12th December 2022
Content syndication for lead generation is an increasingly popular growth tactic for marketing professionals who need to generate high-quality B2B leads.
As a B2B marketer, you know the hours, days, and even weeks it can take to produce, publish and distribute high-quality content. When you combine that time with your marketing budget being stretched in so many different directions, it’s no surprise that the content your department produces needs to work harder for you.
Therefore, content syndication is a crucial way to get the most out of your content marketing strategy, and syndicating your content is a great way to generate high-quality B2B leads when done right.
In this Ultimate Guide to Content Syndication, we'll explore:
- What content syndication is.
- How B2B marketers can implement content syndication into their marketing strategy.
- How to choose the best content syndication supplier.
- The most effective types of content to use when syndicating content.
What is Content Syndication in Marketing?
So, what is content syndication in B2B marketing? In a nutshell, content syndication is the process of distributing your organization’s content via 3rd party suppliers, platforms, and websites you do not own.
The primary purpose of content syndication within B2B marketing is to produce high-quality leads by distributing your gated content to new channels, generating relevant downloads and, ultimately, new prospects.
Content syndication services designed for lead generation are growing in popularity for B2B marketers. However, they shouldn’t be confused with other purposes of content syndication. For example, another common type of syndicated content includes publishing unique content on websites you don’t own for SEO purposes, such as link building.
In this guide, we’ll be exploring content syndication for B2B lead generation. When lead generation is your aim for your content syndication campaigns, your objectives will be to serve your content to the most relevant target audiences, via the most relevant channels to generate as many content downloads as possible.
Let's Take a Look at a Content Syndication Example:
Company H produces a high-quality piece of educational content designed to help its target audience of B2B tech marketing professionals learn more about B2B lead generation.
The piece of content is a 23-page eBook, similar to our Complete Guide to B2B Technology Lead Generation 2023 (shameless plug). The eBook took a content marketing team of two people around two working days of planning time, four days of subject and audience research, three days to write, two days for copy edits, and an additional three days for design work. No, this isn't one of those weird math problems you used to have to solve at school. Instead, this example shows that you're already looking at 14 working days between two people spent on the eBook's production alone.
When you also consider the time required to promote and distribute your content, in line with your goals and objectives for the eBook, the 14 days spent on content production will quickly snowball into weeks' worth of working days.
Sound familiar? Let's explore the benefits of content syndication to help you get the most out of your content marketing strategy.
Benefits of Content Syndication
There are several benefits to running content syndication campaigns as part of your lead generation strategy. The benefits include; reaching new audiences, providing value to your target audience, and making your content work harder, all while generating those all-important, high-quality B2B marketing leads.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of content syndication in more detail.
1. Reach New Audiences
A well-planned content syndication strategy can help you reach new audiences by distributing your content to new channels. Syndicating your content will usually be done in collaboration with a specialist supplier or agency. By working with a content syndication specialist, you will be able to tap into their expertise and reach new audiences via their channels.
For example, at Headley Media, we run our content syndication campaigns in collaboration with B2B technology companies using our portfolio of content library websites. We host our clients’ content on the most relevant websites from our portfolio, based on their lead generation objectives and the audiences they need to reach. We then promote their content to our global audience of senior business professionals and technology decision-makers across IT, HR, Marketing, Finance, and Electronics Engineering.
Our approach provides an excellent opportunity to reach new audiences. However, not all suppliers are transparent with their content syndication methods. Therefore, when choosing your content syndication supplier, it’s important to compare a few specialists, as their content syndication process and, therefore, their quality of leads will vary greatly.
If you have tried content syndication in the past, you may have had a bad experience, for example, by receiving low-quality leads or having no awareness of where your content was hosted. However, there are lots of ways to reach new audiences through content syndication, and with proper research, you’ll be able to find a supplier that is entirely transparent about the websites they host your content on and how they generate your leads through content syndication.
To help you find the right supplier, take a look at our Complete Guide to B2B Lead Generation 2023. Our annual eBook contains the key considerations and questions you should ask when researching lead generation suppliers.
2. Provide Value For Your Target Audience
Next up, providing value for your target audience upfront is a great benefit of running content syndication campaigns.
B2B buyers are continually researching solutions and looking for information and education. Therefore content syndication in B2B marketing is a great way to showcase your brand as a thought leader within the market; helping you build brand awareness and subject expertise with your target audience.
Your content syndication supplier will be able to advise you on the best content to use when running your campaign, which will usually be education-led pieces over sales-led assets. Sharing educational content provides value for your target audience – showcasing your brand as a thought leader in the industry and a trusted source of information.
Using educational content assets for your content syndication campaign will enable you to follow up with your leads using a nurture campaign designed to further educate your prospects before handing them over to your Sales team.
3. Make Your Content Work Harder For You
As a busy marketer, you know the time it takes to produce and distribute high-quality content, so a clever way to reuse and repurpose the content you have spent hours producing is to run content syndication campaigns.
We’ve all been on that content hamster wheel before, where you create high-quality content based on industry research, client feedback, and great stats. You run an awesome launch campaign, and then before you know it, you’re already onto the next piece of content.
So, to avoid your content simply living in the depths of your website's blog or only being used for one paid campaign, content syndication makes your content work harder for you through further distribution to new channels and new audiences.
Now we’ve discussed some of the benefits of content syndication, let’s explore how to do content syndication using a five-stage process.
Our Reader Journey
Our approach to content syndication highlights exactly where your content is hosted and how your leads are generated. Take a look at our Reader Journey to discover more.
How Does Content Syndication Work?
Next up, let's explore how you can syndicate content to enhance your B2B lead generation strategy using a five-stage content syndication approach.
Stage One: Creating Your Content Syndication Objectives
In our experience, the most common reason marketers choose to include content syndication within their B2B marketing strategy is to produce high-quality marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
MQLs generated from a content syndication campaign can be added to your marketing automation platform or CRM, ready for lead nurturing.
In the same way as any other lead generation marketing activities, your goal as a B2B marketer will be to nurture your leads from MQLs to SQLs (sales qualified leads, sometimes also referred to as sales accepted leads or SALs).
Things to consider when creating your content syndication objectives include:
- The target audience, or audiences, you need to reach.
- The content assets you have available for your campaign.
- The other resources you have available, for example, your campaign budget and timeline.
- The supplier or agency you have chosen to work with.
- How 'nurtured' do you want your leads to be? For example, do you want them to have engaged and downloaded one piece of your content, at which point you can take over and nurture them within your CRM (like a ‘Single Touch’ campaign)? Or do you want them to be more familiar with your brand when they reach your marketing automation platform (for example, like a ‘Nurture Track’ campaign)?
Top Tip: Working with a specialist B2B lead generation agency will help you to define realistic campaign objectives based on your goals, the audience you want to reach, and the resources you have available – including your timeline, budget, and content assets.
Stage Two: Choosing the Right B2B Content Syndication Company
Once your campaign objectives are finalized for your content syndication campaign, you'll want to scope out the suppliers and/or platforms you plan to use.
Reaching out to relevant platforms on an individual basis would be a very time-consuming task, and as we know, your time as a marketer is very precious. Therefore, working with a B2B content syndication company is most common.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing your content syndication supplier. Ultimately, you want to select a specialist that will run your content syndication campaign in a transparent and traceable way. Plus, a supplier who cares about your brand and will collaborate with you to generate the best results.
Content syndication partners can vary in quality vastly, based on their methods.
Key things to consider and questions to ask include:
- Do they generate your leads via their own websites and channels? Or do they subcontract your marketing campaigns to unknown 3rd parties for fulfillment?
- Can your provider show you an end-to-end reader journey if they generate leads for you via channels they own? And can they offer a transparent and traceable digital footprint for every lead?
- Can they target your desired audience and manage campaigns that resonate, to guarantee content downloads from relevant prospects?
- Do they have the market insights and local expertise to effectively target audiences in different countries, regions, and industries?
- Can they guarantee they comply with data protection regulations in all your target markets and handle lead data securely?
- Do they offer a measurable and predictable ROI? For example, a pre-agreed cost-per-lead (CPL)?
- Do they care about your brand and reputation?
The above questions are taken from our annual ungated eBook, The Complete Guide to B2B Lead Generation for Technology Companies in 2023. We've created to help B2B Marketers navigate through the smoke and mirrors regarding lead generation.
The Guide contains more information on what to look for when choosing a content syndication supplier, how to generate high-quality leads and the importance of selecting a transparent partner you can trust.
Stage Three: Choosing Your Content
As a B2B Marketer, you know your prospects will do a lot of upfront research before they are ready to contact potential suppliers about a new product or solution. Firstly, they might visit several suppliers' websites, including yours and your competitors. Then, as well as their initial research, they are likely to visit comparison or review sites and download several pieces of relevant content during their research phase.
It's therefore essential to choose the right content assets for your content syndication campaign in line with your campaign objectives. Thinking back to Stage Two, if you've chosen a reputable lead generation supplier to run your content syndication campaigns for you, they will be able to advise you on the best types of content to use – based on their industry knowledge and content syndication expertise.
The most effective content will always depend on several factors, including your campaign objectives, the target audience and countries you want to reach, the industry you operate in, and your product, service, or solution.
For example, suppose you’re a B2B technology business specializing in email security software. In that case, you may find an in-depth research paper with unique insights that resonates the most with your audience. Alternatively, if you’re trying to target marketing professionals, an educational course or video might be preferred. Of course, the type of content will always depend on your target audience, and the pain points your product or solution solves.
Finally, it’s also important to consider any results you’ve already seen with previous content assets and campaigns. For example, did you produce a piece that drove great results with your audience?
Types of content to consider for your content syndication campaign include:
- Research Reports
- Case Studies
- Templates or Resources
- Videos, such as a webinar recording or video tutorial
Further to the type of content, it’s also important to consider:
- How unique is the content? Is the information freely available via a simple Google search or does it contain unique insights for your target audience?
- The quality. Does the content look, feel and sound professional? Is it on brand and up to date?
- Is it educational? Not just a sales brochure, does your content provide in-depth and valuable information?
- Does the content tell a story or paint a picture? Does it fill in the blanks and create an engaging experience for the user?
- Does it provide a solution to a reader's problem?
If you want to reach audiences across multiple countries you should run your content syndication campaigns in local languages and on localized websites where possible. Even if you don't have the full content piece available in the local language, running the promotions, landing page, and hosting your content on a localized website is a great way to resonate with your target audience. In addition, running local language campaigns shows how serious and reputable you are in a specific country or region. A specialist content syndication supplier will be able to help you localize your campaign.
Stage Four: Syndicating Your Content
Once you’ve chosen the agency or supplier to run your content syndication campaign with and you’ve chosen the content asset or assets, you want to use within your content syndication campaign, you are ready to syndicate your content and start your campaign.
Again, this is where it’s important to work with a trusted content syndication supplier so that you can trust where they’re hosting your content and how they are generating downloads to ensure they are high-quality.
If we think back to Stage Two, choosing the right supplier will enable you to generate high-quality B2B leads in a trusted and transparent way.
As a responsible B2B Marketing Professional, you need to control how your leads are generated, not only to protect your ROI and develop the best results but to protect your company’s reputation and your integrity as a Marketer.
A reputable B2B lead generation will syndicate your content across their own website. That means they won’t host your content on 3rd party websites or mysterious networks; you will know exactly where your content is being hosted, giving you visibility into how your leads are generated. Questionable data and suppliers can cloud content syndication for lead generation purposess. The content syndication platforms a supplier uses will vary in quality which will affect your results and the leads you receive from syndicating your content.
Content syndication companies with expert knowledge and a transparent approach will be able to show you exactly where your content is being hosted to generate downloads.
However, there are several questions you need to ask any content syndication provider you are considering working with, as the quality of leads can vary significantly.
You’ll want to know what content syndication websites your content syndication partner is using, to give you full visibility of the websites your content is hosted on, and subsequently, your brand is associated with.
For example, at Headley Media, we generate leads for our B2B technology clients via content syndication, using a 100% digital reader journey - providing a fully transparent content-led marketing approach.
Stage Five: Generating Your Content Syndication Leads With a Fixed Cost-Per-Lead (CPL)
The fifth and final stage of your content syndication marketing campaign is to predict your results before your campaign begins. No, there’s no need to get your crystal ball out, there really is a way to predict the number of leads your content syndication campaign will deliver before it begins, giving you the guaranteed number of leads you can get for your budget.
Reputable content syndication agencies will be able to work with you to agree on a fixed cost-per-lead (CPL) so that you know how many leads you will get from your campaign.
Unlike other lead generation methods, such as LinkedIn, PPC, webinars, and events, you will know the exact number of leads you will receive from your content syndication campaign, allowing you to budget with confidence and prepare your Marketing and Sales teams for the next steps.
A speciliast will be able to provide you with the exact number of leads your content syndication campaign will be able to generate, based on your campaign criteria. Taking a fixed CPL approach enables you to determine your content syndication campaign’s results, for example, you’ll know exactly how many leads your budget will provide before the campaign begins. For an example of a fixed CPL approach, take a look at our Reader Journey, which is the exact content syndication lead generation process we deliver at Headley Media.
Many factors will be involved when choosing how to run your content syndication lead generation campaigns. Although it may be tempting to choose a supplier based solely on the price i.e. the lowest CPL quote you can find, it’s important to consider a number of factors when deciding.
For example, if the CPL is low, the chances are that the quality of the leads generated from your content syndication campaign will also be low – so although the ROI from your marketing budget is high initially if none of the prospects produced convert into sales, your content syndication campaign will have failed to achieve ROI for your business overall.
Headley Media’s Approach to Content Syndication
B2B content syndication vendors that take a fixed cost-per-lead approach will help you budget with confidence and syndicate your content across the most suitable websites.
You might also want to consider combining your content syndication lead generation with Account-Based Marketing (ABM) or Intent Data Targeting to create even more focused campaigns.
Whatever strategy you decide is best for your business, it's important to trust the provider you are working with. The quality of syndication methods can vary greatly per supplier so it's important to ask all the right questions when choosing an agency to work with.
For example, all of our B2B technology lead generation services are delivered using content syndication, 100% digitally. Each lead is fully traceable and we only syndicate our client's content to platforms that we own. Our six media brands span over 250 websites in 60 countries and 32 languages, making our content syndication services completely transparent and 100% digital.