Targeted Content Syndication: Your Simple (But Essential) Guide to Success
4th May 2017 Will Humphries
Have you done a search for the term “content syndication”? Almost most marketers out there will answer yes.
However, you will find that most results refer to the process of distributing your content off-site to other websites, blogs or content channels.
There is a lot to read on the subject. Especially relevant, what very few marketers fail to grasp, is that there is a much better, targeted approach to take.
With targeted content syndication, the process is more involved; the targeting is much more refined and extremely granular.
Therefore, the results and the ROI is greater.
The goal of content syndication is to leverage your quality content to identify, target, and follow-up with qualified prospects for your company and solutions.
Adding content syndication to your existing content marketing strategies can have a tremendous impact on your ability to:
- expand your reach,
- engage more targeted prospects,
- increase leads, and
- optimise conversion efficiency.
The following is a thorough guide to help you understand the importance of targeted content syndication, and how to integrate it into your marketing strategies.
What Is Content Syndication?
I’ve heard lots of definitions and descriptions, and you will find many more on Google.
However, my definition, in its simplest form, is this: content syndication is a method of prospecting.
And whether your goal is driving traffic to your site, creating awareness around your brand, or laser-focusing your content delivery, it all points to one thing – driving more sales.
So let’s start with two terms every marketer is familiar with – the buyer journey and the buyer persona.
Depending who you are targeting and where they are in their buyer journey – awareness, consideration, decision-making phase – will determine the type of content and the messaging that you put forward.
Content syndication is common in both traditional and new media formats. Its function is to expand the reach of your message by pushing it through third-party media channels to connect with their audiences.
A simplistic approach to content syndication includes making your blog posts and other content readily available through an RSS feed or similar mechanisms. These would be sites such as Inbound.org, BeBee.com, Growthhackers.com, or Business2Community.com.
What Is Targeted Content Syndication?
The B2B targeted content syndication process is entirely different in its approach. Email and Telemarketing communication systems are used to distribute content to a large geographically or firmographically targeted audience within a contact database that includes (in our case) over 80 million business contacts.
Next, we add firmographic data. This data is used to distribute your content and includes geography, industry, sub-sector, and job title. Then, intent data, derived from analysis of how companies conduct searches when investigating a resolution to a business problem, is added to the mix.
Typical content syndication ends with the initial distribution of content. However, this more thorough approach continues with a telemarketing follow-up from a sales rep to do two things. To ensure receipt of your material, and to further qualify prospects based on a series of questions.
This follow-up step contributes to more efficient and effective lead nurturing and conversion stages.
How is Targeted Content Syndication Different from Guest Posting?
There is a common confusion in the marketing community about the differences between targeted content syndication, content syndication and guest posting. And while the latter two of these activities aim to reach prospects through third-party sites, the original publication channels vary.
With guest posting, you publish your content on a third-party site. The purpose is to reach that site’s audience, to promote your company and to establish authority on a particular topic.
When a third-party allows you to submit a guest post on their site, it can serve as a subtle endorsement of your knowledge in a given subject area. Think Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and HuffingtonPost.
However, with targeted content syndication, your content is distributed externally via email marketing or other channels. Your marketing material is usually white papers, webinars, eBooks, guides, and video. The primary goal, in this case, it to leverage the value of your quality content by getting it in front of more people than your site would attract on its own.
Most of all, generating more qualified sales and marketing leads is your goal.
Why is Targeted Content Syndication Beneficial for Businesses?
First, let me ask you to picture this:
Imagine being able to target accounts whose executives are actively researching topics relating to what your business sells.
Or being able to target companies that have specific technologies installed in their business.
Also, think of the benefits of knowing what accounts out there are using your competitor’s products! Or being able to upsell to accounts that are already using a technology that you sell.
Because these are all powerful capabilities. And to take the steps necessary to enact a B2B content syndication program, you need to recognise its primary benefits.
The chief benefits of effective syndication include:
- Maximised content value
- Broader reach
- Improved brand awareness
- Enhanced lead generation
Maximise Your Content
It takes a lot of time and resources to plan, coordinate, and execute high-quality content. When you put effort into its production, you want to get the most value possible from it. Ask yourself this – how much of the great content you have produced is gathering virtual dust?
Reach More Buyers
Targeted content syndication gives you the advantage of broader reach. The more eyeballs that see your marketing content, the more potential you have to establish authority, credibility, and expertise.
Create Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is the first major communication goal for any business. By reaching more people through syndication, you not only gain more first-hand recognition, but you may benefit when these people discuss your company and solutions with others in their network as well.
Generate More Leads
As a result, by combining these other benefits, you achieve one of the fundamental goals of content marketing, which is enhanced lead generation. The larger your pool of potential prospects, the more leads you can attract.
Also, with our use of firmographic data, intent data, surging topics of interest, and install base data, means the quality of your leads is greater.
And the follow-up steps ensure that the people with the most significant interest or need in your offering, realise the opportunity to engage with your company.
Most of all, because pricing is on a cost-per-lead (CPL) basis, you have full control over your costs.
How Do You Start?
So, now that you understand targeted content syndication and its benefits consider the best approaches to getting started.
First of all, you have a couple of principal options:
Self-Directed: You can attempt to build syndication strategies internally. In addition to the steps you take to produce great messages, you need to create tools, methods, and contacts to distribute them to a broader audience. Many companies do this via internal email marketing platforms.
However, the self-directed approach involves a lot of internal time, effort, and resources.
The most concerning step is to build up a sizable contact list to share your content with, and then to facilitate follow-up communication to qualify the best prospects.
Not to mention the eventuality that your data accuracy will diminish over time.
And even with the self-directed approach, internal syndication sometimes requires investment in a web services provider for a new setup.
Outsourced: The other option is to outsource your content syndication processes. This approach means you partner with a company that already has a solution and system in place. This provider will help you devise a plan to reach the best targets from an existing, accurate contact database so you can attract the most qualified prospects possible. Also, a great partner goes beyond basic data and tracks intent data. Thereby allowing clients to figure out what motivates contacts, and how they go about investigating a business problem.
The leading companies in most major technology sectors are already heavily immersed in targeted content syndication. (Blatant plug: Many of them are using Internal Results!)
And because every campaign run is individually tailored, it can help deliver new customers by building awareness and guiding them towards consideration and conversion.
Therefore, if you aren’t using this valuable content marketing strategy, you are missing out on a critical opportunity.
In conclusion, make this activity a priority in your growth and development plans.