Content Syndication Strategy: How to Promote Your Content Like the Big Brands

Here’s a fact that probably won’t surprise you: creating outstanding content takes a lot of time, effort, and resources. 

This is why it becomes difficult to scale your content creation efforts as your business grows, even if you have a large team of in-house creators. There’s only so much high-quality content you can churn out, and it comes at a cost. 

So, how do the big brands do it?

They use content syndication to keep banking off what they’ve already created!

Think about popularly syndicated TV shows like Friends or The Office: how much do you think they made off just one episode?

We can’t provide an answer yet because the number is still growing

Both shows are still in syndication and continue to earn money for the creators, staff, and cast each time an episode airs (or when you watch them on a streaming platform like Netflix). 

The good news?

You can start syndicating your own content, regardless of your business’s current size or influence, to mimic their success. Read on to learn how. 

What is Content Syndication?

Despite the fancy word, content syndication is simply republishing existing pieces of content on third-party websites or platforms. 

It’s an excellent way to extend your brand’s reach, exposing your content to new audiences who probably wouldn’t have discovered it otherwise. 

Brands **** syndication because it solves the aforementioned ‘scaling problem’ with content creation. Instead of having to produce an original piece of content every time you want to generate traffic or brand awareness, you can let your ‘greatest hits’ do some of the heavy lifting for you. 

After all, why only stick with the original influx of traffic for a truly rockstar piece of content?

A better strategy is to promote your painstakingly-produced content to the high heavens to reap as many rewards from it as possible! 

A content syndication example: NerdWallet 

Don’t just take our word for it – major industry players online have been using content syndication to dominate their respective fields for many years now. 

A perfect example is personal finance giant NerdWallet

Trust us when we say they have a truly outstanding SEO strategy, as it’s the one marketing channel they’ve used to dominate their corner of the finance market. 

We’ve already provided 7 great SEO ideas from NerdWallet in the past because of this, and their dominance has only grown in the years since. 

Let’s take a quick look at their stats on Ahrefs (an industry-leading platform for revealing any website’s SEO metrics):

Here’s a quick breakdown of these numbers to put them in context:

  • They have an absurdly high Domain Rating of 90 (which refers to the strength of their backlink profile/ranking power). 
  • They’re ranking for millions of personal finance keywords (3.7 million). 
  • They see 19.1 million organic visitors each month, which is astronomically high. 

For a quick comparison, here’s the Ahrefs profile of one of their top competitors in the personal finance space, MoneyCrashers:

As you can see, the numbers, while still incredibly impressive by SEO standards, are far less impressive than NerdWallet’s. 

The reason for their success?

They have an extremely robust content syndication strategy thanks to their partnership with The Associated Press (AP) – a giant not-for-profit news distribution agency. The AP distributes NerdWallet’s articles to a whopping 1,650 media outlets, including giants like The New York Times and The Washington Post

This consistently floods NerdWallet with super-powerful backlinks and tons of referral traffic (both of which are amazing for SEO and business in general). 

They’re definitely not alone, as other major brands like TV Guide, ValuePenguin, and The Penny Hoarder employ similar content syndication strategies to elevate their brands.   

Isn’t content syndication the same as guest posting? There’s a bit of confusion surrounding content syndication and guest posting since the two have similar names. However, guest posting is an entirely different practice from syndicating content. Guest posting involves creating brand-new articles for another website – whereas syndicating content is republishing articles that you’ve already written and published on your own website

TLDR: Guest posting involves creating original content, and content syndication does not (you repost existing articles). 

What are the Benefits of Content Syndication?

Content syndication is something any business can start using, whether you’re a medium-sized business or a super-small blogging site (even solo operations can syndicate).

Here’s a look at the top reasons why content syndication is worth your time.

Generate high-quality backlinks

One of the most obvious benefits of syndication is to build backlinks for your website. Backlinks are a massive ranking factor for search engines, so it’s important to generate links from high-quality websites – and syndication is a great way to do that. 

If you partner with a reliable and experienced marketing agency or PR firm, you can get your content syndicated on hundreds or even thousands of trusted media and news outlets. This will work wonders for your performance on search engines, which is why SEOs **** content syndication. 

Don’t forget to double-check that each syndicated piece has a link back to a specific page on your website (the pages that you want to rank better). 

Syndication is mutually beneficial 

It’s always great when you can build a link while helping out another website owner in the process, and content syndication is an example of this. 

Why is that?

It’s because A) you get to generate a backlink and reach a wider audience, and B) the reporter/website owner gets to share high-quality content on their website with very little effort involved. 

Speaking of that, website owners **** to share syndicated content because it allows them to populate their blogs with content without having to create it themselves. This is especially beneficial for smaller websites that lack writers or the budget to hire freelancers to create original content. 

More organic traffic for your website

While traffic generation isn’t a primary goal when syndicating content, it is an added benefit. 

Since each syndicated article will contain a link back to your website, users may decide to check out more of your content for further reading. 

Also, the more outlets your content appears on, the more likely it is for this to occur. The increased brand awareness can also cause some online users to begin to recognize your brand, causing them to eventually visit your website – and maybe even make a purchase/leave their contact information. 

It’s highly cost-effective

Creating a new piece of content requires a large time and resource investment. For example, even if you want to create a simple blog post, you have to:

  1. Do online research to discover a relevant topic to write about. 
  2. Develop an outline for yourself or a writer to use.
  3. Write the piece yourself or hire a writer online (which is an expense). 
  4. Review the draft to ensure accuracy, quality, and SEO-friendliness. 
  5. Add images, links, and any other types of media (like an embedded video). 
  6. Publish the content through your CMS. 

Instead of going through all that trouble, you could syndicate a blog you’ve already created to generate backlinks and qualified leads. 

In some instances, syndicating just one blog post can result in 100 backlinks. Compare that to paying for one link at a time, and the cost-effectiveness of content syndication becomes crystal clear.   

It builds brand awareness and expands your online reach

Your online reach will only stretch so far if you only publish original content on your website, even if every piece is ranking #1 on Google. 

There will still be large sections of your target audience that won’t experience your brand if you stick to this route. 

Think back to the NerdWallet example, where their articles were distributed to 1,650 outlets across the internet. 

That’s a massive online reach that they wouldn’t have built without the aid of content syndication. 

Potential Drawbacks of Content Syndication

While we’ve been gushing over the advantages of content syndication so far, that’s not to say that there aren’t potential drawbacks. 

In particular, there are two major considerations to keep in mind when thinking about syndicating your content, which are:

  • Duplicate content. There’s a right and a wrong way to syndicate your content. If you don’t mark it as a syndicated piece in your HTML markup, Google will consider it a duplication of the original piece on your website, which will wreak SEO havoc. To ensure this doesn’t happen, every syndicated piece on an external website must have a canonical tag. This signifies to Google that the piece is a syndicated article, so it won’t count as duplicate content. 
  • Syndicated pieces outranking the original. This is where syndicated content can backfire in a sense. It is entirely possible for a syndicated article to outrank the original piece, in turn driving the lion’s share of organic traffic to the other website instead of yours. Canonical tags and backlinks can mitigate this issue, as you’ll still receive some SEO benefits. Also, the syndicated pieces will still raise brand awareness, which is a plus. 

How Do You Syndicate Content??

Alright, now let’s dive into how you can make content syndication a reality for your business. 

It’s important to note that you need outstanding content for it to be worthy of syndication. Assemble your ‘greatest hits’ from your website by analyzing each page’s metrics. Check for the content that received the most:

  1. Traffic 
  2. Engagement 
  3. Conversions 

Also, you can syndicate any type of content you’ve produced, not just blog posts. You can also syndicate videos, infographics, and podcasts – just to name a few. 

There are two primary ways to syndicate your content, which are:

  1. The free way 
  2. The paid way 

Here’s how to do both. 

Free content syndication strategies 

Going with the free route requires more time and effort, but it allows for greater control and can be highly effective when done right. Here are some effective free strategies to consider. 

Catch the attention of websites that syndicate content 

Syndicate networks exist, and they’re constantly on the hunt for popular content to distribute to their platforms. 

You can capitalize on these networks by creating a landing page for content syndication. To get extra cheeky, you can title the page ‘Steal My Content, Please.’ This page will provide other bloggers, guest post leads, and businesses in your niche with a way to contact you for content syndication. 

This is a great way to catch the eyes of potential syndicate networks. 

Syndicate existing content with larger publications

Your best-performing content doesn’t have to stick with its original format. For instance, if you’ve got a super popular blog, why not repurpose it into a video and an infographic, too? That way, you’ll have three pieces of content ready for syndication instead of just one. 

Also, target high-authority websites that have larger audiences in your field. Videos and infographics are especially effective content types for this due to how shareable they both are. 

You can use our free SEO audit tool to determine the authority level of different websites (and peep at their overall SEO performance). 

Look for websites with grades of B or above (A+ is preferred). 

Prowly also comes in handy in this regard. It’s a digital PR tool that connects you with thousands of journalists and media outlets in your industry. 

For example, let’s say your website operates in the tech space, and you’re looking for larger publications to target for syndication. 

A quick search on Prowly provides us with the top 100 technology outlets in the US, which is enormously helpful for narrowing your search. 

Target niche audiences with smaller publications

Smaller publications are also desirable targets for syndication since they appeal to niche audiences.

They’re also great places to syndicate some of your older/more average content (that’s still quality). 

Try to target media sites and news outlets that have similar audiences as yours and are on the same level authority-wise. 

It’s worth taking this extra step because niche audiences are more likely to explore your other content and eventually become customers. 

The proof?

According to research, 60% of users return to niche websites within a month due to their specialized content, and niche websites boast 45% higher conversion rates than regular websites. 

Pros of the Free Route Cons of the Free Route:
Greater control: You have more control over where your content is published and how it’s presented.

Relationship building: You can foster valuable relationships with other bloggers and influencers in your niche.

❌Time-consuming: It takes time and effort to find the right partners and pitch your content effectively.

❌No guarantees: There’s no guarantee that your content will be accepted or reach your target audience.

How to find syndication partners 

Besides using Prowly and our free SEO tools, there are plenty of other ways to discover syndication partners online. 

For example, you can leverage your existing network by engaging with fellow bloggers, publications, and influencers in your niche. 

Don’t be shy about making appearances, either. 

Rather than sticking to email outreach, don’t hesitate to participate in podcasts and webinars whenever possible. Also, stay active in relevant online communities like social media groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. 

BuzzSumo is another invaluable resource for finding syndication partners. It lets you view which articles are being shared the most on social media.

Google search operators are also a huge help in this regard. Wrapping words in quotations signals to Google that you only want to view results that contain those keywords. 

Therefore, searching for things like “originally appeared on” and “syndicated content” will help you find syndication partners. 

Here’s a quick example for the tech industry. 

Voila! We can now see a list of websites publishing syndicated articles in the technology field. 

Pro tip: Personalize your outreach 

Once you have found a website, personalize each email for each editor and content manager. Highlight the value your content can bring to their audience and explain how it aligns with their content strategy.

One strategy we highly recommend is to offer to create exclusive content for the partner website, such as a unique angle on a trending topic or an in-depth analysis relevant to their audience. This tactic consistently raises eyebrows and gets responses! 

The paid route

Don’t feel like spending hours searching for syndication partners and conducting outreach?

Then, it’s time to make like your favorite video game and pay-to-win. 

Paid content syndication is where you pay a flat fee or invest in advertising for the privilege of syndicating your content on third-party websites/platforms. 

Here’s how it works: 

Cost: You pay a fee, usually based on a cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) model, to have your content displayed on relevant websites.

Platforms: Popular paid syndication platforms include Outbrain, Taboola, and Zemanta. They connect content creators with publishers who are looking to fill ad space with quality content.

Format: Your content often appears as a recommended article or sponsored content alongside other editorial content on the publisher’s website.

Here’s an example of an infographic that lets the audience know it’s sponsored:

Targeting: Your content can target specific demographics, interests, or behaviors to reach your desired audience.

Tracking: Paid syndication platforms offer detailed analytics and reporting, allowing you to track the performance of your syndicated content and measure its impact.

Pros of the Paid Route: Cons of the Paid Route:
Faster and easier: The service handles the outreach and placement process, saving you time and effort.

Wider reach: Your content can be syndicated to major publications and websites that may be difficult to access through organic means.

Guaranteed results: Many services offer performance guarantees, ensuring your content reaches a certain number of impressions or clicks.

❌Cost: Paid syndication can be expensive, especially if you’re targeting high-authority websites.

❌Less control: You may have less control over where your content is published and how it’s presented.

❌SEO Impact: While paid syndication can drive traffic, the links from these platforms are often marked as “sponsored content” and don’t directly boost your SEO.

In our opinion, paid content syndication is most valuable when used in tandem with organic syndication efforts. 

All in all, paid syndication is a strong option for businesses looking to quickly increase their reach and drive traffic to their website.

We offer an awesome service called HOTH Syndication that simplifies the entire process. Our service allows you to leave all of the hard stuff to professionals and focus your attention on more important areas of your business. 

Which is the right strategy for you?

Since you’re familiar with both syndication options now, which one should you choose?

The decision is up to you, but our advice boils down to this:

How much free time do you have available?

If the answer is a lot, then the free route can bear fruit for you, and you’ll save money in the process. If you’re like most businesses, you likely don’t have much time to spare (unless you’re an Elon Musk-style workaholic). In that case, paid syndication is the way to go due to how much time it will save. 

Let’s Wrap it Up

To summarize, content syndication is your ticket to scaling your brand’s online reach. It enables you to keep generating value out of content you’ve already created, and it’s an amazing way to generate backlinks and referral traffic.  

Don’t want to do the hard work but still want to yield the benefits of content syndication? 

That’s why you have us.

HOTH Syndication allows you to syndicate your content on the same sites as the big players for a fraction of the price.

When you syndicate your content with us, you’ll get your content and backlinks published on over 300+ authentic, high DA (domain authority) news sites. 

Also, don’t wait to sign up for free and schedule a call with one of our experts today to learn more!       

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