Organic Marketing Still Reigns Supreme: Here’s Why

by Brittany McSorley

As your Cape Cod digital marketing experts, we’ve shared many perspectives on this ever-changing industry. We’ve explored different marketing angles, whether it’s by platform, generation, or content. We’ve emphasized the importance of photos in any social media strategy. We’ve explained the pros and cons of automating your social activity. And, perhaps most importantly of all, we’ve detailed what not to do in marketing your business.


cape cod marketing firm

But there’s always more to learn, and now we want to take a look at paid vs. organic marketing — in other words, the difference between letting new customers discover your marketing content on their own and paying to deliver the content to them. According to Skyline Social, both methods can deliver big results; the difference lies mainly in how much money you’re spending on advertising.


As defined by Salesforce, “Organic marketing is best used to develop brand voice, enable authentic interactions with customers, educate and convert blog readers, and drive traffic to landing pages, your website, and other online assets.” Put another way, organic marketing encompasses everything you’re likely already doing to market your business: creating content, posting to social media, and paying attention to SEO.


Paid marketing, on the other hand, is putting money behind your marketing content to make it reach your target audience more quickly and directly. A common example is the use of Facebook ads. You can put a few dollars (or as much money as you’d like) behind a Facebook post to ensure it gets in front of more eyes, and within a specific timeframe.


Obviously, paid marketing has its place. If your business is holding an important event, for example, your marketing strategy becomes time-sensitive, and paying for the most visibility possible is a no-brainer. But paid marketing results are bought rather than earned, and that complicates things.


Paid marketing delivers fast and measurable results, but its effectiveness also burns out more quickly. Essentially, the minute you stop investing in a paid marketing strategy, its value begins to fall. A hundred paid-for views will do you little good once the budget runs out. In addition, paid advertising can set off spam detectors in discerning consumers. The majority of customers do not like reminders that they’re being targeted, and paid marketing content often looks like it’s been paid for. Think about it this way: Are you more likely to trust what you read in an organic Instagram post, or on a banner ad at the bottom of your Facebook feed? Trustworthiness is key, and organic marketing is far better suited to it.


Organic marketing does take longer than paid marketing to bear fruit, but it also lasts much longer.  According to Digital Impact, “organic marketing campaigns work by building on the work you’ve done before.” This method is what brings your business, slowly but surely, to higher spot in search engine results. Once a paid advertisement has run its course, it doesn’t have much more to offer you. But organic marketing efforts stand on the shoulders of their predecessors; every new KDC blog post, for example, further strengthens our website’s visibility.


So, should you completely write off paid marketing? Of course not. Paid efforts have their time and place, and if you have a flexible advertising budget, it can’t hurt to throw some money behind carefully chosen content. But organic marketing is non-negotiable. Exprance bluntly tells us to “never leave organic marketing out of the mix.” Plus, if you create a strong organic marketing foundation for your business, it can make paid marketing attempts more successful down the road. Take the time to build a following rather than just paying for one. Create a genuine marketing experience for your followers, and you’ll stand out from the homogenous paid advertising crowd.