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In today’s highly competitive business environment, choosing the correct marketing channels is essential to the effectiveness of your overall marketing strategy. Today, we will review the differences between paid and organic advertising to help you decide which is right for your business.

What Is Paid Advertising?

Paid advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a term used to describe marketing tactics that rely on paying to get an ad in front of a group of people. In digital marketing, businesses can pay to have their ads displayed on search engines, social media platforms, or other websites. This allows small businesses to quickly and effectively target their desired audience and boost their online visibility. 

An example of paid advertising are Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords). Using the Google Ads platform, businesses can bid on specific keywords related to their products or services and have ads displayed at the top of Google search results pages for those searches. This allows businesses to get their website in front of potential customers who are searching for what they offer, even if their website wouldn’t normally show in these searches.

What Is Organic Advertising?

Organic advertising refers to the process of creating content that naturally reaches an audience as they navigate the internet. Common organic advertising strategies include SEO, social media posts, video creation and blogging.  The key to successful organic advertising is to create content that provides value to the audience and encourages them to engage with the brand organically.

An example of organic advertising is content marketing. This involves creating high-quality, valuable content such as blog posts, videos and infographics. These pieces of content are designed to answer specific questions that consumers may have. The content is then found by consumers as they search for these solutions on search engines, social media or video sharing platforms like YouTube.

Which Is Right For Your Small Business?

Choosing between paid and organic advertising can be a difficult decision. Both approaches have their own unique strengths, and selecting the best approach depends on factors such as your business objectives, target audience, and budget. To get a better idea of which form of advertising will work for your small business, let’s look a little closer at the advantages of both approaches.  

Advantages of paid advertising 

The main advantage of paid advertising is that the ads can produce immediate results. For small businesses looking to drive sales in the short term, paid advertising is likely going to be the best choice.  When properly set up and carefully targeted, paid advertising campaigns can be a cost-effective and efficient way to reach new audiences, drive sales or leads, and gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. 

Advantages of organic advertising 

The main advantage of utilizing organic advertising is that the content that is created will continue to work for you long after it is published. Unlike with paid advertising where the ads stop the moment you stop paying for them, the content created with organic advertising strategies will remain visible long after they’re published. This means that a blog post that you publish today can still generate new leads and sales for you for years after it is published (assuming that the topic is still relevant). 

Time Cost vs Monetary Cost 

When considering whether to use paid or organic advertising, it’s essential to understand the concept   of time cost. Time cost refers to the amount of time and effort required to implement and maintain an organic advertising strategy. Just like money, time is a resource. For many small business owners, time might even be more scarce than money.  Tasks like creating blog posts, optimizing website content for search engines, and engaging with followers on social media all take time. While time cost may not require a monetary investment, it can be significant, especially for businesses with limited time resources available. 

So Which Is Right For Your Business?

While both paid and organic advertising can help grow your small business on their own, the real magic happens when you combine them together. Paid ads are great for driving new sales ready traffic to your website; generating quick sales and growing your customer base. Organic advertising can then be utilized to grow awareness among the general public (not those that are actively looking for your products or services) and keep current clients engaged with your brand. This added awareness and engagement with consumers will then lead to more business in the future. 

If you don’t have the budget to do both, your decision should be based on either the timeline of your goals, or your available resources. Businesses that are focusing on short term goals, or ones that have more monetary resources available to them should look at incorporating paid ads into their marketing strategy. Those that are focusing on long term goals and have more time based resources available should instead start an organic marketing strategy. 

If you are a small business struggling to decide between paid and organic advertising, consider seeking guidance from marketing professionals. Lure Marketing can assist you in creating a customized marketing plan that suits your business goals and available resources. Contact us today to learn how we can help grow your business

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