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September 8, 2016 (Updated: March 2, 2020)
Syndication is growing in popularity as a tool to reach new audiences and scale outreach efforts. One amazing piece of content can receive thousands of more views and shares; that content piece also raises awareness for your brand and builds your audience. You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that many marketers select infographics when creating amazing content to syndicate. This visual content is sharable, memorable, and highly branded. Look to the following advice as you seek to syndicate your content for increased lead generation.
Image via Flickr by Stefan Leijon
You’ll find a different process for identifying influencers when you’re looking for infographic syndication compared to other forms of influencer outreach. The criteria are more specific, as you’re looking for the right fit for your content brand and a strong visual partnership.
Start by identifying your current influencers. These peers within your industry have strong online presences in the form of website traffic, social followers, and engagement. When searching for online influencers, try to find sources of traffic that have never been to your website, but still remain as your target audience. Remember, these future fans and customers simply haven’t heard of you yet.
Once you have a list of influencers, visit their pages to see how infographics look on their sites. Not all blogs graphically support infographics, and you might create a terrible experience on a mobile or desktop platform by trying to syndicate your content. Plus, if your branding is too different from your influencers’ branding, the infographic could clash with the site and create an eyesore.
If you feel your infographic meets both the visual and audience criteria, reach out to the influencers to start building relationships. If they agree to form a partnership, you will already know that you’re getting the audience you want and the visual display you need.
Now that you have a partner or partners for syndication, meet with your design team to go over brand guidelines. Before creating the infographic, you may want to ask your influencer blog contacts for style guides so that you can learn what you should do or avoid during your infographic’s creation.
Brainstorm ways to combine your brand with an influencer’s blog without losing content integrity. If your target influencer has a certain character that shows up in all the content — such as a company founder — consider adding that person to the infographic. If your target influencer conducted a study that’s relevant to your infographic, consider mentioning it as a data point somewhere in the design. This attention to detail shows that you care about your host and want that person to benefit from the syndication arrangement as well.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t surrender your brand to make sure the infographic fits on the site. The design needs to shine on your blog first and carry your brand name, so stay true to yourself. The goal of marrying the two concepts is mostly to improve the flow from one page to another.
Before you create a piece for syndication, make sure your partners are clear about how the content should be shared. Don’t give your peers free content without links or traffic driven to your website.
Most blogs will post a statement at the top of the page explaining where the content was originally posted and when. In return, blog administrators should also link back to your original page and, ideally, give the original writer or designer credit in the byline. All of these steps work to make syndication worthwhile and prevent your partner sites from duplicate content dings.
We recommend creating infographics as a tool for highlighting a survey, white paper, or e-book. Infographics are a visual representation of long-form written content. This visual representation also creates a reason for readers on the syndication sites to click back to the original content and learn more from your research.
Along with establishing credit at the top of the syndicated blog, ask for a call to action that invites readers to check out the full data or findings from your survey or white paper.
When syndicating your infographics, don’t merely direct readers to visit your website to see the same infographic only. Create a reason for them to visit and offer something more to draw them into your site.
As you start working with influencers, you will need to establish syndication criteria for other blogs that want to use your content. You may keep an exclusivity clause with an influencer stating that the infographic can only be published on your website. You also might not want your entire infographic shared so that you create a reason to bring people back to your site.
Last year, The Huffington Post learned the hard way about the dangers of grabbing The Oatmeal’s content without permission. Despite an attribution and a link, The Oatmeal’s creator wasn’t thrilled that the media outlet was picking up his long-form comics without compensation. In return, he replaced the image in the hotlink, changing the message for readers of The Huffington Post:
Image via Matthew Inman (@Oatmeal) October 28, 2015
Most websites should have their own guidelines for syndication, and you may want to create a landing page clearly expressing them as you start sharing your infographics. Some blogs want only half of their infographic syndicated, while others have restrictions on attribution. While the goal of influencer syndication is getting your name noticed, you don’t want to sacrifice brand integrity to do so.
When planned strategically, infographic syndication is a great way to reach new audiences and encourage visitors to check out your website. However, you want to make sure the effort results in a strong return on investment (ROI) for your designers, marketers, and partners. If not, then you might as well be sharing your content with the world for free.
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