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).
Key considerations when creating your content syndication objectives:
- 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 campaigns, you'll want to scope out the suppliers and/or content syndication platforms you plan to use.
The world of B2B lead generation has changed in the last decade.
While working with a B2B content syndication company is still the most common way to promote your content to new and relevant audiences, B2B marketers are now asking more questions of their lead generation suppliers to understand who their audiences are, where their content is being hosted, and ultimately, how their leads are being generated.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing from the many content syndication vendors out there. Ultimately, you want to select a specialist who 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.
For example, as a B2B content syndication company, we deliver all of our content syndication campaigns using our six technology brands, which between them have over 250 websites in 60 countries and 32 languages. At Headley Media, we own our technology audiences and are 100% transparent about how our clients' technology leads are generated, unlike many other B2B lead generation suppliers.
Content syndication partners can vary in quality vastly, based on their methods.
Key considerations & questions to ask:
- 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 We've created this to help B2B marketers navigate the smoke-and-mirrors world of content syndication lead generation.
The Guide contains content syndication best practices, 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.
Our Quality Lead Generation Checklist (also ungated!) is another handy resource for checking the content syndication vendors on your list are up to scratch.
Or, download our entire free B2B Lead Generation Planning Toolkit and we’ll walk you through the whole process!
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 resonate 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: but video is the fastest-growing type of marketing content, the trend rapidly crossing over from B2C to B2B.
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
- 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?
Top Tip: 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.
Content Syndication Example: Launching in New Markets
Company N is a software supplier that has cornered the market in the USA and is now looking to branch out.
They need a B2B content syndication service that would allow them to access multiple countries, particularly in the EU. They chose Headley Media, thanks to their content library websites, available in 60 countries, including their target markets of Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the UK.
With Headley’s help and understanding of local nuances, they used native-language translators to translate their content and launched their flagship product in these markets, supported by a content syndication B2B lead generation campaign in five languages. They even localized ('localised'!) their content for the UK, ensuring readers trusted and engaged with the content.
With a pre-agreed and fixed cost-per-lead (CPL), the campaign delivered guaranteed volumes and the launch was a great success.
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 purposes. 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.