Arif Kazi
Mar 10, 2023

Opinion: Organic vs paid media strategy

The author explains the difference between the two and also states why both are needed for each to function

Opinion: Organic vs paid media strategy
If you are thinking that you can only engage your customers with either organic or paid media marketing strategies, you need to know that both are incomplete without each other. However, you need to have your organic media marketing strategy planned to be able to reap benefits from paid media marketing strategies. Let’s understand the difference and how to build an effective organic media marketing strategy
Organic and paid media strategies, both have diverse use cases to help a brand create value in the competitive market. A company willing to promote its brand needs to understand that they both unique in their own way. Let’s understand how both are different and equally crucial for a brand to thrive in reaching the targeted customers.
Organic media marketing strategy mainly includes content that the brand creates by itself and reaches out to the audience through email, social media pages and its website by focusing on SEO. The content usually is freely available to prospective leads with the intent to attract them to convert them into invaluable customers. It doesn’t include any paid contributions to the media channels where the content is being promoted.
On the contrary, paid media marketing strategy is when a brand uses capital investment to promote its products/ services to the prospective audience by using the same channels used for organic media marketing strategies. Social Media promoted posts, search engine-promoted links and advertisements in online magazines or news websites are examples of paid media. 
Each one has a different say on the use case of either of the marketing strategies. A paid promotion needs the support of organically produced content. Paid promotion is often used to elicit the viewers’ interest to in turn visit the brand’s website, social media page, blog posts, etc., which are nothing but content produced organically. For example, you promote your apparel brand’s ongoing sale through the social media sponsored post option. Interested people will click on your post and be redirected to your website which includes not only the products on offer but also several other free, relevant content like blog posts with the title, ‘How to dress smartly ethnic to office’, ‘Which ethnic wear to consider during winter’, etc.
Moreover, creating content continuously with no target audience to engage is losing the game even before being in it. Say you are a public bike sharing business and trying to popularise sustainable micro-mobility within a city, then you cannot just keep your website updated with new blogs on the topic. You need to publish paid advertorials in the local newspapers and virtual news apps to reach the audience with the awakening concept.
The ROI is different in each case. A promoted post on social media might bring in more leads in a short period. However, the ROI in the case of Organic media strategy is often slow and linear. Often you may be doubting whether the organic media strategy is even working or not given the nominal engagement desired. Hence, if you are looking at quick ROI, paid media strategy will gain you some instant relief. However, if you are looking at compounding ROI over time, an organic media strategy will help you achieve it. 
Let’s understand what do you need to consider to build your organic or paid media strategy and reap the benefits accordingly:
Know your audience: You must know your target audience before you begin promoting your products. Who do you wish to target, why do you think they are your customers and how to engage them basis their unique purchase traits will help you build a clear, targeted media strategy. Define your audience always and centric to this strategy plan what kind of content you want to promote.
Choose your goal: Your intent of promotion needs to be quite clear before you plan a promotional strategy. Why your brand is doing what it is doing is the question you need to ask yourself. Once your intent is clear, you can build your content basis where your lead is sitting in the Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action (AIDA) model of your marketing efforts. 
Select your channel: Your channel/ platform to promote must be the channels that your target audience uses day in and day out. For example, if your target audience surfs about skating tips and tricks on YouTube, you can market your skating gear by hosting a skating expert on your YouTube channel who is wearing your brand’s skating gear. Likewise, social media, email, podcasts, and backlinking on online social forums like Quora, etc., can be used where target customers usually keep surfing to seek solutions for their needs.
Understand the type of content working best for you: Choosing the format of your content that aligns with your business needs is quite important. If your brand strives to capture adventurous moments by providing them with utility cameras, your audience doesn’t want to read long paragraphs of a traveller’s sojourn. They want to see videos and photos that your cameras capture. Hence, the format of the content that you choose is quite crucial before you start promoting. 
While building out a strategy to attract leads, nurturing them, leading them to convert into invaluable customers and then keeping them engaged with relevant content for future business prospects, is a long and continuous process. Measuring the efforts of your marketing strategies, either organic or paid, and the results of the same to improvise on your future course of action can be time-consuming and cumbersome. 
To make a sustainable decision, you need to understand the nature of the promotion. The 'why?' must be answered. If you intend to normalize behaviour in someone, you may pick the slow and steady, targeted, organic media strategy. For example, you will have to pen down several blog posts and have to publish them in many newspapers about why public bike-sharing systems are relevant in pollution-clogged cities for a breathable future. 
But, you may want to promote a social media post on a limited-edition food product that your company has brought to the market. In this case, you might want to achieve instant sales without any delay to clear the stocks quicker. In this case, paid media strategies will help you. 
The services can be handled by professional marketing and public relations building agencies who understand the exact need of the brand in terms of promotion while letting the brand’s people focus on the development and design of the product/ services. With proven excellence in helping brands to elevate their presence in their respective industry, Dust value guides clients across industries by fabricating personalised media strategies.  
The author is founder and managing director, Dust Value


Campaign India

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