Attracting a New Audience Through Content Syndication

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Before we begin, let me speculate: 

You tend to be excessively scrupulous about everything you write and publish. You perform a content SEO analysis through the Yoast plugin, automate social media sharing and notify subscribers of the new post through an email newsletter. Awesome. Sounds like a powerful promotional strategy. After a while, you start to dig into Google Analytics charts.

But…

The content views and subscribers aren’t anywhere close to where you’d like them to be. Consequently, your goal of content marketing to attract the attention of your target audience doesn’t suffice.

If you ever find yourself wondering how to build brand authority through inbound marketing, you’re not alone. According to HubSpot, 70 percent of marketers actively invest in content marketing, but for 61 percent of them, it seems an onerous task to generate traffic and leads.

What do you need to do at this point in time? No black-hat SEO, please! But there is an easy-to-follow approach to getting the elevated reach – let’s say, thousands of readers – who possibly don’t even recognize your brand.

Enter content syndication.

Syndication isn’t a new concept, specifically in the media industry. It started with print syndicates distributing news columns, political cartoons and other features to newspapers and magazines, offering reprint rights and granting access to other publishers for republishing.

What Is Web Content Syndication?

Simply put, it’s a process of (re)publishing your existing piece of content on third-party platforms. You can syndicate any type of digital content, including blog posts, videos, interactive visuals or infographics, to reach a broader audience.

Content syndication, as Outbrain defines it, is a kind of barter agreement between the two parties.

  • The third party that republishes and distributes the content gets free assets without investing time and resources in creating its own.
  • And you, the brand and creator, get more exposure from a new audience. That is, if you arrange it right, and achieve some measure of fame.

What’s in It for You?

Distributed content not only amplifies your reach and brand message but also builds links and can help drive more eyeballs to your original piece of content. Remember, anything that affects the quality of content assets directly strikes your business. Content syndication allows you a much quicker, thrifty way to get your content assets to go further.

And syndication is making a comeback at a faster pace.

As the pandemic shuttered real events and conferences, where most business-to-business (B2B) companies allocate a high chunk of their marketing budgets to fuel their sales pipeline, B2B marketers are more inclined to reallocate their event budget and partner up with content syndication platforms.

So, if you’re not already distributing your content in one form or another, you should be. According to a Salesbox online survey, content syndication has been a core lead-gen tactic for 65 percent of B2B marketers, while 71 percent recall a major value in interactive content delivery and personalization.

Between benefits like the ability to map your ideal consumer profile and discover topics/keywords and search intent, brands are seeing the value in such arrangements.

  • Let’s face it: Your blog has limited reach unless you’re HubSpot or Moz. On the other hand, authoritative websites (like CNN, HuffPost and The New York Times) have a large audience. So it wholly makes sense to syndicate your content to gain maximum online exposure that you might otherwise not reach.
  • Once you begin syndicating content regularly, your brand becomes visible and accessible. It intensifies a smoother sales process by following up with more intensive content and leading the visitors closer to a sale, which has been the biggest challenge for you as a marketer.
  • Whatever the goal of your content syndication strategy is, you immediately get a boost in organic traffic.

Content Syndication Misconceptions

Syndicated content sometimes gets a really bad rap in the online marketing industry. Can you guess why? In my opinion, it’s because of the following misconceptions:

Myth 1: Article and Blog Posts Are the Only Assets I Can Syndicate

Wrong. 

You can syndicate any content format as long as the publisher agrees. Brands love to distribute infographics across a number of channels. We’ve seen this. It’s not surprising that many marketers choose to syndicate the infographics content format. Clearly, visual media is interesting, shareable and highly branded.

Myth 2: Content Syndication Is Similar to Guest Posting

The outreach aspect might make them seem similar, but syndication is not the same as guest posting. The latter is an utterly new piece written specifically for a single publication. Under syndication, you’re republishing the same content on various platforms.

Myth 3: Content Syndication Requires Repurposing

Depends!

Maybe some publishers prefer to write a fresh introduction, then link out to the real content. But this shouldn’t be the case, at least not with reputed content syndication platforms.  If a publication asks for something fresh, it’s not content syndication. This is what we call “repurposing content.”

Myth 4: Content Syndication Hurts SEO With Duplicate Content

We don’t play with duplicate content, you say. Right?

Yes, duplicate content doesn’t beautify your SEO. But syndicated content doesn’t function like duplicate content.

A bit of advice to all marketers: It’s fine to distribute content as long as you’re doing it carefully and pointing out to users and search engines that this particular page contains syndicated content.

  • Every syndicated piece should accommodate a link back to the original content.
  • Publisher websites may use the “noindex” meta tag. It’s a request to search engines to not index syndicated versions. Alternatively, point the source URL via a canonical tag. Google’s recommendation – “If you publish the same article on multiple pages within your site, or within your network of sites, you can use the rel=”canonical” tag.”
  • Now, the implementation of this sort of pointer will depend on the publisher. Browse some prior syndicated records espying how they handle canonicalization.

Myth 5: It’s Just Republishing on Medium, LinkedIn Pulse and Quora

No, these platforms are just a means of self-service syndication. In other words, there’s no editor to look at the creator’s style, content accuracy, structure and length. Anyone can publish on these platforms. And there’s no art, either – it’s just copy-paste or import. If you’ve already built up a massive social media following, you can earn several content views with no extra effort on your part.

How To Implement Content Syndication

So, you’ve scanned the ins and outs, pros and cons, ifs and buts of content syndication. 

Now, here’s how to implement it.

Would You Like To Publish Others’ Content on Your Blog?

I get it. You want to syndicate your own content to get well-deserved exposure. But publishing others’ content is also a possibility to get your blog growing quickly. As a blogger, you can ask another blogger for their permission to feature their recent posts on your blog. Ideally, you’d try to invite an industry influencer to write a guest column for your blog, but that usually doesn’t happen. They won’t find the time to produce a fresh post just for you. But by syndicating their work, you can bring diversity and a fresher voice to your blog audience.

Find Relevant Platforms To Syndicate Your Content

As a publisher, you can republish your existing content to be featured on other popular websites. It’s that simple. Several websites agree to this if you syndicate often as well as produce a certain number of fresh posts for them every month. The best way to get the most out of the syndication strategy is to build relationships.

Building a relationship is the key to forming connections with the right syndication partners. If you produce dazzling content, you’ll automatically have a chance to get earned syndication from certain websites. It doesn’t result in full-post syndication, though. They just syndicate your headline with a link back to the original story. If this placement suffices your criteria of a buyer persona, traffic and authority, then you’ve got a subtle gain. 

Are you appearing as a guest columnist? Here’s a trick.

Become a contributor to publications that syndicate their content. A columnist at Inc. will automatically be featured on platforms like Slate, Time and Business Insider. Easy win, right?

Use Syndication Networks

Content syndication networks like Outbrain and Taboola distribute your content by putting recommendation links across their network of blogs and news sites. This strategy ends up appearing on authoritative websites, and you get your words out in front of many viewers.

Wrapping Up

A good marketing strategy starts with great content. And content syndication will be the most effective approach to reach an entirely new audience. Don’t wait to be the next big player to get started with it. Syndication works even at the earliest stage of your content marketing. Now go out and create value!

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