Republishing your best-performing content on multiple platforms and channels is a great way to widen your reach, increase your brand exposure, and generate leads. And it has a name: content syndication.
A smart content syndication strategy helps you use the content you already have to reach your target audience and generate high-quality leads.
How to build your content syndication strategy
We’ve broken down the strategy creation process into five steps:
Step 1: Set your goals
Any successful lead generation campaign starts with a clear objective. Specifically, with content syndication, there are a number of goals to consider, including:
- Increase audience reach
- Generate new leads
- Develop brand awareness and credibility
- Increase website traffic
To get started with content syndication, identify goals that ladder up to your wider content and marketing objectives. One good way to see if these goals align properly is to use the SMART framework, which helps you determine your most attainable objectives based on the following specs: specificity, measurability, achievability, relevance, and time. Not only does this method help you drive best-case results, but it also makes measuring them much simpler.
Step 2: Define your target audience
Another fundamental step is to define your target audience, since this will inform every element of your content syndication strategy moving forward. To do this, you’ll need to define your ideal customer profile (ICP). Here’s a tip from Stacy McMaster, our VP of Global Customer Experience:
“When defining your ICP for content syndication, cast a wide net. Your ‘ideal’ customer profile might currently include only C-Level Executives—the decision makers. But consider all of those who influence that decision. For example, a client we work with in the Human Resources industry realized that targeting people in the finance and legal function, as well as HR, helps them get to the right buyer.”
Another tip on how to define your ICP: speak to your sales team. Tap into their knowledge of both existing and prospective customers to add more depth to your understanding. Consider asking them questions such as:
- What do our most successful customers look like?
- What challenges are our customers facing right now?
- What are the common objections to working with us?
- What are the common questions customers ask about our products?
- What subjects or content types have our customers found most valuable?
Working with sales to create your ICP has added benefits, too. It ensures both sales and marketing teams agree on a shared target audience. This alignment helps you inform the lead scoring element of your content syndication strategy, leading to a more efficient and successful handoff of leads to your sales team.
Step 2: Choose (or create) your content
Content syndication is all about increasing the ROI of your existing content, so ideally, you won’t need to create anything new. Still, you’ll need to double check your current content to see if it’s properly tailored toward your ICP and marketing goals. If it is, great! Add it to your content syndication library. If it isn’t, you’ll need to edit your assets as necessary or craft new ones that align with your audience and specific goals.
When choosing content for your syndication strategy, remember content syndication is a top-of-funnel marketing activity. So, you’ll want to prioritize content formats that resonate most with top-funnel efforts, like building brand awareness or attracting larger audiences.
Here are the content formats best suited to top-of-funnel marketing activities:
You’ll want to save your mid-funnel and bottom-funnel content for the nurture element of your strategy, which we’ll cover in step five.
As with any form of content marketing, only quality content will capture the attention of your ICP. So, what makes for quality content? It should emphasize these key features:
Put yourself in customers’ shoes and ask yourself: does this provide genuine value? Your content should speak to their specific needs and challenges or—even better—offer a potential solution. The content you syndicate should offer something the audience wants, whether that’s a new perspective on a common problem, a practical tip they can implement immediately, or simply a moment of entertainment. From the planning stage through execution, it’s important to think about how your content adds value.
Relevant to the customer’s stage in the funnel
For a top-of-funnel activity like content syndication, it’s best to use assets like blog posts, press releases, infographics, and videos (among others) that reflect top-funnel objectives, like building brand awareness and expanding audience reach. But it’s also important to remember as potential buyers progress further along in the customer journey, your content offerings should align with their needs as well. For example, you wouldn’t syndicate an in-depth one-pager to audiences just dipping their toes into the initial sales process. This type of content would be better suited to customers further down the funnel.
Additionally, if you include calls to action (CTAs) in your content, they should also be relevant to customers’ stages in the sales funnel. Your early prospects probably won’t want to book a demo right after reading a single blog, but they might want to scope out other related pieces of content on your site. Keep that in mind when you craft your CTAs.
Mirrors audience preferences
Quality content isn’t just about value and relevance; it’s also about mode of delivery. Audiences are way more responsive to content that’s delivered to their channel of choice in the exact way they want to consume it. That’s why it’s important to know these kinds of customer preferences. You can do this by analyzing your content’s ongoing metrics. Find the platforms where target buyers are most active and pinpoint content formats that drive the most engagement. This can be as simple as checking your Google Analytics data.
If your ICP discovery has already identified where your ideal customers are likely to hang out online, bear this in mind too. There’s no point syndicating content on a channel your audience never uses.
Step 3: Choose your syndication method or partner
Once you’ve perfected your ICP and picked your content, it’s time to decide how, exactly, you want to syndicate it. There are a few options to choose from, but the one that’s best for you will depend primarily on your goals and overall budget.
The free approach: self-syndication
If keeping costs low is your number-one priority, then self-syndication could be a good option. But while the approach itself is free, you do have to invest a lot of effort in the process. Besides spending time picking your most optimal content, you also have to identify platforms that will best support your content syndication efforts. There are a ton of free platforms and publishers to choose from, including:
Some platforms require you to pitch your content, others allow you to share content instantly. Either way, your focus should always be on those channels where target customers spend the most time. That way, you won’t have to waste any extra resources syndicating content to sites your buyer persona doesn’t visit.
Tip: don’t forget to follow SEO best practices! For example, use canonical tags to avoid getting busted for duplicate content from Google.
The paid approach: work with a content syndication partner
While it’s possible to do content syndication yourself, you’ll likely get better results with the help of a content syndication partner.
With a paid content syndication solution, you can generate better leads, faster, using a strategic and intentional approach to your campaigns. Vendors often work on a cost-per-lead (CPL) basis, which guarantees you a get a set number of leads based on your allocated spend. This makes budgeting simple. If you already know your average CPL, then you can easily determine an ideal amount you want to put toward content syndication.
A reputable partner will guide you through the initial stages of your syndication campaigns, even helping you choose the best content to republish. Then, they’ll distribute that content to sites most relevant to your ICP, which saves you the trouble of doing all that research yourself. Plus, many vendors have their own databases for email and newsletter options.
Some partners can even take this a step further and apply intent data to the mix, allowing you to target ideal personas, as well purchase-intent buyers with an interest in your brand.
Ultimately with paid syndication, you get to avoid all the heavy lifting. Simply sit back and wait for the opt-in leads to enter your CRM. The most important thing is selecting the right vendor!
Step 4: Create your follow-up program
Once you generate all those new leads with content syndication, you’ll need to put a plan in place to follow up. Remember, no matter what method of content syndication you choose, the leads you generate will almost always be top-of-funnel, so you need a dedicated nurture program to help further their progress down the funnel.
An email nurture program is a commonly used tactic, and this is where your middle- and bottom-funnel content gets its time to shine. Rather than immediately passing your content syndication leads over to sales, guide them through an email nurture campaign that continues to educate them on the elements of your business in which they’ve expressed interest (i.e., the topics of the content they’ve already engaged with).
On average, it takes 18 to 24 individual engagements to convert a brand-new lead, which is why your follow-up strategy is so important. These touchpoints include any interactions your leads have with your sales team too, so emphasizing team collaboration for your nurture program is crucial. It also helps to have a lead scoring model in place, so both sales and marketing teams can agree on the point leads are ready for sales follow-up.
Our tip: when crafting nurture campaigns, follow a “lead with the need” approach. Don’t try and start a conversation or an email referencing the content they just downloaded—it’s too on the nose, and customers often get turned off by this tactic. Instead, begin by referencing the need or challenge you know they have based on the content they’ve interacted with.
Step 5: Measure, analyze, and repeat
The final step before implementing your content syndication strategy is to plan how you’re going to measure its success. Identify metrics related to the goals you set in step one. Consider things like:
- CPL (cost-per-lead)
- ROI / ROAS (your return)
- Lead volume
- Lead quality
- Website traffic
You can then use any insights gained to make tweaks to your strategy and ensure it’s always running at optimal performance.
Start your content syndication strategy today
Keen to get started on your own strategy? Download our “Quickstart Guide to B2B Content Syndication,” which breaks down what content syndication is, why it matters, and how to get started.