Organic vs Paid Marketing: When, Where and How to Use Both

Being a small business owner in today’s world means staying up on current trends. Not only do you have to stay up on the trends relevant to your business and your targeted audience, but you also have to keep up with the changing market.

Right now, more than ever, digital marketing is the most important thing you can be doing for your business. However, this begs the question: should you be putting all of your efforts into organic or paid marketing?

We’re here to break it down for you. We’ll explain the difference between organic vs paid marketing, when to use them, and why you need both.

Keep reading for more information.

Organic Vs Paid Marketing

First, it’s key that you understand the difference between organic vs paid marketing. 

Organic marketing is any exposure you get toward audiences and potential clients based on good old-fashioned (but free) hard work. Organic marketing can be incredibly effective, especially if you have a knack for running a website and using social media. However, it can also be a very steep learning curve.

Paid marketing, on the other hand, is any exposure you get by paying entities to advertise for you or help boost your current marketing ploys. This often takes hard work as well, but you are paying someone to carry a large portion of the load. Paid marketing often provides the benefit of nearly guaranteed results.

The main thing to consider is your ROI or return on interest. Basically, how much you’re paying for advertising with respect to how much business it’s bringing in.

Keep in mind, however, that regardless of any marketing tactic you pursue, good marketing is consistent marketing. If you don’t give any strategy time to work, nothing will turn a profit for you. Be patient with each time of marketing approach you take, give it a few months before making casting a final judgment on its efficacy.

Now, let’s take a look at some examples.

Organic Social Media Marketing

If you don’t have at least one social media account for your business, you’re really missing out on a huge source of free marketing. 

Admittedly, building up a thriving social media account will take some work. It’s easiest to start with Facebook. If you have a personal account already, it will be easier as you already know the basics. Additionally, your business account can be integrated into your personal account.

Once you have your business account, the more followers you can gain, the better. Not only can you advertise for free to your followers, but you can request that they share your posts to their friends, further extending your reach. Eventually, you’ll be in a prime position to start running contests, running marketing campaigns, etc.

Paid Social Media Advertising

There’s a big difference between organ vs paid social media marketing. With paid social media advertising, you have a lot of options and major benefits.

First, you can use target marketing to pursue customers based on age, gender, location, and even interests. Additionally, you get to choose how long to run advertisements for and how much you want to spend per day.

Finally, paid social media advertising allows you to look at the analytics of your ads. You can see how well each individual ad performs based on likes, shares, link clicks, and other user engagements. This is a handy tool to streamline your marketing.

Organic SEO Marketing 

Search engine optimization refers to the algorithms search engine sites such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo use to find relevant information based on keyword searches. 

Your SEO ranking is paramount to being found by potential customers searching for products and services online like yours. Thus, the better your SEO, the better your organic marketing.

You can improve your SEO ranking by posting relevant content via articles, pictures, videos, etc. Make sure you are using keywords that customers would search for throughout your articles, without “stuffing.” 

You also need to include internal links to other parts of your website as well as external links to other websites. These links make your site look more credible to SEO algorithms, improving your ranking.

Paid SEO Marketing

When choosing organic vs paid SEO marketing, you need to figure out how tech-savvy you are, how much effort you want to put into your website, and how much help you might need.

PPC, or pay per click marketing, can give you a competitive edge against other businesses in your field and in your local area. You can pay for your website to come up within the top results when people search for products and services you offer. This is important since the top search results always receive the most traffic.

In this method, you agree to pay the search engine a small amount every time someone clicks onto your link. There’s a lot more to learn about PPC, and it would benefit you to do so.

Organic Email Subscribers

Using your social media accounts and landing pages on your website is a great way to get email subscribers. However, you have to give people a reason to subscribe to your email list. To do this, you can offer exclusive deals, free instructional videos, or access to an eBook.

Once someone subscribes to your email list, you can launch a series of emails starting with a light and easy introduction, followed by more free stuff and leading into sales pitches. You have to be careful not to come off too strong or you’ll lose your subscribers right away.

However, in the long term, email marketing can be hugely successful.

Paid Email Programs

Organic vs paid email marketing is vastly different. For example, while organic email marketing largely falls on you gaining subscribers, paid email marketing takes a different route.

With paid email programs, sponsors send out emails on your behalf to targeted audiences or potential clients. This helps extend your reach and find new audiences you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

Paid email marketing services, on the other hand, provide a wide variety of options concerning the quality and design of emails. It also allows you to schedule more emails ahead of time and gives you vital feedback on how your emails perform. 

The More You Know

In the world of organic vs paid marketing, the more you know, the better. Digital marketing provides a steep learning curve, but every business owner would be wise to get in the game.

Additionally, as you begin to learn the basics, everything becomes a bit clearer. If you want to educate yourself a little more, take a moment to look through the rest of our articles to better yourself and your business.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.