Before we go deeper into a comparison between paid and organic marketing, we must first clarify something. The fact that one of them is called ‘paid’, is not meant to suggest that organic marketing is completely free, especially if it is to be done in a way that achieves maximum results. Organic traffic does require investment both of time and in most cases, of money too.

What the word words paid and organic refer to specifically is how the traffic is generated by each type of marketing. Paid marketing is normally done via Pay Per Click (PPC), on platforms such as Google, Facebook, or Bing. With organic marketing, the traffic is not paid for in the sense that each click-through has a cost, but instead comes naturally as a result of marketing strategies that include SEO and social media management, for example. Let us look closer at each.

Organic Marketing

Organic marketing is what provides your business with long-term and consistent traffic, presuming that you implant it effectively. By that, we do not mean you have to do all the work required yourself. For the best results, we strongly advise that you employ a professional digital marketing agency that will provide the best ROI on organic marketing campaigns.

Organic marketing normally has search engine optimisation (SEO) at its core. Within that SEO you will have specific tactics such as backlink building and content creation, to name but two. In addition, other SEO will take place, both within your website, and offsite such as posting content on other sites, social media marketing and citations.

As well as the cost required to create and implement organic campaigns you might also consider one of the costs to be time. This is because organic marketing should not be expected to produce instant results. Improving rankings on Google and other search engines is something that requires patience, but that patience will be rewarded handsomely when the ranking improvements occur, and the levels of traffic to your website steadily increases.

Paid Marketing

As mentioned above, the most common form of paid marketing is PPC, although you might also see PPM which stands for pay per mille. This means instead of paying per click, the advertiser pays for every 1,000 impressions of their online ad. The most popular, and effective PPC opportunities online are Google Ads, Facebook Ads and Bing Ads.

In simple terms, you create a short ad using the best sales copy you can, and once the ad is live, you pay each time someone clicks on it and is sent to the target URL, which is usually a website. Ads can be set up within minutes and the traffic can start flowing within the hour. For this reason, PPC is the perfect option for those that want to see instant results from their marketing.

Another benefit of PPC is that you can analyse performance in lots of ways and from that analysis make changes to your ads in real-time to improve their performance. In addition, you can set budget caps, so you never spend more in any one day than you wish to.

Which Should You Use?

At the risk of seeming to have a foot in two camps, we would encourage every business to use both paid and organic marketing as and when it suits the campaign objectives. Paid is great for giving campaigns a boost from the start and is also highly effective when running short-term promotions which need traffic quickly.

Organic marketing should be the foundation of all your marketing as it provides long term results This means your business benefits from the actions taken earlier such as onsite and offsite SEO, enabling your website to receive traffic from search engines consistently.