Sponsored Content vs. Press Releases vs. Guest Posts

Sponsored content example

Sponsored Posts, Press Releases, and Guest Posts are three different types of content that feature your company or products on other sites. That makes them invaluable for increasing your brand awareness. By using them, you create contacts with other related companies in your field. Or, you can generate many backlinks to increase your Domain Authority.

However, these three content types are not the same. Each one has pros and cons that separate it from the rest—knowing when to use which post will help you get an edge over competitors. And, you’ll see long-term benefits as your Google ranking increases.

In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of each content type. That way, you can make a dynamic marketing strategy for the best results. Keep reading to bolster your SEO.

What are Sponsored Posts?

Sponsored post

In a nutshell, sponsored posts are when you pay a publisher to write an article about your product or service. The publisher will use a personal or promotional tone, essentially giving you their seal of approval. This provides a huge boost to your credibility. The more other publishers are singing praises about you, the more trustworthy you’ll come across in the readers’ eyes.

The ideal sponsored post should be educational, well-researched, and encourage strong emotions in the reader. This way, the post will inspire them to take action by visiting your site or purchasing your products. If the post can’t encourage emotion, it should at least pique the audience’s interest so they can be drawn to more of your content and converted down the line.

Sponsored Content Benefits

Sponsored content provides three key benefits for your business.

  • Control – When you contract sponsored content, you get to decide the general basis of the article. This will let you shape the narrative around your company and how it will be received.

  • Direct Endorsement – With another company writing about you, you get a direct endorsement from them that you are legitimate. This is one of the best ways to increase your reputation in your industry.

  • Low Maintenance – You provide the general details, but the copy is written entirely by the other company. You can focus your attention elsewhere.

Overall,  this is a good strategy to use if you want to increase your visibility while taking a more hands-off approach.

Sponsored Content Drawbacks

Sponsored content is an incredible tool for your business, but there are some cons when you use it.

  • Limited Reach – readers most often discover sponsored posts when actively searching for specific keywords and terms related to your niche. There’s a lower chance a visitor will find the post by accident.

  • Targeted Audience – since sponsored posts target specific keywords, they can alienate other readers who do stumble upon them. You sacrifice casting a wide net to have the most appeal for your target audience.

Ultimately, knowing what users to target before a sponsored content campaign is a must to ensure you can convert people reading them.

What are Press Releases?

Press release illustration

Now that we’ve covered sponsored content, let’s discuss the details of press releases. Press releases help you tailor the best news and announcements to generate publicity. In other words, they let you publicize any notable achievements or ambitions of your company.

Sending out press releases is a dependable and easily accessible method of spreading news and gaining backlinks in a relatively short period. If you want more people to be aware of what’s going on in your business or industry, press releases are the best way to go.

Press Release Pros

Press releases offer some major advantages for your content strategy, including:

  • Distribution to Media Outlets – a press release will get your news to multiple outlets. If it’s noteworthy enough, other publications will run the story, giving you exponential benefits.

  • Easily Digestible Information – press releases break down your story into the most important points. It will give readers a quick, precise rundown of the information you want to give them.

  • Natural Links from Outside Sources – other publications may link to you, causing a huge increase in backlinks to your site.

In short, press releases are a powerful jumping-off point for connections with many other publications.

Press Release Cons

While press releases are great for spreading information about your business, it falters in a few areas.

  • It won’t directly help your Google ranking – Press releases don’t provide value for your Google indexing, meaning the release won’t directly help your SEO.

  • People will only skim the content – readers often skim or skip over the content in press releases. They’ll absorb the headline, but little of the other content within.

  • Lots of competition – a huge amount of PRs are published at once. It will be easy for yours to get lost in a large sea of them.

So, while press releases get you a lot of exposure, oversaturation is a real issue.

What are Guest Posts?

Guest Post illustration

Guest posts are similar to sponsored content in that you create a deal with another company for an article to be posted on their site. Where they differ, however, is that you write the guest post, rather than the partner brand. That gives you full control over the content that gets published.

More importantly, it requires the least amount of work from another brand. If you have your post ready to go, you can send it ready to be published. Other companies may have guidelines for content that can be submitted, but it takes the burden off of them. So, they will be more inclined to agree to the offer.

Guest Post Benefits

Guest Posting offers a number of benefits for your business:

  • Backlinks – guest posting is not only a good way to secure backlinks, but it also lets you control the exact backlinks and anchor text on the page. That will give you much better results than leaving it to the other company.

  • Networking – many publications appreciate having ready-to-publish sent to them. They’ll be much more receptive to working with you in the future, You may even garner a positive reputation within the industry.

  • Increased Visibility – partner companies will let you link the author of your guest post. This could give that writer a boost and further your ability to submit guest posts to other companies down the line.

Guest Post Drawbacks

While guest posts can be a useful tool for your business, there are still cons to them.

  • Oversaturation – if you make a guest post for a company that runs a large number of guest posts, your article may get lost among them.

  • ConnectionSearch engines aren’t a fan of unrelated sites linking to each other. For the guest post to matter, it will need to have the proper relevancy for where it’s being posted.

  • Easily Abused – since guest posts require no effort from the publisher, some companies have gamed the system by submitting as many guest posts as possible. As a result, you need to make sure your content is high-quality and relevant to matter.

All in all, guest blog posts are a valuable tool that need proper thought to be executed to full effectiveness.

When to Use Which?

Time management illustration

We’ve covered the details of the different outside content types you can create. But how do you know when to use each one? There are some general guidelines you can follow to be sure.

A sponsored post is best used when you want your content to create traffic to your website from specific targeted keywords.

Press releases are optimal for getting news about your company to the public as quickly as possible.

Guest posts are most valuable for making connections with other publishers within the industry.

Ideally, you will want to use each of these editorial content types at some point. That way, you will have a well-rounded marketing presence and get the best results.

Reach out to LeadAdvisors to begin your content marketing strategy today. Or, explore our resources on link building, social media, and branded content and stay up to date on all things marketing.


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