Get What You Pay For: Organic vs. Sponsored Social Media Advertising

Jul 17, 2020

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In any market, businesses compete to sway consumers to choose their product or service over another. To succeed, the quality of the product itself is only part of the equation. The real trick to attracting a consumer base is through advertising.

Some companies allocate huge portions of their annual budget to high-quality ad campaigns that will resonate with their preferred clientele. These ads have to stand out in a crowded market, push their way to the front and say, “Pick me!” while letting the consumer think that they made their own decision.

With so many companies vying for the same attention, how can you make yourself stand out?

On the (Ad) Campaign Trail

Social media marketing campaigns help you create brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, and generate sales leads. The concept is that brand awareness translates to sales, and subsequently, profit. Knowing that, it’s in your best interest to be a part of the online public consciousness.

So how can you craft an ad campaign that accomplishes this? Both organic and inorganic marketing strategies can be used to create demand for your business, but what’s right for you? 

Let’s dive in. 

Organic Advertising

Organic advertising, at its most basic level, is unpaid advertising in any form. It is all about limiting blatant self-promotion and showing the world your brand’s personality.

Rather than selling, organic is more about putting the information out into the world, and allowing it to spread naturally through word of mouth, shared links, and fun, engaging content that resonates with consumers, especially on social media.

But just because the consumer spreads the information doesn’t mean that its methods lack oversight or intention. If social media as a field of grass, then organic advertising is a controlled burn. 

Types of organic advertising include:

  • Unpaid endorsements and testimonials
  • Engaging free content
  • Word-of-mouth promotion
  • User-generated content (USG)

Organic Advertising Pros

  • Helps you cultivate a good understanding of your audience
  • Generates genuine interest in your brand 
  • Consumers don’t feel like they’re being pitched
  • Guerilla marketing, of a sort

Organic Advertising Cons

  • It’s time-consuming
  • Requires expertise in both content creation and market trends
  • Difficult to determine ROI

Sponsored Advertisement

To reach a wider audience, companies often put money behind their marketing strategies. With sponsored advertisements, your business pays the ad publisher for your content to appear on their site or page. 

These types of ads are much easier to recognize, especially now that many social media platforms and influencers are required to show when content is sponsored.

Types of sponsored advertising include: 

  • Sponsored content, aka “SponCon”
  • Influencer marketing
  • Boosted posts

Sponsored Advertising Pros

  • Wider distribution
  • More defined audience
  • Trackable results via analytics
  • Easy to prove ROI
  • A strong call to action (CTA) can bring definitive results

Sponsored Advertising Cons

  • Sometimes comes across as invasive or inauthentic
  • Not every ad campaign is effective
  • Financial risk

In closing, it’s not always clear what kind of social media advertising will work best for you, your company, or your clientele. That’s why it’s essential to have someone on your side who understands your brand and goals. Hive Art Media works collectively to ensure the best possible results from your marketing efforts. 
Reach out today to learn more, and let’s work together.


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