Organic vs Paid Marketing: Where to Invest

Written by Nick Leffler | Comments Off on Organic vs Paid Marketing: Where to Invest | 5 min read

There are few well-defined black or white answers in life. There are many grey areas that aren’t easy to define. Then there are those instances where there are several variables. Organic vs paid marketing is one of those things in life that relies on variables.

Depending on the stage your business is in, you’ll probably approach marketing differently. Your marketing also might not use a single well defined method or organic or paid marketing. Any way your business goes about marketing, it’s best to start with understanding the difference.

The Difference

Your choice of organic or paid marketing will change how you approach marketing. Some groups swear by organic marketing while others paid.

Organic vs paid marketing rely on different approaches and depending on your resources are either easier or more difficult. We’ll start with what organic marketing is to find the difference.

Organic Marketing

Organic marketing is easiest to define as having less direct costs than paid marketing. When you are focusing on organic marketing, you’ll probably be focusing on social media, word of mouth, content marketing, and search engine optimization to name a few.

Organic marketing is low in cost of money but high in cost of time. Share on X

Your costs for organic marketing will mostly be incurred in paying staff (or your time) and for tools. It takes time to build organic relationships, trust, and reach the right people. Though it takes time, the benefit of organic marketing will show in the deep and lasting relationships you’ll build with clients.

Organic marketing stands in direct contrast to paid marketing. which I’ll cover next.

Paid Marketing

Paid marketing is a great way to quickly build brand recognition but it has a high upfront cost. You’ll need some of the same content to achieve paid marketing success that will benefit you organically also.

There are many ways you can go about paid marketing in the digital word from advertising on social media to paying for ads on search engines. Paid marketing is more costly than organic marketing, but it can also be done on a larger scale and is quicker than organic marketing.

Paid marketing is high in cost of money but lower in cost of time. Share on X

When deciding whether you’re better off doing organic vs paid marketing, you’ll have to measure the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Deciding a Focus: Organic vs Paid Marketing

You’ll need to strike a balance between organic and paid marketing when deciding which one will be your primary focus. Balancing the two is essential to your marketing strategy online.

The two factors you need to decide is whether you have more time or more money to use on online marketing activities.

Organic Marketing

If you have a lot of time but not money, perhaps when you’re just getting started, focus on organic marketing. Organic marketing has a smaller financial burden if you have the time to do most of it yourself.

There is a learning curve and it will take time to learn and execute, but the benefits for a new business is amazing. One benefit with starting first with organic marketing is that you need valuable content on your business web site. With no valuable content for visitors, nobody is going to visit or stick around.

If your plan is to eventually venture into paid marketing, organic marketing will help you achieve better paid marketing results down the road because you’ll have valuable content to help drive visitors to convert to customers.

Paid marketing can supplement your marketing until organic marketing picks up. Share on X

Organic marketing is an awesome start to your business, but it does take time to ramp up and start achieving results. It can take as long as 3 or more months to see results. Paid marketing on the other hand is easy to increase relatively quickly.

Paid Marketing

When you’re starting a new business, money is helpful. If you’re cash rich but time poor, paid marketing is the best strategy to get your business going. You can target paid marketing directly at your ideal audience with all the tools we now have available.

With some well placed content and a compelling reason for your customers to convert, paid marketing is effective at bringing in new leads. Social media networks let you target a very specific audience to find the exact type of client you’re looking for, and so does search engine advertising.

There are other places you can go for paid marketing, though. Don’t forget about niche websites that target a specific group of people. The type of people you’re looking for are out there on niche websites, you just have to pay to get in front of them.

While it’s important to have a focus on organic vs paid marketing, don’t forget there is room for a blend too.

Focus But Don’t Limit

Choose whether organic marketing or paid marketing is your best starting place but don’t neglect the other completely.

Paid marketing is beneficial because you can bring a lot of people to your website quick. The minute you stop paying for advertising you’ll lose all traffic, though. Organic marketing takes a long time to ramp up but it will continue bringing targeted visitors to your website for a long time.

Combing organic and paid marketing will benefit your long term website traffic. Share on X

A balance between organic and paid marketing is ideal for growing your business online. Depending on whether you’re money rich or time rich you’ll want to shift the focus towards paid marketing or towards organic marketing.

Do Organic Marketing

Whichever you choose as a primary, never leave organic marketing out of the mix. Organic marketing is important because builds better relationship with your audience that will last longer. Because organic marketing takes a long time, start from the beginning but supplement the slow beginning with paid marketing.

Content marketing is a great way to start building an audience and reach them. In either case, always make email marketing part of your strategy for both paid and organic marketing.

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