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How to Use RSS Feeds in Your Marketing Strategy

Learn how to boost your marketing strategy by incorporating RSS feeds. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step‑by‑step.

Have you ever wondered how people find your written content?

Or how do new podcast episodes find their way to Spotify, Apple Content, and Google Podcasts if you don't upload them directly?

The way your content becomes syndicated for automatic presentation is through RSS. It's a tool every marketer needs to know.

There are a number of solid reasons for including RSS feeds in your digital marketing strategy, such as these:

  1. Improved content discovery. RSS feeds help your audience discover your content easily by delivering your new blog posts, articles, and updates directly to them. This increases your visibility and makes it easier for your audience to consume your content.
  2. Increased engagement. By delivering your content directly to your audience, you increase engagement and drive more traffic to your website. This results in more leads, conversions, and sales.
  3. Better brand visibility. Using RSS feeds to distribute your content helps you establish your brand as an authority in your niche. As your content gets shared and distributed, your brand gains more visibility. Your audience will perceive your brand as more trustworthy and credible.
  4. Saving your time. RSS feeds are an important tool for marketing automation. Using RSS workflow automation to distribute your content saves you time by automating the process of content distribution. You don't have to manually share your content on multiple channels or platforms, which can be time-consuming.

Is adding an RSS feed the answer for every marketer and every audience?

Well, no.

Sometimes, RSS doesn't make sense in terms of content optimization.

For example, if your target audience is not familiar with RSS feeds, or your audience prefers to consume content through other channels such as social media, email, or search engines, then using RSS feeds may not be the most effective way to reach them.

Similarly, if your content type is not updated frequently, for example, you focus on evergreen blog posts or whitepapers, then using RSS feeds may not work for you because there won't be a constant stream of new blogs to distribute through the feed.

However, if your target audience is tech-savvy, and it prefers to consume content through RSS feeds, or if you publish a lot of new blog posts regularly, then incorporating RSS feeds into your marketing strategy can be beneficial.

That's a lot of opinions without addressing a fundamental definition. Let's take a closer look at exactly what an RSS feed is.

What is an RSS feed and how do RSS feeds work?

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." It's a standardized format used to publish and share content.

The kinds of content you can share on RSS include blog posts, news articles, and podcast episodes. Think of an RSS link or feed as a file that contains the most recent content from your website or your blog in a structured format that anyone who sends you an opt-in email receives automatically.

When website visitors subscribe to an RSS feed, they receive notifications whenever new content is published on a website or blog. These notifications are delivered through an RSS feed reader, also known as an RSS aggregator.

It's software that collects and displays content from multiple RSS feeds in one place.

RSS feeds typically include the title, summary, and a link to the full content of your blog post or article. They can also include metadata such as author, date of publication, and categories or tags that describe the content.

RSS feeds have become a popular way for content creators to distribute their content to reach a wider audience. They allow users to stay up-to-date with their favorite websites and blogs without having to visit each site individually or subscribe to email newsletters.

An RSS feed reader isn't the only way to access RSS content. Many web browsers and email clients also have built-in support for RSS feeds. This makes it easy for website visitors to consume content from their preferred sources. RSS feeds provide a convenient and efficient way for both content creators and consumers to stay informed and connected in the digital age.

How to use RSS feeds in your marketing strategy

Most marketers find RSS feeds an easy add-on to their marketing strategy. Here's what you need to know for your basic how-to for using RSS.

Create your RSS feed

Creating your site's RSS feed is as easy as 1-2-3. Well, it's as easy as 1-2-3-4.

  1. Choose a platform: You can create an RSS feed using a website builder. Or, you can use a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. These platforms have a built-in RSS feed reader. They automatically create RSS feeds for your website or blog. If you are using Mailchimp, just choose the Add a Blog option.
  2. Configure your RSS feed settings: Once you have selected your platform, you will need to configure your RSS feed reader settings. This includes choosing the content types to include in your RSS feed, setting the number of items to display, and customizing the feed format and style.
  3. Publish your RSS feed: Now that you have configured your RSS feed settings, you can publish your RSS link on your website or blog. Most CMS platforms automatically generate a link to your RSS feed. You can include this on your website or promote it through social media posts and other channels.
  4. Test and optimize your RSS feed: It's important to test your feed to ensure that it's working correctly and delivering content as expected. You can use an RSS feed validator tool to check your feed for errors and optimize it for better performance.

That last step is very important. Let's take a closer look.

Set up your new RSS feed for effective management

Test your RSS feed! Make sure it is working with an RSS feed validator tool. Here's how to do it:

  1. Choose your RSS feed validator tool: There are several free RSS feed validator tools out there. Try out the W3C Feed Validation Service, Feed Validator by the RSS Advisory Board, or RSS Feed Validator by
  2. Enter your RSS feed URL: Once you have selected an RSS feed validator tool, enter the feed URL of your RSS feed into the validation tool. The tool will analyze your RSS feed to check for errors and issues.
  3. Review the validation results: The validation tool will display a report of any errors or issues found in your RSS feed. Review the report and fix any errors or issues that are identified. Common issues may include missing required elements, invalid XML syntax, or incorrect formatting.
  4. Optimize your RSS feed: Once you have fixed any issues with your RSS feed, you can optimize it for better performance. This may include adding additional metadata, including images or videos in your feed, or customizing the feed format and style.
  5. Repeat the validation process regularly (at least once a month): After making changes to your RSS feed, you should validate it again to ensure that it's working correctly and delivering content as expected.

By testing and optimizing your new RSS feed using a validation tool, you ensure that your content is delivered to your audience efficiently, without errors or issues that could damage your brand. This can help improve your content distribution and reach a wider audience.

Identify the best content to publish on RSS feeds

To identify the best content for your RSS feed, here's what you do.

  1. Define your audience: This step is really basic, but utterly indispensable. Identify your target audience and their interests. This helps you determine the type of content that will appeal to them and keep them engaged.
  2. Review your website or blog content: Look at the content on your website or blog to identify the pieces that are most popular or generate the most engagement. Use analytics tools to review your website or blog traffic and engagement metrics to help identify top-performing content.
  3. Consider the type of content on your site: Think about the type of content that you want to feature in your RSS feed. For example, do you want to include blog posts, news articles, podcasts, or Youtube videos? Here's a hint: You will get tremendously better engagement from YouTube videos than from other kinds of syndicated content with most (although not necessarily all) customers. If you use other kinds of content for your RSS feed, know that you are reaching a more niche market.
  4. Determine the frequency of content updates: Decide how often you want to update your RSS feed with new content. This will depend on your audience's preferences and your content production capacity.
  5. Identify content from external sources: Consider including content from external sources, such as industry news and events or other relevant blogs or websites.
  6. Create a content calendar: Use a content calendar to plan and schedule your RSS feed content. This will help ensure that you have a steady stream of content and that you are not missing important content opportunities.

Promote your RSS feeds on social media and other platforms

Here are six ideas for promoting your RSS feeds on social media and other platforms.

  1. Share your RSS feed link. Share your RSS feed link on your social media account and on your social media sites. We don't necessarily think TikTok is a great choice for most marketers (although it's terrific for reaching Gen Z), but you can certainly pursue strategies with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Don't forget a call-to-action to encourage followers to subscribe to an RSS feed.
  2. Use hashtags. Use relevant hashtags on social media to increase the visibility of your RSS feed. Hashtags can help your content reach a wider audience and attract new subscribers.
  3. Include an RSS icon on your website. Add an RSS icon to your website to make it easy for visitors to subscribe to an RSS feed. This RSS icon can also encourage visitors to share your RSS feed link on their social media profiles.
  4. Share new content. Whenever you publish new content on your website or blog, share it on your social media profiles with a link to your RSS feed. This increases engagement and attracts new subscribers.
  5. Use social media ads. Use social media advertising to promote your RSS feed to a targeted audience. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn offer targeting options that allow you to reach people based on their interests, location, and other demographic criteria.
  6. Collaborate with other bloggers or businesses! Team up with other bloggers or businesses in your industry to cross-promote your RSS feeds on social media. This helps you increase your reach and attract new subscribers.

By promoting your RSS feed on social media, you can increase its visibility and attract more subscribers. Make sure to regularly share new content and engage with your followers to build a loyal audience!

Analyze RSS feed metrics

There are several analytics that can help you determine how well your RSS feed is working.

Here are some key metrics to track:

  • Subscriber count. Track the number of subscribers to your RSS feed over time. This helps you identify trends and understand how your feed is growing.
  • Engagement metrics. Track engagement metrics, such as click-through rates and time spent on your website or blog. These metrics help you understand how well your RSS feed is driving traffic to your content.
  • Conversion rate. Track the conversion rate of your RSS feed subscribers. This can help you determine how well your RSS feed is driving leads or sales.
  • Device and location metrics. Analyze the device and location metrics of your RSS feed subscribers. This helps you understand your audience's preferences and optimize your content for their needs.
  • Popular content. Identify the most popular content in your RSS feed. This can help you understand your audience's interests and tailor your content strategy accordingly.
  • Unsubscribe rate. Monitor the unsubscribe rate of your RSS feed to identify any issues or areas for improvement.

These metrics measure the effectiveness of your RSS feed. They empower you to make data-driven decisions to improve your content strategy and drive better results.

There's just one rule for making sure you keep up with all regulations, guidelines, and standards with your RSS feed. Set up your RSS feed with Mailchimp!

We know this is a lot to keep up with. Fortunately, you have Mailchimp on your side.

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