Organic Marketing Vs Paid Marketing: Which is Best?

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We often get asked by our clients about if they should focus on organic or paid marketing, so in this article I will explain what the difference is between them and what benefits they each provide.

What is Organic Marketing?

Organic marketing includes any activity to drive traffic to your website which doesn’t require any direct payment to advertising platforms like Google or Facebook. Examples of organic marketing methods include:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Blog articles
  • Social media posts
  • Email newsletters
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • Research papers

What are the benefits of Organic Marketing?

The main advantage of using organic marketing tactics is that they are all free, so if you only have a small marketing budget this can be a good way of generating clicks for your website. Producing this kind of content also helps to give credibility and authenticity to your brand because it tends to be educational and helpful for your audience. You are essentially giving value to your potential customers for free which means they should feel more inclined to purchase your products and services.

What are the downsides of Organic Marketing?

Although organic marketing is free in financial terms, there can be a significant cost involved with regards to your time and effort. How long does it take to write a blog article, for example, and how much do you value your time? It’s important that you take this into consideration when you are planning what organic marketing tactics to use and how often you produce them.

Also, if you are just starting out and only have a small following on social media then the amount of people who will get to see your organic content could be small.

What is Paid Marketing?

As the name suggests, paid marketing is any type of activity to promote your brand, products and/or services which you pay for directly.Here are some examples of paid marketing tactics:

  • Google Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns.
  • Google remarketing campaigns.
  • Social media adverts with platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Sponsored posts on social media.

What are the Benefits of Paid Marketing?

For only a small amount of money you can get your content out to a very large audience and you can be very specific about what type of people it gets shown to by targeting certain demographics like age, gender, income level and hobbies.This means that you can get impressive results very quickly even if your organic following is small.

It is also very quick and easy to run advertising campaigns so it won’t take up much of your valuable time.

What are the Downsides to Paid Marketing?

The most obvious downside to this type of marketing is that you have to pay for it, but it can also come across as disingenuous or “salesy” and as a result your potential customers might just glaze past it.

What type of marketing is best for you?

It’s impossible to say that one type of marketing is better than the other because, as you’ll have seen above, they both have pros and cons. Creating a strategy which involves a mixture of organic and paid marketing is probably going to be the best approach for most organisations and you’ll need to decide how to split this based on your own circumstances.

For example if you are time-rich but with a tight budget, then you’ll probably favour more of an organic strategy. But don’t rule out paid ads completely, because even spending as little at £20 can give a good return. Alternatively, if you are time-poor with but deep pockets then you might focus more on paid adverts but don’t dismiss organic content because it’s very powerful to engage authentically with your audience.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to marketing and will depend on many factors about your business, your budget and the market in which you operate.

Summary

There are two main types of marketing activities which are used by organisations. Organic tactics are usually free but can take a lot of time to produce and this includes SEO, blog articles and social media posts. Paid marketing includes advertising on Google and social media platforms which can get you very quick results and allow you to target specific demographics, but these adverts can come across as lacking authenticity.

We would recommend using a combination of organic and paid methods but the exact ratio that you choose will be dependent on a number of different variables about your business. If you would like help coming up with a marketing strategy for your business then please get in touch. We offer a wide range of marketing services including organic and paid activities and have been supporting businesses all over the UK and Europe for over 15 years.

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