Paid Advertising vs Organic: Where Should You Be Spending Your Time (And Money)
Every business owner understands that creating a product or offering a service is not enough to make sales, there’s a need for some form of awareness before the target audience will learn about the product or service. Oftentimes, business owners, particularly those in the e-commerce space, are faced with two options to pick from either paid advertising or organic advertising.
Before we decide on which of these two is the best for you, first, let’s understand what they mean in layman’s terms.
What is Organic Advertising?
This is any action you’re doing to bring awareness to your business, generate traffic, and increase sales but without paying any platform to make people see it. Organic advertising involves SEO practices such as using keywords, content creation which involves video, blog posts, etc, maintaining social media presence, and generally doing things that can attract the attention of your target audience. The rule of thumb is that as long as you’re not paying any platform to push your content, landing page, business page, or whatever to a target demographic or general internet users, then it falls under the category of organic advertising.
What is Paid Advertising?
On the other hand, paid advertising is any action you’re doing to create awareness for your brand, generate traffic, and increase sales while paying external platforms to make a target audience see it. It also involves SEO practices such as using keywords, content creation, maintaining social media presence, and other practices. However, the difference is that you will pay at least one platform to push your content, landing page, business page, or whatever to the audience you’d like to see it. So the major difference between paid advertising and organic advertising is money.
Which One Should You Spend Your Time (And Money On?)
Now that we understand what paid advertising and organic advertising mean, which one is the better option for your business? To help you make a better decision, here are some factors to weigh when deciding.
If you run a small business and you’re low on budget, organic advertising is the best option because all it requires is your time and creativity. However, when you look at it deeper, you’d realize that you’re spending some money to create content for organic advertising. First, the value of your time is money, and if you’re paying your staff to create your marketing content, that also means you’re paying for the advertising just not directly and not as much as you’d pay immediately for paid advertising.
In any case, organic advertising is cheaper than paid advertising.
For organic advertising, there’s no guarantee that your content will reach your target audience or that many people will see it, or that you will increase your sales with it. For example, when you create a blog post with good keywords hoping to rank on search engines, all you can do is hope that your plan works. Your effort won’t be getting any boost from the search engine (Google). It is entirely up to you to create a blog post people would want to read and even at that, there’s a high chance that only a handful of people will see your blog post. As a result, you’d see a blog post generating a few hundred views if not way less than that.
On the other hand, if you create a blog post and pay Google to push it to a target audience, using maybe a pay per click structure, your chance of getting better results increases. If you pay attention to Google search results, you’d see that when you google a keyword, Google displays ads that are related to the keyword at the top of search results. This is where Google will display your blog post to your target demographic, making it easy for people to find your business. So, more people will find click on your blog post and some will go to your page, with that your blog post will be getting more than a few handfuls of views.
Paid advertising will give you better results.
Organic advertising requires long-term commitment, you don’t do one action now and expect huge results right away. It takes time, consistency, and continuous creativity following trends, and paying attention to the consumer behavior of your target audience. So, if you want quick results that can immediately translate to more reach, traffic, and sales for your business, your best bet is paid advertising. For example, if you sell products online, you can pay Instagram to display pictures of your products to your niche market. When you think about the millions of users on Instagram and its social commerce influence, you can be sure that your campaigns will generate results fast. With just one post on Instagram, thousands, even up to millions of people will learn about your business almost immediately.
So, if you’re looking for quick results, you should invest in paid advertising.
Maintaining Online Presence
This means maintaining a social media presence and always updating your website with fresh content. You shouldn’t put all your focus on paid advertising while neglecting organic efforts. Why? Well, before a potential buyer buys a product or service, they first look around for your brand’s presence on the internet. That is, they check around to see whether you interact with customers, whether you have a history of posting content and engaging your customer base. This tells them that you have social currency and you can be trusted. On the other, if most or all of your content falls under the category of advertising, that will give the impression that all you care about is money and you don’t care about your customers.
To maintain an online presence, you have to maintain a continuous online relationship with your customer base. Paid advertising won’t give you this, only organic advertising will since it involves posting relevant content, engaging your target audience, SEO, and other practices.
Over To You
Both paid advertising and organic advertising have their unique benefits. Paid advertising is great for creating awareness for your brand fast. It is the right boost you need as a startup and when you’re launching a new product or you have a new project you want to create awareness for. Organic is the way to go if you under budget. However, the best option is to use both strategies together.