October 28, 2022 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Content syndication is a marketing strategy of republishing the same piece of content on one or more websites other than its original host location. Through the process, the original publishers get brand exposure, backlinks, and access to new readers or viewers. The hosting site gets additional content to publish with less work. This is a brilliant strategy to help you reach some of your content marketing goals. But how do you know which pieces to choose for content syndication? We’re exploring that question today with topics like:
In most cases, content syndication sets up mutually beneficial partnerships between your brand and another organization. Your company gets additional audience exposure and content reach. The other organization receives fresh content its team doesn’t have to create. That saves your partner organization time and money. Other benefits of engaging in content syndication include:
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In theory, yes. Over time, you could syndicate every piece of content you create. It’s possible because there are options available to syndicate all types of content. But doing content syndication right takes strategy, planning, and time. If you have a large repository of content, but have never syndicated any before, it’s not realistic to think you can share it all in a few weeks.
And, if you syndicate everything, what reason does someone have to come back and spend time on your home website? If you syndicate everything, your audience never has to come to your owned media channels at all. For most companies, it’s smarter to syndicate select content pieces that help you reach your marketing goals. Whether you’re looking for brand awareness or conversions, you can select your most engaging or persuasive pieces for syndication to draw in more audience members or generate more leads.
Being selective about the content you syndicate doesn’t mean your other pieces are bad or you’re wasting your time creating them. It simply means you understand which ones are most likely to pull your audience in from the outside. You understand which pieces are going to attract people to your blog, site, or social media channels, and explore your non-syndicated content further.
Consider these factors as you look through your content and choose which pieces to syndicate to reach your content marketing goals:
Why are you doing content syndication in the first place? If you can’t answer this question, it’s not worth moving any further down the checklist. Some of the most common content syndication goals include:
What you expect to get out of content syndication influences how you choose the content you’ll share. You can pick pieces that help you reach each of these goals based on a piece’s past performance or search intent.
If you’re trying to share pieces your audience finds valuable through syndication, you have to know a little something about that audience. Where do they like to get their information and in what formats? What are their struggles, pain points, or challenges? How can you solve their problems or get them the return on investment they’re looking for?
The more you know about your audience, the better chance you have at picking content that catches their interest. The more valuable the pieces you syndicate, the better chance you have of them returning to your main website looking for more helpful information.
There are three types of content syndication you can use to share your content around the internet. Knowing which one you plan to use shows how the syndication affects your time, resources, and budget. Your options include:
Paid syndication is just what it sounds like: paying a third party to share your content. Your syndication partners may be individual websites or service providers. Other times, you may work with a content promotion agency that helps you place your content with a variety of these individual providers. When you work with individual providers, you can often set up the campaign parameters yourself through online forms. Choose your goals, budget, target audience, and other factors, then upload the content yourself.
If you work with an agency, they may handle these factors with your input. Agencies may also make a suggestion about which types of content you should share, or even which individual pieces are most likely to help you reach your goals.
Owned content syndication works similarly to paid syndication, but it doesn’t cut into your budget. There are plenty of third-party syndication websites that don’t require a fee to share your content on their services. Medium, LinkedIn, and social media platforms offer these services. Less complex than paid partnerships, you upload or schedule the content syndication yourself, but may not have as many filters or strategy options on an owned service.
Free partnerships are those you create with other organizations but don’t include a fee. You may engage in a free syndication partnership with companies you’d partner with for other content purposes. For example, if you’d partner with an organization to sponsor its webinar, that may be a good option for a free syndication partnership.
If you’re unsure if you’re going to engage in a paid or free partnership, reach out to another organization and ask. In these situations, you can often set your own contract with both organizations’ teams and legal representatives. Free syndication partnerships are more common between two or smaller organizations in similar but not directly competing industries. These partnerships let the organizations get the mutual benefit without spending any of their tight budgets.
If you’ve tried content syndication before, or you work in other content and link-building partnerships like guest posting, you may already have a list of potential syndication partners to contact. If you’re familiar with the partners, you know what types of content they share. You also understand the potential terms of partnerships and how working with that organization affects your budget. If you haven’t worked with syndication or content partnerships before, find some before you can share your pieces.
You can run a Google search for phrases like “originally appeared on” or “republished with permission from” to find an organization that works with content syndication partners. The most important thing to remember when searching for partnerships is that you’re working with high-quality sites. That means looking for criteria like:
Know where you want to syndicate before you pick the content to syndicate. Otherwise, you may choose to share a piece that your partner site doesn’t support. For example, if you want to syndicate your latest podcast episode, but the partner you want to use only syndicates blog posts, that’s not a good match.
Though we’ve already discussed that you could syndicate all your content, we also know it’s better to be selective and show off the best pieces your brand offers. But that’s not the only content volume consideration to make. You also need to consider how much content you plan to syndicate at one time. There’s no set formula for the best syndication volume. It’s about finding the right balance between encouraging your audience to come back to your website but sharing enough teasers to get them there.
If you’re new to content syndication, start by sharing just a few pieces. After you find out if the strategy is successful, you can then scale up your syndication plan to share more pieces. But, if you’re starting small, you need to know just how many pieces you want to share initially so you can pick them from your archives.
If you can create content, you can syndicate it. There isn’t a barrier to what types of content you can syndicate online. Some of the most common choices include:
The content you choose to syndicate depends on your brand goals, audience, and industry. It’s important to syndicate content that shows off what your brand can do for the audience to improve their work and their lives. But it’s also vital to syndicate content your audience finds valuable. This combination is a recipe for success.
The more you understand your own brand goals, content messaging, and audience, the easier it is to choose which types of content to add to your syndication strategy. Review what types of content your preferred syndication partners share. This also narrows down the choices of what pieces you plan to share.
Not every syndication partnership works the same way. Some third-party providers share your entire article or video on their site. Others share just an excerpt or clip and then link back to the original source if the audience wants to consume the entire piece. Knowing how your partners plan to share your content helps you decide about what to syndicate.
For example, you may want to save some of your best pieces for those “teaser” partnerships that only share an excerpt. That way, to get the full experience, the syndication site sends readers or views back to your channels. Or, you may want to share your best pieces in full to gain more brand awareness. These choices are up to you and your marketing team. But the more information you have, the more solid and sound decisions you can make to help you reach your syndication goals.
Planning when you want to syndicate your content also helps you decide which pieces are right to share. You can’t syndicate a piece that you haven’t written or developed yet. And you don’t want to syndicate something old that isn’t relevant anymore just because new pieces aren’t ready.
Planning for your content syndication strategy makes it easier to decide which pieces to share. Work with your partners to create syndication calendars and schedules to know exactly when your piece should go live. Then, you can pick relevant pieces from your archives, or schedule content creation to make sure your pieces are live and ready for syndication in plenty of time. Once you get more comfortable with syndication, you can share content on a regular, ongoing basis with a predictable schedule.
Republish your newest content on bigger websites or with partners who have more readers and authority than your site. When you syndicate to bigger publications, you can increase your audience reach. This is good if brand awareness is one of your goals. But the more you syndicate to bigger sites, the fewer new audience members may come back to your channels to find more.
Syndicate old content with partners or on websites with the same size audience and level of authority as your brand. Not only does this kind of syndication bring new life to old, evergreen content, but it also helps you attract a niche audience. You may partner with smaller organizations to syndicate your old content, which allows for more context for each piece, a closer partnership, and better chances to bring new audience members back to your main website.
Your best-performing content should be your crown jewel. Like new content, you want to promote it in bigger and better places. Choose to syndicate your best-performing content in places with more readers and more authority than your website. The same warnings apply as those for your newest content. If you’re syndicating to bigger sites, you may not pull as many people back to your original site as you hoped. But again, if your goal is brand recognition, sharing your best pieces is a way to build trust and authority with the new audience.
Eventually, if these readers or viewers encounter enough of your content through syndication, they may visit your site directly to get their information rather than encountering it by chance on third-party services. You can also syndicate content that has an average performance. Take a similar approach as you would to syndicating old content and put these pieces on third-party services with similar authority and audience levels. This system also helps brand awareness and getting your company name in new circles. But it’s not your “best stuff” so you don’t need to put it in locations above and beyond your current means.
Content syndication doesn’t have to be a “one-and-done” strategy. You can syndicate the same content multiple times to different sources. You can even use different syndication types in each new cycle. It’s important to remember, though, if you’ve already syndicated a particular piece of content and where you put it. If you keep detailed records and use a content planner, this step is as easy as running a document search.
Consider layers or levels of syndication, like sharing your new content to bigger sites, then after some time sharing them to niche sites. You could also mix and match syndication channels across free, paid, and owned platforms to get a wider reach on the same pieces. Combining syndication methods lets you get more eyes on your pieces without doing too much additional work.
Unfortunately, content syndication sometimes creates SEO issues. Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Syndicated content isn’t the same as duplicate content, but if you’re not doing it right, the search engine might not know the difference. Do your research about other potential problems that could arise from syndicating across platforms and channels. Then plan for solutions to resolve them.
No matter what content you’re syndicating, request a canonical link from the host source. This is one way to prove to Google that you’re sharing syndicated content, not duplicate. There are also times when Google mistakenly identifies a syndicated piece of content over the original. This mistake causes the syndicate to get all the good positioning and traffic that the original should get.
You can’t beat Google at its own game, so it’s important to be away of the potential SEO issues that could happen during syndication. Then you can weigh your options for syndicating particular pieces of content and the SEO impact you might see. Knowing all your options helps you choose which content can take an SEO hit and which can’t.
If you’re still struggling with figuring out what content to syndicate, or where to put it, let CopyPress help. Request your free content marketing analysis report today. In the report, you can find a list of potential syndication partners that fit your level of authority and your industry niche.
This document also shows your top-ranking and top-performing pages and content on your website. Choose from that list which pieces to share with your audience through your new syndication partner suggestions. To get your analysis report delivered to your email inbox, fill out the form below and follow the instructions. You should receive your results within an hour.
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