Accomplishing Your Lead Generation Goals with Content Syndication
You have to reach your buyers where they are, and they won’t always be on your website or your channels. So how do you reach them? Content syndication is a great option to spread the reach of your content to leads who may not otherwise have shown interest.
Content syndication is the tactic of placing your high-value content assets on third-party websites, often gated with a form. The process of syndicating your content can be a paid program through a vendor, or it can be non-paid through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and social channels. It is a good lead-generation practice to consider using both paid and non-paid efforts in your content syndication to get additional reach and fresh, new leads for your database.
Content syndication achieves many lead-generation goals, but keep in mind that your goals for paid and non-paid programs will differ. As with any paid outlet, you want to make sure your money is going to the acquisition of good leads. Where non-paid channels are concerned, you might have different goals.
Here are some basic questions to ask yourself when you're creating your content syndication plan. The answers to your questions can help determine which assets to offer and how you will measure your return on investment:
Is your goal to drive net-new top-of-funnel leads?
Is your goal to drive mid-funnel leads that indicate buying intent?
Is your goal to improve your SEO through increased content consumption?
Is your goal to get more brand exposure?
Generating targeted leads
Content syndication is excellent for generating leads and growing your database, particularly if you are using paid channels because they offer such precise targeting. Syndicating content through publishers increases your chance of adding new leads to your system through expanded reach and the ability to gate your assets with forms.
Paid syndication vendors offer many targeting options, and you can often target leads based on the following criteria:
Job type and role
A good content syndication vendor syncs with your marketing automation tool through an Application Programing Interface (API) so you can get all of your leads routed directly into your system. From within your marketing automation tool, you can score the leads, add them to lead nurture programs, and email them at will. If a content syndication vendor does not sync to your marketing automation platform, you might spend countless hours manually sorting through and uploading spreadsheets into your system.
After you have syndicated content leads in your database, your follow-up plan is critical. Many of these leads download your asset and never think about your company again. By engaging them through lead nurturing, you can introduce them to your company and lead them through your sales funnel.
Lead generation, and content syndication in particular, is a numbers game. No vendor can guarantee that someone who downloads your asset will become a customer — so the more good leads you can gather through the right vendor, the more opportunities you will have to close a deal.
Considering SEO implications
So here is the rub with content syndication — it can be effective for SEO or it can have negative SEO implications, depending on a variety of factors.
Here are the pros of content syndication for SEO:
You can build brand authority on search engine sites by having quality content available on multiple sites.
It's a great link-building strategy to get link-backs to your website.
It can extend your overall reach.
It can contribute to increased traffic, which increases rank.
Clearly those are some really great benefits. However, here are the cons:
Search engines might see your content as duplicate content, if you are already saying the same thing on your website (which is obviously bad).
The site you syndicate on might outrank you on Google; therefore, when someone is searching for one of your keywords, the vendor site could come up first.
Eek! Not good. These drawbacks pose a problem, particularly for smaller companies that do not yet have a huge web presence. But there are some handy tips that can keep content syndication positive instead of negative:
Consider promoting an abstract instead of the entire content asset: You can write a compelling blurb with key takeaways and post a link to the content. The key here is to make sure your abstract is compelling, or you won’t get the click.
Guest posting instead of syndicating: If you are worried about duplicate content and being outranked, consider guest posting instead, which can be a form of content syndication where you write a unique article for another site. When the article describes who you are, you will have a link back to your site. You can also often include links back to your site within the blog copy itself, depending on the website’s guest blogging guidelines.
Make sure you are using legitimate vendors: Google penalizes you if you are using a syndicator that looks like a content farm (that posts a ton of random content with no regard to audience — basically, content spam). Make sure the site is reputable and appropriate for your industry.