Using Content for Inbound Marketing: Mine or Yours?


Share on LinkedIn

I've been having an interesting conversation with Tony Karrer (@TonyKarrer) and Tom Pick (@TomPick) about how the way content is used and distributed is changing as B2B companies embrace the idea of becoming online publishers. The discussion is focused on several different options to meet the growing content needs for prospect engagement and includes ideas about content aggregation, curation, filtering and syndication.

Tony's recent post, Automated Filtering vs. Human-Powered Curation, explains the differences between the two, provides a wealth of resources for your review and makes an interesting case for consideration. 

Tom's post, Content Aggregation: The Future of (B2B and Consumer) Media?, discusses how enterprises, publishers and PR firms can benefit from aggregation and curation. 

I'd like to take a two-pronged look at syndication and curation from a B2B marketer's perspective to provide a bit of a different take. Web syndication as defined by Wikipedia is:

"Web syndication is a form of syndication in which website material is made available to multiple other sites."

First, let's look at syndication of our own content:

The Pro Side of Syndication:

  • Exposure and Awareness: When your blog content is picked up by other industry portals with relevant audiences for your material, your company can gain exposure you might otherwise not have. This can be a great way to attract prospects to your company and become a relied-upon resource for content they're interested in.
  • Reputation by Association: Becoming a "trusted advisor" can be expedited when the sites that syndicate your content also syndicate content from the leading bloggers in your industry. By virtue of inclusion it's inferred that you're part of the "group" of influential publishers in your industry.
  • Reach: An extension of exposure and awareness, but you may also find that your posts are syndicated by industry portals with markets you may not have thought to pursue, or new opportunities for market expansion.
  • Increased Inbound Traffic: Sites that only pull title and description with a link to your original post can provide a nice bump in inbound traffic, as well as the other 3 good things above. Examples include Junta 42 and The B2B Marketing Zone.

The Con Side of Syndication:

  • Lost Traffic: Sites that pull your entire post, even with a link back to your blog, take your traffic. I recently estimated that I receive more than 1,000 views per post on other sites that syndicate my entire posts. The exposure, reputation and reach are great, but the lost traffic is not so great. Then again, on the flip side, would I draw those readers to my blog on my own? Maybe so, maybe not.
  • No Updates: With full post syndication, once your entire blog post has been syndicated, no updates to your blog post will be reflected. It's kind of a "once and done" thing. So, unless those readers are inspired to click through, they will never know if you've added to or changed your blog post. However, partial post syndication doesn't present these issues as long as your updates are farther in than the first paragraph that's pulled for description.
  • Dispersed Conversations: With full-post syndication, comments often happen on the syndication site, not on your blog. This has two impacts – 1) you have to follow and respond to comments on multiple sites/locations and 2) the conversation and engagement is happening beyond your site—instead of on it.
  • Lost Links: When people who read and engage with your content on other sites choose to share or ReTweet it, the links pull the syndication site, not your own blog. This drives great traffic for the syndicators, but not for you.
  • Ranking in search engines: Sometimes, the syndication site will rank better in search returns than your original post due to their level of traffic.

Ultimately, you need to choose what's more important based on your marketing content goals. Assess your ability to grow the traffic and exposure you need to your own site and choose to take advantage of the type of syndication that serves you best. There are benefits to both.

Now, let's take a look at Content Curation.

Content curation is about finding and sharing content produced by others that your specific audience will find relevant and valuable. Take a look at these definitions to see a variety of viewpoints from leading marketers.

The trick to using other people's content to market to your prospects is in how you integrate that content with your own ideas to amplify them as you provide value to your audience.

The types of content curation vary, but here are two types to consider:

  • External content created about (or referencing your company or products). This is similar to the news section of websites that lists media exposure. Only the of a  curation mindset is that you don't silo that information on web page in a list where there's no context, but instead use it for a specific purpose.
  • External content created about issues your target audience cares about.

To get the most benefits out of content curation, marketers need to carefully set the context and weave it into the sharing of their own ideas and expertise. From a B2B marketing perspective, curated content, in my opinion, should be used to enhance your content, not as a replacement for creating your own content.

Curated content can add value for both marketers and audiences due to the constraints many companies face when confronted with how to fuel their marketing programs with enough content to meet prospect needs.

B2B marketers need to do some planning and coordination to get the most benefits possible when using curated content. A few tips include:

  • Use content from sources that are complementary to your company.
  • Make sure you set up the context for sharing that content based on your own ideas and expertise.
  • Give credit and links to the sources of the content you use. Do not lift it in full without the author's permission.

There's a case to be made for aggregating, curating, filtering and syndicating content. The pivotal point is in planning how you do so based on your consideration of the pros and cons as well as how your choices impact the goals you have for your marketing programs.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here