Business-to-business marketing is all about branding and authority building. It works in many ways, either through (1) building relationships, (2) building a strong portfolio and knowledgebase, and (c) building a visible and searchable online presence.

Understandably, Content Marketing is one of the most effective ways to accomplish the tasks of a B2B marketer. The first item in the B2B marketing to do list has always been to produce quality content that answer questions, solve problems, and address needs of potential customers. As such, link building is often something that gets turned over to the SEO “department” by default.

What many B2B marketers fail to understand is how important link building is and how easy it can be integrated to their usual day-to-day tasks.

This is just how important link building is to B2B marketing:

It’s one of the most important Google ranking factors.

It’s not a secret how link building is an integral part of SEO. You can’t easily get to the top of Google’s search pages. Just like Content Marketing, link building is a long-term process that requires strategy, consistency and commitment. If you want to be visible in search engines, you want those links pointing to your website.

It brings you targeted referral traffic.

When you intentionally acquire links from authority sites within your industry, it ushers influencers, peers and potential customers back to your site.

It builds your authority as an industry leader.

Digital Marketers and SEO professionals now how tough it is to earn links in this age and time. A link is like a vote. It’s not something that’s easily given away; you have to look for it, work hard for it, and earn it. That said, when someone finally grants you that precious back link, it’s like endorsing you as an authority figure in your specific topic or niche. Something that is very important to B2B marketers.

Now that we have established that link building is important in expanding your brand’s reach online, it should also be said that link building is one of the slowest, most challenging and time-consuming parts of the marketing process.

Links don’t come around easy, especially if you’re a low profile brand or you have a relatively new website. Links can be bought and paid for, but only with extreme caution. Just the same, links are much more valuable if it’s well-deserved and earned.

And so B2B Marketers should start owning up to the task and stop treating link building as a separate, SEO-specific task. Because the truth is, you get the best results when you integrate link building to your regular B2B marketing to do list.

How can B2B marketers easily integrate link building to their daily tasks? Here are some suggestions:

1. Create a content strategy that carefully takes influencer outreach into consideration.

Be intentional in including influencer outreach in your content creation process—from setting goals, to generating content ideas, to the actual creation of content.

In Spiralytics, we like starting with a content marketing strategy that’s integrated with a full SEO and outreach strategy. This means prospecting influencers before we even write content, and writing content with intentions of pitching the said content to prospective influencers. When you have content that you intentionally created to resonate with specific influencers, pitching your content for the chance of gaining links from them becomes a natural approach.

While “links” are tangible metrics, link building is also part of a bigger, more intangible scope of relationship and authority building. As I mentioned, gaining links in this age is not anymore as simple as asking someone to link back to your site, commenting on blog posts, or submitting your URL to dozens web directories. Links these days have to be earned by offering something valuable that is worth linking to.

3. Be generous in linking to other sources and influencers.

While exchanging links might pose some threats to SEO (only because link exchanges are usually labeled as schemy tactics), there are ways to make link building look natural and beneficial to all parties. For one, being generous in linking to other sources gets you within your prospect’s radar and increases your chances of getting linked back to.

In conclusion, all link building campaigns must start with something that is worth linking. It’s best to get yourself out there where your target market is, and create valuable material that will position you as an expert, associate you with leaders in your niche, therefore expanding your reach and making your brand more visible to search engines. In totality, this holistic approach solidifies your B2B marketing and increases your potentials of growing your client base.