Creating great content that targets your ideal customer, ensuring it's on all of your relevant channels, and optimized for SEO are some of the main things that the average marketer is focused on every week. But what about ensuring that that content gets read?
Many brands choose to syndicate their content to other channels that they don't own to help solve that problem. When it's done right, content syndication can improve traffic and SEO performance. However, it can also potentially result in duplicate content that can be quite damaging if done wrong.
Content syndication can be tricky to get right at times, but here are some best practices and tips our experts have suggested.
Where to Syndicate Content
Content syndication is the process of republishing content on other platforms. When it comes to companies in the B2B sector, Medium and LinkedIn are two of the most common channels that come to mind.
But is it as simple as taking a piece of content already published on your blog? According to Daniel Rosehill, a marketing consultant at New York, NY-based GrowthSpace, brands should be aware of some differences between these two platforms when it comes to SEO purposes. "Medium has a native import functionality that adds the appropriate canonical tags to a post, so that content producers won't risk having the original URL misidentified in Google. LinkedIn Pulse doesn't have this functionality," he said.
Rosehill explained, that syndication to Medium works well for this reason, however, he warns that companies should only post excerpts when posting to a LinkedIn status, he advises.
According to Thibaud Clement, CEO and co-founder of Los Angeles, CA-based Loomly agrees that reposting articles on Medium and LinkedIn is a good idea. However, he shared, you should definitely place a link back to the original version on your blog.
SEO: Avoiding Duplicate Content Penalties
One of the biggest challenges for brands in regards to content syndication and SEO is the issue of duplicate content. This refers to blocks of content that either match entirely or are noticeably similar. You can avoid the issue of duplicate content by using canonical links. Canonicalization consolidates links by essentially citing and giving credit to the original publication to prevent suffering any penalties. Platforms like Medium enable you to not index articles in Google via your settings, but it's best to add a canonical link for others.
As Hans Dekker, Head of Marketing at Warsaw, Poland-based Growbots, suggests, "if you're worried about duplicate content penalties, consider only sharing parts of your article. So share the first part, with a CTA such as "to continue reading.."."
Get the Right Content URLs in Search
Even if you are publishing using a canonical link, there are times that won't be enough to get Google and other search engines to find the right page. Clement suggests waiting long enough when syndicating your content that the original article gets crawled first. "..ideally, that you have waited until the page hosting the article on your blog has been crawled by search engines first," he said.
Curate the Right Content, Not All of It
It can be tempting to share every article published on your blog to Medium or another blog, but a better approach is to curate only certain pieces of content to share. "Make sure to identify pieces you feel have "viral" potential -- for example, pillar pages only," suggests Dekker.
Repackage and Repurpose Existing Content
The goal of content syndication is to get more traffic to your website. Each platform will likely require a repackaging of your content to get the most impact. Converting the main points of an article to an infographic or quick video can be beneficial for continued content promotion, for example.
Focus on Lead Generation
Generating leads for your business is usually the primary goal when sharing content, and it should be no different when doing content syndication. Clements recommends tightening and shortening your content for this purpose. Then using the shorter version and inviting users to read the fuller more in-depth version on your blog.
Twitter Threads and Other Social Media Options
While many social media channels are great for sharing videos and images, the written word does have its place. Clement points out the potential that Twitter has for syndicating content. "A great idea is to repurpose a blog article into a Twitter Thread, either partially (for instance in a "bullet point format") or completely (by breaking down the entire body of the blog article into tweets)," he suggests.
Get Your Content Syndication Right
Content syndication is a great way to promote and get extra attention to your content. Some platforms make content syndication easier than others, but by following our tips, you can ensure that you avoid penalties and potentially increase the size of your audience.