Organic vs. Paid Ads: Which One is Better for Your Business?

You have a business and, naturally, it needs to grow and sales need to be on the up. But you are not sure which type of advertising to choose. Should you spend your marketing budget on paid ads or focus more on organic advertising?

Understanding the differences and advantages of these two types of ads will help you to maximize their effectiveness. To help you obtain the best results from your marketing efforts, we will define the two types of ads, explain how they work, and outline their pros and cons.

What Are Paid Ads?

Traditionally, paid ads are done on billboards, in print, radio, or television. Today, paid ads are placed online on social media, search engines, and websites that sell (virtual) ad space.

Paying for ads allows you to increase the visibility of your business and build brand awareness quickly. You don’t wait for people to find you while searching for a solution to their problem. You aim to get people to take a desired action like joining your mailing list, attending a webinar or trade event, or simply making a purchase.

How Do Paid Ads Work?

Paid ads work best when you have to generate a large number of leads in a short amount of time. You can then nurture these leads until you get them to make a purchase.

Typically paid ads work like this:

* You have some quarterly marketing goals which you must achieve.

* You draft and set up 5 to 10 ads for the next three months.

* You choose the appropriate channels and pay for your ads.

* At the end of this period, you review the results to figure out which ads brought in the best results.

* You then use the best-performing ones, pay for more ad space, and achieve your marketing objectives.

Each paid advert will usually point to a landing page that will ask for a subscription, a free consultation, or a sale.

Pros and Cons of Using Paid Ads

Paid ads offer the following advantages:

* Instant traffic: You can get leads within a few hours after placement.

* High click-through rate: Carefully designed and optimized ads may not be recognized as ads and can generate a high CTR.

* Quick sales: You target ready buyers and attract sales without much follow-up.

* Focused advertising: It’s easy to target a particular demographic if you so choose.

* Better customer guidance: You can move your customers quickly through your funnel.

Some of the disadvantages of using paid adverts include:

* A higher cost: Without a large marketing budget, you may not get enough leads

* Customers may ignore ads: A number of consumers prefer to learn about products by viewing content and testimonials than through hard-selling tactics

* Tracking is a must: Without tracking, it is difficult to know which ads are performing and why they are doing better than others.

What Are Organic Ads?

Organic ads may not look like ads at all. They often come naturally as users pass information around about your business. Marketing your products and services with organic ads is a cheaper alternative than the paid variety. In many cases, you only pay the price for producing and distributing your content.

How Organic Ads Work

Organic ads are usually distributed through content marketing channels. This type of marketing involves creating and distributing valuable content to your target audience to build authority, serve a community, and solve your consumers’ problems.

The most common outlets for organic marketing are search engines, social media platforms, forums, and your website or blog. Organic marketing also requires outreach to influencers who can refer a number of potential clients and customers to you.

You don’t have to limit yourself to Facebook, Instagram, or Quora posts; you should invest in other media. You can produce relevant videos to share on YouTube and even make audio recordings for podcasts.

To maximize the benefits of organic marketing, you need to avoid hard selling in your content. Instead, present your product or service as a solution to your users’ quandary.

Develop smart lead capturing tools such as pop-up and subscription forms and free tools or giveaways that encourage users to subscribe to your mailing list. For better conversions, produce content that caters to the prospects at different stages in the buyers’ journey.

Pros and Cons of Organic Ads

Some of the benefits of organic marketing include:

* Low cost: Organic ads cost far less than paid ads. You can put up a high-quality article today on your blog or social media account, and it will continue to bring in traffic for years to come.

* Thought leadership: When you provide answers to people’s questions through valuable content, readers see you as an “expert”, and they start following you and paying greater attention to your output.

* Build brand awareness and recognition: People will trust you and do business with you when they keep seeing your content and brand in multiple places.

While the benefits of organic ads are desirable for your business, you need to be aware of their drawbacks which include:

* Slow pace: It takes a long time for the effort you put into organic marketing to yield the desired results.

* Tracking is difficult: Monitoring the conversion rate for organic content is more complex than for paid ads.

* Consumes more time: While it delivers better long-term results, organic ads and content take longer to produce and distribute.

To get good short and long-term results from your marketing, you should ideally use both paid and organic ads. Start with paid ads and gradually build up a large amount of high-quality content that you can distribute to achieve long-term returns through more organic, and in turn more economical, means.


Dee is a well-respected business journalist with a deep understanding of global financial markets and a talent for uncovering the stories behind the numbers. With over 20 years of experience covering the business beat, Dee is known for his in-depth reporting and analysis of industry trends, as well as his ability to make complex financial concepts understandable to a wide audience.