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Organic vs. Paid Marketing: Differences Explained

The most obvious difference between organic and paid marketing is that one generates free traffic volumes, while the other requires payment to achieve the same result.

However, it is not always as black and white when it comes to understanding the role that each option plays in your overall marketing strategy.

A prime example of organic marketing would be the use of link building services as a way of generating more traffic. In contrast, paid marketing would involve buying clicks via Facebook, for instance.

Let’s take a look at the key differences between organic and paid marketing.

Using organic marketing to attract an audience

In simple terms, any activity that involves a strategy to generate traffic to your website without resorting to paid advertising can be described under the umbrella of organic marketing.

The fundamental principle of organic marketing involves finding ways of creating and distributing content that has a perceived value, in order to find and grow a larger audience. This is sometimes also referred to as content marketing.

Typical examples of what constitutes organic marketing would be SEO activities, guest blogging, and aspects of social media marketing.

Paying for traffic

Paid marketing does what it says on the tin. You are using various advertising channels to attract greater traffic volumes to your website by paying for clicks.

You might sponsor posts, use banner ads, or pay for clicks. All of these are classed as paid marketing.

Many take a holistic view of marketing that includes covering all the bases of paid and organic marketing. Using Facebook and Google ads, whilst also using link building strategies so that you get a mix of the two.

It is not necessary to say that one is better than the other when comparing organic vs. paid marketing. They both have a role to play. Generally speaking, they both tend to be more effective when you combine the two in your overall marketing strategy.

Creating the right marketing strategy

It does become important to appreciate the clear distinction between the two types of marketing when putting together an appropriate marketing campaign.

With an organic marketing strategy, for instance, one of your primary goals is to have clarity about who you want to attract and who is most likely to consume your content in a positive way.

You can be more defined with your target audience selection and goals with an organic marketing approach than you might be able to with paid marketing.

You can target certain niches with paid marketing, of course, but there is scope for a more natural interaction with an organic marketing strategy.

Organic marketing is heavily reliant on content. If you have clearly defined goals as to what content will attract a typical customer you will be able to create brand awareness as well as generate and nurture interest in your brand with the right content.

To summarize, both organic and paid marketing have clearly defined roles. It is up to you to embrace the relative strengths of each opportunity to get the best results.

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