Content Syndication: What News Publishers Need To Know

Last updated on Aug 29, 2022

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Content Syndication: What News Publishers Need To Know

For leading publishers, growing their base of readers and earning revenue are top priorities. When it comes to growing users, SEO plays a crucial role. But when it comes to ensuring revenue growth and enhancing visibility for the publication, content syndication can help.

What is content syndication?

In case content syndication doesn’t sound familiar, you may have come across online news stories where the content was simply been reproduced by another website. Here is story in the Bloomberg US edition.

content-syndication-bloomberg-story
Image: Bloomberg

This story reports on Uber's exit from Zomato, a food delivery platform headquartered in India, which was then used by other publications.

content-syndication-livemint

Image: Mint

The image above is from the story that appeared in Mint, a leading business publication in India. The author is Bloomberg, the original publisher. This is common practice among news publishers. This process of republishing a piece of content on another third-party website is called content syndication.

Also Read: Content Amplification For Publishers

Benefits of content syndication

In the case of the Uber-Zomato story, Bloomberg reported a business development that was relevant to investors in Uber - largely based in the US. However, this story is also relevant to markets where Zomato operates, especially India, where Indian business publications have a massive audience. 

As a result of this partnership, Indian users who closely track news on Zomato were able to discover this story that originated in the US, but was relevant to them. Besides opening up their content to a new audience in a different geography, such syndication feeds also provide publications such as Bloomberg an additional source of revenue. 

How syndication works

Syndication works in two ways. Websites that create great content can offer them to other websites and reach newer, wider audiences. This enhances the visibility of the publication’s brand while also generating backlinks. Similarly, websites that use syndication services to source content are able to offer their users richer stories by integrating feeds from credible publications with authority. 

As a simple example, consider a small publication in Asia that decides to show fireworks during New Year celebrations across the globe. Limited budgets would prevent the ability to have teams in other countries. The easiest way to make that happen is use stories by publications spread across timezones or use syndicated content from a global news agency such as Reuters.

Similarly, assume a publisher based in the US specializes in cultural trends and food. They need to cover stories on a rising food trend in India. To be authentic, having experts in India establishes authority, compared to finding a writer based in the US. It is common practice for publishers in such a situation to push out two stories - one that offers a local American perspective to address its local US audience, while another focuses on the authentic experience. 

In this case, a writer from the US market would appeal to the American audience by bringing in local references and cultural familiarity that the readers relate to. On the other hand, purists would prefer an authentic report from the ground. The best way publishers can solve this need is by using syndicated content created by a publication based in India. 

Here are the benefits of using content syndication:

  1. It increases brand awareness
    Content syndication is a great way to increase brand awareness and reach a wider audience. When done correctly, it can help to build thought leadership and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
    It helps polish your brand image and build trust when you provide niche content on third-party websites. Content syndication offers your content to customers, users, and readers who might not have discovered your brand otherwise.
  2. Increase in traffic
    Content syndication is fruitful in terms of bringing traffic to your site through the hyperlink given on the syndicated post. It not only helps in increasing traffic on the original post but you can retarget this traffic via strong interlinking on your website to achieve your business goals to gain more audience on your social media profiles, mobile app, or any other platforms.
    It also extends the shelf life of your content, allowing it to provide value for a longer length of time. This increases the visibility of your brand and brings more relevant traffic to your website.
  3. Lead generation
    To generate more leads through content syndication, make sure that the content you're syndicating is high-quality and relevant to your target audience. Secondly, promote your content through social media and other channels that your target audience is likely to use. And finally, make sure to track your results so you can see how effective your content syndication efforts are.
  4. Saves time spent in content-creation
    Content syndication saves time for both the original content producer and the republishing site. It provides more interaction and advantages to content authors from the same piece than other unique content on the platform. And it will very certainly require more time and effort to produce.
    For third-party sites, content syndication reduces time spent creating original content and instead directs traffic by presenting a mix of original and republished content on the site on a constant basis.
  5. Backlinks and SEO
    Backlinks are links that connect one website to another. The more backlinks you have, the higher you will rank in search engines. Hence, syndication helps in getting you backlinks from third-party sites eventually boosting your SEO results.
  6. Cost Effective
    Content syndication is a low-cost method of generating a big number of connected leads. Once expectations have been set and the follow-up process has been completed, even automatic content syndication will feed the pipeline and attract leads, keeping the sales team busy and satisfied.
    There are numerous techniques to produce leads and bring more potential customers to your marketing funnel, even if you pay. Third-party providers also help with free content for their website.
    Overall, content syndication improves the visibility of the content you've paid for or spent a lot of effort generating by giving you back in terms of backlinks, better leads, and of course, more traffic on your website. 

Also Read: Best Content Syndication Tools

Ways to implement content syndication

Although the basic principle stays the same, publishers may prefer different ways to implement syndication to suit their objectives. Among the most popular methods to implement syndication are:

  1. Offer value to your readers
    A good way to do this is to identify the interests of your audience and offer them content that they love reading. Just like the Uber-Zomato story, there could be a development in another market that is relevant to the local audience of your publication. 
  2. Help your audience discover popular content
    Sometimes, a story by another publication may trend on social media indicating widespread interest. Offering a mix of discovery and delivery to your audience is a great way to get them to stay with you. Rather than looking for new sources of information, your audience will find discovering refreshing stories an additional reason to revisit your website. 
  3. Republish content by prominent personalities
    Often the personal take of prominent personalities and leaders tend to be popular among readers. However, not everyone follows them on social media. Republishing these content pieces and serving them to your audience also helps with discovery and simplifies consumption. 

Things to keep in mind

Before offering content syndication as a service or implementing external content on your website, consider whether it would solve any problem you face currently. 

It helps to republish your latest or top-performing content on more prominent websites to increase the number of visitors that discover your content. In technical terms, approach websites with a higher domain authority compared to yours.

Also Read: The Best Content Syndication Platforms for News and Media Publishers

You can syndicate older stories by your website, and publish them on websites with a similar audience and domain authority as yours. This way you extend the reach of your content by gaining a larger audience, without the risk of losing out on user visits to the new website.

It helps to get your content published as a guest on a larger outlet and syndicate them across platforms such as Medium and LinkedIn due to their high domain authority.

Websites that organically syndicate information play the role of a marketplace and help in the discovery of your content. Besides, paid services such as Outbrain and Taboola help ensure wider reach by pushing your content.

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Punya Batra
Punya Batra
Punya is a full-time content marketer and a part-time blogger who loves to explore the unique stories behind brands. She pens down short stories, poems, and one-liners in her free time. Her dream is to publish her thoughts as a book someday.

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