There is a huge debate about which is better, content strategy or link building. The truth is that they both have their benefits, but one of the two seems to emerge as the leader in most instances. Here’s what you should expect about link building:
1. Link Building is More Tedious and Time Consuming than Content Marketing
Link building is a time consuming process that requires building massive Excel spreadsheets and keeping track of which links are actually generating traffic and which ones are hurting the website’s ranking position. Link building is a long and tedious process that requires patience.
Writing content, on the other hand, requires a few hours and ingenuity, but that’s it. After it’s finished, it may need polishing, but it doesn’t require massive amounts of time looking at daunting spreadsheets that may require a detail-oriented person to navigate it.
2. Content Marketing Costs Less than Link Building
Content marketing costs less to produce than link building. Hiring a content marketer is more cost effective than a link builder because the work is less intense in most instances. Content marketing is effective for less money than most people think. Hiring a content marketing professional through a crowd sourcing firm will cost less than people think.
3. The Value of Content Marketing is More Measurable Than Link Building
The value of content versus the value of link building is surprising. In part, because the value of a link is difficult to quantify. It’s much easier to measure how many links content has created or how much traffic has visited the site based upon the last post than it is to measure the value of link building. It’s always easier to measure social votes and referral visits than to try and measure how much traffic was gained from adding a single link.
It’s easier to determine how much revenue content generates if the purchase is made directly after reading the content. Most content generators can quantify that content will generate a certain amount of dollars over a period of time, but link building focuses on increasing rankings. From increased rankings, you can get more traffic, but this does not always equate.
4. Content Marketing is Scalable
Content marketing is scalable, but link building is less scalable. When you are scaling a content marketing team, it’s easier than trying to scale a link building team because the skills are more specialized. Copywriters are cheaper than link builders. So, the task is more achievable. Community managers, infographics designers, and video producers are also good choices for companies who want to hire a team that’s scalable and that can assume other positions on the team.
5. Content is a Conversation Starter
Content can build communities through conversation. People who engage in conversations online are more likely to buy products and services when they converse with other people who have benefited from the product or service. This increases sales conversions and also increases interest the products or services long term. Post content and ask copious questions from the audience and one social media forums to generate interest and feedback. A link is not capable of accomplishing this task.
6. Content Marketing Builds Loyal Customers
Content marketing builds loyal customers, which saves companies money. When companies save money, they can reinvest in other mission critical items in the organization. Marketing to loyal customers is much more cost effective than marketing to new customers. Loyal customers can act as advocates for your products and services. This is not possible with a simple link.
7. Content Marketing is More Immune to Algorithm Updates
As algorithm updates are issued, it most often will affect link building. Links may have to be removed or redirected based upon the new updates. This is undesirable by most webmasters.
Since content marketing is more immune to algorithm updates, it is the optimal choice. At most the keywords may have to optimized, or the content may have to be freshened, but generally, it doesn’t require major work. In most instances, the content will serve the public for a considerable period of time.
8. Content Marketing is Predicted to Be the Wave of the the Future
Content marketing is predicted to be the next best thing that will change the way people present information on the internet. Content marketing is a huge part of any companies social strategy. Every company should have content for social media forums such as Twitter, and Facebook.
Content marketing helps companies reach out to the people who purchase their products or read their blogs daily. Companies learn about the people that read their blogs by writing content. They will learn nothing by adding links to their website. When people trust the bloggers as authoritative sources, they are more likely to buy whatever they recommend.
9. Establish Your Company as an Authority in the Industry with Content Marketing
Every blog starts off in the industry trying to prove that they can offer content that is trusted. If bloggers establish themselves as authority figures, they can build a larger clientele and sell more products and services.
This task is not always easy. It requires original content with viable sources. This will help bloggers develop a loyal following. When your company is established as an authority, people will look to your blog first for advice. This will present the opportunity to advertise and recommend products that you know to be useful. A link cannot accomplish this goal. Content marketing is the only answer.
10. Content Marketing Has More Longevity than Link Building
Content marketing has more longevity than link building and can be useful to people for longer periods of time. Links often lose their effectiveness over a period of time if the material is not fresh. Content can stick around on a website longer as long as it is relevant and new content is being added around it. Blog posts written numerous years ago are still generating page views and sales. It just depends on the interest of the public. This is not always true of links. They have to be refreshed more often.
Timothy Carter is the CRO for AudienceBloom. Since 1997 he's been helping businesses maximize their sales revenue from websites via content marketing, SEO and Internet Marketing strategies. Over the years he's written for publications like Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.