As a marketer, it would seem that syndicated content makes your life easier. It’s content already written, presumably for your audience, and probably drives search traffic to your website.

But, if the main thrust of your content strategy is using syndicated content on your website, you’re in trouble. And that’s not just my opinion: 69 percent of marketers back original content over licensed content. (Source: Contently, Dec. 2014)

Why You Need Custom Content

You need to develop custom content for your website, because syndicated content rarely converts your web traffic to customers. While it may drive search, it doesn’t help you drive revenue, which is one of the two golden rules of content strategy. (The second rule? Create content that supports your customers in accomplishing their tasks.)

We had one client who was getting 800,000 page views to one page in a month with little to almost no conversions. That’s a nice amount of traffic—but for what? And why would someone convert? You haven’t told them anything special or different about your brand.

Is it Budget?

I know budget is a concern for many marketers, which is why they rely on syndicated content. And it might be a stop gap or a good way to build out certain parts of your website or your content strategy. But your goal for 2015 should be to customize that content, or create your own, relevant content for your audiences that will drive traffic AND revenue.

Custom content may seem expensive, but let’s do the math. Let’s say you license syndicated content at $15K a year, which seems relatively inexpensive.  That drives huge numbers to your website, but very little conversions. Now let’s say you hire a content firm to write custom content for you for the exact same amount. And you drive far less traffic, but far more conversions. Which metric really matters for you when you walk into your boss’s office for your annual review?

The choice seems pretty clear to me—it’s risky and different than the content strategy you planned in the past, but isn’t it time to try something new? It’s clear that syndicated content just isn’t doing the job you need it to do.

Need help convincing your executives to stop wasting money on syndicated content? Email Ahava today for a brief step-by-step guide.

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