Difference Between Organic vs. Paid Digital Marketing

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Customers are active on multiple platforms and businesses are finding new ways of reaching them and marketing their products. Before preparing a social media marketing or search engine strategy, companies must first decide if they will be focusing on organic or inorganic digital marketing based on their budget.

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There are innumerable business marketing strategies available in today's era but all of them for under two broad categories; either organic marketing or paid (inorganic) digital marketing. Knowing when to use one strategy over the other and how to combine the two for generating a successful marketing campaign is essential. 

Read on to know what organic and inorganic marketing is and what are the distinctions between the two.

What is Organic Marketing?

Organic marketing is a business strategy that allows businesses to reach a larger audience with the help of social media marketing. It refrains from using any paid methods for the marketing of business products and services. This technique increases brand awareness among common people by amplifying the business products on social media and multiple websites.

Organic marketing aims at building a connection with the common public through various types of content such as informative, entertainment, educational etc. This strategy helps to attract potential customers to the company website who can in turn become frequent purchasers. 

Organic Marketing Examples

Some commonly used organic marketing instances are enumerated as follows:

  • Blog posts/ articles.
  • Unpaid social media posts on multiple platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc.
  • SEO content.
  • Email newsletters.
  • WhatsApp messages by brands.
  • YouTube videos.
  • Online promotions through clickable links.

What is Paid Digital Marketing?

Paid digital marketing is a strategy where a business pays a certain amount to website owners or a publisher each time when a user clicks or views one of their advertisements. It is also known as inorganic marketing. It can be in the form of advertisements at any educational website or entertainment platform and so on. 

Paid digital marketing involves compensating companies or famous individuals to talk about business products and services. It acts as a promotion so that the business can attract a good amount of audience to its website. This type of marketing strategy is primarily focused on sales. The main goal is to convert the target audience into a sales campaign.

Paid Digital Marketing Examples

Mostly used paid digital marketing examples are stated as follows:

  • Paid Partnerships with social media influences, celebrities, famous personalities etc.
  • Podcast advertising.
  • Video advertisements.
  • Marketing on OTT platforms.
  • Search engine advertisements.

Difference Between Organic vs. Paid Digital Marketing

These are two very distinct approaches to digital marketing that have proven to be very successful in the global era. It is the time of social media and no one is unknown of the benefits that social media has reaped. Although closely related but organic and paid digital marketing has certain differences that are stated as follows:


The main goal of organic marketing is to attract the audience to the business website and educate them about the products and services.

And the other hand, paid digital marketing mainly focuses on converting potential customers into actual buyers. 


Organic marketing mainly targets increasing the buzz about the business products and services and creating traffic to their website.

On the contrary, paid digital marketing primarily targets increasing the return on investments (ROI) and achieving the sales target in a specific time period.

Customer relationship

In the case of organic marketing, brands try to build long-term business relationships with the customers and the potential buyers so that if not in the present they can become customers in the future.

However, paid digital marketing primarily stresses short-term seller-customer relationships. it may or may not become a long-term affair.

Measurement of success

In organic marketing, the marketing teams monitor search result page ranks, the number of organic traffic and so on to ascertain the success and effectiveness of the inbound initiative.

Whereas, in paid digital marketing, the success of a campaign is determined after tracking the engagement and conversion rate from viewers to buyers.


Organic marketing only uses content-based marketing strategies. The content can be in the form of blog posts, social media posts, landing pages, infographics etc. The publisher publishes SEO-based content and promotes the brand's links through email marketing, WhatsApp marketing and so on.

On the other hand, paid digital marketing uses the strategy of sponsored posts and paid partnerships. The brand is promoted on social media through various paid distributions and generally works on the basis of pay-per-click.

Content optimisation

In the case of organic marketing, it is very important to optimise the content before posting it. If the content is not properly optimised then it may not prove to be that effective and can fail to attract a number of potential customers.

However, content optimisation is not a key feature in the case of paid digital marketing. Here, the main focus is on engaging with a popular company or personality rather than creating optimised content.


The first and foremost benefit of organic marketing is that it is absolutely free of cost. Also, audiences frequently perceive it as more genuine because the content is informative, timely, and beneficial to viewers rather than being a desperate sales pitch.

On the contrary, the major benefit of paid digital marketing is that brands can connect with potential customers more directly. Instead of waiting for readers to stumble across a blog article, marketers can display advertisements right where their target demographic is browsing.


The major disadvantage of organic marketing is that it is more time-consuming. A lot of effort is required to prepare and draft good quality content, and it consumes more time and effort.

However, the major drawback of paid digital marketing is that customers can easily back out from the brand if they feel that the sales pitch is being forced upon them.


Both organic and paid digital marketing are very impactful approaches to increasing brand value and reaching out to new audiences. Marketing is a very prosperous aspect in the age of social media. If you want to become a successful marketing professional then a Chief Marketing Officer certification course can teach you a lot about marketing principles and tactics.

The scope of marketing is ever-increasing as there are newer ways of creating brand awareness among the target audience. Sign up for the Executive Certificate Programme For Strategic Chief Marketing Officers by Imarticus and set out to have a successful marketing career.

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