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What Is Licensed Content and How Does It Help Your Business Grow?

TL;DR: Licensed content, sometimes called syndicated content, is content produced by a professional publisher that can be legally licensed for use on your own website.

Licensed content can be acquired through a 1-to-1 agreement with a publisher or from a content library like Matcha’s. Read on to learn more about what licensed content is, why it works, and how to use it to grow your business.

The Challenge: Making Content Marketing Scalable for Small Businesses

Large brands have been using content marketing — including blog articles, videos, and social media content — to grow their businesses for years. When coupled with an intelligent distribution strategy, great content is the most efficient way to acquire quality traffic, convert readers into subscribers, and nurture shoppers for the long-term. It’s why 86% of B2C companies report using content in their marketing strategy, and why brands that publish regularly get 4x more leads on average than those that don’t.

Coca-Cola blog screenshot
Established brands like Coke have been using content marketing for a long time.

But until recently, small ecommerce businesses weren’t invited to the party. Consistently creating content can be overwhelming for lean teams because even a simple blog post can take hours to produce.

If you don’t have the budget for a professional writer, much less a team of content specialists, you’ll need to be a researcher, writer, editor, photographer, social media manager, and data analyst.

The next inclination is to outsource content production. But managing a team of freelancers comes with its own time-consuming task list and is too expensive to scale for most small companies.

Plus, investing in original content comes with a certain amount of risk when you’re not certain if the topics are what your audience wants. It’s easy to see why so many e-commerce marketers feel let down by content marketing.

Licensed content has helped change all that. 

To win attention and adoration, licensed content is your secret weapon, allowing even the leanest marketing team to punch well above their weight. With licensed content, even the smallest of ecommerce and direct-to-consumer businesses can publish professional content that gets people to click their ads, convert to leads, and keep coming back for more.

Let’s take a closer look at how licensed content from the Matcha platform can help your brand punch well above its weight in the battle for ecommerce sales.

The Solution: Matcha’s Content Library with 10k Licensed Articles

Matcha's content library product screenshot

The Matcha platform includes a library of content that businesses can license and republish on their own websites. And with over 10,000 articles available, there’s something for virtually every audience.

Content types include:

  • In-depth articles
  • Listicles
  • Guides
  • Recipes
  • Photo essays

High-quality articles covering topics like food, travel, wellness, outdoor adventure, parenting, beauty, and more can be published in seconds. It’s like having a team of subject matter experts who are also professional writers to create content for you on demand.

In short, licensed content allows you to provide experiences your audience will fall in love with.  It’s not just about brand awareness and community building (although those are important, too). Licensed content brings real outcomes like traffic, leads, and sales within reach of growing brands like yours.

The Benefits: Why Licensed Content Is So Powerful

Licensed content is a powerful and versatile marketing tool that helps small brands compete, even against large competitors with deep pockets.

Licensed content is a lean marketing team’s secret weapon for five reasons.

  1. Speed: Licensed content is turnkey, meaning it’s polished and ready for publication. You can schedule an entire week’s or month’s worth of licensed content in under 20 minutes. Meanwhile, a custom blog post of the same quality would take hours to write.
  2. Low cost: A licensed article typically costs about 75% less than a similar custom piece commissioned from a third party.
  3. High quality: Content licensed from a reputable source has been researched and edited by a team of professional content specialists. They have experience in testing and creating content that engages specific niches.
  4. Experiential: Licensed content is typically experiential, designed by a publisher to build and engage an audience rather than sell a product. By nature, a licensed article will speak to the lifestyle your brand is built around.
  5. Breadth: It’s difficult to be an expert in every topic your target audience is interested in. Licensed content allows you to draw from a broad library of topics, locations, and types of content, from recipes to how-to guides. With this breadth, it’s now possible to personalize, localize, and segment your marketing campaigns.

The Outcomes: What Licensed Content Can Do for Your Business

Create a high-performance blog instantly and effortlessly

A licensed article from Matcha takes seconds to publish and costs 75% less than custom content. It’s the fastest, most cost-effective way to build an ecommerce blog that drives results.

Quickly increase site traffic and grow your email list

People are more likely to take an action — like clicking an ad or giving their email address — when you offer something of value in return. That’s why Facebook ads promoting content outperform their product-only counterparts — by a lot!

In fact, traffic to licensed content costs almost 90% less than traffic to product pages.

Having an on-demand source of relevant content means you can start promoting your content and driving results immediately.

Gather more data, make smarter investments

Every time someone interacts with a piece of content — reads, likes, comments, shares, converts — you learn something. That data guides future content investments, audience targeting, and even product development. 

Traditionally, big brands have won because they have the budget to gather these insights at scale. Spending thousands on custom content and anaytics is cost-prohibitive for small businesses, but for entrenched brands, it’s just a drop in bucket.

Licensed content levels the insights-at-scale playing field.

Matcha customers can afford to published licensed articles on multiple topics, then test them against varied audiences. This lets them gather useful data fast. Then, they use it to make smarter investments across their whole business.

Increase engagement and retention

You’ve got their attention, and maybe even their business. Now what?

If your customer newsletter delivers only product-focused content, you will fatigue your audience very quickly. Consumers are more likely to open emails and share your brand message if they include topics your customers want to read about. Licensed content is perfect for this task.

Real-World Example: Yakima

Yakima, a supplier of car racks, needed to engage a variety of audiences related to different product use cases — cyclists, paddlers, and road-trippers to name a few. But with a lean marketing team typical of a growing lifestyle brand, Yakima didn’t have the internal bandwidth to create all the content they needed.

Knowing they needed to go beyond features and specs to get consumers excited, they turned to Matcha for help. Leveraging the rich library of licensed content and content analytics on their Matcha dashboard, they were able to radically decrease the cost of filling the top of their funnel.

Yakima published articles such as “5 Incredible National Parks for Cycling” to their blog, then distributed them through targeted content ads.

The results were incredible. By intelligently distributing personalized content to each of their consumer segments, Yakima achieved an astounding $0.07 cost per click (CPC).

Regularly producing content like this was nearly impossible for the hard-working Yakima team. But with the help of licensed content, they efficiently captured new, high-quality email subscribers who could then be retargeted, emailed, and sold to more directly.

To learn more about how Yakima grew their business with Matcha, read the entire case study.


Content marketing has been an important growth tool for a long time. But until recently, it’s been out of reach for most small ecommerce and direct-to-consumer brands.

Licensed content is the great equalizer, giving small businesses the power to drive traffic, generate leads, and influence revenue through performance blogging.

Want to see more examples of how growing brands like yours use licensed content to grow their businesses?

Feature image provided by Arnel Hasanovic

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