Content Distribution & Syndication

7 Insider Tips for Maximizing Content Visibility & Engagement

High-quality, interesting content is essential for brands that want to get noticed, make waves and connect with an online audience. Where that content is published online, however, can make all of the difference in who sees it and whether it boosts conversions.

In other words, if you’re just publishing your great content on your website — and you don’t have a plan (or any processes) for distributing or syndicating your content:

  • You ARE limiting the reach and impact of your content.
  • You are NOT getting the best possible results from your content.
  • You ARE likely leaving new leads, clients and money for your brand on the table for your competitors to seize.

With the right knowledge and strategies, however, you can start spreading your great content across more online channels, platforms and spaces, expanding its reach and influence. And that can be integral to connecting with more of your target audience as you build authority (and new leads) for your brand.

Content Distribution versus Content Syndication: What’s the Difference?

Before delving into some actionable tips for content distribution and syndication, it’s first to crucial to understand the difference between these tactics — because, even though the terms may be used interchangeably, they are different, and each has its own unique pros and cons:

• Content distribution is the process of disseminating your content across different online platforms, sites or spaces.

Example: Content distribution for a blog post (first published on your business’ site) can involve republishing that piece of content on social media, distributing it via your email blasts, and/or disseminating it through a paid channel (like a press release platform).

• Content syndication is the process of pushing (and granting permission) for third-party sites to republish your content (whether it’s the entire content piece or just portions of it).

Example: Content syndication for a blog post (first published on your business’ site) can involve making contact with third-party site owners, setting up terms for syndication (like required backlinks or accreditations), and/or carrying out some additional SEO work (to prevent search engines from seeing syndicated content as “duplicate” content and then penalizing you for it).

Understanding these differences can help you figure out the right balance between distribution versus syndication (based on your goals, budget, resources, etc.).

7 Best Practices for Content Distribution & Syndication: How to Maximize Your Content Marketing ROI

While there are subtle, yet distinct, differences between content distribution versus content syndication, the good news is that there are some best practices that apply to both strategies — and that you can rely on to simplify your content distribution and syndication processes while setting them up for success.

Here’s an overview of the some of the key best practices for distributing and/or syndicating your brand’s content:

1. Clip your longer content — Just because you are disseminating your content via other sites or platforms does not mean that you have to put the entire piece of content everywhere. Instead, it can be more beneficial to just distribute or syndicate a snippet of your content and then add a link back to your site (so an audience has to go to your site to see the rest of the piece, in its entirety).

This can be an effective way to make sure that your content distribution and syndication efforts are, in fact, driving more content back to your site (and the original source of the content). It can also boost SEO for your site (by increasing the number of high-quality backlinks your site has).

2. Optimize and customize — For each piece of content you’ll be distributing and/or syndicating, create metadata (e.g., title tags, descriptions, etc.) so that search engines can easily discern what the content is about.

Then, as you distribute or syndicate a given piece of content, customize the metadata for each platform or site. This can help a piece of content fit in with the site and resonate better with that site’s audience. It can also help avoid any duplicate content issues (or penalties).

3. Don’t forget to include your visual and/or audio content — Be sure to include your videos, Podcasts and other non-written content in your distribution and syndication plans. These other formats can be particularly appealing to certain segments of your target audience. So, put them (and your written content) out in front of your audience in as many spaces as possible.

4. Partner with your audience — Ask and encourage your audience to distribute and share your content. You can even create incentives to motivate them (like offering some discount, giving them a free product, etc. in exchange for them republishing your content via their LinkedIn profiles, their websites, forums they belong to, etc.).

You can also take this a step further by asking your audience to actually create content for you — i.e., relying on user-generated content. One great way to do this is via a contest or challenge that requires your audience to develop some piece of content for you (like a video, for instance) and then having them share it as the means of participating.

With user-generated content, you can get your audience onboard to help you with content distribution and/or syndicating (because, now, they will have a personal stake in wanting to get their content out there and seeing how others’ respond to or engage with it).

5. Consider whether (and what) you’ll pay for distribution or syndication — While there are plenty of free ways to distribute and syndicate content, there are paid options as well that can be effective at extending your content’s reach to an even wider audience. Strategically paying for more distribution or syndication can be key to making these strategies (and your overall content marketing efforts) as successful as possible.

However, before you start shelling out a bunch of money for (and allocating other resources to) content distribution or promotion, it’s strongly advised that you:

• Set (and stick to) a budget.

• Try out some free options first (because, after all, you can always pay later).

• Consider whether it may be beneficial (for you and/or your team) to outsource your content distribution and/or syndication needs (by hiring digital marketing pros to handle this aspect of your brand’s marketing. This can be key to freeing you and/or your team up to handle other important day-to-day work to help your business build authority and grow its client base.

• Carefully monitor the returns on these investments, which brings us to the next best practice on our list of tips…

6. Keep an eye on the analytics data — The analytics data will reveal which platforms and/or third-party sites are driving traffic your site. This can inform you about more (and less) effective options for distributing and syndicating your content in the future.

It can also help you pinpoint the topics that your target audience finds more (or less) interesting; whether it’s time to pay (or stop paying) for distribution or syndication; the calls-to-action that are producing more (and less) conversions; etc. Basically, by monitoring the analytics data, you can figure out what is and is not working in terms of content distribution and syndication, helping you continue to refine and improve these strategies on an ongoing basis.

7. Reciprocate — While you want to have a solid plan for getting your content distributed and syndicated online, you can boost your site’s authority and rankings by also distributing or syndicating other’s content.

In other words, don’t just focus on creating content to distribute or syndicate for your brand. Look for opportunities that allow you to be a distributor or syndicator of other’s high-quality content. This can be an easy way to add valuable content to your site while building important relationships with affiliates, thought leaders and even influencers.

Content Distribution & Syndication: The Bottom Line

When it comes to content distribution and syndication, the bottom line is that these elements are critical to making any brand’s content marketing strategies as effective and profitable as possible. Instead of relying on the if I publish it, they will come tactic, content distribution and syndication empowers brands to be proactive about getting their content out in front of where their target audience is (and likes to spend time) online.

In other words, the right content distribution and syndication can make it as easy as possible for your target audience to see and engage with your content (rather than asking them to look for or find your content). And, let’s be honest, the less your audience has to do to engage with your content, the more likely they will be to dive in, give it a chance and be open to connecting with it (and your brand).

By incorporating the right content distribution and syndication processes into your content marketing, you can effectively grow traffic, new leads, and new clients for your business, setting your business up for sustainable, long-term growth.

Have you tried to distribute or syndicate your content? What has worked for you? Have you run across any particular challenges? Or discovered any successful tactics?

Share your experiences and keep the conversation going in the comments below and/or on social media.


(This article was originally published on the Digital Authority Blog)