an ongoing email drip campaign and passed over to the sales team
While this strategy can produce results, it also means you’re waiting for your ideal customer to search for a specific key word or phrase at the right time, hoping your article has a high enough rank on Google to get noticed and clicked on, and praying they’ll be engaged enough to give you their contact details when they get there. It’s a high-volume game that takes incredible focus on producing relevant content with high SEO value.
You can also send your latest content to your existing email subscribers to ensure people are aware of it. This can work well for nurturing the audience you’ve already acquired, but you’re certainly not going to find new leads by only talking to your existing list.
Content syndication goes beyond these manual approaches to content marketing.
The practice combines content marketing tactics—creating great content that provides a ton of value for your ideal customer—with a more proactive approach, including tactics like account-based marketing, data-driven prospecting, and real-time, contact-level intent signals.
By using content syndication, you can start matching your best content with the most relevant prospects for your business who are in the market for your solutions.
Content Syndication Benefits
- Scalable ROI. Content syndication will boost the return on investment of your content by using it to funnel leads into your pipeline, but more importantly, it’s able to be planned out, far in advance, and aligned with your growth goals as an organization.
- Brand engagement. Republishing your content to one or more different websites expands its reach to larger audiences. This wider exposure helps to scale awareness of and engagement with your brand. Best of all, it’s a solution for both marketing and demand generation teams.
- Customizable Audience. Content syndication can be tailored to address your specific audience of buyers, eliminating the risk of unqualified leads entering your sales funnel.
- SEO. Content syndication allows smaller publishers to piggyback on the authority and SEO reach of the larger platforms or publishers who might republish their content.
Getting Started with Content Syndication
Once you understand the benefits of targeted content syndication, you’ll want to consider the best approaches to getting started with this powerful lead gen channel.
You can try to build syndication capabilities internally, of course. In addition to the resources it requires to produce quality content driven by powerful storytelling, you’ll need to create tools, methods, and contacts to distribute your content to a broader audience. Many companies do this via their existing email marketing platforms and lists.
Part of the DIY approach includes finding the right publications, pitching them your content, and building relationships with publishers that are in your industry. There are plenty of publishers that offer native advertising or contributed content platforms that enable you to syndicate your content to their usually-larger audience— think Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Inc., Business Insider, and the like. These platforms each have their own specific guidelines and submission processes, and their editors receive dozens if not hundreds of pitches and articles a day, so be prepared and be patient.
There are a lot of both free and paid content syndication platforms out there that can help you syndicate different types of content. Do your research, find an outlet that fits your needs, and before you know it, you’ll be pushing your great content out to a wider audience while strengthening your online reputation and generating consistent traffic and leads.
Working with Partners
The other option is to outsource your content syndication processes. This approach means you partner with a company that already has a solution and system in place. This provider will help you devise a plan to reach the best targets from an existing, accurate database so you can attract the most qualified prospects possible.
A great content syndication partner will go beyond basic contact information and track multi-source intent data as well. Intent data reveals businesses that have already expressed an active interest in a solution to a problem or are already ready to make a purchase. That allows you to reach accounts when they’re most interested in solutions and services like yours, giving you the chance to engage with potential customers early, build trust with them, and stay ahead of your competition.
Free Content Syndication Options
When you’re getting started with content syndication, there are the obvious, and free, social media platforms you’ll want to take advantage of: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, for instance. But here are some platforms that might not immediately come to mind when thinking about leveraging existing material as part of your B2B content marketing efforts:
What started out as a forum and a social media platform is now one of the most popular websites in the world. It’s currently the tenth most-used social networking site in the US, actually. Reddit now has more than 430 million monthly active users and 50 million daily active users.
It’s organized in 2.8 million “subreddits,” which are communities revolving around a certain topic. These topics can be literally anything under the sun—cat memes, sitcoms, cybersecurity, software programming, even specific companies/brands have their own subreddits.
There’s sure to be a subreddit with your target market, and they are definitely engaging with one another. Just be careful with the self-promotion. Redditors don’t like being marketed to in the wrong context.
Quora is the most popular Q&A site on the planet. For each question that’s popped into your head, Quora likely has answers provided by thousands of its users.
As the premier place to find answers, your target audience may be asking questions related to your business or industry on Quora.
As an expert in your field, you can use Quora to provide value to users and promote your website at the same time. You can do this by using existing text content, such as blog posts, to answer questions you see asked on the site. Provide genuine value by pulling out a relevant response from your article, rather than only linking to it. The link should feel secondary to the value of the answer you give on-platform.
YouTube has a ubiquitous online presence, as you know. Aside from attracting millions of visitors looking for their video content fix, YouTube content constantly shows up on Google searches and social media feeds.
For this reason, it’s worth leveraging YouTube’s reach to help promote your business to your target audience.
For those just starting out, tools like InVideo can be used to transform your blog posts into short videos. Simply plug in the URL of your post and the tool will convert it into a short video that you can upload on your channel and share online.
If you run webinars and online presentations, you should also upload them to your YouTube channel to showcase your expertise to a wider audience.
When it comes to slideshow presentations, SlideShare is the content syndication platform. For years it’s been where the biggest and brightest speakers upload their B2B presentations for everyone to view.
If you’ve got existing presentations about your business, you should definitely be uploading them to SlideShare. If you haven’t created presentations before, you can create them by repurposing existing content using Canva’s free presentation slide templates.
You can also upload infographics on SlideShare to maximize views of your visual content.
Pinterest is a social media network that allows users to curate images they love by pinning them into their collections.
Infographics are an example of something you can share on Pinterest— linking them back to the blog posts they originally featured within.
If you’re not yet creating infographics, you can quickly turn your blog posts into them using an online tool such as Canva. A free account will give you access to hundreds of templates to choose from. Even without design experience, you can create professional-looking infographics using Canva’s drag-and-drop builder.
Medium is already pretty well-known both as a content platform and an app that syndicates content and sends personalized recommendations to readers based on interests. There are around 100 million monthly active readers on this platform, with almost half (49.56% to be exact) of traffic coming solely from search. This showcases Medium’s ability to get in front of audiences who are looking for something with intent.
With Medium, you can directly republish your articles as blogs so your business can start building a reputation as a contributor to a certain subject. In fact, you can import your original content by pasting its URL in Medium’s blogging backend. Medium will automatically format everything and even apply the meta tags so search engines will still be able to point to your website as the original source of the content.
Paid Content Syndication Options
Paid content syndication is when you pay to promote your content to your ideal audience. Paid content syndication will increase the reach of your content and, when done correctly, can increase the ROI of your content by turning it into fuel for lead generation.
If you’ve tried the free route to lackluster results, it’s worth researching paid content syndication options. Especially in the B2B space, where the timing of connecting with the right buyers at the right time can be more than a little challenging. The key, of course, is selecting the right partner.
Content syndication networks can help you distribute content to innumerable news and blog sites within their respective network. You can use B2B content syndication platforms like Outbrain, Taboola, ARC XP, and PureSyndication to support your specific business objectives.
How Paid Content Syndication Works
While it will vary from vendor to vendor, you should be able to do the following with any paid content syndication partner:
1. Choose your target audience. In the DIY model, zeroing in on the right audience often determines which websites you will syndicate to. With a dedicated, paid syndication service, you choose the audience you want to target with multiple points of precision, usually based off your existing ICP.
2. Build a campaign using your best content. Ideally, you should syndicate content that has successfully generated leads, converted readers or boosted sales. Any type of content is eligible for content syndication. But the goal is to support prospects throughout their entire customer journey, so it’s important to create or repurpose quality content that’s pertinent to specific areas of the sales funnel. Note also that you’ll likely have to build landing pages for your content syndication campaigns to drive leads to, so they’ll be able to register and download your great content!
3. Track program performance. You want to be able to identify strategic elements in need of improvement, top-performing assets, and such metrics as readership, social sharing and engagement. All of this is easier with a dedicated content syndication partner; the best of them track performance as part of their SLAs.
4. Develop a nurturing program. You should have a structured nurturing campaign already in place to ensure these leads receive a response quickly to identify what additional content should be used to further develop the lead, and which ones will ultimately merit a follow-up from sales. Again, this is a lot easier again with a dedicated content syndication partner, because they often do this for you — with qualifications based on your specific requirements, but also with such data-driven prospecting tactics as contact validation, actionable buying signals and confirmed connections (i.e., identifying potential buyers who have responded to email or answered the phone within a 30, 60 or 90-day period).
For an in-depth look at why it’s so important to find the right partner in this space, check out our blog post on “How to Choose a Content Syndication Vendor.”
How Does Content Syndication Fit Into Your Larger Marketing Strategy?
We’ll assume at this point that you already recognize the power of content in your marketing funnel. Whether you’re creating weekly blog posts or in-depth whitepapers, you know that content can be a powerful way to attract new customers, or nurture leads in your database.
It’s a standard practice in marketing to allocate 25–30% of your total budget for content marketing. And in the B2B space, 71% of organizations perceive the value of content marketing to be accelerating in their respective sectors.
As a means for building brand reputation, educating potential customers, and direct lead generation, content syndication is a key part of your successful B2B marketing strategy.
Boost Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
If you’re running paid ads (on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, or elsewhere) but aren’t seeing the Return On Ad Spend that you hoped to achieve, it may be a sign that you need to find new or better ways to connect with your target audience. Compelling and conversion-driven storytelling can keep visitors engaged throughout their buyer’s journey, tap into their pain points and offer real solutions. The best paid content syndication vendors will offer guaranteed leads that match your ICP, and once you tailor your ads to speak to (and offer content that addresses) the pain points of those customers, the conversion rates of your ads should improve.
Save In-House Resources to Build Your Marketing Engine
When you’re only relying on free channels to syndicate your content, you need an in-house team with the capacity to handle it. If you’re committed to fully promoting every blog post, whitepaper, podcast, or webinar you publish, then you’ll need to accept that your team will have less time for content creation and other work. Or you’ll need to staff up to handle the extra volume. One significant benefit to paid content syndication is that once you’ve launched your campaign, it will be promoted to your target audience at the best possible times to increase engagement with no additional work on your end.
Increase Both TOFU and BOFU Leads
One of the best parts of an effective content marketing program is that it promotes your business organically, allowing you to attract highly qualified leads to both the Top of the Funnel (TOFU) and Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU). While that may sound simple in theory, it’s really not. It takes a lot of time to plan and develop a productive lead nurturing strategy, produce all of the necessary relevant content, and continually evaluate the leads you nurture as they move down the sales funnel. With a paid content syndication vendor, you can create content with your audience already in mind and can have complete control over when it’s promoted to that audience, regardless of funnel stage.
Improve Your ABM Campaigns
91% of companies using account based marketing (ABM) increase their average deal size, often by up to 50% or more. Why? Because it’s the best way to target and engage with key decision-makers at companies who you’ve pre-qualified and are confident will get value from your solution. Paid content syndication goes hand-in-hand with ABM because with it, you can systematically promote your content to the right decision-makers at the right time. This also works especially well if you’re combining your campaign with intent data, and targeting leads when they’re actively in-market, pursuing solutions to problems they’re facing.
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