Adding Social Media To Your Content Syndication Platform – Don’t Do It!

September 28, 2015


“A strong headline,” I hear you say. If you are a channel marketer and are planning to add ‘through channel social media syndication’ to your existing portfolio of content and web syndication programs, I would like you to think very carefully as to how you are going to do this!

Content syndication – the remit.
Through content syndication, you are offering your channel partners the option to select ‘campaigns’ as well as co-brand and use assets for this campaign.

This works well for those partners who are willing to ‘play the game’ with you. To do so, they need to be willing to align themselves with your content and ideas and to have some staff/ resources in place to do the work. You may be able to make it easier for them by providing co-marketing services, in the form of a partner marketing helpdesk, and offer co-op/ MDF funds to incentivise them to run your campaigns.

But, typically, the only people who can ‘play this game’ are marketing teams, and many partners don’t have such dedicated units. Furthermore, many partners don’t want to be perceived as being ‘too aligned’ to a certain vendor.

The result? Content syndication is limited to ‘the few’. Results can be astonishing for these, but for 90% of your partner network, content syndication is not perceived as worth the effort.

You need to also think about the ‘campaign’ element of these activities. Content syndication works, essentially, with campaigns. It’s all about aligning activities (email marketing, direct mail marketing and telemarketing, typically) with certain quarterly or semi-annual campaigns. Content syndication is not about ‘time-sensitive’ or fast-paced industry news.

Social syndication – why it is becoming widely used.
Through social syndication, you have the option to socially enable your channel partners. By sharing real-time product / company news, and more importantly, value-added content and thought leadership / opinion pieces, your partners can generate interest and awareness about both you and them to their followers.

For this reason, the social media content you require, that will bring you the best results, needs to go beyond the ‘campaign’ content you have created for your content syndication program. The ‘best’ content to use for social media has to be real-time and responding to market needs and situations. It should include market research reports (Gartner Magic Quadrant-based content always win!!!), case studies, market analysis, and essentially content that goes beyond fixed/ quarterly/ semi-annual ‘campaigns’.

Secondly, social media syndication programs should not be limited to ‘marketing’. All sales, technical and marketing staff within your channel partners should be seen as influencers and advocates. Social media syndication platforms are simple to use (or should be) and should be made available to all these users, for maximum impact. So, how will you manage the integration of content and social media syndication programs, if one is addressed at marketers and the other at everyone?

Extending this concept further, you can use social media syndication to amplify your social media content and reach to your employees. Employee advocacy programs are getting a lot of interest right now, and for good reasons. Leveraging the social reach of your sales staff by sharing content with them makes a lot of sense. Centralising the content creation and reporting for all your advocates also makes a lot of sense, but how will you manage the distribution of content, seamlessly, if your platform is only valid to partners?

The conclusions are simple: there is a need, albeit limited, for content syndication programs. But bundling it, directly, with social media syndication doesn’t make sense. The audiences are dissimilar and the content should be different. Keep these two programs separate and look for the best of breed in each area. :)

That said, there should be ONE place where the results are tracked and visible – you should clearly measure your ROI or view/use your results, whatever channel activity you are running.

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