One of the biggest struggles in Marketing is getting people's attention. Getting someone to fill out a form is more and more challenging because people are constantly being inundated with new offers, posts, or blogs. Syndication can help solve this problem by taking content that people are already engaging with in a Community and sharing it to the general public. Microsoft just did this around the very popular topic of Remote Work.
Microsoft is a key leader in remote work, and not just because they are the #1 provider of productivity software in the world. However, with literally every media outlet and company talking about remote work right now, it is hard for even Microsoft to get content to stand out. So they came up with an innovative strategy to combine their vibrant, multi-million user community with their own internal experts to produce content that would get noticed. By showcasing discussions that helped drive new ideas right alongside the content that describes them, they were able to validate the value of the content because everyone could see that thousands of their peers were helping to build it!
After launching a Community Hub dedicated to Remote Work in the Microsoft Tech Community where people can ask questions and share best practices about working from home, they took the most active discussions and turned them into a series of webcasts and guides. Once they had a good amount of content on the topic, they created a landing page for customers and prospects to find and subscribe to the latest information. Finally, to close the loop completely, Microsoft syndicated the most recent discussions from the community group into the landing page to help people continue the conversation, ask questions, and see what else people were saying.
And the idea is working. Engagement and traffic are up, and it is leading to more conversations in the community. And one of the best parts is how easy it is to iterate once the content and the discussions evolve! Making it an interactive experience helps provide that context to casual observers who may be interested in the title, but are hesitant to fill out any forms.
When syndication works well, the effort is felt both on the community and where it is syndicated. Increasing engagement and traffic to the community and increasing the conversion rate on the marketing materials. It is a bit too early to give any metrics on conversion rate, but in eCommerce adding user-generated content like reviews or questions increases conversion rate between 160 and 300%!
The Microsoft example highlights a coordinated effort to align strategy between broader marketing and community teams. However, this is easier said than done for most companies where the two teams may meet rarely, if ever. A simpler way to get started is to take existing Marketing content and look for where questions are asked of the audience. Then, take those and copy the exact same questions in your community. When people answer, you could take that to the Marketing team and tell them you could syndicate that discussion onto the existing landing page (the page where the form to download is) very simply with Community Syndication. Easy!
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