Content Syndication – A Comprehensive Guide

Content marketing is a great strategy to generate leads. But it does not always generate the result you want, in the timespan you want. No matter how many quality blogs you publish and how many guest blogs you spend countless hours on, the results do not seem to match the effort. But what if one growth marketing tool could change all that and that too without having to allocate resources to create additional content? This is where content syndication comes in.

What is Content Syndication? 

If you are wondering what is content syndication, the first thing you should know is that it is a growth marketing technique. Content marketers often choose to republish the content that originally appeared on their domains and social media platforms onto third party blogs or websites. This is known as content syndication. The republished content may be anything—a blog, an infographic, a video, and so on. 

Marketers may also choose to:

  • Publish the original content in its entirety
  • Publish only a section of the original work
  • Publish a summary or a particularly intriguing quote from the larger work

Content syndication, as a practice, has multiple benefits for both the original content creator and the third-party domain. Superficially speaking, it allows marketers to tap into and market their content to a new and diverse set of audiences. For the third-party domain, this is a chance to get new, quality content for their blogs without having to go through the effort of creating that content.

But doesn’t Google hate duplicate content?

It is a truth acknowledged by marketers that Google hates the practice of publishing duplicate content. A ton of marketers do tend to publish the same content in multiple places in an effort to get the content to rank multiple times in the search results. But Google has practices in place that enable it to differentiate between duplicate and syndicated content. It is aware that republishing content for the purpose of content syndication is to get access to a wider and more diverse audience and not an attempt to improve rankings in the search results. Marketers also can follow techniques like linking back and citing the original piece of content in an effort to make search engines understand that a particular piece of content is syndicated and not duplicated.

Benefits of Content Syndication 

The benefits of content syndication are, thus, many. As long as businesses can gain access to the perfect syndicate and tap into a wider audience base, the results will almost be instantaneous. This is especially true for businesses that put sustained effort into creating quality content that adds value while addressing user needs and targeting market gaps. The various benefits and advantages of content syndication have been discussed here in detail:

  • Direct exposure to the target user base

If you have been struggling to reach your target user base even after consistently investing in quality content ideas, content syndication may just be the gateway you have been on the lookout for.

By publishing your content ideas in the right syndicate, you not only get in touch with a wider audience to promote your content to, but also draw attention to your brand through the use of backlinks and credits.

  • Boost in SEO

When syndicating content, use the right strategy and you will see an immediate boost in your domain’s SEO. By using multiple author bylines and the right backlinks to lead right to your website, you can direct traffic to your domain and boost your SEO with ease. You can even edit the anchor text on your republished and syndicated content to give yourself an SEO boost.

  • Generation of leads

Content syndication lets you republish your content on platforms where your audience is already looking for the kind of content (and services) you have on offer. So, this gives you a direct audience with qualified leads who can then venture to your website so you can more easily convert them.

  • Indirect promotion

While your republished content cannot be centred solely around sales and promotion (after all, you have to add value to get qualified leads), you can still subtly promote your domain and services using the right call to action and even add links to your domain and social media platforms in the credits section.

  • Building brand reputation

When you publish your syndicated content on reputed, high-performing websites, readers will pay more heed. Basically, the halo effect will come into play here. Publishing syndicate content in high authority websites can, thus, give you and your brand authority while establishing you as an industry thought leader, which, in turn, will only boost the reputation of your brand further.

Why Use Content Syndication?

The idea is simple. Content syndication can substantially improve your reach. If you have been consistently creating quality content for your business but are yet to reach a wide audience base, content syndication can help you significantly. 

Putting effort into content marketing when the right user base is not in place will deplete your resources without giving you the results that you want or need.

Content syndication can get rid of this problem by highlighting your content in front of the audience you had been targeting but been unable to reach so far. Some syndication platforms go beyond by allowing you to build your image as a thought leader. 

Use the right strategies and you will be able to see consistent short and long-term results in lead generation and bottom-line growth, be it through ABM marketing techniques or the application of intent.

How does Content Syndication Work?

There are currently a ton of brands that have content syndication as a service on offer. And all of them work pretty much the same way. By operating on a cost per lead (CPL) basis, they focus all their efforts on audiences that are most suitable for that particular product or service. 

So, as the target gets more and more specific, the CPL increases alongside.

When testing out prospective syndicate partners, marketers can choose to dip into a small portion of their funds to see how they perform. The performance can be evaluated and tweaked to create more optimized results. The best syndicate partners will do all this work for you, though, and create a customized plan for you that not only minimizes risk factors but also boosts the yield.

Content Syndication vs Guest Posting

Content syndication and guest blogging are different content marketing tactics by definition.

Content syndication is when you take the content you already have—or an excerpt of the same—and publish it on third-party websites. So, the process involves republishing content that already exists.

Guest blogging, on the other hand, is a strategy where you create original content to publish on other websites.

While both are proven growth marketing tactics, content marketing does have an edge over guest posting since the former does not require resources to create new content to publish on third-party domains. One can just take a published blog from their own domain and republish it on a third-party site.

So, while you can take content that has already been created and keep republishing it as part of your content syndication strategy, guest blogging does not offer you the perk of scalability. A post that you publish as a guest blog cannot be republished elsewhere. As a result, your access to new leads would be limited to the reader base of that particular blog. Content syndication, on the other hand, offers the chance of exponential growth in lead generation with every repost.

Content Syndication and SEO 

Like we have mentioned earlier, and as you probably already know, Google hates duplicate content—especially if the target is to get the same content to rank high in search results. This means that publishing duplicate content can drastically affect your SEO. But content syndication achieves the opposite results. How does that work?

This is because syndicated content is technically not considered duplicate content as long as it is clear that what search engines and the readers are seeing is, in fact, syndicated content. This is usually done by citing the original article clearly at the bottom or top of the article. The ideal situation is when you can get the third-party website to include a link to the original content on your domain.

How you add the canonical link typically depends on the publication. If the process is not clear, it’s something worth discussing with the editor from the very beginning.

The inclusion of canonical links tells readers and search engines that the content they are seeing is not duplicate but syndicated. Other than this, including back and reference links inside the body of the content can also achieve the same results. It is especially great if you can convince the partner website to include references that lead back to your website. That way, the chances of your website receiving additional traffic and qualified leads are greatly increased. Also, it will give your republished content more context and legitimacy in the eyes of the search engines. 

How to Syndicate Content 

Once you know what content syndication is, and once you have some idea regarding its benefits, you may choose to include it within your content marketing strategy. The points below can tell you how to do exactly that:

  • Choose a high authority and popular blog in your industry and try to get them to republish your highest performing or your newest blog there
  • Pick blogs that have similar authority as yours if you want to republish old content
  • Try to get your content picked up by blogs that syndicate content naturally
  • Syndicate your guest blogs on websites like LinkedIn or Medium
  • Use paid platforms to have your content republished on popular domains

Sites for Content Syndication 

There are a few different types of third-party websites that allow content syndication. Some of them have been explained here:

  • Free Content Syndication 

Free content syndication does not cost you anything in terms of money. But you still do need to put in considerable time and research to find high authority websites that do not just publish syndicated content but do it for free. To find such blogs, look out for phrases like “originally published in” and “originally appeared on.” One such blog is Huffpost.

  • Paid Content Syndication

While getting republished for free by high authority websites is the dream, it may not always pan out. So, when you want to republish content at major domains, you can take the help of paid platforms that are designed specifically for content syndication. They charge you per click and often make use of clickbait headlines to lead traffic to your website. Examples of such websites are:

1. Outbrain

Want to get published on MSN, CNN, and ESPN? Outbrain may just be able to do it for you. Outbrain is a paid content marketing platform that you can use to get your content republished as recommended reads on high-authority domains.

2. Taboola

Like Outbrain, Taboola is a paid platform that can help your content reach a diverse yet targeted audience through content syndication on major publications.

In 2019, Taboola gained a lot of traction due to a merger with Outbrain, which unfortunately got called off in 2020. But this gained Taboola a big boost in visibility, and now it operates similarly to high authority publications like NBC, Bloomberg, and USA Today.

3. IT Curated

This network includes over 30 publications that span verticals like healthcare, IT, mobility, and software. So, it is also a great option to consider if you want your content to be republished in high authority websites in your particular industry.

  • Owned Content Syndication

Owned content syndication is similar to free syndication since it does not cost you money. But, unlike the latter, you do not need to contact any blogs or their editors either. Instead, you can just make use of platforms like LinkedIn and Medium to syndicate your content. Just remember to include phrases like “originally published” and link back to your original content from there

How to Improve Your Content Syndication Tactics 

Thinking of adding content syndication to your market strategy or wondering how to improve on your content syndication practices? Here are a few things you can do to vastly improve your content syndication tactics to optimize your results:

While you can technically choose to republish your content anywhere you like, it does not mean that you should. Instead, it is important to take your time and research your options. The partner website you choose to work with should be characterized by high authority in your particular domain and a vast and diverse readership. Once you find a place that seems like a good fit, make your offer. If your content ideas have value and match the kind of work they publish, you should not have any trouble convincing them to partner with you.

Find the Best Syndication Strategy

The third-party website you are collaborating with, the kind of content they usually publish, and the readership they have can all determine what syndication strategy you should use. Depending on these factors, choose whether to republish an entire blog, an excerpt, or even just a headline, and link them back to your own site. Backlinking is important but try to keep it relevant so it does not look too sale-sy. Also, a smartly placed relevant call to action can work wonders in these cases.

  • No growth marketing strategy is complete without a well-thought-out plan. So, before you start pitching to places you want to work with, make sure you have a solid plan in place.
  • The content ideas need to add value. If the content you want to republish is not up to the mark, no high authority website is going to want to publish it.
  • You need to know what your goals are. What are the results you want to achieve through this? Once you know, create your long and short term strategy accordingly.
  • Work with partners who are actually relevant in your industry and already have an established and diverse readership. This will make it easier to get qualified leads.

Time to Utilize Content Syndication to Your Advantage

Content syndication is a powerful growth marketing tool. Use it well and it will yield substantial results that will last you for years to come. Just remember to not engage with it flippantly. Plan well, choose the right partner, and republish content that adds value so that users are actually tempted to visit your website, engage with your services, and treat you as an industry thought leader.

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Content Syndication – A Comprehensive Guide