What to Look for in a Content Syndication Vendor
May 10, 2022
Demand generation marketing is often measured by the amount of revenue you can influence over a set period of time, or as most marketers call it, lead generation. Content syndication not only offers a scalable solution for lead generation, but also plays into the higher demand gen strategy of building brand awareness and thought leadership. However, as you look to incorporate this solution into your marketing campaign rotation, it’s important to keep an eye out for some of the more successful practices content syndication vendors use to ensure you’re getting a quality return on your content investment.
Too often, content syndication programs are plagued with poor performing leads due to the vendor not specifically addressing the challenge at hand. Not all marketing campaigns are created equal, and content syndication can, and should, be formatted to fit your specific demand gen criteria, as well as your buyer persona and customer profile.
Why is Content Syndication Valuable?
Before we dig into what a third-party content syndication partner should provide you with, let’s take a quick look at why this approach to marketing is so valuable. First and foremost, content syndication offers scalable ROI. You can plan it out, far in advance, making sure it aligns with your growth goals as an organization. Both content marketing and demand generation teams are often tasked with building brand engagement through promotional channels, and content syndication can be a solution for that for both departments. Finally, it’s a customizable solution tailored to address your specific audience of buyers and should eliminate unqualified contacts from the lead pool.
What to Look for in a Content Syndication Vendor
If your inbound programs aren’t delivering the amount or the quality of leads and contacts to meet your sales targets, you should look into third-party demand generation services. With so many available outlets—from free platforms to cost-per-click services—how can you be sure you’re partnering with the right syndication vendor? Here’s what to look for to ensure quality outcomes and success in getting not just more eyes but the right eyes on your content.
High Quality Data
The most important feature any content syndication vendor should offer is data accuracy and quality checks. You should have faith the leads you’re receiving have the most up-to-date information and have been enriched with intent data to ensure each one is actually “buyer ready.”
Data accuracy usually involves the following:
- Buyer intent data
- Content engagement tracking
- Behavior analytics
- Decisional data
This data should also be regularly QA’d through AI or even manual efforts. Great data can lead to faster lead generation ROI. But poor data quality can not only destroy a marketing campaign, it can also put you at legal risk depending on the type of follow-up you’re performing.
Analyzing your buyers through engagement trends and competitive brand interactions is extremely important. Buyer analytics, as defined by Marketing Evolution, is the “study of data garnered through marketing campaigns in order to discern patterns between such things as how a campaign contributed to conversions, consumer behavior, regional preferences, and creative preferences.” Content syndication can provide this type of data to help enhance your database and improve your follow-up campaigns.
Content syndication vendors can make use of buyer analytics using AI to segment their audiences based on various interaction points. In theory, this process will help provide you better leads with more personalization. However, the catch is the vendor needs to consistently measure their audiences to keep up with changing trends. A great way to see how your content syndication vendor uses buyer analytics is to run two test campaigns with the same persona and see if the quality stays the same or if it drops off between the two test runs.
There are only so many people who are in the market to make a purchase at any given time. That means not every lead you generate from content syndication will be ready to talk to a salesperson. This fact is why vendors try to keep their audience engaged through regular nurturing of partnered content. Sometimes that comes in the form of an owned publication, or even a survey. What’s important is to make sure your prospects are regularly consuming content.
From a demand generation perspective, a lead that’s engaged with content consumption versus a passive lead can be the difference between closed-won and closed-lost. Depending on the type of media you syndicate, there can be a huge spike in your conversion rates once you start following up with the leads. It’s important to create and syndicate a variety of content to ensure you’re keeping up with the buyer’s own “internalized” narrative.
B2B databases tend to be filled with a wide variety of contacts, and they’re not always qualified for your brand. As a demand generation marketer, when researching content syndication services, try to find out if they offer various levels of segmentation in their campaigns. At the very minimum, your potential partner should be able to match your campaign criteria. It’s even better if they can get more granular, along these lines:
- Competitive Intel
- Buyer Intent
If they’re able to fill each one of these spots with segmentation options, chances are the vendor is a good fit for you. It’s also helpful not to get overwhelmed with the data. Just because you can segment your campaign down to miniscule details, doesn’t mean you should. Try and create campaigns that address your buyer’s needs, rather than trying to find the picture-perfect lead. You don’t have to chase unicorns to achieve success.
Agile Content Performance
Another important factor to keep in mind when researching content syndication vendors is how they measure campaign performance, and the ways they promote your content. The campaigns they run will always prioritize generating leads over anything else, but you want to make sure their syndication methods won’t damage your brand. Try to ascertain how many times they email your content to their prospects. Also, determine if the leads are generated over the phone or just by email? Successful marketing strategies are never set-and-forget. The goal of any campaign should be to evaluate and improve results by continually refining your methods. The same goes for working with third-party content syndication vendors.
Get the ROI Your Content Deserves
If you find yourself a bit overwhelmed with the deluge of information available about content syndication and how to run successful campaigns, you’re not alone. About 44% of marketers in 2021 said their biggest challenge was proving ROI of their content. That’s why DemandScience takes a personalized approach to MQL generation through content syndication. We can generate leads that fit specific criteria without cutting the volume. The end result is a happy medium of marketing attribution and sales-ready leads.