Licensed Content: 7 Questions, 7 Considerations

by Ron Kunitzky June 4th, 2009 

With so many websites out there – how does yours standout? For me, it's always been about content. If a site has something unique or even proclaims to be the experts at what it is that they do, then that usually has me coming back for more.

As an expert in building strategic affiliations and marketing partnerships, I am often asked about content in the context of whether or not to build it in house or license / leverage content from others.

Licensed content

It's not an easy question to answer, but I will say that if you are thinking about it; these are the Top 7 things that you should think about before deciding either way:

1. What kind of content are you looking to build and what is your overall content strategy for your site?

2. How will your users interact with your content? Is it static or interactive? Are some parts different from others? Is there a social media element (blogs, podcasts, etc…)

3. How often will you be updating portions of your content and what needs updating and revising?

4. Do you have the resources in house to meet the demands of your content strategy and the need to update your content as it may be or do you need help in this area?

5. Are there authorities that are already in place on the subject matter(s) of your website and can they contribute to what you are doing?

6. Can you afford to license or leverage content from others (publishers, etc…) and do you have reliable prospective licensing partners to choose from?

7. Does licensing content from others make sense from an SEO perspective? Is the content that has been already written (which you will be featuring on your site) well optimized?

Killer Web Content

So much to think about. If you run through the aforementioned questions and find that you are ultimately looking to license content from other sources and leverage their expertise to support and supplement your proposition, please be sure to….

1. Find out where else the content that you are going to feature on your site will appear.

2. Ensure that you are dealing with reliable sources for licensing content and work with experts and proven authors in related fields.

3. Ensure that the content is well optimized for each topic if it's in fact meant to drive SEO for your website.

4. Ensure that if the content must be branded to the other party or co-branded that you are OK with their brand and exposing it to your users.

5. Ensure that the content is in line with the key messages that you are communicating to users of your website and ensure that it doesn't conflict or contradict anything that you are currently or already have put out there.

6. If you are licensing content, be sure to have a formal agreement with the company that you are licensing from to ensure that all costs, rights, usage and ownership of the content remains clear and is not up for debate should disagreement concerning such matters occur in the future.

7. Finally; ask your users/readers if they like the new content that you are featuring and track articles, etc…to ensure that they are enjoyed by those who read it (for the most part).

Ron Kunitzky

Ron Kunitzky, an expert in strategic business affiliations and partnerships is the founder of Geyser Marketing Group, and has successfully brokered partnership marketing programs for companies as varied as Coastal Contacts, Dell Computer, NASDAQ, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

Geyser Marketing Group

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5 Responses to “Licensed Content: 7 Questions, 7 Considerations”

  1. Wayne Davies says:

    I can't see how licensing content is ever going to deliver a unique site that attracts inbound links and/or followers. I suppose if I was guaranteed exclusivity on the content, maybe then.

    I'm also not completely convinced that creating a lot of content will, in and of itself, pick up links or followers organically. Anybody can copy content, thus rendering it non-unique.

    One area I have wondered about in SEO terms, is creating a unique application that picks up inbound links. I think creating something genuinely useful in this area is much harder to replicate than content, and therefore more likely to be linked to. It means more work up-front, but less over time (not constantly creating new content). I suspect it's ultimately more rewarding (at least in SEO terms).

    This is pure speculation on my part, rather than something I've actually done. I'm very interested in your thoughts about this idea. Especially if you've actually done this, and can weigh in with experience.

  2. Ron Kunitzky says:

    Great points Wayne! I have not had any direct experience with the creation of a unique app to pickup links as you described, but having said that…I think you are on to something and it's certainly worth testing.

  3. Cool Gifts says:

    All great questions to ask. I have an additional question about the SEO factor. Wouldn't you run the risk of losing potential SEO juice by using licensed content?

  4. Ron Kunitzky says:

    You certainly could be…especially, if that content is not well optimized to drive the types of users that you want to visit your site. Also, you don't have to license all of your content – perhaps you license a portion of it by partnering with an authority in the space that you are in and that authority adds credibility to your offering, as a result.

  5. Cool Gifts says:

    Great tip Ron. I can definitely she how licensing your content to a credible authority in your industry would help. I'm sure it would be more valuable than the SEO juice that might be lost.