How to Use Syndicated Content to Generate Leads
December 12, 2016
Content syndication is a great way to improve your lead generation efforts because it amplifies your reach, allowing you to tap into an audience you might not have been able to reach otherwise. This helps you optimize returns and put your content in front of a relevant demographic with high buying potential, so you’re not restricted to your immediate audience of subscribers and loyal followers.
After all, you put a lot of time and effort into creating high-quality content, so it’s only natural that you’d want to expand your reach so that more prospects can benefit from your offer. This is where effective content syndication works like a charm.
On top of that, sharing your content improves your search engine performance through relevant backlinks and enhanced credibility. It also positions you as a thought leader in your industry. Ultimately, higher search placements help generate more traffic that could potentially result in more qualified leads.
How Does Content Syndication Work?
Publishing and delivering your content to a number of social media networks and third-party sites at the right time and in the right way can lead to a notable increase in quality traffic for your blog. But, most importantly, it will give you an idea of what types of content work best for specific communities.
If you think you can win the game of content marketing simply based the volume of content published, then it’s time to think again. While it’s true that posting an ample amount of quality content can increase your organic traffic, it’s equally necessary to figure out a way to reach your audience whenever you have new content to share.
Let’s face it, considering the mass of content published daily on the web, capturing your target audience’s attention can be a frustrating ordeal. The more clutter there is, the harder it is to stand out from the crowd.
Options for Content Syndication
Co-marketing is when two companies collaborate on promotional efforts for a co-branded offer. Both companies promote a piece of content, which can be in the form of an ebook, whitepaper, research study, or any other gated content. Users are directed to a landing page where they can access the content upon providing their contact details. The resulting leads are then shared between the two companies.
2. Social Syndication
This technique is sometimes called “content swapping” and involves two brands agreeing to promote each other’s content on their own social media channels. This is a fairly simple and easy-to-implement strategy because sharing content on social media doesn’t take much effort. However, the opportunity for enhanced exposure makes this tactic hard to ignore.
3. Press Releases
Press releases distributed to various online media outlets, in some cases for free, and in other cases for a nominal fee. This content works best when your company has a new product available or some other piece of company news that your audience might find interest. It is written as a news-style article that links back to your brand’s website. Optimize press releases for lead generation by including links to an appropriate landing page where you can collect user contact information.
4. Guest Blogging
A guest blog is when an author creates unique content to be published exclusively on another brand’s website. It’s a great way to build backlinks and enhances your search placement online as well. Having said this, your main objective for guest blogging should be to drive relevant traffic and to build trust and authority for your brand. Backlinks should be acknowledged as a nice bonus.
5. PPC Promotion
For a fee, you can partner with a content syndication service to advertise or push your branded content onto specific sites. The service can also recommend your content on relevant websites that fit the demographic you want to target. Popular syndication networks include Outbrain, Zemanta, and Taboola.
6. Traditional Syndication Sites
This is where brands approach relevant syndication sites to republish their content. It can either be done through an entire article, part of an article or an RSS feed. Popular marketing syndication sites include Business2Community, SocialMediaToday, and Mashable. There are also paid content syndication networks that can help distribute your content to a wide range of relevant websites.
Optimizing Your Syndicated Content
1. Set Specific Goals
It’s already a given that you’re using content syndication to generate more leads by putting your content in front of a wider audience. But, it’s not enough to know that. You need to define the specifics of what exactly you’re aiming for. It’s best to identify your objectives down to the most granular level.
For example, are you looking for top of the funnel leads who will come from a more general audience or those who have already been identified as belonging to the middle of the sales funnel? Or is this a follow-up campaign directed toward Marketing Qualified Leads?
Drill down to what your goal is to help you decide on what your next steps will be, as well as what metrics you need to track and measure.
2. Align Your Content to Specific Stages of Your Sales Funnel
Knowing what your prospects require depending on which stage of the sales funnel they’re in will help inform the type of content you’ll want to utilize. For example, someone who’s in the later stages might be looking to make comparisons between their possible options so an educated decision can be reached.
In this case, a pricing or features comparison study would be appropriate and will get the best response. Those in the earlier stages of the funnel would most likely prefer topics that introduce a problem and discuss possible solutions.
3. Extend Your Sales Funnel
Social media has long been hyped as the next big thing in content marketing reach. Social media makes it easier for current customers and potential prospects to interact with and share content. Given this, more and more often first touch is occurring on third party websites. This is great because if you’re savvy in your use of content syndication channels you can bring in prospects you might not have even known you could reach.
4. Never Compromise on Quality
Always come up with high-quality content that is crafted to resonate with your target audience and to help them in tangible ways. Provide something valuable and make it as informative, entertaining, and easy to digest as possible. Remember that your primary goals are to build authority and drive relevant traffic, so the quality of your syndicated content is critical.
Your audience craves story. Narrative weaves its way through most of pop culture and marketers would do well to take note of this and to incorporate it into your marketing efforts. Customer success stories, testimonials, and case studies are all content that is on the rise as these stories bring in prospects and generate sales. If you bring a prospect along through a well-told marketing story, you’ll be able to keep them turning pages until they finally come to the last page: the sale.
5. Provide Gated Content that Compels Visitors to Act
If your content is accessible online, make sure that you can capture contact details and other relevant prospect information where possible. You can achieve this by linking your syndicated content to your gated content that requires prospects to provide contact details in order to access it.
Most readers generally prefer the following formats: e-books, case studies, research reports, webinars, whitepapers, worksheet templates, and checklists.
6. Brevity is Golden
Long-form communication, while not precisely a dying art, is certainly something that must be used carefully. Much of the groundwork of B2B marketing and content syndication is being laid through brief, engaging and easily remembered short-form communications that lead to previously unknown levels of lead generation.
7. Do the Right Thing with SEO
If you’re not careful, you might make the mistake of creating duplicate content when trying to get your posts syndicated. You should know that search engines penalize websites for having content that isn’t unique and original, so take every precaution to prevent that from happening.
There are three common ways to ensure that your republished work is not regarded as duplicate content:
Placing the “rel=canonical” tag on your syndicated content will ensure that it points back to the original post located on your website and attributes all associated authority to the source. This tag tells search engines that you are the original publisher and that the syndicated content is just a copy.
Using the “noindex” tag on the syndicated copy tells the search engines that the republished content should be kept out of the directory and that automated bots should avoid indexing the page.
- Direct Attribution Link:
A third option is to get a link back from the syndicated copy directly to the original content on your website. Note that the link should point to the actual article and not just your home page.
8. Choose the Right Syndication Partner
B2B marketing companies on the cutting edge of content marketing are constantly seeking out new avenues for syndication and are pushing the envelope on discovering the where, when, why, and how of effective content syndication. Partnering with one of these forward-thinking companies will expand your marketing horizons and allow your company to achieve groundbreaking levels of lead generation.
Companies and publishers with good reputations are always a safe bet when choosing which online platforms to push syndicated content to. While a large audience is helpful, it’s more important to go with a partner with theright type of audience that aligns with your brand.
If your publisher can segment their audience in a way that allows your content to reach specific target markets, all the better.
Using content syndication as a lead generation strategy is an excellent way to improve your search engine rankings, establish thought leadership, and widen your reach through demand generation marketing. It’s important to continue nurturing the relationship you started by following up with new leads. Keep them engaged by sending more relevant content their way to drive them along the sales funnel.
When you send a follow-up email, make sure that you reference the content that was downloaded. Cap things off with another call to action that inspires loyalty and brand ambassadorship.
As an additional step, get back to your syndication partner and have them share metrics about your content. Look at bounce rates, click-throughs, and other results to help refine your next strategy and improve your syndicated content in the future.
There is no “best” way to syndicate your content. Try different strategies to discover what works best for your brand and your particular target audience. Keep track of referral lead quantity and quantity to determine the best performing tactics to focus on.