The Difference Between Organic Marketing & Paid Advertising

12.11.21 12:46 AM By Gabriel

To achieve better brand awareness, perception, increased website traffic, leads and sales, two methods, in digital marketing, can be used, namely paid advertising and organic marketing. Knowing the difference between these two methods can ensure that you choose the right option for your business.

 

Organic marketing

The goal of organic marketing is to naturally attract your target audience without using paid advertising. The goal here is, to keep your brand, business, products and services top of mind, for when your target audience is ready to make a purchase. 

Organic marketing also assists in driving traffic to your main website (over time). This can be done through social media or SEO. SEO is the most effective form of organic marketing as it is said to drive 1000%+ more traffic than social media alone.

Additional forms of organic marketing include:

  • Blog posts

  • User-generated content

  • Emails

  • Newsletters

  • Articles

  • Case Studies

  • eBooks

  • Online PR

  • YouTube

The pros and cons of using organic marketing

The benefit of using organic marketing is that you’ll always have traffic sent to your website and it is a low-cost method of driving this traffic. Organic content is more often created to inform or educate making it seem less like a sales pitch and therefore reinforce your brand's credibility and improve consumer trust.

The downside of organic marketing is that it takes a long time to really see results as search engines take months to rank a certain article. Another drawback is that it’ll require you to constantly update your content to remain relevant and to achieve a high ranking.

 

Paid advertising

The goal of paid advertising is to convert your target audience for a specific campaign; i.e., you’re buying website traffic. Unlike organic marketing, you’re not waiting for your target audience to find your website or relying on search engine rankings. One of the many ways the success of a campaign can be measured is by calculating the return on ad spend (ROAS) – which is Revenue Generated by Ads / Cost of Ads.

The pros and cons of using paid advertising

Paid advertising provides results as soon as you’ve launched your campaign. It provides precision and flexibility in that you can target your specific audience and purchase as much traffic as your budget allows.

The downside is that it can be expensive for smaller businesses and if you were to stop sending out ads, you could lose the traffic you bought. Some people actually tend to ignore paid ads which is why it’s important that your ads come across as coercive not forceful. 

 

Making use of one method determines how you’ll use the other. For example, if you’re using organic to create awareness, you can then use paid advertising to re-target those people who’ve shown an interest in your products or services through your organic marketing efforts. Therefore, a combination of both paid advertising and organic marketing is advisable for your business.