The difference between organic reach and paid reach

You've probably heard the terms "paid" and "organic" reach. But what do they mean, and which one is right for your marketing efforts?


6 min read

Reach explained

Eline Ellesgaard, Head of Paid Marketing

Google processes more than 40,000 search queries on average every second. With every search query, you have an opportunity as a marketer to reach the user. But how?

In the world of advertising we usually talk about two silos of “reach”: organic reach and paid reach. To understand how these two ways of advertising can benefit each other, I will first guide you through the differences between organic and paid reach on Google and Facebook, and when to implement which strategy.

What does reach mean?

Advertisers want to reach people with their messages. Reach defines the total number of people who have seen your ad or content. The broader the reach, the more people have seen your ad. And the more narrow your reach, the fewer people will see your ad. 

What is paid reach?

Paid reach or paid marketing is exactly what it sounds like. You pay advertising platforms to serve your ads to potential customers. Paid ads are usually found in the top search results on Google, and on Facebook you can find them as sponsored images and video ads in your feed. 

The benefits of running paid ads in your marketing strategy are many. It’s a quick way to drive more traffic to your website and you only pay whenever people actually click on your ad. This is also called pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and is a great way to bring in new leads with a controlled budget. With paid ads, you’re able to define your audience groups and target them directly. Results are visible already within the hour since you’re able to hit a massive reach with your online ads. 

There are a lot of platforms you can use for paid marketing campaigns. Many of these platforms can be complex for a beginner in marketing, though. Choose a platform that has a simple overview and skips all the complexities. 

Try Cobiro and get started with paid marketing right away. So easy anyone can do it!

Setting a budget

When you decide to get started with paid advertising you might be curious about how much money you need to spend. A benefit of PPC marketing is that you only pay when real people actually click on your ad. Both Google Ads and Facebook Ads lets you define your maximum daily budget to keep you in control of your advertising spend. 

You can actually get started with as little as $10 a day, and you can increase or decrease your daily budget at any time. In most cases $10 won’t give much benefit to your ads, as the actual cost per click varies depending on many factors like industry, competition and the quality of your ads. Usually the cost per click is higher if there are a lot of competitors advertising for the same products as you or to the same audience. 

What is organic reach?

Organic marketing is more reliant on time than money. As opposed to paid reach, organic reach is not related to a direct cost of money. On Google you’ll find the organic results below the paid ads, and on Facebook you’ll find regular posts with images, videos or text updates from business owners in your feed. 

Organic reach is more an investment in increasing your online presence over time. You can build your organic presence by adding more content to your website and social media profiles, writing blog posts with a high amount of relevant keywords and remember to implement link building to increase your SEO ranking. 

Want a free SEO rating of your website? Try Cobiro’s SEO tool right here.

So when should you consider what approach?

You’ll probably approach marketing differently depending on what stage your business is in and what resources you have available. But balancing the two is essential for your online marketing strategy.

Paid marketing is great to reach a larger audience and drive leads very fast. Organic reach on the other hand is beneficial for building trust and relationships with your customers. Therefore, these two ways of advertising should not be divided into silos as they complement each other very well. Implementing both types of reach helps you gain success with your online advertising strategy, both in the short and long term.

If you’re interested in learning more about Cobiro’s marketing platform versus Google Ads, take a look at this article I recently wrote. 

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