Content Syndication Options for B2B Lead Generation

Lead generation continues to be a top objective for B2B marketers and content syndication is primary offering from publishers.

Definitions:

  • Content syndication refers to distributing content through publishers and requiring registration in order to capture contacts.
  • Leads in this post refer to contacts captured through a registration form, in line with the way B2B publishers label their programs.

As demand for B2B lead generation programs increases, new providers are springing up, sporting slick new websites, massive email databases, lower costs and brand new approaches.

As the landscape changes, here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of the primary types of content syndication offerings and a number of emerging trends in the category.

Publisher-based Content Syndication

Publishers are well positioned to deliver programs that include advertising, custom content and unique promotions in addition to content syndication, giving marketers significantly more options.

Publisher programs are generally the most expensive and may not deliver higher quality contacts.

Sample publishers: Computerworld, Information Week

Email-based Content Syndication

Email-based providers often begin with purchased or third party lists and can grow their database quickly. They are generally less expensive than publisher programs and many can deliver volume in line with the larger publishers.

The downside of email programs for many marketers is the limited set of options. Many providers cannot offer anything beyond email promotion of content, limiting the ability to create more customized programs.

Sample email providers: eMedia, TrueInfluence

B2B Network-based Content Syndication

B2B networks may combine both publishers and email providers and often include smaller publishers that cannot deliver enough volume on their own to warrant direct purchases.

Networks can often offer lower costs and significant volume. Many networks can also offer advertising and custom programs. The downside is limited control over where your program will run.

Sample network sources: IDG TechNetwork, QuinStreet, Madison Logic, Netline

Emerging Trends

1. Telemarketing
US publishers have recently incorporated telemarketing into lead programs. Telemarketers normally offer the content and then confirm contact information before providing it by email.

2. Purchasing Contacts
Some publishers now allow marketers to purchase contacts, similar to a list purchase, based on the type of information people have downloaded.

3. Additional Targeting and Filtering
Nearly all providers can filter contacts to meet broad target audiences (such as IT contacts at organizations with more than 1,000 employees). Today many can also target specific companies and more granular titles.

4. Lead Nurturing
Over the last 24 months, the majority of publishers have added a lead nurture offering. Most publishers use Eloqua for their lead nurturing program, one of the leaders in the category.

Summary

With the various approaches and options available today, it is more important than ever to take the time to understand content syndication programs.

[Late Addition] If you are looking for information about specific publishers, Stephanie Tilton (@StephanieTilton) published a Content Syndication Options report earlier this year reviewing 13 providers for B2B technology marketers.

Photo Credit: Question Mark by the Italian voice on Flickr

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About Eric Wittlake

I am a digital and B2B marketer with a background in online media and analytics. I work with B2B clients on media and integrated marketing programs at Babcock & Jenkins. You can connect with me on Twitter at @wittlake or in the comments here on my B2B Digital Marketing blog.