Today’s consumers are more information-hungry than ever. Faced with a plethora of options for just about any products they may wish to purchase, they utilize multiple channels and devices to conduct product and brand research. This means that as an e-commerce business, your end-consumers are omni-channel researchers with over half of all customer interactions happening during a multi-event and multi-channel process.
Consumers now expect to be able to find the product that they are looking for to be wherever they are looking—meaning that your businesses need to be omni-channel, too. If your products aren’t where consumers are looking, on the web or elsewhere, then you are sure to miss out on a large number of potential sales.
In addition to your content being readily available to consumers across multiple channels, your content must also be accurate, complete, and consistent across all touchpoints. Low quality and inconsistent product information are only likely to confuse your customers and drive them away, defeating the purpose of content marketing strategies—to spread brand awareness, and make your products easily accessible to consumers, on and off the web.
In this article, we explain the role of product content syndication in e-commerce, and go over some of the platforms and tools available on the market to help your business with its product content syndication needs.
E-commerce Content Syndication
Simply put, syndicated content is content that is published on the web, on multiple sites (such as third party online retail websites, marketplaces, and other e-commerce enabling platforms) beyond the source, including blog posts, infographics, articles, videos, and more.
Product content syndication is extremely useful since it allows you to “recycle” your content by syndicating it, and if done well, it has the potential to spread brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and increase conversions. Moreover, content syndication is beneficial to both parties since the website where it is syndicated gets fresh content, while the person or brand behind the original content gets exposure to a new audience.
The pros of product content syndication are well documented, which is probably why the most successful B2C marketers spend about 26 percent of their total marketing budget on content marketing, and the most successful B2B marketers spend on average 40 percent of their marketing budget on content marketing.
In fact, high quality and readily available content are exactly what today’s consumers are looking for, with 70 percent of consumers preferring to learn about products through content as opposed to traditional advertising methods. Moreover, the purchase intent of those who click on native ads is 52 percent, compared to 32 percent for banners.
Moreover, product content syndication can be very beneficial to a business’s SEO by generating backlinks and enhancing domain authority. However, there are some risks associated with it, such as repetitive content penalties and decreasing your SEO rankings, which is why you will want to make sure that you are doing it correctly.
Given that product content syndication can be very beneficial to both brand awareness and SEO, businesses will want to follow best practices, such as identifying who is publishing the content, referencing other posts on the publisher’s website through links, and syndicating unique content. While some opt for doing this themselves, many others seek out the help of professional solutions or utilize content syndication platforms (as we will discuss below) to optimize the benefits of syndicated marketing as a strategy.
What’s the difference between e-commerce content syndication and product syndication? Product syndication and content syndication are often spoken about in conjunction (i.e., product content syndication), but there is an important difference that should be pointed out before we continue.
Whereas content syndication is the publication of content, such as blog posts, infographics, articles, videos on multiple off-source platforms and sites (often with embedded links to products or a companies website), product syndication is, as the name suggests, when a business’s product is listed on other vendors’ sites, marketplaces, or platforms. These products are either linked back to the source’s website, or are made available for purchase on the off-source website.
Both types of syndication can be very beneficial to your brand, if carried out in a consistent and informative manner.
Content Syndication Platforms
Often, you do not want to let just any site publish your syndicated content, anywhere on the web. You want to syndicate your content on the best sites available, so that you can reach a wide audience and gain all the benefits that come with that. Luckily, there are a number of content syndication platforms (both free and paid) that allow businesses to publish syndicated content on their sites. Often, these platforms already have established audiences or help your content get published on authoritative sites. Here we will give just a few examples of some of the top free and paid syndication platforms available on the web.
Two Free Syndication Platforms
Medium is a great resource on the web for publishing syndicated content. It provides a platform for publishing blogs, articles, photos, audio, and videos directly and allows users to comment upon and discuss the content on the platform. Moreover, Medium already has a large audience, so publishing content on this site can be very beneficial for spreading brand awareness.
Slideshare is a network of LinkedIn alliances that carries multi-disciplinary professional content. It’s made its mark on the web as the world’s largest professional content sharing community, and it allows users and viewers to upload demos and slides, which inform and educate. If the content you hope to syndicate is of a professional nature, then Slideshare might be a great option for you.
Two Paid Syndication Platforms
Outbrain is a different animal than Medium and Slideshare. It is not a website where people come to read the content. Rather, it is a content marketing platform that offers advertising opportunities for your content on large media properties, such as CNN, People, and ESPN. That’s right, large media organizations will often publish syndicated content, establishing the authority of brands whose content is featured and exposing the content to a wider audience. With a global audience of 557 million per month, Outbrain can be a great option for those who want to take their content marketing, via syndicated marketing, to the next level.
Like Outbrain, Taboola is a content discovery platform that offers local placement on top sites, all across the web. Its technology assists marketers and publishers in distributing content to a user base of 1 billion per month. Like Outbrain, Taboola may be a great option for taking your content marketing to the next level.
Product Data Syndication
Another important aspect of product content syndication is product data syndication (PDS). When you have syndicated content and products on various other retail websites and marketplaces with different requirements, it is essential that you are able to properly communicate your product data. In the digital economy, data associated with a product is synonymous with the product itself. Efficiently getting that information to the right place, at the right time, in the right format, is critical to your success. For this reason, there are a number of syndication services available, of which Salsify Syndication is the most effective.
Salsify Syndication and Shopify Integration
Manually taking care of your product syndication needs can be an incredibly grueling process. With each channel boasting their own unique product content specifications and rules, delivering a tailored product catalog to multiple channels can take months, and requires the handling of hundreds of complex spreadsheets. Moreover, this approach can often result in human errors or inconsistent product information being delivered across touchpoints.
For these reasons, product content syndication services and software were built. These services can help you manage the distribution of product content, as well as optimize, tailor, and distribute perfectly structured product content to any channel at any time, easily and quickly.
Salsify is a company that has made a successful product, content, and data syndication its mission. They recognize that brands need a system where the core data management and channel-specific activation services are tied together. This is why, with Salsify, you are able to combine syndication with your product information management (PIM) systems, such as Shopify Plus, enabling you to connect your core data with your entire e-commerce ecosystem through a single platform, and prepare your data to meet each channel’s individual requirements in a way that drives SEO and conversion.
Salsify offers a direct connection to major retailers in your e-commerce ecosystem, allowing you to publish directly from the salsify platform to retailers, distributors, and industry partners.
Salsify also makes sure to always have the latest, up-to-date schemas for a wide range of retailers, meaning that you can check your data against these schemas in Salsify to make sure that you are compliant with each sites unique requirements.
Salsify is also great for ensuring brand consistency across platforms, because you are able to manage and activate all of your product content from a single hub, rather than doing a new integration every time you have to send product information to a new place.
Finally, Salsify makes the data syndication process easy by allowing you to synchronize all of your supply-chain data with your key trading partners.
As we have shown, product content syndication can be very beneficial to businesses who want to boost brand awareness and upgrade their SEO. By publishing content and product information on off-source sides, you gain access to a wider audience and a consumer base, that uses a multichannel approach to researching their products.
One of the best ways to ways to take advantage of product content syndication is to utilize web syndication platforms like Medium and Outbrain. Moreover, it is likely that you will not want to undertake content syndication without the help of syndication services, like the incredibly helpful Salsify Syndication service which can make your content marketing strategy more successful through its numerous benefits. If you follow these steps, you can be spreading brand awareness and increasing conversions in no time.