To understand the real value of Content Syndication in SAM, it is important to define formally what is meant by the term. The Internet Content Syndication Council defines Content Syndication as the following: “Content Syndication is the sale or controlled placement of the same content on multiple partnering Internet destinations. In this online business model, the content’s destinations and placements are selected by the content owner or its syndication agent so as to maximize the content’s exposure to desired audiences. The content owner monetizes the content through sale, subscription and various revenue-sharing models.”
Content Syndication is a relatively new concept concerning publishing information once, and making it available everywhere, often in a traceable and trackable way, allowing for efficient replication and customization of digital content across external web destinations. As a result, enrolled partners always have up-to-date information, and rich content to improve their branding, communications, lead generation and sales conversion whilst decreasing their costs in information maintenance and curation.
Content Syndication technologies are used when a company needs to market or share their content by syndicating it through multiple channels to the user be they consumer or business. Usually content syndication techniques keep control of the information provided through, e.g. a chain of websites or social networks. In this way, marketing campaigns and product information updates can be managed centrally, keeping brand and product information coherent and getting information about the user interaction, number of prints, etc.
Content Syndication is one of the three pillars of SAM and within the project it acts, as described above, to effectively deliver media content, including linked content, to the end user devices. In SAM the content provisioning is dynamically optimized based on the users’ context, which is primarily defined by what they are watching on the first screen but also other characteristics – such as age or location. Directly related to Content Syndication is Digital Marketing. The Content Syndication provides the mechanisms for products and campaigns information delivery and consumption.
How can Content Syndication help companies to distribute and monetise their content?
Technologies like RSS have their place in the syndication world, but when an organization needs to push more enriched information, from product details to full microsites with rich media to partner websites or social networking sites – it’s simply not powerful enough.
Content Syndication solutions today have evolved beyond really-simple-syndication (RSS) and provided a new opportunity for information brokers and information consumers. This opportunity has allowed vendors, distributors, publishers and others to easily publish, control and track rich content experiences on limitless third party websites.
For example, in the insurance industry, it is possible to syndicate and dynamically co-brand all of the necessary sales and marketing collateral directly to agents’ websites and Facebook fan pages. Companies who sell and market their products through online retailers are also able to deliver 100% of their rich content assets seamlessly through the retailer product pages using Content Syndication. In addition, digital content can be adapted to existing design styles, social networking or mobile environments to provide the content consumer the best user experience delivering the latest and greatest brand information.
Content Syndication offers the following features of which those marked * are most relevant to SAM:
- Automated Distribution of Digital Content to End Users
- Fully Automated (cobranded) Content
- Customized Partner Specific Web Content *
- Reporting and Web Analytics on Content Performance *
- Complementary Solution to Web Content Management and Digital Asset Management Systems *
What type of digital materials can be syndicated?
One of the first questions that surface when learning about content syndication is: what type of digital materials can be syndicated? The answer to that is simple. If it’s digital – it can be syndicated. Here’s a short list of the most popular syndicated content:
- Landing Pages
- Feedback Forms
- E-Commerce Storefronts
- Co-branded PDFs
Content Syndication Solutions
The syndication process holds five steps which are followed in SAM:
- Collection of content
- Management of digital assets
- Syndication of rich digital marketing materials
- Activation of the channels
- Real time Reporting
This solution provides richer multimedia content for the benefit of end users. This content will always reflect the latest updates offered, thus meeting the needs of all users. Syndication is no longer about simply distributing and controlling content – it’s also about extracting maximum value from your partner network and its access to your target customers.
From a business perspective, there are only a few Content Syndication solutions available in the market today and there are a variety of content management platforms available that support Content Syndication up to a limited degree. In addition, syndication is largely based on the digital assets supporting tangible products rather than true intangible assets as used in SAM. However, while normal content management systems are following the idea that content creators, managers and users are the same person, content syndication platforms provide a natural differentiation between those actors and natively supports remote content delivery.
Discover, Associate & Deliver
Content Syndication is the base of the SAM project. Based on the Content Syndication techniques and features described in the article, the different types of content providers will prepare their assets so that they can be associated to specific media and context. Content Syndication also will provide the mechanism so that these complex assets can be discovered, associated to the user activity and delivered in the expected format to be consumed in the user context.