With consumers active on so many platforms today, businesses and marketers need to decide where, when, and how to successfully reach them with messaging regarding their products and services. During this decision process and creating the right digital marketing strategy for the business, they can opt to organically reach audiences online or put their hands in their pockets and drive paid traffic, or a combination of the two approaches. 

Understanding both approaches help businesses know when they should use one over the other, and how to make the most of both in a successful campaign. That’s why in this article we’ll be looking at what organic and paid marketing are and when to use each one for the most success.

What is organic marketing? 

Organic marketing is a method of generating traffic to your business over time naturally, without paying any money for it. This strategy typically involves blog posts, website content, social media posts, video content, etc. Marketing organically utilises SEO (search engine optimisation), social media, and a range of other channels to boost brand awareness. 

 The main aim of an organic marketing campaign is to improve brand awareness and create a connection with your audience long-term, using educational or entertaining content. By attracting visitors to your site, you will hopefully be able to convert them into paid customers further down the line. Keeping your business at the top of their mind is the goal for when they’re ready to make buying decisions. 

In order to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you will want to see which type of content is drawing in the most organic traffic to your website, the leads generated from those campaigns, and which channels attract the highest amount of traffic and the most conversion rates. 

The main benefit of the organic approach is businesses can easily share information with their audience and increase brand awareness at no cost. Also, it typically feels more genuine to consumers, rather than being an obvious sales pitch and it can spread positive word of mouth about your brand. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to produce high-performing content and earn consumer trust, meaning it takes a while to see results. 

What is paid marketing? 

Paid marketing is the practice of driving traffic to your business using advertising that you have paid for. It often involves buying clicks from platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, sponsored posts, and banner ads. 

When businesses take the paid marketing approach, they’re in essence paying for their results. The focus is purely on getting a good return on investment in a quicker turnaround time than organic marketing. This includes converting traffic to customers and achieving sales goals within a specific time frame. You can easily track conversion and engagement rates for each advertisement you pay for and the optimised landing page the ad links to, so you can measure the success of the campaign. 

Paid marketing helps businesses to reach audiences more directly than organic marketing, which is one of its key advantages. Instead of waiting for potential customers to come across a blog post, ads can be strategically placed exactly where the audience is already searching with compelling ad copy to make them click. However, sometimes consumers can quickly ignore paid adverts if they feel like the content is being forced on them. 

Organic vs paid marketing 

Despite taking different approaches to get there, organic and paid are similar in the sense that their goals are the same, increasing website traffic and converting that traffic into customers. With this in mind, we can’t say categorically that either approach is better than the other and often the best marketing strategies incorporate both organic and paid. This is because they’re most effective when used together. 

For example, if you’re using content marketing as part of your customer acquisition strategy, you can distribute that content, both text and video, via organic channels such as email marketing and then promote it further using paid marketing. Normally this is done by running ads on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. 

Ultimately, the strategy you use will depend on what will be most effective for your business, operating in the industry you’re in, who your target audience is, etc. It might be beneficial to rely more heavily on organic with a little bit of paid marketing to boost results when needed or focus most of your time and energy on paid, or split things evenly between the two. 

So which one?

Both organic and paid marketing are incredibly important in an effective marketing strategy. If you’re looking for professional and efficient digital marketing services, contact our team at Deliver today.  

As an experienced digital marketing agency in the Wirral, we understand the marketing landscape very well and can help businesses in a wide range of industries make their website their top salesperson. Want to know how your marketing efforts are currently performing? Request a free audit from us here. 

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