Is Organic Marketing Dead?
In Q1 2021, paid marketing on Google grew by 20% YoY. B2C and B2B companies spend their marketing dollars on Google, LinkedIn, and Instagram ads partly because organic marketing feels less efficient for driving traffic and engaging the right audience. Yet, organic marketing plays a crucial role in the success of paid and sponsored posts.
Apple recently implemented an opt-in system for cookie tracking. So, Google has warned app publishers that paid SEO may become less effective (due to customers opting out of tailored ads). A recent Forbes article, Organic SEO Is Becoming More Important As Privacy Concerns Grow, notes that,
“Losing access to personalised data and the targeting opportunities it creates could leave many digital advertisers feeling blindsided.”
Organic approaches to marketing give companies greater control over their online presence. So, is organic marketing dead? I don’t think so. We need a slightly different approach to make it work, but organic marketing is alive and well. Here’s why.
Before you start a paid media campaign, it’s essential to consider what your target audience will find about you and your business. Yes, you will show them a press release or a landing page that you’ve paid Google to present to them based on a handful of keywords. But most people will dig deeper to search for more information about you. Your website might get more traffic during a campaign period. Some of the articles will get a good readership, and members of your staff with a visible personal brand will notice their profiles getting extra footfall.
While organic marketing on its own will not help you scale your business, paid ads on their own won’t either.
Buyers are doing more research before approaching a company – even when they see an ad. Research reveals that B2B buyers read 13-15 pieces of content before they reach out to you. Unless you’ve put out at least 13-15 paid ads, most of these pieces of content will need to be organic.
Limited time offers might make them act more quickly, but most people are sceptical and will still want to find out more. These buyers won’t be satisfied with more ads. You will need organic content to come to your rescue. Here’s how.
1. Develop a library of content for your target audience
Start by identifying the questions that your audience wants to be answered. Read reviews and survey results so that you can build a library of critical themes that a market leader in your industry must address to win the day.
Once identified, start creating content. Make videos, write articles, conduct interviews with subject matter experts. The list is endless. Whatever you do, make sure that you start. The feedback you get from your first few pieces of content will tell you what you must create next. You need to take this first step before paying for ads.
2. Publish content consistently over a 3–6-month period
In a 2019 Forbes article, the author highlights that content consistency is one of the most valuable factors in a brand’s success. It helps to build a brand’s trust and credibility while showing that you value your target audience. Most social media platforms reward your consistency – the algorithm favours your consistent posting and gives you more visibility.
When your audience knows that they can depend on your content, you generate more organic traffic and engagement. You give your audience a reason to return. Topping that off with paid ads later helps you reap the many rewards of your consistency.
3. Engage with other people’s content (without engagement, social media is just media)
Organic marketing thrives on engagement with other brands and people with similar values to your company. Comment on posts that resonate with your mission offer tips and support causes in your local community, for instance.
One tip for engaging with your audience is: Be authentic by sharing your values and vision. Discuss challenges you’ve had along the way and how you overcame them. When other people share their experiences, offer support, and inspire progress.
4. Measure the performance of your content
A recent survey reveals that only 39% of B2B marketers consider themselves good at tracking the return on investment for content. The first step to measuring the performance of your content is setting some goals. It would help if you had goals connected to brand awareness, lead generation and overall engagement with your brand because of the content you share.
Having a good understanding of which content is high performing gives you a head start when it comes to sponsored posts, for instance. You can do in-depth research on why that content did well and put a strategy to replicate the impact with a mix of formatting, key messages, emotional touchpoints and so on.
5. Use your best-performing content in your paid ads and sponsored content
As prospects develop an interest in your product and services, you will start to see which pieces of content resonated the most (remember to measure content performance). Organic interest built from consistency in content marketing is a great way to find out what truly hits home with your prospects.
Content that has already resonated with your audience is an excellent place to start when running paid ads. It is easier to target the right people, and you know that your content is sticky; hence you are more likely to get a reasonable return on your ads investment.
If you’re paying for ads before organic marketing, you are putting the cart before the horse. So, is organic marketing dead? You decide.
To talk to me about your marketing needs, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch.