When new business owners start out, they are often faced with a dilemma: Should they focus on paid or organic marketing?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but in this article, we will show the pros and cons involved in each method.
The first thing you need to consider is your budget. To be successful with paid marketing, you need a sufficient budget.
You can’t cut too many corners in your advertising campaigns. You may think that you have “just enough” to start generating an ROI that is sufficient to start scaling, but the reality might turn out to be a bit different.
With paid marketing, it can take time until you start generating revenue. Granted, it will be a lot faster than organic marketing, but it won’t always start happening right away.
You may start and end several campaigns that aren’t bringing you results, and it may take some testing and lost ad budget until you start recuperating your ad spending and earning an ROI.
Before deciding to go the paid route, make sure you have a sufficient budget to at least do some testing.
Is time of the essence? Then you might want to choose paid marketing.
With organic traffic, it takes a lot longer to see results than with paid marketing. This applies whether you are driving traffic from Google or social media.
Image – TheGotoGuy
If you are planning on driving organic traffic to your site or blog through SEO, it usually takes at least three to six months, minimum, to start seeing solid results. Sometimes, it can take a year or two.
With paid traffic, on the other hand, you can be generating a positive ROI in as little as a month (or less).
If you are going the social route, keep in mind that it takes time to build up your social media following. You have to constantly be posting quality content and using hashtags to be discovered.
It used to take less time to see results from organic traffic. There was less competition, which made SEO a lot easier. There were also many ways to speed up or beat the SEO process (by building lots of low-quality backlinks, for example).
In fact, in the real early days, there was so little content that all you had to do is write an article and insert your desired keywords as many times as possible to rank high (this is known as keyword stuffing, and doing that now can get you banned by Google).
However, it’s now 2020, and there are thousands of blogs competing for keywords in any niche.
Ever since Google Panda and Penguin came out, quality content has been king, and having the best content in your niche can be quite a task with all the great information already out there.
There’s also a lot more competition on social media. With advertising, however, the competition is less, and a lot depends on how high you can bid for your desired keywords.
There’s no doubt that in the long run, organic marketing can be more cost-effective than paid marketing. After all, traffic is free, so your ROI will be much higher.
Image – Brafton
However, the reality is that not everyone will succeed in getting a lot of free traffic. There’s actually no guarantee that your blog will blow up, especially if there is a lot of competition; some blogs just never manage to get off their feet, so to speak.
If your blog does rank high, though, it can generate free traffic forever. This is unlike a paid campaign, where you have to constantly keep paying for views or clicks.
Image – Brafton
4. Consumer Trust
On the other hand, it’s a lot easier to build trust and long-lasting consumer relationships with organic marketing.
With paid advertising, you have to overcome a built-in suspicion (or mental block) that consumers put up. They know you want something from them, and they are less likely to trust you from the outset.
Many internet users don’t pay much attention to paid ads on Google or on their social feeds.
On the other hand, if they are coming to a popular blog site that has many comments and a lot of engagement or a social media profile that has a large number of followers, you already have a built-in position of authority and status.
This can make it easier to build long-term relationships and get repeat customers.
5. Your Niche And Line Of Business
It is important to consider which niche and line of business you are in before you decide to focus either on paid or organic marketing. There are a lot of factors that can come into play.
Image – Jeffbullas
First of all, what is the SEO competition like? If you are entering a highly-competitive niche that already has a lot of blogs covering it, it might be hard to break through the competition.
On the other hand, if you are focusing on a very specific sub-niche that doesn’t have a lot of competition, it will be easier to get ranked on Google and be found by people looking for information about the subject.
It also depends on what kind of business you are running. If you are running a consulting business for professionals in a highly-competitive industry, where you focus on a few high-value leads, paid marketing funnels might bring you a great return on your investment.
On the other hand, if you are running an affiliate site where you promote affiliate products for a 30 percent commission, driving a mass amount of organic traffic might be a better strategy.
Striking A Balance Between The Two
Of course, paid and organic marketing are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can certainly have a strategy that incorporates both, and the most successful marketers do just that.
In fact, both types of marketing complement each other. For example, if you have high-quality content on your blog, you can use that as content for your paid advertising campaigns.
The question is where you focus more. Some marketers have a blog just for the brand and authority that comes with it, but their main focus is their advertising campaigns.
Others focus primarily on getting organic traffic and only use paid advertising as a supplement. For example, they may use paid ads to drive traffic to landing pages that are not ranking high enough and getting enough organic traffic.
Wrapping It Up
The best kind of strategy is one that incorporates both paid marketing and organic traffic.
As to how much of your marketing time and effort you decide to allocate to each specific one, that depends on your budget, time, industry, and business goals.
Tulip Turner –
Tulip is a Content and Inbound Marketing expert at Snewscms. Over the years, she has helped dozens of businesses in defining their content strategy. She believes that creativity doesn’t inspire customers anymore. A true story when recited well, is enough to build a connect.
Twitter – @snewscmss
Facebook – @snewscms