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Organic Marketing vs. Paid Ads. Which Is Better For Growth?

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Let’s be real, we ALL have to market our businesses. Yes, word of mouth is POWERFUL and (probably the most powerful form of advertising there ever will be), but when it comes to EVERY other form of advertising, we are either paying for ads or taking advantage of organic marketing. But what should we focus on? As entrepreneurs or digital business owners, there is only so much time to DIY your marketing or only so much to spend on the marketing budget. I’m going to break down paid ads vs. organic marketing, how to use them to your advantage, the pros and cons of organic marketing or paid marketing, and what you actually need to grow your business. 

The Difference Between Organic and Paid Marketing

Remember: nothing is “free” because everything either costs money or time- yours or someone else’s.

Organic marketing is essentially anything that you use that you’re not “paying to play.” So your content marketing/creation or SEO strategies are considered organic marketing

Paid ads are like Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and Google ads. Anything you are paying dollars to get your stuff in front of someone. They’re generally broken down into “paid per click” or by the “size” of the target audience you’re getting in front of.

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Pros and Cons of Paid Advertisement

Pros: They are essentially guaranteed eyeballs

  • Depending on the platform, agency, and quality of data that you’re using, you may be able to get SUPER targeted (orrrr not).
  • “Generally, companies who use PPC advertising see an average return of $2 for every $1 spent. Use Google Ads, however, and your business will likely experience even higher returns. The average ROI for Google Ads is $8 for every $1 spent.”WebFX
  • Targets primarily bottom of funnel-which can be great because those people are ready to buy!

Cons: It can get REALLLY expensive really fast

  • Paid ads focus primarily on the bottom of the funnel-which can mean, you’re getting a one-time sale, but not getting a loyal customer or brand ambassador.
  • Harder to master

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Organic Marketing Pros and Cons

Since organic focuses much more on long-term growth, results are not always immediate but last a lot longer. It also creates a much more loyal customer base because you’re serving them again and again and again with quality, helpful content. If you have a jam-up email strategy, you are staying not only in front of their mind, but continually making the client feel seen, heard, and loved. OBVIOUSLY, there is some learning that needs to happen, but it’s much easier to master SEO and SEO-friendly organic content. AND ultimately, you know your product, your why, and your person better than the typical huge agency, so you can speak to them on their level weekly. This allows content ideas to come easier for you to learn and execute than an advanced ads strategy.


“Organic traffic, which SEO generates, captures more than 40% of revenue demonstrates the power of this digital marketing strategy. It’s a tactic that companies can’t ignore, especially if they’re looking to set themselves up for long-term success.”– WEBFx

Do you need both? If so, when?

Focus on organic marketing first and foremost. According to Forbes, “Organic content marketing will proliferate your brand through a noisy digital space, and paid marketing will accelerate the process in achieving success.” We KNOW content creation and SEO works, so DO IT. Get it in lock, and then if you have the bandwidth, pay for ads. They get you “guaranteed” eyeballs so you know you’ll get eyes on your website. Why? That’s how the ad people make their money. If their ads don’t work, nobody will use their agency.
In my opinion, organic marketing gets you MORE trust loyal brand ambassadors, not just a one time sale.

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woman with turquoise rings typing on laptop about organic marketing and paid ads
Is paid advertising necessary to grow my business?

No. But it will show FASTER growth than organic marketing. You see a higher ROI sooner with paid ads.

Do I need organic marketing if I have a great ads campaign?

Yes! A great organic strategy will keep generating leads for years. Organic marketing also tends to create more loyal brand ambassadors and not as many just one time customers.

Where is the best place to start with my marketing?

A great website SEO strategy and SEO content strategy go together beautifully for a successful organic marketing plan.

What is organic marketing?

Organic marketing is any marketing where you do not pay to get your content seen. Your content must show up in someone’s feed because they follow you on social media or show up in search results because you answered their question.

Is paid advertising going to grow my business faster than organic marketing?

Paid marketing gets guaranteed eyeballs on your business, whereas organic marketing nurtures more long-term leads. Lead generation from organic marketing efforts often convert easier and for high ticket items because you have cultivated know, like, and trust over time.

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