Why Distribution & Syndication Should be Part of Your 2019 Strategy
The act of publishing great content to your site and social channels does not build an audience on its own. A network of publishers and distributors of your content are a critical piece of any successful online presence and content marketing strategy.
This is why we focus on finding relevant and trusted distributors of content for our clients. By creating relationships with industry publishers to share our client’s ideas and content we establish credibility and increase reach.
Distribution and syndication also support a brand’s reputation as an idea-generator and industry leader. But it’s not always easy to know who to reach out to and what to say.
Here are some of our recommendations and considerations when looking to get more reach for your ideas and content.
Getting Started with Distribution and Syndication
To start, it’s crucial that you publish high-quality, interesting content, that is timely and relevant to your audience. The sharing of ideas and industry leadership through content is essential for brands that want to grow their business through online channels.
80 percent of a buyers decision to buy is made before they ever talk to one of your team members, which makes your brand’s online presence absolutely critical. To expand your presence, outside of your own site and social channels, time needs to be invested in identifying, building relationships with, and managing your business’ presence on industry publications and review sites.
Forming alliances with content partners increase your reach outside your own brand audience. A recent article by Econsultancy emphasizes the point that should a brand invest in a content syndication strategy, “you need good content to make those networks effective.” See discussion above :finger-pointing-up:
When you syndicate articles you’ve written or created, you’re distributing your content to third-party organizations so that they share or publish it on their platform.
Content syndication can either be free or paid. Some websites and news organizations are more than willing to publish your guest post on their site free of charge. Meanwhile, paid content-syndication enables you to republish your content on specific (usually high-authority) domains for a fee.
We have noticed more and more leading brands investing more of their time and budget in syndication programs and away from paid media campaigns.
As we previously stated you can’t only post on your social channels (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter...ect.) and think that you will magically have huge levels of engagement, likes, clicks, and shares. It just doesn’t work, no matter how many hashtags you use. Below are a few suggestions on how to distribute your content to maximize reach, engagement, and get in front of your target audience.
Finding and identifying the right publishers in your industry to distribute your content is the first step. If this is your first time reaching out to publishers start by internally choosing which publications are specific to your industry and market.
Next, research each of the publications and check out their editorial calendars, to determine which relevant and topical articles you can pitch to them that are aligned with your existing plans. Be sure to save a few of the pieces for when you reach out to the publications to show them samples of the work that would align with what you might pitch them.
The best person to reach out to is usually an editor. When reaching out to their editors be sure to pitch or share topics that will help their audience and contribute to their editorial calendar. We emphasize that the purpose of doing this is to "be helpful to create relationships." Your reward is getting your articles featured on their site and ultimately becoming a resource for them when they need someone to cover a topic that you and your company are experts on.
Better Social—Be Human
What really works—is being human, and having an individual post to their own community, social channel, and network.
In a Nielsen report, they surveyed 28,000 individuals who said they, “trust earned-media, such as recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.” Also, we found that “over one-third (38 percent) of respondents who engage with influencers trust what an influencer says about the brand more than what the brand says about itself,” from ZDNet.
These facts, combined with insight from our own Think Better experiments prove that people drive engagement on social, not companies. We found that the Think Better brand receives almost 30x more reach and 10x more engagement when one of our team members shares a blog post in support of the brand vs. just the brand posting.
Communities and Groups—Be Relevant
It is valuable to find social groups and channels to contribute and actively participate in. For example, on LinkedIn there are many business groups you can follow and the intent of these is groups is to connect with their members by posting relevant and topical information.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Slack offer great opportunities to join groups focused on specific topics or industries, they are easy to join and participate in. When you’ve found a few groups that align with your brand's area of expertise, be sure to not only post your own content but others as well. Any post in a social community should provide something of value and relevant to the day or thread. Avoid being salesy or self-promoting.
Building relationships and reputation through these channels is a long-game. You aren’t going to see results right away. It takes three to six months to see any return, but it’s well worth it and over time the additional exposure and reach will pay dividends.