It was easy to make significant headway with blog and email content circa 2008-2010 when very few businesses were actively producing their own content. Today, B2B and B2C organizations utilize on-page content as a strategic sales recruitment asset. The big problem? Every other business is doing the exact same thing.
If you have done (and continue to do) the hard work by developing a steady stream of meaningful blog content for your website, what can you do to make that content work harder for your business? Small and medium sized North American brands have been a little slower to embrace the benefits of content syndication. We’d like to explain how it works, and provide some examples of product and service niche strategies that work.
What Is Content Syndication and How Does it Work?
Even if you are not sure what it is, we guarantee that you have seen it in action while you’ve been browsing for articles or information online. Let’s say for example, you are searching for an outdoor deck design plan; your search would lead you first to the highest ranking articles on the web about design schematics. Some of those major media sites may provide ‘suggested reading’ or ‘sponsored content’ thumbnails at the bottom of the page.
Since you are already seeking information about that specific topic, it is reasonable that you might click on one or more of the suggested links at the end of the article, because they promise to provide more information for you. On the exact topic you are currently researching. In fact, as a consumer, you’re pretty impressed with both the content you found on the media site, and the convenience of being directed to even more information on the topic. How concierge!
When you (the reader) click on the suggested content, you are taken to another site and another blog article with helpful tips and suggestions. The difference is that this new blog content you are exploring, will belong to a private brand or service provider. In the example of outdoor deck designs, the suggested content may be from:
- A landscape architect designer
- A home improvement retailer
- A specialized deck installer or handyman
- A real estate agent with listings of homes with spectacular new decks
Without a hard sell, syndicated content works by meeting the consumer at a level of helpfulness, as a solution to a want or need that they have. It is polite and passive selling, that creates a content journey to help the prospective customer achieve two objectives:
- To fact check and information-find all the details pertaining to the product, expert advice or service that they are interested in acquiring.
- To connect them to a business resource who can provide that service or good to them.
Sure, it sounds pretty friendly right? But does the goodwill gesture actually work and legitimize the additional spend of putting pay-per-click budget behind your best quality content? If you are not getting the results you used to get with Google Ads or Facebook and other social network spends, we’ll explain why you should ‘double down’ on syndicated content marketing.
Why You Should Add Syndicated Content Marketing to Your Strategy
The era of blatant ‘in your face’ marketing is rapidly ending. Consumers have been inundated with advertising on smartphone apps, social media, print advertising, direct mail and email, and of course banner and display ads that they are served when browsing online. With the increased fatigue that consumers feel about display advertising, and the substantial uptick in the number of consumers using ad blocking software, it’s no wonder businesses are feeling that they are not getting value from ppc advertising.
But it is only the traditional types of advertising that are getting some push back from consumers, or being blatantly ignored (thanks to ad blocking software). Consumers understand that by spending a thousand dollars, you can reach 10-20 thousand qualified customers locally (or globally). They are looking for a more personalized buying experience. And they are looking for businesses who can demonstrate that they care enough to acquire their business.
Here are some of the benefits of content syndication as a new website traffic and sales conversion resource for your business:
- It leverages the established global traffic that major media websites have. Your business pays for the benefit of having an article of suggestion content displayed on a site that gets millions of visits per month.
- It pre-qualifies your target market, by placing related content right where your prospective customers are researching to formulate a purchase decision.
- Depending on the niche product or service area, it can produce better conversions with CPC rates starting at 0.44 cents per click.
- Fewer businesses are engaging in syndicated content (right now) which presents an improved competitive opportunity to gain traction and new customers.
Advertorial Guidelines for Syndicated Content Campaigns
By this time, you might be imagining the perfect landing page to launch for your first syndicated content campaign. And it’s going to be a funnel page, with an introduction video, and maybe a limited time offer or contest? Loud, proud and unabashedly promotional, because that is what you are going to get the most return on investment from, right?
Wrong. It is not difficult to understand why consumers would feel catfished by sponsored content that directed them to another page of blatant in-your-face promotion. They are in their ‘information seeking mode’ and you essentially just smacked them with a hard hitting infomercial that they didn’t ask for. Your bounce rate will soar, and indicate just how angry you have made prospective customers.
Syndication providers like Outbrain and Taboola have restrictions that govern the type of article that can be approved for promotion. These restrictions include keyword density, promotional and advertorial content. To qualify the article must stand on its own journalistic merit, as an informational item and not a ‘splash page’. The article must meet their editorial guidelines before being approved for promotional spend.
Syndicated content is a valuable opportunity to activate your high quality blog content, and put it to work to connect your business with the customers who are looking for our products or services. Contact us for more information regarding optimized content strategies and syndicated content with integrated email marketing campaigns.