With the increasing number of digital platforms and technologies; the need to be seen in a crowded social media space, paid advertising seemed the solution for many businesses. There was a promised return on investment (ROI), and it was quick.
While lip service was paid about the importance of organic marketing, it was often only that - lip service. Budgets, time, and energy went into paid marketing.
Currently, we are in a changing environment. Some of the change has occurred quickly; others have been flagged for some time, but we are only beginning to feel the impacts of these changes.
While increasing protections for people's privacy and providing greater clarity around data collection is good, it impacts the ROI for paid advertising. We have previously written about the impact of App Tracking Transparency (ATT) on search ad tools and for businesses.
The increasing cost of living and talk of possible recession impact the budget for paid advertising. Suddenly, organisations must look at expenditure and ways money can be saved to survive the coming months.
The cost-of-living increases will impact small to medium size businesses the most, and those businesses using paid marketing will likely reduce or stop spending on advertising.
These changes present an opportunity for the resurgence of organic marketing for several reasons.
The view is that organic marketing doesn't cost. You are not using paid channels to advertise your business or brand. While this is true on one level, it does create a false dichotomy.
There is a cost with organic marketing that is paid in time, energy, and effort. This is the time, energy, and effort you put into maintaining your social media accounts, creating and posting relevant information, and building your email list.
It is not a choice between no-cost marketing (organic) vs paid marketing; it is a choice between lower-cost marketing and higher-cost or paid marketing.
When costs are increasing, and there is uncertainty about the future, investing time and energy in marketing is a better alternative than paying for marketing.
Investing time and energy allows for marketing sustainability, which is essential for brand recognition and survival.
Businesses that rely on paid advertising without a solid organic marketing strategy underpinning the paid advertising place themselves in a potentially precarious position. When paid advertising can no longer be afforded, they lose visibility because they do not have a strong organic strategy. This can impact sales resulting in a loss of business opportunities.
Organic marketing is ultimately more sustainable in the long term, particularly when there are cost issues. However, there are other important reasons why organic marketing should be reconsidered.
Paying for marketing is not the same as establishing brand authority. It is easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of paid advertising and mistake this for brand authority. However, people may love our ads but not trust our business model.
Brand authority is built over time and with hard work. Organic marketing enables you to build your brand authority sustainably over the long term.
Ways to build brand authority are through activities like content writing or blogging. This is one effective way of establishing your brand's authority, which influences your organic search ranking on Google. When establishing your brand authority, you must consistently produce fresh and engaging content.
If businesses do not have someone continually writing fresh, authoritative content for their organic marketing, they are better off investing in paying someone to do this rather than paying for advertising. The reason is that long-term writing will give them better brand authority and credibility than paid advertising.
Organic marketing is a low-cost, efficient way of trying new things. If you want to create a new campaign or strategy but are unsure how it will work, organic marketing provides a low-cost way of testing it. If the campaign or strategy doesn't work, you will have lost time and energy but potentially saved thousands of dollars you would have spent on a paid campaign.
Organic marketing also allows you to engage with your clients in ways that are more personal and less salesy. For example, organic marketing will enable you to do quick surveys or questionnaires to get immediate feedback from clients. This information is vital for building brand authority because it increases trust in clients when they see their issues and challenges being addressed authentically and helpfully.
ORGANIC MARKETING AND UGC (USER GENERATED CONTENT)
Organic marketing allows us to concentrate on user-generated content (UGC). This is content that users generate to promote our business or service. Potential clients or customers are more likely to trust another customer's word, particularly if they are following them on social media.
People are generally wary of what businesses say about themselves; we want to read reviews and the experiences of other people engaging with our company.
This is known as social proof. It is the validation customers, or clients provide about our trustworthiness, reliability, and authenticity. Social proof is not something we can achieve through a paid marketing campaign. We only get social proof from user-generated content; to get this, we need organic marketing.
Organic marketing allows us to be creative, to engage our clients to the extent they carry the information forward, creating greater social proof.
When digital marketing costs are increasing, and the ROI for paid advertising is impacted by privacy laws and changes to data requirements, the place and importance of organic marketing again comes to the fore.
There is a cost to organic marketing, but in the long term, the cost and benefit of organic marketing may outweigh the cost of paid advertising. The reasons for this are organic marketing: