Content Syndication Fundamentals
Content syndication is the strategic republishing of your content to more than one website, network, or platform outside the channels you already own. If you’ve ever published something on LinkedIn, and then shared it on your Facebook page, you’ve technically already syndicated content.
As a B2B marketer, you can use content syndication to reach broader audiences, increase brand exposure, and drive leads for your sales organization. As part of your content marketing strategy, syndication is technically a distribution method for your B2B content.
You’ve likely invested a lot of time, money and energy to create website pages, blogs, downloadables, videos and other content to inform your audience and prove your authority on important topics related to the services and products your company sells. Content syndication stretches the value of that content by helping you to repurpose it and share it with new audiences that can potentially become your best new leads.
You can take a DIY approach, or work with a partner to place your content into syndication, and there are free and paid options you can use to take advantage of this important addition to your content marketing program.
What goals does content syndication support?
Content syndication is an incredibly helpful tool to support your demand generation efforts. As part of your larger marketing strategy, syndicating your content can help you reach goals across the spectrum of sales and marketing, including high-quality lead generation.
When you syndicate content to third-party channels, you’re able to connect and engage with larger audiences outside your typical reach. This, in turn, helps increase visitor traffic to your company’s website and expand brand awareness among new prospects.
Content syndication helps you reach important goals like:
- Expanding your reach
- Solidifying your brand reputation
- Generating opt-in leads that fit your intended ICP
Getting started with content syndication
Content syndication requires a few basics to be in place before you get started. After all, if you don’t have an audience in mind, or content you can share with them, syndication is a non-starter. In other words, it’s pretty hard to syndicate what you don’t have yet.
Let’s start with who you want to reach and then we’ll get into having something to send them.
Define your audience
First, you need to identify which audiences you want to reach with your content. Think about the industries and ideal customer profile (ICP) you want to target. This intel will help you determine which syndication channels will be most effective.
When defining your ICP, it’s incredibly important to align with your partners in sales so that the audience you target with content syndication is one that will be more likely to produce opportunities further down the pipeline. Make sure you are in agreement about characteristics like industry, company size, team size, annual revenue, technographics (like which apps the customer uses), geographics, and demographics (like age and gender) that represent your ideal customer. You can then use this detailed ICP to refine your audience–and even segment into sub-audiences–when you’re ready to serve your content with syndication. Dive deeper into ICP in our guide to implementing Content Syndication.
Create your content
Only after you have a clear idea of your ICP will you be ready to plan and create content for syndication. You’ll need to pinpoint content that’s not only relevant to your target audience, but also demonstrate your understanding of their specific business challenges. (If you’ve already completed both of these crucial steps, you’re ahead of the content syndication game. Check out our Benefits of Content Syndication guide for a discussion on picking your channels.)
You can get your content ready for syndication in two ways. The first option is to create new content from scratch for syndication. The second option is to repurpose existing content that’s performed well for you in the past.
Developing content for syndication
The content part of content syndication is the heart of the entire strategy. Creating content that specifically speaks to your target customers business needs is the first step toward getting the content syndication benefits. The more relevant the content is to your audience, the more value it provides. And value is essential when you’re trying to entice that audience into filling out your form.
When developing content for syndication, keep that idea of “value” in mind and make sure your assets:
- Attract and maintain the attention of ICPs and/or target audiences
- Strengthen your brand’s reputation as trustworthy and knowledgeable
- Adhere to the guidelines of your chosen distribution channels
- Present a consistent brand narrative and identity across channels
The key to performing well with syndication is to think about the value of the content in the eyes of your ideal customer, how that value relates to the level of personal information you’re requesting in exchange for the content, and how that particular content relates to the stage of the customer journey in which you’re reaching that potential customer.
Plan content that is of value to your audience
You can syndicate any type of content—really! But remember, you want your assets to support prospects throughout their entire customer journey. That means answering your potential customer’s most important questions about problems they are facing in their business, suggesting potential solutions, and helping them to compare your product or service to others as they make a decision to move forward.
Think about whether your content actually helps your audience, or what they’ll get out of it. And there are several ways different types and topics can be valuable. Your round up of successful use cases in your industry could be inspiring or provide guidance from a high-level thought leadership perspective. Your template could help someone achieve an immediate task. Your comparison checklist could help them to make the right decision to grow their business.
There are many ways your content can provide value–just make a point to think about it from the perspective of your ideal customer and aim to truly help.
Address all parts of the customer journey
When you’re planning your next piece of content, think about how it addresses needs at different parts of the customer journey. At first, this can be simple–let’s say top, middle and bottom of the funnel. Later, you can branch out into multiple channels and layers to your content plan, but if you’re creating content, and you want to make a lead generation impact, start with:
Top of funnel content: ultimate guides to your main topics, how-to, use cases, reports, videos
Mid-funnel content: checklists, implementation guides, webinars
Bottom-funnel content: competitor comparisons, shopping guides, free trial ads
When you’re offering different types of content on different topics at different stages of the customer journey, you’re more likely to be covering your bases with what a lead needs to see and hear in order to become a customer. And, no matter what stage of the funnel your next best customer comes in on, you can be ready to meet them there with your robust content marketing plan.
Pick your channels
Once you’ve got your well-planned, valuable content ready, the next step is choosing the most optimal channels to reach new audiences. To find the right channels for you, consider your ideal customer and where that person or set of people are most receptive to your offer. Also remember you’ve probably got lots of data to rely on about how different channels have performed for you in the past, so let that guide you as well.
Common demand generation channels
In a fully-fledged demand generation strategy, there will usually be activity on channels including website, media, content syndication, display advertising, organic social, paid social, paid search, email and events. There are additional channels like sponsorship, outdoor (aka old school advertising on signs!), interactive, and influencer campaigns. Some of what you do in your overall content marketing plan will be strategically focused to meet your ICP on those key channels and formats.
When it comes to using your content to then amplify and connect through other avenues, the idea of channels gets more granular.
What are the channels in content syndication?
Within the channel of content syndication, there are numerous outlets or ways your content can get out there. Free channels like LinkedIn, Reddit and other social media are helpful. When you get into a paid partnership for syndication, your provider will have a selection of outlets including websites, social channels and newsletters in most cases. Your job is to provide input and guide the process of selecting the right places to connect with your ideal audience–we’ll get to more on channels in the strategy section coming up after benefits.
Keep learning about content syndication
Reading through the fundamentals of content syndication is a great start toward optimizing your content marketing strategy. In this guide, you’ve got a great head start on understanding the fundamentals of this incredibly important lead generation strategy. Explore our other guides to continue your content syndication journey.