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Getting your content read is the most important part of content marketing.
No matter how brilliant your blog posts are, you won’t be able to engage your audience and turn them into clients unless they had a chance to read them first.
But sometimes traditional promotion methods, SEO and social media are not enough. You don’t have a large following yet and your site isn’t strong enough for search engines to rank it high in results.
Your other option then is to syndicate your content.
What is Content Syndication
Content syndication is a process in which you allow other websites to republish your content, naturally with a proper attribution to you as the author.
Having your content appearing on other sites gives you a chance to drive more engagement, boost traffic to your site and increase the exposure of your brand or product.
I am sure you’ve probably seen syndicated blog posts already. Sites like CNN, Forbes etc. feature contextual ads at the bottom of the article, often close to “Related Posts” section. Look for the label similar to: “From around the web” or “Similar articles around the web”. These posts have been syndicated from other sites.
There is a growing number of content syndication networks, companies which allow you to use their existing network of sites to syndicate your content to. Most of these networks operate on Pay Per Click basis, which means that you specify how much you are willing to pay per each click and are charged only for the actual clicks you receive.
Below I listed the top content syndication networks on the market today.
Outbrain is undoubtedly a leader among content syndication networks, priding itself to be dedicated exclusively to the distribution of high quality content only. Outbrain places links to your content on sites like Wall Street Journal, Reuters and many others and allows you to promote blog posts, videos, media reviews, slideshows and mobile optimised content.
From information I gathered around the web, their average CPC is in a region of $0.25 – $0.50 which is pretty good compared to other options on the market.
Zemanta is similar to Outbrain. The network syndicates your posts across a number of sites which includes hundreds of thousands of publishers, with popular news sites and blogs among them.
Also just like Outbrain, Zemanta does all the work for you. To get started you need to specify what content you want to promote, titles and URLs. Once done, Zemanta will index your content, optimize it and promote it to their network.
Zemanta also features a handy WordPress Plugin connecting bloggers with relevant content. The plugin recommends content to writers that is suitable for whatever they are writing right now.
ARC is somewhat different from the two networks mentioned above. it offers a way to send your content across various channels, similarly to PRNewsWire, a service ARC is part of.
In ARC your content assets are assembled together into an interactive branded player of sort and distributed to thousands of media points. Readers can find your player through organic search as well. Other distinct options ARC offers are the ability to include a call to action on your branded player landing page and get various kind of reports on how your branded player performs.
Taboola is yet another syndication network, similar to Outbrain and Zemanta. It syndicates your blog posts, slideshows and videos to a network of publishers and websites. According to their website, Taboola delivers 130 billions monthly recommendations to 350 million unique monthly users with over a million of content pieces. Publishers using Taboola include Time, USA Today, TMZ and Cracked.
nRelate, just like Outbrain, Taboola and Zemanta surface your content in a form of “Recommended from around the web” contextual ads on websites and news portals around the web. According to their own data, it is serving 4 billion impressions across 100,000 publishers to 500 million unique readers. And just like the other two networks, nRelate operates on Pay Per Click basis allowing you to set your own price and pay only for the clicks you receive.
ZergNet, the last network on the list pride themselves at having such clients as College Humor, AOL., MTV and others using their service.
ZergNet is free to use, however, they require you to install their plugin on your site too so when using their service to promote your content, you will also be helping others by promoting theirs.
Since most of these networks operate on the same principles, there is very little difference in how you set up campaign for each of them. To get started, you need to select the content you want to promote and let the network start syndicating it to their partners sites to drive you traffic to your site.
These services will help you deliver content in front of your target audience. Moreover, you will be able to access various metrics and analysis about your campaign performance. This will allow you to find out how your campaigns are performing, what content you should syndicate more but also, what content your audience is looking for and be able to deliver content to their expectations.
What about free syndication tools?
Most of content syndication networks work on Pay Per Click basis. ZergNet is free but you need to include your site in the network in return.
If you want to promote content completely free though, you can submit it to a number of syndication channels like hackernews, inbound.org or scoop.it. You have to learn the nuances of each community before doing so though, otherwise your content and activities might be perceived as spam.