The Ultimate Guide to Content Syndication – Not many are aware of this, but content syndication is a great way to get your content and brand viewed by more people.
After working so hard to write your content, get it published to your blog and social media. as well as getting it fully optimized for the search engines, it can be quite disheartening if it isn’t being read and shared by your audience.
If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone in this, as getting traffic itself is actually a common problem for the majority of content marketers.
Although there are several methods you can employ to get those numbers up, content syndication stands out because it is cost-effective, helps you improve brand awareness, enhances SEO performance and increases website visits.
That, of course, is if you do it correctly. Otherwise, you risk being outranked by other publications that published your own content.
Also, you may end up negatively impacting your SEO efforts by choosing the wrong website to syndicate on.
By now you are probably wondering – what’s the best way to use content syndication as a marketing tactic, and how can you avoid the drawbacks?
This article will discuss the ultimate guide to content syndication and you’ll learn how to use this tactic to promote your business online.
Let’s start by getting familiar with the concept of content syndication.
What is Content Syndication?
Basically, content syndication has to do with republishing of the same piece of content on one or more different websites.
There are no limitations to the type of content being republished, thus, they could be articles, videos, infographics, etc.
Both large and small publications like syndicating content. Not only does it help in providing fresh information for readers, but it also benefits the original authors by giving their brand exposure in front of a new audience.
Thus, content syndication is a win-win for both the external website owner and the original owner of the content.
We must, however, note that, even though it does seem similar to guest posting or guest blogging [insert internal link], content syndication is different.
In guest blogging, you provide an entirely new piece of content, written specifically for one publication.
However, with syndicated content, you’re literally taking the same piece of content and republishing it, with permission, on other platforms. The goal here is to get that same piece of content republished on as many websites as possible.
As a reader, you’ll be able to easily tell if an article was syndicated and not a guest post. The reason is because there’s usually a mention on the page about the article’s original source or publisher.
So, it isn’t uncommon to find publications mark syndicated content with text like this:
“This article appeared in [Original publication + Link] and has been published here with permission” or “This article originally appeared in [Original publication + Link].”
Both examples above are very important mentions when it comes to content syndication. Basically, you’re not only giving credit to the original author but also intelligently avoiding duplicate content issues.
A Powerful Growth Marketing Tactic
As a growth marketing strategy, content syndication can be used to achieve many goals.
Inherently, you can use it as a tactic to enhance content reach. But the key to effective content syndication is in selecting platforms that can connect you with an audience that is ready to make a buying decision.
Now, this is where content syndication transforms into performance marketing. The platforms hosting your content can employ various approaches when syndicating content.
They can decide to:
- Republish the entire work
- Edit it down into a much shorter piece
- Post a small section or excerpt from the original
As always, credit will be given to the original source of the publication.
Content Syndication and SEO
If you’re not new to content marketing, then you probably know by now that Google frowns against duplicate content.
Websites may not be directly penalized for having duplicate content, however, it won’t help their SEO performance, either.
Fortunately, syndicated content is different from duplicate content. Even Google admits that it is okay to syndicate content, as long as it is done carefully.
Basically, you have to make it obvious for search engines and readers that what they see is a syndicated piece.
This can be done by including a link back to the original article and, ideally, making sure the third-party publication includes a canonical link.
Now, how you include the canonical link will typically depend on the publication. If the process isn’t clear, you should take some time to discuss it with the editor right at the start.
In addition, do well to remember the references (links) included within the content. As always, every publication has its guidelines about references.
That’s why it is advisable to discuss it with the editor before getting into a partnership.
However, if you can reference your own article, having a syndicated article can seriously drive up referral traffic and further improve your rankings as well as organic traffic performance.
According to Senior Web Strategy and SEO Manager at Auth0, Scott Mathson, “if you include internal links, content that you syndicate across platforms often passes authority and equity through to these links.
Signals from an increase in traffic from new and different referral channels, alongside a broadened backlink profile (whether nofollow or follow), and other factors gives search engines further context around your content and its relevancy and popularity.”
Scott has witnessed, firsthand, how content syndication can affect a website’s SEO performance both directly and indirectly.
Over the past couple of years, he has used content syndication along with other tactics to increase the website’s backlink profile from 200K to over 4.4 million backlinks.
The Importance of Content Syndication
If your blog has excellent content but isn’t reaching a wider audience, you’ll need to gear your efforts towards improving reach.
Engaging in lots of content marketing without having an audience is basically a waste of resources.
However, by syndicating to a third party, you can give your content more exposure by placing it in front of the types of audience you want to attract as customers.
In addition, some content syndication platforms are available online. These platforms can help businesses build awareness among a core audience as well as establish themselves as thought leaders.
The best strategies utilized will help generate leads and grow their bottom line via the application of intent and account-based marketing approaches.
However, content syndication is only the first step in connecting with potential buyers.
There are also lots of other secondary benefits. Content syndication can help drive organic and referral traffic to your web properties. Links derived from authoritative websites alone indicate a high level of quality in your content.
For instance, if your content is published on a media publication, any links you get back to your website can help improve your domain authority, thus, helping you rank higher for organic search terms.
Additionally, your online presence, as well as brand recognition, will also increase as long as you consistently publish quality content.
From here, it gets easier to reach out to other industry experts for more opportunities to distribute or cross-promote your content.
Within a saturated market, publishing your content on various platforms with large and appropriate audiences can cement your role in your industry and help set your brand apart.
On a separate level, content syndication underlines the relevance of content within an organization.
When closely aligned with performance, content syndication becomes a very effective tool for:
Proving to Business Owners That Content Drives Value
Content syndication bridges the gap between the perceived and actual worth of content as a lead generation tool.
Basically, there isn’t any faster or more effective way to emphasize the business value of thought leadership.
Hitting Revenue Goals
Usually, content marketers are often judged by their ability to generate revenue for their business.
With content syndication, you can drive actual, tangible revenue via thought leadership, while also making it more convenient to link revenue to individual pieces of content or campaigns.
Connecting with a Wider Audience
As content creators, content marketers are driven by an urge to connect with an audience. Content syndication helps in ensuring that content is seen by those that can appreciate its value. By improving reach, marketers can enhance brand recognition and overall increase ROI.
How to Syndicate Content
You can syndicate content in two major ways – the free method or the paid method. In the free method, your aim is in finding the right publications, pitching your content, and building partnerships, one at a time.
The paid method, on the other hand, requires using certain tools that allow you to get your content recommended in major publications faster.
Generally, you can syndicate content in the following ways:
- Republish your most recent or best-performing content on bigger websites, with a larger audience and a higher authority than yours.
- Syndicate old content on websites that have almost the same audience and a similar level of authority as yours.
- Write and publish a guest blog on a bigger publication and then syndicate the content later on your website, Medium, or LinkedIn.
- Get picked up by websites that frequently syndicate content.
- Utilize paid platforms to get your content on major publications.
Free Content Syndication Method
If you’re want to syndicate method for free, you can do so in four different ways:
Republish on bigger websites
You can republish your most recent or best-performing content on bigger websites with more audience and higher authority than yours.
By doing this, you get to amplify your reach. But because readers can consume the whole content piece directly on the third-party website, they may have little reason to check out its original source (your website).
Thus, you might get less traffic to your site when you utilize this method.
However, if you’re focusing mainly on increasing brand awareness, then this method is the best for you.
Syndicate old content on websites with similar audience and authority as yours
If you aim to focus more on an audience directly within your niche, then you should consider syndicating content to smaller, more focused publications.
You can do this by looking up publications with similar authority and readership as your blog.
They may even allow you to include more contextual links so you can reference back to your blog from the article.
Generally, this is a great way to let their audience discover more content on your blog and generate new leads.
Guest post on a bigger publication and syndicate on your page afterward
On most occasions, it is always better to publish on a bigger website first as they would likely only be interested in publishing fresh, original content on their platform.
The great thing about this is that you’ll get the advantage of putting your thought leadership in front of a large audience that otherwise wouldn’t have reached your content.
After a period of time, (depending on the publication) you’ll be free to republish your content to your platform or audience and other social channels.
Get picked up by websites that frequently syndicate content
Try this experiment – Look up a big publication and take the title of one its most recent articles. Type it into Google and hit enter – you’ll realize that it is being picked up by many small publications.
These smaller publications usually publish an excerpt from the original piece and link back to the original source.
You can go a step further to make your blog more visible by first first creating a page where you explain how people can syndicate your content.
UniverseToday.com makes a very good example of how to use this particular tactic with their “steal our content … please” page.
Also, be sure to optimize your website for syndication – this is very important.
According to Scott Mathson, feeds and sitemaps are the foundation of content syndication. So, be sure to pay lots of attention when it comes to optimizing your website’s post feeds, sitemaps, and other XML files.
This is to ensure that your content is valid and in line with guidelines for various publishing platforms.
After optimization, be sure to set up the connections for automating syndication. This could be done by setting up connections to sitemaps and feeds or by developing API connections to various syndication sites.
You’ll be saving a lot of time by setting up this automation for cross-posting your content to sites like Flipboard.
Finally, give other publications a good reason to syndicate your content either in its entirety or partially.
You can do this by including infographics, charts, or diagrams that can easily be picked up and syndicated.
Content Lead at Venngage, Sara McGuire corroborates this by saying that your content can be more attention-grabbing if it contains key elements such as statistics, tips, and takeaways in a visual format such as an infographic or slide deck.
The reason is that even if publications aren’t interested in syndicating a whole article, they may still be willing to share your visual content as it can complement their existing content and help increase the engagement on their page.
How to Find Platforms for Content Syndication
In addition, you can also evaluate any website’s most recent backlinks for content syndication opportunities.
Generally, the simplest place to begin is through a Google search. There, you can look up articles that mention key terms like:
“republished with permission”
“originally published in”
“originally appeared on”
To make it even easier, you can narrow your search down to publications within your niche by entering the term – inurl:[domain].
The image in this section is a good example of inbound blogs in the business of syndicating content.
In your quest to choose publications, be sure to look for the ones that have:
- An audience or readership that is similar to your buyer persona
- A similar or even better authority than your blog
- Canonical links to the original source of their articles
Furthermore, it is important to note that not all publications will help your content syndication efforts.
In fact, publishing on certain websites can ultimately harm your brand and its SEO performance.
Thus, be sure to avoid publications with:
- Spammy outbound links
- Low authority
- No editorial guidelines
To help you get started with content syndication, below is a list of platforms (free and paid) where you can syndicate content in no time.
Free content syndication platforms
Paid content syndication platforms
Paid Content Syndication
If you want to get faster results from content syndication then we recommend spending some bucks to do it via paid content syndication.
On many occasions, big brands often collaborate directly with big publishers to get their content in front of a large audience.
Unfortunately, this tactic was not available for the smaller brands operating on a more limited budget.
However, with tools like Outbrain and Taboola, it is now possible for the smallest brands to show up as recommended content on sites such as CNN, BBC, or The Guardian.
You have most likely seen ads like the ones in the image on this section at some point in time.
These platforms work just like regular pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. You have the option of setting a capped budget, a cost-per-click, as well as a target audience.
From that data, the platform then works by serving readers with your ad as a recommended article featuring an image, a short title, and a link back to your website.
Additionally, it is perhaps, worth mentioning here that these links do not hold any SEO authority.
They are simply seen as “sponsored content” by search engines (and sometimes by readers too).
Each time a reader clicks on one of the ads, you’ll be charged a cost that often varies based on the target audience as well as other campaign settings.
This basically makes paid content syndication a much more direct option to get your content featured in major publications.
It is, quite likely, also the only method you can employ to get your content uploaded on major influential websites like CNN.
However, keep in mind that paid content syndication won’t give you the same SEO and even brand awareness benefits you would enjoy on free syndication.
In conclusion, content syndication is an excellent opportunity to reach a new audience and potentially convert those new readers into leads for your business.
Also, if you syndicate other publication’s content on your own website, you’ll actually be serving your readers fresh, valuable content without having them leave your site to find it elsewhere. Simply put, it’s a win-win for you.