Content Syndication: Clearing Up Misconceptions [Examples]
What if you could do more with the high-quality content you already create?
Without spending more time developing new content, you could still grow your reach, improve your search rankings, and boost engagement.
That’s possible through content syndication – republishing on third-party sites.
And I’m not just talking about blog content. Syndication can encompass infographics, videos, social media posts, and other media.
But first, let’s clear up some misconceptions about syndicated content. Then, I’ll share some examples.
What is and what is not content syndication
Guest posts are not content syndication
Guest blogs mean publishing a fresh piece of content on third-party websites based on their terms and conditions. Fresh is the differentiator because, in content syndication, you aren’t creating new content. With content syndication, you revamp your already-published content in a new or similar format.Guest blog posts are fresh #content on third-party sites, not syndicated #content, says @sumeetanand143 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet
Curated content is not content syndication
Creating a new piece of content by pulling content from different sources, such as user-generated posts or blog articles, and adding commentary is not syndicated content. Even if it’s packaged in a different format (i.e., curating blog articles into an infographic).
Content syndication is not plagiarism
In content syndication, old content is published word-for-word on other sites. But that isn’t plagiarism. You aren’t copying someone else’s content without giving them credit; you are republishing your content with the inclusion of a caption or statement that original content is published somewhere else.
Content syndication does not wreck your SEO
Some content marketers resist content syndication because they are concerned that the syndicated content could rank higher on Google than the original content’s site. This is possible. Suppose the platform where you have published syndicated content has a better SEO strategy than yours, it can affect your SEO. But it’s not that big of a problem.
You just need to link original content to the syndicated content and wait for a few months before republishing it. This way, your original content will be properly indexed on the search engines, and syndication won’t affect your page’s Google ranking.Link original #content to the syndicated content and wait a few months before republishing, so syndication won’t affect your page’s Google ranking, says @sumeetanand143 via @CMIContent. #SEO Click To Tweet
Let’s look at a few content syndication success stories.
Buffer is an old content syndication player. They often syndicate their content on popular websites like Huffington Post, Fast Company, Lifehacker, Inc., The Next Web, and more. They created 150 guest posts in one month to figure out what resonated the best, and then they syndicated the most successful on various platforms. (They also used their social media handles to promote the content.)
In this process, Buffer used guest blogs to build relationships with big content publishing sites. Then, Buffer approached those sites with the content syndication idea. Using the Alexa Traffic Rank tool, you can see the impact in the 90-day trend (bottom right) as its traffic rate has climbed fairly steadily.
Let’s talk about Anna Crowe of Search Engine Journal. She ran a small experiment in which she syndicated her twice-a-week SEJ blogs on LinkedIn or Medium for one month. The syndication spurred a 34% page view increase on the original posts. Now that’s what we call the power of sharing, liking, and commenting.Syndicated content on #LinkedIn and #Medium sparked a 34% page view increase for @sejournal, notes @sumeetanand143 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet
Content syndication formats
Before I get into formats, let me say that successful syndication requires starting with a strong content marketing strategy and high-quality content that addresses the target audience’s interests, pain points, etc. Now, here are a few common content syndication modes:
The most popular content syndication format is blogs. However, if you follow a solid content syndication strategy like Ben Hardy, you can easily grow your subscribers’ list from 0 to 20,000 in just six months by posting your content on Medium. So, content syndication is just a matter of composing informative and engaging blogs.
You can easily syndicate your content as visuals like infographics and charts. The visual appeal can prompt more viewers to share them. Branticles published a guide to email marketing as an infographic, which was syndicated on multiple sites, including Site Pro News, Agility PR, and others.
Another popular content syndication format is videos. You can take inspiration from the Moz team. Every Friday, they publish a video on an SEO topic – Whiteboard Friday – on their site – and syndicate it on YouTube, like this one about the making of high-quality links:
You can syndicate your video #content. @Moz does it with Whiteboard Friday, publishing original content on its site and syndicating it on #YouTube, says @sumeetanand143 via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet
Yes, you can also syndicate your content in audio format. Go to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or any other audio hosting site and convert your written content into podcasts. Shane Barker’s Marketing Growth Podcast is a perfect example of audio content syndication as these banners show it’s available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher:
Find the Right Platform
After selecting one or multiple content syndication methods, you must find the right syndication home(s). Among the considerations, it should:
- Match your content format
- Have a large user base
- Match your brand’s vision
Let’s look at some of the popular content syndication options.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. You can create an XML-oriented feed to publish your content. People subscribe to it through their RSS reader. When you publish new content, it shows up in their feeds.
You can pay a syndication provider to publish your content on premium third-party sites like CNN, MSN, etc. On some syndication websites, you might have to pay a significant amount to get your content published. Taboola and Outbrain are two such providers.
You also can take syndication into your own hands, using the platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. With this method, you have to do the work to build your audience on that platform.
Additionally, you use your company’s social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., to syndicate your content.
Say it’s syndicated
If you don’t want search engines to index your original content as copied content or reduce your website’s ranking, indicate that the content is syndicated using one of these options:
- Rel=canonical tag to tell search engines that the page they’re crawling is syndicated
- Meta noindex tag to remove your syndicated page from the indexing process
After publishing your syndicated content, thoroughly track its performance and measure against the goals you set for it. Among the most common metrics:
- Engagement rate to know how many new users interacted with your content
- Number of qualified leads generated by the content
- Conversion rate to learn the number of qualified prospects.
Content syndication is a robust content marketing strategy that can give a push to your inbound marketing efforts but only when it’s executed in the right way. Otherwise, it can negatively impact your SEO growth.
Ensure you have good knowledge of the topic and a strategic plan before implementing content syndication.
All tools mentioned are identified by the author. If you have a tool to share, please add it in the comments.
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute