Community syndication? Don't you mean content syndication?
Content syndication is an important tool for any direct-to-consumer business. But what is content syndication? In a nutshell, content syndication is the process of taking content from your website and making it available elsewhere — either on another website or on a page within your own website.
Brands often use content syndication to display descriptions of products on multiple pages, showcase positive reviews, or often advertise their service on other websites with content like blog posts. The benefits of content syndication, if it’s done properly, can be vast. We like to bucket them into four categories.
1. Content syndication increases brand exposure
Many sites on the internet have devoted years to building up a dedicated audience on a variety of topics. People appreciate the convenience of going to a single site for a variety of expert opinions and news on whatever category of knowledge they are interested in. This is especially common in software and IT fields.
Below is an example of content syndication you’ve almost certainly seen. It’s how content can be syndicated onto a 3rd party publisher. In this case, the screenshot below was taken from a USA Today article. These promoted posts are from a content syndication and advertising platform. It’s a way of getting more use and visibility from existing content, that’s then syndicated by other publishers.
It is common for these sites to “pick up” or solicit content from thought leaders at different leading brands and organizations in their industry to better serve their audiences. In this situation, it usually involves some exchange of reader information for the content between the brand and the site. This process not only helps the site curate good content for readers but also helps brands whose content gets posted to the site gain valuable exposure to a broader audience.
2. Content syndication develops thought leadership
Becoming a respected visionary and expert in a field doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time — and, more importantly, feedback — from other people to gain awareness and advance your ideas. By giving your ideas and content exposure in higher traffic places, you end up not just with better ideas, but with more respect, recognition, and authentic authority.
3. Content syndication boosts key SEO metrics
If you’re in the marketing world, you probably know that search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making the most effective use of the content on your website to drive traffic from organic internet searches. When your website is optimized in this way, it will appear on search engine results pages (or SERPs), and searchers will click on it, potentially becoming new leads for your brand.
Content syndication not only boosts the amount of content on your brand’s website, it also puts that content on the right pages — the ones that can appear on SERPs. The more content you can syndicate, especially if it’s user-generated content (UGC), the better off you’ll be in terms of SEO.
4. Content syndication drives new traffic and followers
By linking back to your site, publishers are exposing their audiences to your content, generating new traffic to your site from visitors who might not have come across it otherwise. If you’re hitting the right audiences and they’re finding your content useful, you can encourage them to subscribe to hear more from you.
Be sure to also include links to other content or areas of your site within any piece that you syndicate. This will help boost opportunities for readers to make it to your site and become fans of your brand.
The benefits of community content syndication
Okay, so content syndication is valuable. But what is Community Syndication, and how can your brand benefit from it?
Well, there are many ways to syndicate content — and not all are created equal. We’d like to dive deeper into one method that has proven effective for a wide variety of applications: community content syndication (or just Community Syndication for short). Community Syndication is a unique feature of Khoros Communities that can syndicate valuable, user-generated content directly from a brand’s online community and interactive discussions to almost anywhere else on their website: FAQ pages, resource libraries, product pages in ecommerce, blogs, and much more.
This powerful capability comes with a number of advantages:
1. Community content can reach prospects as well as customers
Online brand communities provide people the space to share ideas, ask and answer questions, network, and build knowledge. With a Khoros community, you can create custom permissions to share content with exactly the right audience. If user-generated content from top customers is available to anyone on the internet, including prospects, it can help display brand value to promising leads. It can also help answer questions, drive engagement, and even generate ideas for future improvements and new products.
In Khoros Communities, all this valuable content is captured and moderated in real time, but it’s preserved in a convenient location so that future visitors can easily find it. This means less time for sales and support teams to spend answering questions, and more time for customers to see your brand’s value.
2. Community Syndication builds community visibility
Like a garden, it’s important to maintain the healthy growth of your community, especially in regards to how your community attracts and serves new members. Of course, that’s easier said than done; communities compete with a lot of other resources for attention these days.
Community Syndication increases visibility by showcasing your community in new and different places on your website. People browsing a website are usually looking for an answer to a specific question, and if they can be guided to the community it increases the chances of conversion and retention because there are so many questions and answers there. Directing new people to a community is much more effective for your business than a simple FAQ page or support line because it encourages engagement and builds loyalty.
3. Community Syndication provides social validation to a broader audience
Today’s consumer is savvy; they look for product endorsements not just from brands, influencers, and advertisements, but also from their peers. Online reviews are one of the top ways that make (or sometimes break) sales. So if you want to increase your online conversion rate, giving users validation from their peers is an important step.
With Community Syndication, you can place product reviews exactly where they need to be, so that customers don’t have to dig to find them. Best of all, this encourages customers to interact with one another, providing feedback to you and, if all goes well, crucial organic advocacy for your brand.
Building your strategy: How to use Community Syndication
So, you’ve got a vibrant online community of users and you want to take it to the next level with Community Syndication. But how?
The Community Syndication tool is extremely powerful, but it won’t be useful without some careful planning. Always keep the buyer’s journey in mind when you’re planning syndication. Are you overwhelming the user with information? Could you provide more context to make things clearer? Are you adding unnecessary steps in the buying process? Syndication is important, but if it slows down or confuses a buyer, it may do more harm than good. Make sure you have a plan that doesn’t raise these concerns.
One great way to plan syndication is to partner with internal teams and subject matter experts within your organization. Explain to them what you’re trying to accomplish with Community Syndication; you may be surprised at the great ideas they have for it.
Executing the perfect syndication
The easiest place to start is your website’s FAQ page. FAQs are helpful resources for users — but only if the Q’s really are F. In other words, you don’t want your FAQ section to read like a list of things you thought were important, but weren’t actually that important to your customers. So take it straight from the source! Use Community Syndication to leverage the most popular posts and topics on your community, and turn those answers into a more effective FAQ page.
Another way to use Community Syndication is to add interactive features to high traffic areas of your website, like blogs. You can safely add a discussion thread from your community at the bottom of a blog post to encourage curious users to join. Other places where you can easily syndicate content are marketing landing pages and outreach campaigns, both of which can benefit from user-generated content. The only limitation here is your creativity.
Of course, Khoros is always here to support your syndication efforts. Make sure to take advantage of specialized resources, like the Amplify Community ebook. You can also use our product coaching program as a resource, leveraging Khoros’ expertise in building and maintaining world-class brand communities.
While online communities offer vibrant, helpful spaces for users, customers, and prospects alike, they can be optimized to help with SEO, brand exposure, traffic, engagement, and more. Community Syndication is the easy-to-use, no-coding-required tool that helps brands do it all. Learn how some of the top brands in the world use Community Syndication in our Amplify Community ebook.