Let’s start with a question – if you had to say just one thing, what is the single most important goal of your digital marketing strategy?
It’s a fair guess that some of you answered: “to drive more traffic to the brand website.”
Aside from SEO and Pay Per Click, Digital marketers have one key tactic for increasing click-through to a client website – getting as much branded content as possible distributed on different sites to increase presence and create a network of links back to the main site.
Since search engines like Google started clamping down on content duplication and click baiting, this has become harder and harder. Unless you want your pages to disappear off search engine top tens, you can no longer simply repost the same keyword laden content on every article directory you find.
What you can do, however, is reach an agreement with third party sites to promote your content. Search engines differentiate between duplication, which they view as unnecessary cluttering of the internet and what they call syndication.
Syndication is an old media practice of different outlets sharing the same stories. For web content such as news articles, blogs, infographics, tutorials, videos, etc., Google views syndication as a positive way of helping users find content they are interested in.
Content syndication has therefore become a powerful means for brands to drive traffic back to their own site. Syndicated articles are often not republished in full, so are therefore not duplicated. Instead, under agreement with the third party site, syndication provides links back to the original content, perhaps with a thumbnail and summary.
Content Syndication Networks will even do the work for you. Subscribers’ sign up, submit their content and narrow down their target audience by topic and demographics. The network then does the hard work pushing the content to third party sites.
A study from Curata suggests that syndication should account for around 10 percent of your content marketing mix. But that is an important 10 percent, as that is the section of your content that you wish to be promoted and endorsed by other sites.
The content you choose to syndicate should therefore be the very best you have to offer. Unlike advertising, the purpose of syndication is not to get audiences to click through to buy, but to click through out of interest. As they are reading the host article or watching a video clip, you want them to spot the link to your content in the ‘Related Articles’ section and be engaged enough to click.
If your aim is to get your content promoted alongside specific influential sites and blogs in your sector, try approaching them yourself to talk through a deal. Write a pitch focusing on the topics you produce content on, with any examples of previous syndication.
Paid-for services like Taboola and Zemanta will make your content available to a wide range of sites, many of them with high visitor numbers. A free alternative is to adapt your social media strategy to cover syndication. If you have enough followers and engage well enough with your audiences, posting content to sites like Facebook and YouTube can result in high organic distribution through reposts.
Some large influential news and opinion sites – the Huffington Post, Life Hacker, Forbes etc. – will republish articles in full. In these instances, there are several benefits to not posting word for word the same content as you have on your site, and not just because of duplication.
Repurposing can help drive traffic back to your site by tailoring content for specific audiences. A Forbes article may benefit from more of a business angle to something written for the Huffington Post. Different things work on different sites, plus you may have to consider word length and house style.
Some sites, such as Hubpages and LinkedIn, allow you to publish articles in full. Because there is no editorial oversight crediting the original source, there is more of a risk of being picked up for duplication if you simply paste a piece word for word. In these instances, it is advisable to change content more substantially, perhaps with a different angle, to create a new unique piece of content.
Syndication is one of the most effective content marketing distribution strategies available to digital marketers today. Leaving behind the old clickbait practices, the focus of syndication is on quality and endorsement, providing direct links back to content on your site your audiences will be engaged with.
To learn more about how Position2’s syndication subscription service can help promote your brand to a wider online audience, click here. To stay in touch with the latest trends in digital marketing, you can subscribe to receive alerts from our weekly blog