What is organic marketing?

It’s OK if your online business is on a budget. Very few new companies can afford to invest thousands of dollars each month into paid ads.

How can you attract new people to buy from you without constantly buying ads? The answer is simple: organic marketing.

But what is organic marketing? The guide below will explain everything: what organic marketing is, how it differs from other forms of marketing, and how it can help your business grow.

How does organic marketing differ from other types of marketing? 

Organic marketing is an alternative to paid media. It comes with its own costs and investments, but it can lead to long-term results when you do it right.

Organizations that use organic marketing attract customers through online platforms without paying to be seen. For example, posting on a social media channel is organic marketing. You’re relying on the algorithm to show your post instead of paying to make sure people see it. Organic marketing is found in social media, SEO efforts, and content strategies.

“Organic marketing is a more subtle approach to marketing that prioritizes natural outreach tactics over promotional content and paid advertising,” writes Tamilore Oladipo, a content writer at Buffer. “If you have a TikTok account, send email newsletters, or run a blog — you’re practicing organic marketing.”

What is the goal of organic marketing?

Organic marketing serves a different purpose than paid ads. While a paid campaign might have a goal to reach 500 people, organic campaigns might set goals related to time spent engaging with content or the number of comments people post and the questions they ask.

“Businesses use organic marketing to increase brand awareness and develop an authentic connection with their audience; this can be through educational or entertaining content — or both,” writes the team at the Beyond Agency. “To be successful with organic marketing you’ll need a multitude of ways to attract leads and convert users.”

Simply posting an ad usually isn’t enough to gain traction with organic marketing. You need to create something of value — something that provides information to web users or amuses them.

Should you invest in organic or paid marketing?

You don’t have to take a singular path in your marketing efforts. Many companies develop comprehensive strategies in which they invest in both organic and paid media. Those channels work together to move the business forward.

“Organic marketing uses word-of-mouth style messaging and focuses on meaningful content that educates, entertains, and builds customer loyalty,” says Jackie Tucker, content strategist for Fly Pages. “Paid marketing is all about driving sales by using highly targeted ads and sponsored posts in strategic online locations where your target audience likes to hang out.”

For example, your target audience might see your paid ad and engage with your brand for the first time. From there, they can follow your business on social media and keep up with your organic content. This is what will encourage them to buy your products and return to your business over time.

“Neither organic nor paid marketing is better than the other,” writes Si Quan Ong, who does marketing for Ahrefs. “They’re both legitimate marketing strategies that can be used for different purposes. However, they’re most effective when they’re used together.”

What is the difference between content marketing and organic marketing?

Content marketing is a subset of organic marketing. It’s a strategy businesses use to engage audiences through the development of content such as blog posts, videos, email blasts, and other media.

“Content marketing is very similar to organic marketing,” writes Dayana Mayfield, SaaS copywriter and SEO strategist. “Most forms of organic marketing rely on creating great content to attract and convert your audience. The only difference is that content marketers often use paid channels to promote their content.”

It’s also important to note that organic marketing comes with its own costs. Businesses either use in-house resources to develop blog posts, social media content, and other organic materials, or they outsource their needs. The production of organic content isn’t free.

Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash

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