How should content syndication fit into my media strategy? Does getting re-published on websites like Yahoo! and MSN meaningfully amplify content? Do people even read these aggregator sites?
Questions once met with guesses or speculation can now get answers with hard data. Our team analyzed readership (i.e. unique visitors) on 341 articles re-published on MSN and Yahoo! that covered business and executive news – topics that would typically fall into the corporate comms bucket – over a 30 day period.
So, what’s the value of an aggregator site?
To start, article readership is +41.8% higher on these aggregator sites compared to the originally published articles in our sample. This means that in total, content received 141.8% more readers than had it not been syndicated.
Some of our key findings and what they mean for comms teams are summarized below, and the full report is available for download here.
Takeaway #1: Don’t discount syndications in your PR measurement and reporting
Right off the bat, we find that many, but not all, articles re-published on Yahoo! and MSN get more readership on those sites than they received on the original publications. This means that while MSN might not be a priority outlet from a media relations standpoint, for example, it should be on every comms team’s radar for measurement purposes.
This trend is not universal, and more nuance begins to emerge when we break down syndicated-content readership by the original publications as well as other attributes.
Takeaway #2: Targeting Bloomberg and Business Insider can both reach a more narrow business audience and generate mass awareness with syndication
Among the 68 publications with content re-published to either Yahoo! or MSN over this 30-day period, Bloomberg and Business Insider are the two top-tier business outlets that benefited the most from syndication amplification.
On average, Bloomberg articles syndicated to MSN and Yahoo! received an average of 339% more readers than they did on the original source. Similarly, Business Insider articles received an average of 233% more readers.
This means that comms teams don’t necessarily need to trade off between getting in front of the higher-value business audiences that subscribe to Business Insider and Bloomberg and building mass awareness on news aggregation sites.
Takeaway #3: Don’t disqualify reporters from a pitch just because they’re behind a paywall; syndication can increase their readership
Aggregator sites like MSN and Yahoo! make articles accessible to more people by eliminating the paywall barrier, driving higher readership. Syndicated articles from paywall publications saw 2x the readership on average compared to the original articles.
As part of any reporter mapping exercise, understanding which paywalled reporters get syndicated to highly-trafficked, non-pawalled sites can surface opportunities to reach niche and mass audiences in tandem.
To see the full analysis, including deep dives into commonly syndicated publications, download the full report here.