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How Licensed Content Can Help Your Brand (And Your Audience) Weather Economic Uncertainty

Published on Jun 1, 2023

How Licensed Content Can Help Your Brand (And Your Audience) Weather Economic Uncertainty
Jennifer Stenger
Jennifer Stenger studioID

Times are tough. Businesses are hurting and some marketing budgets are being spread thin. What’s a marketer to do? Don’t panic, there’s always room in the budget for a cost-effective tool that drives growth.

In tough economic times, many businesses are focused on cutting costs and finding novel ways to generate revenue. While it may be tempting to reduce spending on content creation, this can have long-term consequences on a company’s growth and success. The savviest brands know you can’t go dark on your audience in tough times.

So, you know you can’t go radio silent, but you might not have as much budget for content these days as you once did. How can you maintain a proper publishing cadence and continue to deliver the content your audience wants? 

Enter licensed content. Licensed content, also referred to as “syndicated content” or “third-party content,” is content that has been created by another publisher (who maintains legal ownership of it) but allows you to post it to your own properties.

Licensed Content Reduces Costs and Increases Results

Licensing content comes at a fraction of the cost it takes to produce original content, making it an ideal tool for times when budgets are tight. Not to mention, licensed content comes ‘publish-ready,’ saving your team critical hours they’d otherwise spend pitching, coordinating with writers, and editing. A great curator or curtain platform can help you quickly find the needles in the haystacks that are the perfect articles to license for your site. 

And licensed content has been proven to yield results. It helps boost traffic, increases time spent on site, ups engagement and increases pageviews. And oftentimes, licensed articles perform just as well as original articles. Time and again, blogs that smartly blend both original and licensed content see an improvement in performance compared to those with original content alone. 

📜 Related Reading: Licensed Content 2023: The Definitive Guide

By the Numbers: A Licensed Content Case Study 

My colleagues and I recently conducted a study to assess the value of adding licensed content to a brand’s hub that previously only had original content. Once licensed content was added to their hub: 

  • Bounce rates dropped by over 10% (76% with licensed content, 88% without)

  • New visitors spent 4X longer on the site

  • Returning visitors spent 9X longer

  • All KPIs increased between a range of 4X and 6X

Bottom line: Readers spent more time on the hub and read more pages once licensed content was added. 

Licensed Content Preserves Your Publishing Frequency

Your Marketing Program Needs It

When content budgets get cut, your publishing frequency is often the first element of your marketing program to suffer. But because of its cost- and time-effectiveness, licensed content allows you to maintain the high publishing cadence that’s so critical to nurturing the consumer-brand relationship and achieving your marketing goals. 

Your Thought Leadership Needs It

Increasing your posting frequency on a topic helps your brand command authority over that topic and own the conversation from all angles. When other brands are slowing down or halting their content programs, you have a better chance to emerge as an expert on topics given reduced saturation. Your steady stream of high-authority content from other trusted publishers sets you apart from competitors and increases your credentials as a thought leader and subject matter expert. 

Your Audience Needs It 

In tough times, your audience needs you more than ever. Economic uncertainty leaves people feeling overwhelmed, unsure where to turn next, and on the hunt for resources that will help them navigate. Seize this opportunity to be a guiding voice for your audience by delivering them expert resources from across the landscape at a high frequency.  

Licensed Content Increases Authority and Newsworthiness 

Boost Credibility with Third-Party Voices

Consider how people naturally conduct research and find information. They typically don’t rely on a single source for all their information. Instead, they browse around several high-authority sources to gather varying facts, figures, and opinions in order to form their own.

You can create a similar one-stop-shop for your audience with licensed content by:

  • Utilizing it to add a breadth of different publishers and voices to your hub 

  • Relying on it to easily create more personalized experiences for your audience based on personas, targeting, and buyer journey state

  • Reinforce your original articles and messaging by complimenting them with content from respected third-party sources in a given industry  

 🤔 Related Reading: Content Licensing for Marketers: Everything You Need to Know

In a tough economy, audiences are often glued to the latest headlines. Day in and day out, they scan the news to understand the latest evolutions, reports, statistics, outlooks, and predictions. They need to know how the latest updates might impact themselves/their industry in particular. 

A Need for Speed

Let’s face it: it’s likely your content team just doesn’t have the bandwidth to move at the speed of news. A development happens overnight and your audience wants a detailed article on it the next morning. By the time you mobilize to produce your own original content, that news could be stale, or worse, inaccurate. 

Licensed content solves this challenge by giving you thousands of articles, refreshed daily, that cover breaking the news your audience cares about with authority. 

Discuss Topics You Otherwise Couldn’t

Your brand offers unique values and unique perspectives another brand can’t. But you simply can’t be an expert on everything

Licensed content allows you to focus on delivering your expertise via original content, while still providing other kinds of stories outside of your wheelhouse that your audience wants to hear.

For instance, let’s say you run a blog about experiential retail geared toward retailers. Your bread and butter is best practices in experiential retail, which you deliver against with your original content. But this audience also wants to understand the latest on inflation rates and how they’re impacting consumer attitudes and habits. 

You’re not an expert on inflation rates, and you never promised to be. So, instead of scrambling to deliver this information and risking it being inaccurate/lacking authority, you can deliver that sort of information via licensed content — much to your audience’s delight. 

In Summary 

When you’re pinching pennies, you’ll need to find creative ways to keep up a consistent cadence of high-authority, newsworthy content to give your audience the resources they need to weather the economic storm and reach your own marketing goals. Licensed content is the ultimate tool to do so.