Everything You Need to Know About Content Syndication

July 10, 2020 | Content Marketing

Content syndication is one of the newest techniques that promise to work wonders for brands. 

But for us marketers to define a good content syndication strategy, we’ll need to take it from the top and first define content marketing as a whole.

Content marketing is a technique that allows marketers to create and distribute valuable content to specific channels, designed to attract the attention of the target audience.

The objective of content marketing is to create a piece of content that will provide value to the audience, in the form of information or solutions and maximize conversion and, in the end, profit.

This is the reason why content is an integral part of every business’ marketing plan.

More often than not, marketers find the idea of a blog beneficial. Blogs help create and curate content that will be representing the brand. 

The result of learning WordPress, creating an appealing website, and guest blogging can help a brand’s name be mentioned, resulting in an increase in website traffic, blog traffic, or both.

What about content syndication, though?

What Is Content Syndication

The best content syndication definition would be the following: the act of a third-party website republishing and repurposing content of any kind, to reach a broader audience.

Content syndication is beneficial for both the brand and the creator of said content and the third party. 

The third party that distributes the content will not have to use up time and resources to create its own, while the brand -and creator, of course- will get more exposure to more platforms.

Content syndication isn’t a general practice, of course. There are rules, channels, and different types.

One needs to keep in mind the following main types of content syndication:

  • Contributions to content-syndicating websites
  • Using sites like Medium to syndicate one’s content
  • Partnerships to syndicate another party’s content
  • Partnerships with websites that syndicate content

One needs to have their eyes open and be on the lookout for websites that accept content syndication and republishing and be willing to share some new content as well as some already-existing pieces.

Why Is Content Syndication Needed?

When one decides to go forth with content syndication, they will do so for the following reasons:

  • Content syndication is a much-needed tactic for brand awareness. The more mentions a brand gets through content, the better for its overall brand name, SERPs, and website traffic.
  • The links pointing to a brand’s website, blog, social media pages, and others, can bring traffic that will result in conversion and sales.
  • Content syndication can give a breath of fresh air to any blog’s old content. Through content syndication, old content can be repurposed and get new and high value.

None of those can happen, of course, if one doesn’t create content that is relatable, relevant, and timely, first.

Great content syndication needs excellent content, both when it comes to the type of material used and when it comes to the information, the piece of content contains.

For example, before someone decides to teach themselves how to create an app, they will need all of the valuable information -videos, blog posts, infographics- that can educate them. 

If one thinks like a user and not a creator, they’ll understand what their content needs to educate, engage, and be actionable and searchable.

Content Syndication Pros

 A proper content syndication strategy comes with many benefits. Let’s see what these benefits are:

SEO Benefits

Content syndication, as mentioned above, can give the creator some quality links back to their website or their blog -or both.

By creating content that corresponds with the keywords that work for the target audience and the tone of voice of the website or blog, content creators can target, link and create anchors that will be the perfect match for their endeavors. 

Target Audience Benefits

A good content syndication strategy will bring content right front and center, where the brand’s target audience can see it. There is no way a brand will reach the entirety of its audience right from the very beginning.

Content syndication can remedy that, provided the creator collaborates with larger blogs and ventures, with many people following them on social media platforms.

This tactic can help with a brand name’s awareness and virality, especially with some good, curated content.

Brand Awareness

Building a strong brand is essential, and a curated content syndication strategy can make it somewhat easier.

Republishing content on sites that can help a brand build credibility on Facebook or other social media platforms, can result in the creator obtaining authority in their niche and, eventually, becoming a household name. This can only work wonders for their content, as it will mean that more people will be looking for it on search engines and elsewhere.

Lead Generation

More exposure means more awareness, more awareness means a better reputation, and better reputation means lead generation.

Content syndication and collaboration with more significant sites like Medium or authority sites like Forbes can attract the target audience’s attention and result in more traffic, subscribers, and new leads. Provided the content is created and curated in a way that offers the user precisely what they need to see, of course.

Duplicate Content and How to Avoid It

Pushing your content out to the general public and having it featured, could mean that Google could penalize that content.

In fact, according to Google, duplicate content is a real issue and has been for quite some time. But isn’t syndicated content a way for one to create duplicate content? The answer is no, again, according to Google.

Here is a piece of advice from Google itself, regarding content syndication:

If a creator needs to syndicate their content, Google will think of it as non-duplicate if it contains a link back to the original piece of content, much like it doesn’t flag, say, product pages.

Another thing a creator can do would be to use the rel=canonical attribute that lets search engines know that the page they’re crawling is the same as another, by setting the original post’s URL as the canonical one.

Lastly, the “noindex” meta tag allows search engines to know whether a page will appear on SERPs or not. Syndicated versions are better off with the “noindex” meta tag. That way, a creator won’t have their original, and syndicated post compete for a place on the SERPs.

SEO and the Impact of Content Syndication

Content syndication can make a substantial impact on a site’s, brand’s, or creator’s visibility.

If just one piece of search-engine-optimized content can do the trick, imagine what can happen when more eyes are on said content or a creator altogether.

Content optimized for specific keywords that link back to the original piece on websites with high authority, clear editorial guidelines, and good link-building strategy can boost a brand’s performance and grant a lot of valuable traffic and lead generation.

To create a piece of content that will be different, creators need to go ahead with some modifications. The following practices will help their SEO efforts and help them avoid the “Duplicate Content” blunder:

  •  Rewriting some of the main parts of the original post will help match the platform or website where the syndicated post will be published. It will also help with SEO efforts and avoiding duplicate content as well.
  • Allowing Search Engines to find the original piece first, by waiting before posting syndicated content. That way, search engines will index the original article first and then help it benefit from the links that lead to it.
  • Changing the headline and the hero image could be essential, as these two elements will entice the target audience. Therefore, they’ll need to be tailor-made for the target audience, each time.

Content syndication is of high importance when it comes to marketing and SEO efforts, provided one does it correctly. Taking advantage of links pointing back to the original piece of content is essential. 

Lastly, optimizing everything for the designated keyword and adjusting the tone of voice to the audience the creator would like to target each time, would be beneficial.

How to Get Started With Content Syndication Strategy

The first thing a creator needs to syndicate content is some original content they feel more people need to see.

Therefore, creating content that would be free and of high quality would be the first thing in order of business.

Choosing the right topic that would make the creator look like an expert in their niche is non-negotiable.

Then, the creator would need to take some steps to make sure they can modify that piece of content in a way that can match the platforms on which they’re going to share the syndicated version of their original composition.

Free or Paid Content Syndication Partners

After creating some quality content, the creator, or the brand, needs to figure out if they prefer partnering up with free or paid partners.

If free partners are what seems to be beneficial at that specific point in time, brands and creators will need to do some thorough research, find the publications and platforms in their niche, that accept syndicated content and pitch said content.

On the other hand, if paid content syndication seems to be the best, they’ll need to use tools and raise their marketing budget, but they’ll get noticed by major publications more quickly.

How to Find Both Free and Paid Partners for Content Syndication

There are some techniques that brands and creators can use to find content syndication partners.

Free Techniques

First off, they can take to Google and use the following keywords:

  • “originally published in-“
  • “originally found on-“
  • “republished from-“

Secondly, after selecting the best publication, taking into account the target audience, niche, and tone of voice, they can create an email and reach out to those publications.

Trying to get to know the editor beforehand, through cold email outreach wouldn’t be a bad idea. However, it takes a lot of research.

Zero research on the editor, the blog, or both can paint a brand and a creator under a terrible light.

Especially if the blog is diverse and covers a lot of topics, if there’s a different editor for each niche, the brand needs to make sure they contact the correct person.

Paid Techniques

Of course, there are paid techniques as well as free ones. Through paid content syndication methods, one can get their content featured in authority websites and publications.

In this case, there are content syndication tools that one can use.

A paid content syndication tactic will allow smaller brands and creators to reach a broader audience, especially if they can “book” an appearance on sites like The Guardian or Forbes.

By paying to get published, this tactic works a bit like PPC: There is an ad-like structure, a title, a specific budget, and a link back to the original piece.

However, these links are as useful as sponsored content to the eyes of a search engine. And much like sponsored content links, they don’t carry SEO authority at all.

Paid syndication partners can help with exposure and brand awareness and increase traffic to a website. It’s up to the brand and the creator to decide whether this is what they want and whether they’re getting their money’s worth, using this tactic.

Content Syndication Outlets

What would be the best outlet? LinkedIn, social media platforms, Quora? Or maybe Medium is the best choice?

The answer would be all of the above, provided one knows their target audience and what they’re aiming to achieve.

Writing for social platforms is an excellent way for creators to answer questions, connect with like-minded individuals, and ask them to share their syndicated content around.

Looking at platforms like Quora, where one can use their syndicated content to answer a question, verifies this statement.

The same goes for posting syndicated content on LinkedIn. Like so:

This practice will let a brand’s or creator’s followers know they posted something new and get people’s attention and, in the end, the much-needed traffic.

Lastly, a blogging platform like Medium should be a fantastic way to syndicate content, just by pasting the story’s URL and adding tags.

Medium automatically links back to the original content. And with metrics like the following, all creators can find some real benefit:

The Differences Between Other Outlets

I need to stress that there are some differences between the three techniques that may seem the same. There is content syndication, but what is the difference between that, repurposing, and guest blogging?

Content Syndication

As mentioned at the beginning, content syndication is the practice through which third party websites republish a piece of content that has appeared initially elsewhere.

It’s more of a distribution tactic than a way to promote original content.

Content Repurposing

When one repurposes content, they use the original piece as a “guide” or a “prototype” and create something new based on the original.

For example, a blog post can be repurposed as an email newsletter, or a video, as a blog post.

Guest Blogging

When one practices guest blogging, they create new pieces of content -in the form of posts, infographics, etc.- that are original and tailor-made for the specific blog where they’ll be published.

No guest post content can be published somewhere else, unlike syndicated content.

So, the critical difference between those three outlets would be originality and distribution. Content repurposing and content syndication refer back to an original piece. Guest blogging does not.

The Takeaway

Content syndication is a very beneficial tactic, provided one does it correctly.

It’s essential for creators never to forget to link back to their original piece and also explore content reformation through other content ideas, such as podcasts and video guides.

No matter what, creators need to take notice of the tone of voice they’re using each time and on each platform and never think they’re done with a piece of content after they publish it.

Are there other techniques around content syndication that needed to be mentioned? Have you found something that gives your brand and content the best results?

Don’t hesitate to tell us in the comments and don’t forget to share the knowledge with your favorite marketer.

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Téa Liarokapi is a content writer working for email marketing software company Moosend and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas-and cats-to play with.

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