Engaging your current audience with compelling content is easy. Reaching a broader spectrum of people and converting this new demographic to become your audience is a little harder. One of the more effective ways to get your brand, company, product or service out there and to appeal to a new crowd is through content syndication.
But now you might be wondering:
What is content syndication?
When you publish a blog, article or video on your site, it will only appear on your site. However, when your content is captured by third party sites it can reach more people. This is called content syndication because your content is being syndicated elsewhere.
Think of television. A popular 90s show like Seinfeld originally aired on NBC. The show has been off the air since 1998, yet you can still see it daily on a variety of different channels, some of which may be NBC affiliates. You can also see the show on Internet streaming platforms like CraveTV because it has been rented out to other networks and services.
When it comes to your content, you can rent it out (so to speak because you cannot charge a fee) to other sites, giving more people access to it.
CNN, Yahoo, and MSN are three sites in particular that have been curating content through syndication for years. The next time you log on to CNN (or any other corporate website) look to the side. You’ll notice links to stories from from different websites that may be related to the article you’re reading. These links are syndicated from other sites because CNN believes they are similar to the story on their page and that this content would be relevant to their audience. If you play your cards right, i.e., put in some effort, your content could appear syndicated on CNN one day.
From the POV of a content marketer, I’d say content syndication is the best thing since sliced bread.
And here’s why:
Through content syndication, a third party website adds a direct link to your page. When users click on that link, it takes them directly to your site. This means the content is not duplicated in two places, which keeps Google happy. Search engines discourage duplicate content for a number of reasons, but in part because a site could steal anything from around the web and pad their own site with keyword rich material as a way of cheating to get a higher ranking. But, content syndication does not duplicate content, it simply provides a link to it.
The major benefits of content syndication are:
- It builds organic traffic and followers to your site
- It creates exposure for your content that you wouldn’t otherwise get
- Google approves content syndication – you do not want to violate Google’s policies just to get more page views
- It increases your brand awareness
- It allows you to promote yourself as the impressive expert that you are
- The strategy gives you quality validation from respected third party sites like CNN, Yahoo, CBC, MSN, Huffington Post etc. boosting your credibility
- It also offers opportunities for cross-marketing and advertising with other digital partners
How to syndicate your content like a pro
James Altucher, an American hedge fund manager, podcaster, best-selling author and entrepreneur, is a content syndication pro.
Altucher is responsible for one of the most important content syndication strategies of the last few years. For example, his article “20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires” started simply on his Facebook page before being syndicated to the Huffington Post and Business Insider.
To copy Altucher’s example, here’s how to syndicate your content effectively:
- Make sure the content you’re hoping to syndicate is your best work. This means that you are putting everything you have into this blog/video/post. You have engaging visual assets, you have checked it repeatedly for spelling and grammar mistakes, and you can back up your claims. And make sure the content is evergreen.
- Once the content is ready to share, post it on your website.
- Next, share it on your Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn. You will need a premium LinkedIn account to post your content whereas with Twitter and Facebook you can link to it from your website. If you regularly send out newsletters, include a link to the content in it.
- Once your content begins to get traction, you can start pitching it to publications like the Huffington Post. Review their guidelines beforehand to ensure you are sending them content they actually want to publish.There’s also Medium, a site that curates content from across the web. Medium has a feature on top of their site called “Write a Story”, making publication quite easy. You can also try Forbes, Entrepreneur and other well-known sites that display syndicated content. Again, make sure you adhere to their guidelines. If you’re busy, you can easily hire a VA to do the research work ( see step 3 here) for you.
- Now, wait patiently until your content becomes syndicated. Then, once it appears on other sites, repeat the promotional cycle with Facebook and Twitter.
Content syndication truly is one of the best strategies to amplify your already existing content, but if you don’t do it properly, you’ll have no luck getting your posts to reach a wider audience.