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Organic Marketing vs. Paid Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

09/14/2021 | 07:12am EDT

Have you ever heard of the law of attraction? It sounds 'woo-woo' but stay with me here. It's a philosophy that means we can attract into our lives whatever we're focusing on. More simply put, positive thoughts will naturally bring positivity your way.

Organic marketing works similarly. The goal is to naturally attract your audience to your brand or business. But how do you do that?

In this post, we'll go over what organic marketing is and how it's different from paid forms of marketing.

What is organic marketing?

Organic marketing is a strategy that generates traffic to your business over time rather than using paid methods. This includes blog posts, case studies, guest posts, unpaid tweets, and Facebook updates. Organic marketing uses SEO, social media, and a variety of other channels to increase brand awareness.

The main goal of organic marketing is to increase brand awareness and build a connection with your audience, whether through educational or entertaining content. Of course, as a business, you'll need multiple ways to attract leads and convert users. Organic marketing is just one way to do that (paid marketing is another, which we'll dive into below).

With organic marketing, you can attract visitors to your site, who will hopefully convert to paid customers eventually. The goal is to keep your business top of mind when it comes time for a consumer to make purchasing decisions.

Additionally, organic marketing impacts your paid marketing efforts because if someone organically comes across your website, you can retarget them later with paid ads (on social media, search engines, etc.).

Ultimately, the goal of organic marketing is to drive traffic to your site. While you'll use social media channels, the best place to spend your time with organic marketing is SEO. In fact, SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media.

To measure the effectiveness of your organic marketing efforts, you'll look at which content is driving the most traffic to your site, leads generated from those campaigns, and which channels drive the highest amount of high converting traffic to your site.

Organic Marketing Examples

Before we dive into the differences between organic and paid marketing, let's look at some examples of organic marketing:

  • Unpaid social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tik Tok, etc.
  • Blog posts (this very post you're reading is an organic marketing effort)
  • Guest posts
  • User-generated content
  • Email newsletters
  • SEO
  • Online PR and link generation
  • YouTube

Now, let's learn a little bit more about inorganic, or paid marketing.

Organic vs. Inorganic or Paid Marketing

While organic marketing is focused on generating traffic to your site over time, inorganic marketing, or paid marketing, uses paid methods to target, reach, engage, and convert audiences quickly.

Inorganic marketing strategies include paid search ads, paid social media ads, sponsored posts, display ads, video ads on YouTube, etc. With paid media, you can micro-target your ideal audience and reach people who might never have heard of your business otherwise.

While organic marketing is more like word-of-mouth marketing, paid marketing is similar to sales-focused marketing. The goals for the two are very different. One is to attract audiences and increase brand awareness and the other is to convert audiences on a specific campaign.

You'll measure the success of paid marketing through return on ad spend (ROAS), driving impressions, achieving high conversion rates, etc.

Now that we know more about the differences between organic and inorganic/paid marketing, let's dive into how to build an organic marketing strategy.

Organic Marketing Strategy
  1. Analyze your current traffic habits.
  2. Create content.
  3. Optimize your content.
  4. Evaluate and improve.
1. Analyze your current traffic habits.

To build an organic marketing strategy, you should analyze your audience's current traffic habits on your site and then compare them to your ideal audience.

First, it's important to know where you get the most organic traffic currently. Is it from your YouTube channel, blog posts, or email newsletters?

Then, think about how your ideal audience usually discovers a business like yours. Do they rely on industry publications, social media, or review sites?

It's important to understand what type of organic traffic that your target audience is consuming so that you can create that content. Additionally, you need to understand what organic traffic is already working for your business so you can continue creating that content.

Organic marketing only works when you truly understand your audience and what they want to see.

2. Create content.

Once you know which channels you want to focus on and where your target audience spends their time online, then it's time to start creating content. However, before you can just create content, you need to brainstorm the types of content assets you want to create and build a list of several ideas.

For instance, if you want to focus on blogging, do your keyword research and competitor analysis, and then build a list of keywords you can create posts around. Then, you can start creating content.

However, if you want to focus on creating case studies or research, you'll have to do first-hand research, and then decide how you'll publish your findings.

Before you can create content, you'll need to know which platforms and channels you want to focus on.

3. Optimize your content.

If you were to ask what makes organic content work, the answer would be SEO. You'll want to optimize all your content so that it will show up on search engines and social media platforms. For example, the strategies might be similar, but you'll optimize your blog content, video descriptions on YouTube, and social media posts.

To optimize this content, usually, the strategies involve incorporating keywords into your content, having a great design, and using metadata to let search engines know what your content is about.

4. Evaluate and improve.

Lastly, the key to any organic marketing strategy is to evaluate and iterate. You can use tools, like HubSpot's SEO marketing software to plan your SEO strategy, optimize your content, and measure real return on investment.

This type of software will help you measure and keep track of your KPIs so you can see what's working and what isn't.

Organic marketing is all about bringing people to you, instead of reaching out to people via paid methods. With organic marketing, you'll create several types of content to keep people engaged and interested in your brand. When it comes time to make a purchasing decision, they'll think of you first.

Originally published Sep 14, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated September 14 2021

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HubSpot Inc. published this content on 14 September 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 14 September 2021 11:11:01 UTC.

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