What Marketing Method Is Best… Paid Marketing or Free Marketing? This is the age-old question that every newbie marketer and business owner is asking.
If you are a business owner trying to grow your business and struggling to find the right way to go about it or simply a marketer trying to make some money online, you have come to the right place.
This article will be a no-fluff piece. So, let’s get down to business.
Paid Vs. Free Marketing: What Marketing Method Is Best… Paid Marketing or Free Marketing?
Before I can go into further information and help you pick the best marketing strategy, let’s break down what paid marketing is and what free marketing is. Knowing this will help you clearly make the right choice.
Paid Marketing: What Marketing Method Is Best… Paid Marketing or Free Marketing?
Also known as pay per click or PPC is exactly that. It is paying to get people to click on your advert.
When it comes to mainstream media, you pay a fixed price for a time slot and are told that X number of people tend to watch TV at that particular time. So, you pay more for what they call “prime spots”.
With digital marketing or social media marketing, it is different. You add a marketing budget of your choice and pick where you want it to appear. Each time someone sees your ad you get charged a small amount for the “impression”.
In the last few years, companies have spent more money on digital marketing than on mainstream media. There are great reasons why and we will walk through them as we go through the article.
Why Digital Marketing Is Outpacing Mainstream Media
Digital marketing has many advantages over mainstream media. Here are a few:
People are spending less time watching TV and more time on their phones, laptops, and tablets. In order to reach your clients, you must be where they are.
Newspapers companies are moving from print media to online platforms. They have few sales, as a result, they have switched to digital.
Social media advertising allows you to place you Ad anywhere on the prospect’s timeline for a cheaper price than mainstream media.
Anyone can place a social media post online without having to contact a tv station, ask for availability and then go through a large budget to film the ad or get the copy written.
Free Marketing: What Marketing Method Is Best… Paid Marketing or Free Marketing?
Free marketing strategies are great if you are on a low budget. Yes, free really does exist.
Free, however, does not mean you have zero investment. The less money you spend the more time you have to invest. In the past, you would release a press release in a small newspaper that needed content in their back pages — that would be free.
With the slow death of newspapers, there are more and more ways to get free marketing and publicity online. There are press release websites, business directories, social media posts, and search engines.
The largest and most used methods are search engine optimization and social media postings. These are popular for a good reason — they work.
Disclaimer, they take a long time to produce a result so you will need to be patient.
Types of Paid Marketing: What Marketing Method Is Best… Paid Marketing or Free Marketing?
Now that you know what paid marketing is, let’s breakdown the types of paid marketing with a little more detail. Here we will discuss some of my favorite platforms, Facebook and Snapchat. I will also touch on Google ads.
Facebook Marketing Pay Per Click
Facebook is by far the largest and most dominant social media platform on the planet. The platform has more active users than any other platform online.
Here are some general statistics that make Facebook a great place to do business:
Facebook user and demographics statistics
- Over 1bn of those are mobile-only users.
- There are 1.49 billion daily active users.
- 47% of Facebook users only access the platform through mobile.
- 83% of parents on Facebook are friends with their children.
- Facebook adds 500,000 new users every day; 6 new profiles every second.
This may be all good and well. However, let’s look at how Facebook works in Uganda:
As of 2017, there were more than 10 million mobile internet users in Uganda. 2.4 million people in Kampala currently use Facebook with less than 100,000 being below the age of 16.
Facebook Targeting Capabilities
Now that we know how big and powerful Facebook is, let’s break down why that is good news for you.
Imagine your ideal client or customer. What is it that they enjoy doing? How old are they? What sex are they? Who are they friends with? Did they graduate from college?
That’s right, all this information is available on Facebook.
Reaching your ideal client using Facebook’s paid features is as easy as clicking a few buttons. With the tools offered by Facebook and other social platforms, you can target people based on all the information the platforms have on them.
This is extremely powerful.
How many “sponsored” posts have you seen on your timeline today? Those are all advertisements targeting people like you.
It’s important to note that in order to run ads on Instagram, you need to manage them through Facebook’s business manager.
Snapchat Paid Marketing: What Marketing Method Is Best… Paid Marketing or Free Marketing?
Snapchat is another powerful social media platform that has been gaining traction with the millennial crowd. The platform has over 186 million active users daily.
Compared to Facebook, Snapchat has a tougher user interface, which forces the older generations to steer clear. If you are targeting the younger generation, this might be a good place for you to start.
Now that you have a basic understanding of Pay Per Click advertising, it is time to go through free advertising.
Note: Snapchat paid marketing may not be available in your country. For more information about Snapchat marketing please refer to the article https://snctmarketing.com/is-snapchat-a-good-platform-to-grow-your-business?/
Types of Free Marketing: What Marketing Method Is Best… Paid Marketing or Free Marketing?
When people talk about free advertising models, the most common method is SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
When people talk of SEO, it usually refers to Google SEO. This is because Google is the most commonly used search engine on the planet.
Another search engine that requires optimization is YouTube.
Search Engine Optimization simply means making sure your content meets the criteria set by the search engines ever-changing algorithms in order for your content to be seen at the top of a specific keyword search.
Keywords are the words that best define the content you have created. This is the simplest way of explaining it in an actionable way.
Why Should I Rank High with Free Marketing?
The internet has trillions of bits of information. Your niche alone could have thousands of articles about the same thing. At the same time, most readers do not go past page 1 when they search for information on Google. As a result, your goal is to be the first relevant and useful article they see to prevent them from going to other pages.
How Do I Rank My Article on Top?
With the many changes in the algorithms, ranking high is a constant battle. You need to keep checking the rank of your pages based on keywords and make the required change to the content to return to the top of the search page.
There are many courses that teach SEO and you can take a look at them here.
Making your Strategic Choice, Free or Paid Marketing?
When it comes down to making a choice, there are many variables you must consider. Not only should your marketing be on point, but you also need to make sure you have a good product and sales funnel.
In most cases, I would advise my clients to use a mix of both paid and free marketing. Using paid marketing bring in potential clients right now, while free marketing will ensure that the business can survive in the future with less marketing spend.