Have you heard people talking about organic marketing and paid marketing but you’re not sure which type is best for your business? The jargon around different types of marketing can be confusing, so in this post, we’re going to demystify these two terms and explore which one could work best for your business.
Let’s start with organic marketing. Organic marketing usually refers to any marketing that is free for you to create and share. The most common examples include (organic) social media, where you can set up an account on a social media platform for free and start sharing posts straightaway without paying a penny.
Other forms of organic marketing include blog posts, website content and emails you send to prospects. There are certainly paid tools and systems you can use to enhance the way you use organic channels to market to your audience, but essentially these are all free ways to market your business.
This is the type of marketing we specialise in here at Freshbat.
Paid marketing refers to any marketing activity that costs you to use. The most common example is digital advertising. This could be on a social media platform if you want to show adverts to your target audience on there. It also includes other digital advertising such as Google adverts.
Paid marketing often requires a much higher level of technical skill to set everything up properly on your chosen platforms compared to organic marketing, which has a lower barrier to entry (although that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to be very good just because anyone can do it!).
How long does it take to see results from organic marketing?
Typically, we’d expect organic marketing to take a lot longer to start generating leads for your business compared to paid marketing. However, that’s OK – organic marketing isn’t really there primarily to generate leads. It’s more about brand building and raising awareness as you build relationships with your target audience over the medium- to long-term. When you start a new organic marketing approach, we usually advise that it takes around 3-6 months to start seeing a good uptick in your key marketing metrics and around 9-12 months of consistent implementation to be able to attribute leads to organic marketing activity.
On the other hand, paid marketing has the potential to get you leads much quicker. Depending on your target audience, it can require quite a significant investment before it has an impact. But really, your budget is the main factor that will influence how long it takes you to see results from paid marketing. You can sometimes start attributing leads to paid marketing campaigns within a week of starting a campaign.
So is organic marketing better than paid?
Organic marketing is different to paid marketing: they both serve different purposes in your business. We wouldn’t usually recommend starting a paid campaign if you don’t already have any organic marketing infrastructure in your business. If you think about it, would you trust a brand when you saw an advert online but then couldn’t find any other information at all on their social channels or website?
Paid marketing is great to layer on top of organic marketing as a next step to generate even more interest in your business. It can be a really efficient way to increase your reach quickly compared to organic marketing.
But organic marketing will be able to support your business when you don’t have the money to invest in paid marketing and/or when you go through periods where you might need to pause paid marketing campaigns.