How to Choose the Right B2B Content Syndication Partner
Wow! That’s a lot of pressure to put on a marketing executive who is working diligently to craft an effective B2B content syndication program. But don’t despair: you won’t be tackling this monster on your own. The most powerful secret weapon you have will be your B2B content syndication partner. If chosen wisely, your content publishers will provide invaluable knowledge in helping you develop the content program, proving input regarding the type and frequency of your content, delivering a pre-determined, qualified leads, and partnering with you in developing a strategy of trial and error, while managing executive expectations.
Provided below are a list of questions designed to help you develop a set of criteria that will help determine what you are looking for in terms of a publishing partner. Make sure you know what you are looking for before the interviews take place. You may wish to oversee an ad hoc committee comprised of marketing operations, content marketing, sales representatives and anyone else you deem appropriate as you define and manage your content syndication strategy. Good luck and happy hunting.
Top 5 Questions For Your Content Syndication Partner Candidates
1. What is the make-up of their target audience? This is arguably the most important question you can ask your content syndication candidates. You will definitely want a love match between their visitors and your target audience. For instance, you need to determine whether or not the publishers’ target audience complements your potential prospect list. Is their audience mainly comprised of end-users or management? Have they developed personas that represent their target audience? What stage of the sales cycle are their targets at before they visit the publisher’s site? Finally, make sure you do your own due diligence by studying who visits the candidate’s site. How closely do they align with your own ideal buyer personas? Do they have enough relevant traffic to their site that would warrant investing in their content syndication program? Although a 100% match between their audience and your prospect list is probably not realistic, you need to determine whether or not there is enough overlap to make your content syndication strategy work
2. How will your content be displayed on their site? Pride of ownership is one thing, but you need to find out ahead of time how your publishing partner will present your content. Will your brand elements be apparent? Each content syndication vendor you select must show you in advance how your content will be displayed. This is one area in which you definitely don’t want to be surprised.
”Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.”
(Source: Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, CMI)
3. How will your leads by delivered? Trying to figure out what to do with all of your incremental leads is a bit like walking into a French Bakery. Everything looks great, but you only have a limited amount of money for dessert. However, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that you may have discovered an unexpected revenue path with your content syndication strategy. The bad news is that there is no standardized way that publishers actually deliver leads. You may want to ask your B2B content syndication provider if they have the ability to integrate with your existing Marketing Automation system. Will they be able to send leads via a .csv file? Make sure you include your marketing operations team in these discussion to determine the preferred method of accepting and incorporating leads into your existing B2B content syndication strategy.
4. How valuable were the leads that your B2B content syndication candidates delivered to their other clients? Don’t be shy – ask your B2B content syndication publisher about their success ratio with the prospect leads they’ve delivered in the past. Did they deliver the agreed upon amount of leads? Are they able to show you the buyer personas that were utilized in their client campaigns? How do they qualify leads? What process do they use in delivering leads? What is their strategy for promoting content derived from their clients? Finally, find out how they tracked the cost-per-lead that was generated. Make sure you stress the importance of increasing performance while decreasing costs.
“The buyer’s journey is not really a linear path anymore. It’s more about being ready with the content that prospects need when they are making a marketing decision.”
(Source: Dillon Allie, VP of Client Services, HDMZ)
5. Do they completely understand the conversion process? Conversion is probably the most mysterious part of your B2B content syndication program. It is a multi-step, layered process that consists of a lot of moving parts and involves a multitude of team members to implement this program. You will need a partner that understands the type of content that is suitable for each stage of the sales cycle, as well as the best practices for crafting a high conversion strategy for lead generation and landing page implementation.
“In the digital space, attention is a currency. We earn it. We spend it.”
(Source: Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter Group)
Choosing the right publishing partner may be one of the most mission critical decisions you will make when it involves your B2B content syndication strategy. Make sure you have a well thought out plan before you begin researching and interviewing perspective B2B content syndication publishers. Think about each stage of the process that’s involved with delivering the quantity and quality of leads you both agreed to. Don’t expect to “hit one out of the park” with your first campaign. It will take an analyst to score and rate the ROI of the leads generated. Please know upfront that your B2B content strategy campaign will be an exercise in trial and error. Launching a successful B2B content syndication strategy is a lot of hard work, but will pay dividends in the long run.