Content Syndication – Compelling Content, Targeted Leads

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Posted: July 5, 2012 | Demand Generation

We are all living in a world of content saturation: texts, videos, podcasts, webinars, tweets and social networks are all feeding us information about a company, product, or service. In B2B marketing, the challenge is making your brand stand out amongst the noise. As a marketer, how do you find the right venue that encourages customer engagement? And how can you make your content stand out and be accessed by the right prospects at the right time?

A great way to deliver your high value content to the correct prospects is through content syndication–a content sharing strategy that can be used to promote your whitepapers, articles, news releases, etc. on other websites for greater reach and engagement. The amount of content to syndicate is dependent on the business objective. Some companies syndicate the majority of their content, while others only syndicate a snippet of it.

When your company chooses content syndication as a way to reach prospects, it’s key to ensure that you are showcasing thought leadership vs. promotional materials. Your newly uncovered prospects want to know the value of your content and are looking for your insight, so avoid being aggressive about your products or services. Keep in mind that this is not a sales pitch. When a person can connect with you and your thought leadership, you are likely to gain them as a future customer.

That being said, there are some pros and cons of content syndication that I have learned through my own experience that can help you determine if content syndication is right for you:

Pros:

    • Extra exposure – Syndication can be useful for new start-ups or companies seeking to increase visibility. Also, gated content (forms that have to be filled out before downloading whitepapers, etc.) gives you the ability to capture prospects’ information so you can market to them — this is a great way to build your pipeline with new sales leads you never had.
      • Generating prospects –In many cases, generating new marketing leads can be a difficult task on your own. When you syndicate your content through publishers you can increase the chance of adding new names in your system. Individuals that download whitepapers and engage with content usually have a need for a product or service and are likely to conduct a transaction in the near future. It is important that you keep an eye out for these prospects because if you don’t, your competitors can snatch them.
        • Targeted Prospects – Targeted prospects are the most likely to convert to sales. The reason many use filters is because they try to target larger customers within their demographics. Because eventually these larger customers will lead them to larger deals, and that’s why many companies are willing to pay more for these leads.
          • Here are some filters I use when targeting prospects:
          • Geography (ie: All English speaking countries)
          • Job Type (ie: Sr. Marketing Managers, Directors, Practitioners, etc)
          • Company Size (ie: 100+ employees)
          • Industry Type  (ie: All industries, not only IT)

Cons:

          • Be Cautious – Some site owners often mistake permission to republish content as permission to repurpose. Be cautious of who you share your content with and try to work with reputable companies that have been in the business for a while. Also, it doesn’t hurt to ask what other websites your content will be placed on, so you know where your content will be hosted.
          • Get Credit – When providing your content, confirm that your company is getting credit for its work by ensuring the logo will be kept intact and your company will be named.
          • New Names Matter There are times when people download a toolkit or a whitepaper but never engage with your company again. This is when your money goes to waste. The main point of getting someone to download your content is because you hope that they will one day purchase from you. If they don’t, then you lost the money you have invested in that prospect (CPP). Remember it’s a numbers game; no syndicator can guarantee that an individual who downloads a whitepaper will become a customer.
          • No Fresh Prospects – Find out how often the vendor gets fresh prospects so your content isn’t circling with the same audience. Sometimes giving the program a break before renewing can help with these numbers.

Now that I have weighed both sides of content syndication, you may have realized that it is not for everyone, and you’re exactly right, it’s not intended to be. If you have a strategy in place that is driving new prospects, then stick to it. But if you’re looking to try something different, and have some money in the budget that allows for this, it doesn’t hurt to try and see the kind of results you get from syndicating your content. Play with different strategies and then make an educated decision on various programs that work for you and your company.

I hope this was helpful. Do you have any insight on content syndication? I would love to hear about your content syndication strategies and how they have helped your company. Drop me a line, rravulapati@marketo.com.

Happy Syndicating!

Content Syndication – Compelling Content, Targeted Leads

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