There are many essential components that comprise a successful content marketing strategy—which should include everything from a full understanding of your brand identity to developing profiles of your target audience and ideal customers to creating a content calendar and so much more. But for our purposes here, we will focus on two key, equally important components of content marketing. The first is content creation. The second is the distribution of content. Because after all, what good is a piece of marketing content if no one is around to read it?
Content syndication falls within the latter bucket. While not as commonly used as other distribution methods—only 30% of B2B marketers consider It to be their most profitable lead generation tactic—most people are familiar with the basics.
Content syndication is all about republishing existing online content on one or more different platforms, to expose content you’ve already created to different audiences. It’s a simple enough concept that we’re not going to detail the fundamentals here. Rather, we’re going to show you the expert-level techniques most people don’t know about to maximize what you get out of the practice.
Only Syndicate High-Performing Content
It used to be that you only syndicated text content—blogs, whitepapers, and the like. Nowadays, you can just as easily syndicate videos, infographics, slide presentations, and even recordings of your webinars. So, while you can technically “syndicate anything,” you don’t want to syndicate content that hasn’t performed well in the hopes that it will do better in front of a new audience.
Content syndication is a strategy to amplify your reach by putting your best content onto platforms with more readers and a higher domain authority than your own website. If you publish underperforming, unpopular content on other platforms, it’s most likely going to underperform there as well. As the saying goes, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
You may be wondering why you can’t simply retool your underperforming content and then syndicate it. Before you do that, however, you need to determine why it missed the mark in the first place.
If and when you do rework existing content, however, you might as well distribute it through your usual channels and see how well it performs for a few months. If it hits all the right KPIs you establish for it, then you should syndicate it to amplify your reach.
Content syndication isn’t a silver bullet that’s going to revive dead, unsuccessful content and make it work—but it can take what already works for you and help you squeeze more out of it.
Syndicate on the Appropriate Platforms
There are some truly great platforms on which you can syndicate your B2B content at low-to-no cost. These include social media platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, and even Tumblr, as well as content publication platforms like Medium, SlideShare, Quora, and the like. You can also reach out to non-competitor websites within the same industry and arrange for a mutually beneficial syndication agreement—provided, of course, they at least have the same level of domain authority and share a similar audience as you.
When people talk about paid content syndication, they normally think about getting their content sponsored through platforms like Outbrain and Taboola. Those work essentially like any PPC campaign: you establish a budget, an acceptable cost-per-click rate, and your target audience. These platforms then push your content in front of an audience that fits your parameters. You should know that it will be tagged as “sponsored content” by search engines and even readers, and won’t give you any SEO juice or benefit you from a brand-awareness standpoint.
The other option when it comes to paid content syndication are platforms or service providers that offer specific audience targeting. These services usually have their own databases of millions of verified B2B contacts with matching intent data—which is a key differentiator and a real game-changer. A content syndication partner will get your content in front of an audience that matches your unique criteria AND are in-market and likely to make a purchase. It’s like dangling a carrot in front of someone who’s already said they want carrots—it’s a cost-efficient and more focused strategy than relying on the content recommendation platforms.
Carefully Prepare Your Content to Avoid Duplication
There are two reasons why marketers might shy away from content syndication. The first is they worry they’ll lose the audience they’ve already cultivated because their readers can see their content elsewhere. The second is a fear Google will tag the syndicated content as duplicate content, which would result in a negative “hit” on their SEO ranking. In both cases, you can assuage those fears by preparing your content carefully prior to syndication.
Regarding the first concern, the only time syndication won’t benefit you is if the content you’re syndicating doesn’t include enough inbound links pointing back to your website. Relevant links can potentially enhance your brand recognition and increase traffic into your site.
As to the second concern, it’s true Google doesn’t like duplicate content, as it’s commonly seen as a malicious way to ramp up one’s presence by essentially flooding search results.
It’s easy enough to avoid duplicate content penalties when syndicating. First, include links back to your original article. This will signal to Google that the content it’s crawling is syndicated on purpose and pass on equity and authority through these links. Second, you can tag the original content as canonical to indicate that it’s the original piece. Finally, you can request your syndication partner to use the noindex tag to effectively hide that version from the search indexes altogether. You don’t necessarily have to do all three; the first technique—including links to the original piece on your website—is sufficient to ensure your syndicated content is SEO-proof.
Smart Syndication is Effective Syndication
Content syndication can expand the reach of your best content by positioning it in front of a new audience. Provided you syndicate content that’s already proven effective in meeting your goals—lead generation, brand awareness, etc.—you can amplify the results you saw when you first published it.
If you want to leverage validated intent data to syndicate to an audience more likely to be interested in what you have to offer, talk to us today.
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