Utilizing Content Syndication to Boost Website Traffic
Jim Fredericks, Executive Director, PPMA
We know all too well that, in today’s digital landscape, social media stands out as one of—if not the—greatest tool to build consumer awareness for your business and the important work you do. Fortunately for business owners, your efforts to promote your business and its services do not need to stop there.
There are more than 7.8 billion people in the world, so it’s imperative that marketers use every tool available to cast their metaphorical nets wide to meet as many members of their target audience as possible. In this article, we’ll discuss content syndication, which is a great tactic to keep handy in your toolbox to take your marketing efforts one significant step further. So, what is content syndication?
WHAT IS IT?
Content syndication is a multichannel approach to promote and distribute content while reaching a wider audience. These strategic campaigns are known to be an incredible traffic driver, bringing target audiences to content on your website. There are numerous content syndication platforms available, all of which allow brands and companies to deliver their content and messaging to wider, targeted audiences. Setting up a campaign on these platforms will allow your content to appear as recommendations on some of the web’s largest premium publisher sites, such as the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSN and many others.
Native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear. Unlike banner or display ads, native ads look like editorial content, so they don’t disrupt the user’s interaction with the page. In other words, this content format provides a less intrusive vehicle to deliver your content to consumers, most of whom will be more receptive to content of this nature as it doesn’t disturb the flow of their web experience compared to other advertising methods. In fact, a global Outbrain study conducted with third-party vendor Savanta affirmed that 75% of consumers trust content and recommendations seen in an editorial environment versus 54% who trust user-generated content and recommendations on social media.
Typically, these forms of paid content will be found in the footer of the page and are marked with their logo. Some native advertising platforms include Outbrain, Taboola and Plista, among others. With consumers taking such a liking to this advertising format, native advertising spend has continually increased in recent years. According to Emodo, the paid content spend is expected to surpass $140 billion this year.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss how you can set yourself up for success when launching these campaigns.
There are more than 7.8 billion people in the world, so it’s imperative that MARKETERS USE EVERY TOOL AVAILABLE TO CAST THEIR METAPHORICAL NETS wide to meet as many members of their target audience as possible.
Platforms offer a range of creative formats, making creation as turnkey as possible. All you need to do is plug in your image or video, headline, brand or site name, a brief description and a call-to-action, and your campaign is ready to go.
The theme across content development for these campaigns is, “less is more.” When writing headlines, you’ll want to grab folks’ attention as they scroll through that particular webpage. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that your headline should grab people’s attention within three seconds. Knowing that you only have a few short moments to do so, try to call out the target audience in the headline. For example, “Homeowners: Here are 3 tips to protect your property from termite damage.” Try to keep headlines short and engaging and avoid any inaccurate, misleading or overly sensational messaging. It’s also important to note that you should not promise anything in your headlines without a trusted resource.
When it comes to visuals, avoid using images that are unrelated to the headline or landing page, and be sure to pick the most high-resolution photos on file. It’s also a best practice to avoid logos or promotional messaging. Try using close-up images that will engage consumers to click and learn more.
Lastly, think about the destination—where you are driving traffic to. Make sure you are leading consumers to relevant landing pages. If lead generation is your goal, drive to pages that encourage sign-ups. If you’re looking to drive sales, direct users to a product or services page. For conversion-focused goals, incorporate easy-to-spot call-to-actions to meet those objectives.
As I’m sure you can tell by now, with content syndication campaigns comes a great deal of flexibility, which is a wonderful thing when it comes to your marketing strategy. Test out a few tactics, find what works best for you and lean into it.
There are a few important performance metrics for these campaigns, including clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC). On most platforms, a CTR between 0.08 to 0.30% and a CPC of $0.26 to $0.67 is generally indicative of a positive performance. Note, every campaign has unique objectives and can run for as little as $10/day or as high as $10,000/month. Determine a budget that aligns with your resources and make adjustments as needed.
Every day, the digital space becomes more congested with advertisers eager to get people’s attention and, as a result, consumer demand for useful and authentic content is on the rise. Stay one step ahead of your competitors and utilize content syndication to enhance your online presence in an effective way.