If Content is King then syndication is the Kingdom.
A brand can create all the cool content in the world, but if nobody notices it then what is the point? Nobody – not even the richest brands in the world – wants to spend marketing and communications dollars on creating interactive, multimedia content that sits idle. Or worse is ignored.
The first step, obviously, is to create the creative content.
The next step – and almost as important as the first – is to syndicate it.
What is syndication?
Basically, it means that the content a brand creates is distributed and republished around the web. Syndication is tricky – and can be extremely difficult. This is one reason why PR agencies are better at social syndication than advertising agencies. PR people are trained to pitch stories and entice audiences to content. Advertising agencies are skilled at creating creative content, but they are used to buying people’s attention.
Buying attention can be effective, but a solid mix of earned, owned and paid media makes for the best syndication strategy. This can take many forms. Take, for example, a web video created by a brand.
Posting the video on YouTube is a form of syndication. To make the syndication more successful, the brand should optimize the video headline and description for search. The video can also be posted on the brands other social and digital channels: Facebook, a link tweeted out on Twitter, the video embedded into a blog post or on the website, etc.
Use your owned channels to drive attention. This is standard syndication practices, although, arguably, many brands don’t do well even with this aspect of syndication. Yet there is so much more that can be done.
- Have you considered partnering with a media outlet to be the exclusive publisher of the content?
- Have you used the content as part of your media pitching so that media and bloggers will publish the content as part of their coverage? Is the content crafted as a news driver?
- Are you offering incentives for consumers to share the content? By sharing or interacting with the content can consumers unlock giveaways, exclusive content, coupons, free products, etc.?
- Have you approached power users of industry-specific forums or news aggregation sites like Reddit or Digg.com to see if they are interesting in re-posting the content?
- Have you explored a paid syndication deal with a media company?
- Do you want to use social advertising to drive views and shares of your content?
- Can links to the content be used on packaging?
- Has the content been used in your email marketing?
- Have you considered the social channels of your partners?
As you can see, syndication comes in many guises.
The best way to get content noticed is still to create really compelling content that provides insight and value – or entertains. But once that is done, a strong syndication strategy gives your content a better chance of getting noticed and making an impact.
Any syndication tips you’d like to share?