As brand publishers hunt for ways to reach and engage new audiences, some are experimenting with opportunities to syndicate content to “traditional” news publishers and media outlets. Publishers are constantly looking for unique and interesting stories, and brands are increasingly amassing libraries of high-quality content they may wish to tap into, the thinking goes.
Swyft Filings is one company exploring the approach. The Texas-based company offers a range of business formation and management services and is attempting to position itself alongside larger, more established competitors. In order to do so, Swyft has built a full content operation that publishes up to 40 articles a month on its own site which are largely designed to educate readers interested in starting a business.
As it now seeks to get that content in front of as many readers as possible, the company’s chief strategy officer, Austin Hulak, saw an opportunity to distribute it beyond its own site. “We could have said we want to run a bunch of paid campaigns through Outbrain or Taboola, but that has its own challenges,” said Hulak.
“I chose to focus on earned media instead, because that’s how you get higher quality levels of audience engagement.”
Swyft worked with Stacker Connect, which distributes brands’ existing content and insights to over 3,000 publishers via its newswire for editorial departments to republish as they see fit. Placements are “earned,” since Stacker does not pay publishers to include brands’ content.
One example is a piece created by Swyft’s publishing team that used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to establish which industries provide the most jobs in every state. The piece was syndicated through Stacker Connect and published on regional news sites like the Laurel Leader-Call and the La Grande Observer. Another is a piece that appeared on NBC News about how states have increased jobs over the past 20 years. A third piece covered how small businesses were handling pay raises and appeared on sites such as the Sacramento Bee.
In the six campaigns Swyft has run with Stacker, 534 unique news outlets have published Swyft’s content via Stacker’s newswire, according to Stacker.
Hulak said that its content is combined with Stacker’s knowledge on what resonates with audiences, resulting in highly relevant content that reflects “the level of detail and analysis that you would expect from a brand who’s supposed to be an expert in the space,” said Hulak.
Hulak says he is also keeping a keen eye on the metrics surrounding Swyft’s syndication initiative, including how many times articles get picked up and by what type of publication. The team publishes 20-30 articles a week but produces insights posts specifically designed for syndication like the ones above about once a month. All content is published by the company’s in-house team, which includes a director of content, as well as some freelance writers. The team combines syndicated insights content with also more targeted content aimed at prospective funders that relies on people searching for answers to find them.
For brand publishers, syndication of their content to traditional news sites is still a relatively new phenomenon. Hulak was previously a vice president at RedVentures, a publisher that runs CNet, Bankrate and CreditCards.com. For Hulak, the syndication route made sense because, in his past role at Red Ventures, he and his colleagues worked with publishers like MSN or CNN for syndication.
“What we did at Red Ventures as a very large publishing org, doesn’t really quite make sense for us as a brand. I’m not going to have a team of syndication managers doing this,” he said.
“That’s where Stacker makes a ton of sense for us because they have those relationships and they’re trusted by the publishers.”
Stacker is offering Toolkits readers 20% off 3-month pilot programs through June 15. Learn more about Stacker Connect and redeem your 20% discount here.