Forward View Consulting

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Organic vs. Paid Marketing (Part Three)

As we discussed last month, paid marketing is essentially digital advertising. Ads are "pushed" onto internet users in order to develop/grow a customer base. People don't typically seek ads to consume, and most advertising is ignored. We'll simply state that the more your content looks like an ad, the less likely people are to appreciate it. Great digital advertising must be innovative and intriguing in some way. Bland text that says, "Buy an Acme widget!" is almost certain to fail.

With organic marketing, your goal isn't to force ads onto people. Instead, you're trying to pull customers to you with content that's naturally appealing. Where advertising is more of a hard sell, organic marketing is a soft touch approach. Over time, the effectiveness of advertising has declined due to the sheer quantity of ads that inundate Americans every waking hour. There's a diminishing return on total internet advertising, but that diminishing return perversely encourages still more ads because companies are so desperate for attention.

Effective organic marketing requires patience, and some people equate marketing with advertising. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can sell without overtly SELLING! Take a look at a snapshot of our Twitter account below.

Most of our social media posts look like the two above. They share information on our work but are designed to appeal to anybody who's interested in digital marketing or equity research. You can learn something from our content. Also, note how we use Twitter to promote our free newsletter. We ideally want to connect with people in multiple ways, such as email and social media. Every impression we make slightly increases the probability of starting a business conversation. These discussions can begin naturally, too.

The importance of using organic marketing strategies through multiple communication channels cannot be overstated. If, for example, a client has a newsletter but no social media activity, we'll suggest creating a Facebook page and Twitter account. Forward View also highly recommends creating a blog on small business websites in order to encourage people to visit the site regularly.

Finally, consider whether or not your organic marketing content contains a "viral" element. Ideally, you want people who currently read your blog/receive your newsletter/follow your business on social media to share the content with others. If somebody's friend says, "You should read this small business newsletter and subscribe," the recipient is reasonably likely to accept the suggestion. The conversion rate of such person-to-person sharing is much higher than for digital advertising.

In summary, organic marketing creates a better overall environment for additional communication than the typical ad. Focus on developing compelling content that people want to read. Make potential customers flock to you instead of chasing them across the internet with ads!