Paid vs. Organic Marketing: What’s The Difference?

November 9, 2020   |   Share:     |  

Whether you’re paying for ad space or just reaching out to consumers organically, there are plenty of ways to communicate with your audience. Some of which you’re probably already doing. Posting on social media, competing against other brands with Google AdWords, sending out e-blasts. All of these are great tactics. However, the key behind all of those methods is strategy. 

What are your specific business goals? Are you looking to raise awareness of your brand and get more eyes on your product? Or are you more focused on building a loyal following and developing a community within your audience? Maybe a combination of the two. No matter what your goals are, how you communicate with your audience will drastically impact your business. 

Paid ads and organic marketing can both be extremely beneficial for your brand but are vastly different. Let’s break down the critical differentiators between paid and organic advertising to determine how they can best suit your goals. 


Paid Ads 

Paid ads are a form of advertising in which you put money behind your content to reach a target audience. Standard practices include display ads, Google AdWords, YouTube PreRolls, and social paid ads. 

Pros of Paid Ads 

A huge benefit of paid ads is increasing awareness. Rather than posting content into the internet void, you can put money behind your messages. This ensures your brand is seen by people who might not even know you exist. Implementing keywords and audience targeting isn’t cheap. Still, if it’s done correctly, the return on investment makes it well worth your while. Most businesses generate an average return of $2 for every $1 invested

Another advantage of paid ads is the type of audience your brand is introduced to. With targeting and keywords, those who contact your brand are most likely customers who are ready to purchase your product. 

Cons of Paid Ads 

There are a few downsides to utilizing paid ads. For one, 96% of consumers tend to distrust ads. A paid ad tends to speak more to the idea that your business has a large budget rather than a quality product. So the messaging behind the ad is imperative. It’s crucial to come across as authentic and develop creative ideas that generate a response. The targeting is also critical. If done incorrectly, your message could land in front of people who have no interest in your product in service. And if that’s the case, you’re just wasting your money. 



Organic marketing is a form of advertising or communication in which there is no money being put behind the content. Some organic marketing forms include posting on social media, sending out e-blasts, and updating your website with SEO methods. 

Pros of Organic Marketing 

One of the most apparent benefits to organic marketing is the cost or lack thereof. There is no price to post on social platforms, send emails, or strategically update your website. So the results depend on the effort you put in. With organic marketing, consistency is key. You can generate viable leads by cultivating a digital presence that makes people want to learn more about you.

Organic media is often seen as more authentic and trustworthy as there is no money being put behind it. So your audience is more likely to appreciate that transparency and will feel more comfortable buying from you. 

Cons of Organic Marketing 

Organic marketing tends to take a longer time to really make a difference. Sometimes you need weeks, months, or years of consistent communication to truly build a loyal band of followers or clientele. Paying diligent attention to analytics is vital to ensure the content you’re putting out is generating the results you want. Organic communication requires frequent adjustments before you find a system that works for you. It’s a process that, to be done successfully, doesn’t really have an end date. 


How Can We Help? 

Our INDIRAP team has perfected our method of utilizing paid and organic media. Whether it’s for our clients or for ourselves. We practice what we preach. We’ve tested all of our methods on ourselves. And we’ve seen authentic results and growth after implementing both paid and organic communications. We’d love to do the same for you. 

Contact us to set up a free 15-minute call to go over a content plan for your business. 

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