The Basics of Content Syndication is a guest post by Dr. Rachna Jain of MindShare Corporation.
Content syndication is a hot topic in social media, and there is a lot of confusion about what it is, and how to do it. In the most basic sense, content syndication refers to the process of efficiently distributing your content around the internet. Since effective content syndication does require a little bit of technical know-how, most people's eyes glaze over when they hear about it. The problem is that if you're ignoring the power of content syndication, you are only getting about 1/3rd of the value from your social media efforts as you could be.
Done correctly, content syndication can help you accomplish four main business goals.
- It can help you generate more targeted visitors to your website and blog
- it can help you improve your search engine positioning
- it can help you build your following
- it can build your expert status
All of these are valuable outcomes for a process which doesn't really take a lot of time.
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is in creating content (for their sites, blogs, teleseminars or trainings) and then only using the content one or two times. This means that your time to create the content is only paying off minimally.
Far better to repurpose your content into multiple formats, and be able to use it multiple ways, so that you are getting maximum value from the time you spend creating the material in the first place. Repurposing efficiently and regularly is one of the key underpinnings of an effective content syndication strategy.
An example of repurposing your content would be to take a written blog post, convert to an audio (see audio option above - instant podcast), turn to a slideshow, and then convert to a video. Your one blog post then becomes deployable in multiple formats, and can be sent out to the various article, audio, and video sites. So, in essence, you get four times the value for your content. There are multiple other ways to repurpose your content, and you'll find, as I have, that once you get good at doing it, it's kind of addictive.
So now that you understand the background of content syndication, let's look at some easy ways you can get started:
1) Make use of RSS. RSS stands for "really simple syndication" and is one of the easiest and fastest ways to start syndicating your content. RSS is a technology which takes your content and puts it into a special format (you don't need the details) so that the content can be shared easily and republished across the internet. The majority of the open social sites use RSS. You can find the link to your RSS feed by searching for the RSS icon, which often looks like the icon at the beginning of this paragraph. Sometimes it's colored differently, but this symbol denotes the RSS feed. What the RSS feed represents is an aggregated container of that content.
To actually start using RSS, you can take your RSS feeds (such as from your blog) and submit these to RSS search engines, such as Bloglines, Blogpulse, DayPop, and Feedster. (There are many others, this is just a partial list.) The idea is that the RSS format allows for content to be deployed and shared in a consistent and standardized way. When submitting your blog's RSS feed to these search engines, you are increasing the likelihood of your content being found, and, also, potentially giving others the option to republish your content with attribution to your site.
You can also submit RSS feeds from your Twitter account, as well as other social sites. There are specialized software programs that can help you rapidly submit your RSS feeds as well.
RSS submission is one of the easiest ways to get started with content syndication.
2) A second strategy for getting started with content syndication is to send your blog updates to your Twitter feed. If your blog is built on Wordpress, you can configure a plugin such as Twitter Tools to send blog posts to your Twitterfeed. This is a great way to drive traffic to your site, especially if your titles are compelling, and you don't overtweet your new content. Since Twitter updates are searchable, you can find yourself getting first page ranking in Google for your content. This listing may not last, as tweets are constantly updated, but it's a good way to get your content out in front of more people.
3) A third simple strategy for content syndication is to import your blog posts into Facebook and Linked In. You can use the Notes application in Facebook to get your blog posts publishing in there, and you can use the Wordpress application in LinkedIn to get your blog content published there as well. Again, if you focus on highly relevant content, and use strong titles, you will see clickthroughs to your site. Importing your content into these sites also helps establish your expertise and credibility, and can grow your brand following.
While there are many other content syndication strategies you can use, these are three solid strategies to get you started. As you invest more fully in content syndication, you'll find that your online following grows, that you get more opportunities, and generate more leads into your business.
Content syndication is an important step in the chain of social media profitability. Get started using it today.
© 2010 Dr. Rachna Jain
Dr. Rachna Jain is Chief Social Marketer at The Mindshare Corporation. Rachna works with speakers, consultants, authors, and small business owners to develop and execute effective social media marketing strategies. Her proprietary persuasive social media process (sm) focuses on building influence, credibility and visibility online. This translates into greater recognition, increased website traffic, faster lead generation, a shorter sales cycle, and more opportunity for her expert clientele. She blogs regularly at The Mindshare Blog.
You can see this is the tip of the iceberg as far as content syndication goes. Dr. Jain and I take this much further in our program From Platform to Profit, and demonstrate the exact steps for how you can create a content syndication strategy for your business. Not only will you learn exactly what we do to distribute our content and amplify our message to a wider audience, you'll also get access to our resources, recommended sites and best of all, a real do-able action plan you can easily implement and/or hand off to your assistant to do for you.