Why is it important to have organic marketing before aiming for paid marketing?
Social media is fast becoming a preferred place for customers to buy products and services from companies. According to a survey conducted by eMarketer in June of 2020, 29.6% of the respondents in the US used social media to complete a purchase. Of these, 18.3% purchased products on Facebook alone! It is no wonder that social media platforms are pressuring brands to utilise paid marketing to reach their target audience. One report suggests that, since 2012, social media algorithms have systematically been adjusted to slow down a business’ organic reach, practically giving them no choice but to pay to reach their target audience. However, it should be noted that paid social marketing and organic marketing are both equally important for the success of a marketing strategy.
Let’s Look at Organic Marketing and Paid Marketing and How They Are Different?
Organic social media marketing is where marketers use free tools and services social media platforms offer to all their users. Here, the idea is to take full advantage of social media platforms and search engines to educate and entertain the target audience, build strong relations, optimise content for better search results, and establish companies as thought leaders.
Organic marketing is where SEO-optimised content is created and shared on social media or email newsletters through blog posts, landing pages, white papers etc. The visits generated through such organic marketing strategies are referred to as organic traffic.
In the digital marketing sense, paid media marketing or paid marketing is when marketers pay social media platforms to drive online traffic. Here, marketers are paying for results, meaning that their focus is on getting a solid return on investment at a faster rate, when compared to organic marketing, by way of converting viewers into customers and meeting sales targets within a fixed period.
Paid marketing tactics include paying for social media platforms and search engines to distribute ads and sponsored content directly to users, pay per click marketing etc. Through these, marketers can reach audiences directly based on their profile and other characteristics.
So, why is it important to have organic marketing before going for paid marketing?
Organic social media marketing is like laying the foundation of a building, while paid media marketing is like building its additional floors. Without putting considerable efforts into an organic marketing strategy, like growing followers and generating engagement, your paid media marketing efforts will not bear the desired results.
An organic marketing strategy serves to build a positive brand image by posting content, engaging with users, and addressing the joys and/or concerns of the customers. A study found that 88% of people trust online reviews by other customers as much as they do from personal contacts and 81% of people are influenced by what their friends share on social media platforms. Therefore, regardless of how good your paid marketing strategy is, it will not be effective if your organic marketing hasn’t first created a good brand image.
Apart from building a good brand image online, what else is organic marketing good for?
Well, organic social media marketing helps you connect with your audience, leading to long term benefits. Organic marketing is effective as companies and consumers get to learn about each other at the same time as they share the same online space and distribute content that each of them feels is relevant to themselves. This boosts paid marketing efforts as marketers can identify the kind of people they need to target and convert into customers.
How far can you go without organic marketing?
The simple answer is: Not very far.
A recent report by BrightEdge stated that 51% of the current website traffic comes from organic searches while over 40% of revenue comes as a result of organic traffic. Organic marketing gives companies the advantage of sharing information at close to no cost at all. Additionally, organic social media marketing tends to feel authentic to the audience as they are generally educational, relevant, and helpful to the readers and viewers. It also helps build an emotional and personal connection with people so that they are the first to pop up in their minds when the time comes to make a purchase decision.
This is why a majority of companies, both big and small, can be found on social media.
A study by Adweek found that 91% of brands are active on more than one social media platform. Hubspot found that 84% of B2B marketers are using social media platforms in some way or the other.
Social media has become one of the most influential platforms. Customers often use it to decide which brands match their principals and therefore, which brands deserve their loyalty.
Organic marketing is, in a way, the perfect backup for paid marketing as it drives traffic and followers, who can be targetted for ads at a later time.
With that said, the fact that social media platforms are making it difficult for businesses to reach their target audience purely through organic marketing cannot be overlooked.
A good way to overcome this is to somehow convert “rented” social media followers into “owned” customers. “Rented” social media followers or audience are the viewers you gain access to by paying social media platforms. Marketers must consider methods and campaigns while formulating their social media strategies to capture the audiences’ interest and convert them into “owned” customers. This can be achieved through promotions, giveaways, content curation contests, gated content and resources, and events.
Luckily, newer ways for companies to engage and connect with people are always being found out and staying ahead of the curve is what will make or break a company. However, even if a business is slow on the take, there will be hundreds of examples for them to learn from.