When we talk about marketing, it really comes down to two types: paid marketing versus organic marketing. The main difference between them? Well, the cost.
What is Organic Marketing?
Also referred to as “inbound marketing”, organic marketing is free and remains one of the most effective and popular ways to build customer loyalty and drive long-term traffic. The reason for this is simple. Unlike paid marketing which is far less subtle and requires you to pay-to-play, earning itself a fair amount of distrust amongst consumers over the years, organic marketing is all about generating results through creativity and time – a lot of time.
The aim behind all organic marketing strategies is to rank first, or at least in the top three, on Google, as it’s these web pages that get 75% of all clicks.
While definitely more painstaking than paid marketing, organic marketing is a much more authentic and sustainable way of reaching consumers. Instead of “hard-selling”, organic marketing works by building strong emotional connections with web visitors via rich, valuable content – connections that will long outlast the lifespan of your current paid advertisement or sponsored post.
It’s a long-term strategy that requires patience and diligence. Scroll down to learn more about this key marketing discipline.
Why is Organic Marketing Important?
It’s no secret that people have become immune to traditional advertising. Every day, we, as consumers, are bombarded with ads wherever we go, whether it be on our television, our phone, our computer, or during our morning commute. As a result of this overexposure to ads, consumers today are more advertising-savvy than ever before and have trained themselves to ignore any content that even faintly resembles an ad. In fact, according to HigherVisibility, an astonishing 70-80% of all searchers ignore paid ads and focus only on organic results. In times like these, it’s no question that marketers need to get creative – and that’s where organic marketing comes in.
Unlike paid marketing which can come across fairly artificial and with a very obvious agenda, organic marketing is usually far more nuanced than its quick-acting brother, striving to provide value and cultivate a sense of trust with the consumer over time.
Examples of Organic Marketing
• Regularly producing useful and SEO-optimised content on your website or blog, relevant to your niche.
• Guest posting on industry blogs within your niche for brand awareness purposes and those all-important backlinks.
• Creating engaging social media posts that drive organic and targeted traffic back to your website or blog.
• Sending out weekly or bi-weekly newsletters to help build relationships with prospects, leads, and current customers, and keep your brand at the forefront of their minds.
5 Core Benefits of Organic Marketing
Aside from the odd marketing software such as MailChimp or Buffer, organic marketing is, pretty much, well, free! So, if you’ve got more time than money, organic marketing is a good place to start. If, however, you do have some cash to splash, it’s still recommended that you allocate some time and effort to organic marketing, as it can multiply the effectiveness of your paid campaigns.
It Builds Brand Awareness
If you’ve been struggling to build brand awareness for your business, then organic marketing is a great way to go. Through a combination of regular content production and a rigorous SEO strategy, you can seriously increase your chances of being found online.
It Drives Traffic
If you create high-quality content that your target audience cares about, then the clicks and shares will eventually come. And the more optimised the content you produce, the more likely you are to be found by your target demographic on Google.
It Builds Trust and Authority for Your Brand
Taking the time to not only build an emotional connection with your audience, but provide valuable and informative content that’s genuinely for the benefit of the reader, creates a bond of trust between you and your customers that is rarely achieved through paid ads. By forging an authentic two-way relationship with your audience, you’re all the more likely to convert them into paying customers.
It Drives Permanent Traffic
The more consistent and relevant your content is for the reader, the more likely they are to keep coming back to your site. By building a rapport with your customers via highly relevant and engaging content, you are not only enhancing consumer trust, but also paving the way towards your ultimate goal – achieving brand loyalty. And in a market oversaturated with options, brand loyalty is everything. Don’t believe us? Just ask Apple.
3 Main Disadvantages of Organic Marketing
It’s Slow-Paced and Time-Consuming
If you’re looking to get-rich-quick, then this style of marketing isn’t for you. You cannot buy your customer’s trust, as it takes time to build trust and genuine connections. For example, we talk about the differences between Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and SEO – and they can each play an important part in your long-term strategy.
If you’ve decided to focus on organic marketing, be sure to manage your expectations. Organic marketing is a long game, with the only real investment you have to make here being your time.
It Can Be Difficult to Track
More often than not, it can be hard to decipher which organic tactics led to sales and which didn’t. This lack of obvious correlation can be frustrating and even demotivating.
SEO Tactics Are Constantly Changing
If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that rankings are never guaranteed. While SEO isn’t necessarily difficult to learn, it can be hard to stay on top of your game as search engines are constantly changing and updating. On top of that, it’s incredibly time-intensive, without necessarily ever leading to the results you want.
4 Types of Organic Marketing
While there are many things that can help you boost your organic marketing efforts, these are the most important elements.
Every successful organic marketing strategy starts with search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO works to improve the visibility and ranking of a website or web page in the organic search engine results on search engines like Google or Bing. It’s a sustainable way of getting more website traffic and works by optimising content using a combination of optimally-placed keywords, relevant internal and external links, as well various technical factors like website navigation and load time.
Social Media Engagement
This one’s a bit contentious as organic social media reach is famously on the decline. However, just because organic reach is getting harder, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still try. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever to focus your efforts on quality, not quantity.
So, do your audience research to ensure that you’re creating content that speaks to their needs and wants. For example, try posting during slow hours and promoting your profile in all the right places – and be sure to post the right balance of promotional (20%) versus useful (80%) content. Oh, and don’t forget to regularly interact with your audience – this is key! For tips on how to improve your social media marketing, be sure to check out our ultimate guide.
Organic Link Building
Link building is one of the cornerstones of SEO and content marketing – and for good reason. It is a major factor in how Google ranks web pages and serves to boost your content’s credibility in the eyes of Google. Link building works by building one-way hyperlinks, or “backlinks”, from one site to another. Backlinks from reputable sites such as Moz or Crunchbase can help you rank higher in search engines, and serve as an indicator of how trustworthy your site is. We’ve also covered 14 comprehensive tips on how to get quality backlinks for SEO.
Given that mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide, it only makes sense that you adopt a mobile-first approach to your website. This involves everything from load time and responsive design to focusing on accessibility, simplicity, and designing for touch. By optimising for mobile, you’ll improve the customer experience, increasing not just traffic but the likelihood of conversions too.
Organic marketing – like all good things – is a long process. It requires time, effort, and diligence. Though time-consuming, it’s a lot more effective for long-term sustainable growth than quick fixes like paid ads. Regardless of what industry you’re in or stage of business you’re at, combining both paid and organic marketing into a single strategy is often the best choice. So keep at it, and watch as patience and persistence win out.