Written by Josh Westerman
Brands are appreciating content marketing more than ever before. Emphasis is placed on creating engaging, insightful and informative content, curated by internal experts to showcase credibility and knowledge. Yes, we’re all in agreeance that this approach is key to a successful strategy – but what if there was another way to support and bolster your business’s content marketing endeavour?
Collaborating with external experts, academics and brands to create editorial activity for your website is the tried-and-tested concept known as third-party content. It’s not about replacing your internal content output, but instead complementing it.
Read on for my insights into what third-party content is, how best to utilise it and how external authors can help bolster your business’s awareness and authority.
What is third party content?
Essentially, third-party content is content which features on your business’s website but was written by someone outside of your business. This external author often has expertise within your sector or industry, but doesn’t explicitly have the same specialisms as your business.
The third-party contributor could take the shape of a spokesperson from a brand within your space, a journalist or academic, or an influencer who has a strong following and presence amongst your intended audience.
Examples of third-party content can include traditional blogs and articles, providing commentary for a wider thought-leadership piece, video content or featuring in a Q&A or podcast.
What are the benefits of third-party content?
I’ve explored three of the key benefits of including third-party content within your wider digital strategy.
- Building further authority in your business
If your content publishing platform features comment, opinion and insight on the latest industry trends, it helps build trust with your audience. You exude the notion of an authoritative source of information, albeit that all the content hasn’t been authored by your internal stakeholders. Third-party content helps you host content which isn’t directly in your brand’s expertise remit but is key within your sector – again, this can help build authority in your content platform and, in turn, your brand.
It also highlights that your brand is associated with other knowledgeable brands within a similar field, and this association can further enhance your reputation within your sphere. In contrast to the usual idiom, it’s very much a case of what you know AND who you know.
- Bridging into new networks
The power of social media knows no boundaries, and it plays a crucial role in any third-party activity you’re undertaking. Your third-party contributor, whether it’s a business or an individual, will have their own social media presence, so when it comes to the amplification of the content you’ve got a two-pronged attack – your channels and theirs.
In instances of third-party content, the latter of these in more important. By your external author sharing the piece across their social channels, you’re able to bridge into new networks and audiences who may not currently know or engage with your brand.
This increased visibility can be a priceless tool when it comes to driving new traffic to your website and can assist in generating new prospects and leads.
- It’s free expert editorial from brands
As The Beatles famously sang in the hit ‘Money’, the best things in life are free, and through collaborating with third-party brands for your content, you can reap the rewards of the Fab Four’s words.
In a non-egomaniac way, brands want to show off how good their knowledge and expertise is – that’s just how it is. So, if they’re approached with the prospect of sharing content for an external site which they’ll get full credit for, there’s a strong possibility they’ll say yes and provide you with what you’re looking for. The best bit? It’ll most likely come free of charge.
This is an approach we take with Avant Life, the registered media outlet for our client Avant Homes. We collaborate with lifestyle brands across a range of sectors, from interior design to health and fitness, which supply us with editorial content to feature on the platform. In return, we’ll publish the article and any supporting visuals, and attribute the brand or spokesperson as the author
It is worth nothing, however, that if you’re looking for a third-party influencer (such as a journalist, academic or renowned industry figure) to support on your content activity, expect to have to pay for their services.
Utilising the power of third-party content
A business’s content marketing output doesn’t just have to be curated by in-house stakeholders. Harnessing the knowledge of external experts to create content which complements your ongoing efforts will ensure you’re developing a content platform which engages, interests and informs your audience.
At Brand8 PR, we have a proven track record of working in developing content strategies involving third-party content. Contact our head of content Josh for more information on how we can support your content marketing activity on e: firstname.lastname@example.org or t: 07432 655440
Looking for more top tips on how you can make your content marketing strategy work harder for you? Download our latest whitepaper, ‘Why brands should think bigger than the humble blog’ for the inside scoop!