The New Hybrid Social Reach Strategy: Organic and Paid

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Organic marketing is exceptionally appealing to budget-conscious companies - while the creation of organic content does require capital, deploying it across various platforms is essentially free. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and that's doubly true in the B2B sphere; social media platforms are all too aware at how lucrative marketing is, and how much of a dent "organic" was putting in their bottom line. Knowing that aggressive ad exposure could cost them subscribers - the real product, at the end of the day - these channels have opted to be more selective in what they display from businesses. Unsurprisingly, "selective" sounds an awful lot like an old-timey cash register if you listen closely enough. Paid advertisers aren't just getting a little bit of preference, they've stolen the spotlight entirely.

So is that it, then? Is organic reach well and truly dead? Have social media companies slammed the door and thrown away the key? Not completely.

Hedge Your Bets For the Future

The best business advice almost always includes some permutation of staying flexible, and a social reach strategy is no exception. The best insurance policy against drastic shifts in algorithms is a harmonious blend of organic and inorganic - read: paid - advertising.  Used properly, they can easily build on one another and keep your potential customers engaged and returning. Use paid social reach to direct them to a promotional offer or the first article in a series; from there, a CTA for newsletter signups or a link to the next article will keep them on your radar. Facebook reach can be leveraged through paid ads that encourage new customers to like and share an offer on their feed for access to better discounts or gifts-with-purchase. A promoted post could direct the reader to an alternate social media platform that isn't as restrictive on organic visibility. Remarketing ads on Facebook can pick up where an organic thread may have left off, giving your company another "bite at the apple" if the lead eludes you the first time around.

Well, What Now?

The key is to have a plan in mind for how to best utilize a potential customer's attention once you have it - just catching their eye won't further your marketing goals. If you're going to use the power of paid placement and reach to get the word out, make sure there's more than that one word waiting when they arrive. Of course conversion is a natural goal, but what happens after the sale is made? Do you have a reason for those buyers to stick around, something to entice them to build loyalty to your brand?

This is where your organic content comes in - a content library builds authority and gives browsers a reason to stick around, share with friends, and recommend your products and services. To that end, make sure all of your content is ready to be consumed and shared without barriers - there's nothing worse than having a lead primed to let you speak to their social circles but missing the opportunity due to a lack of a user-friendly sharing interface. Use a responsive mobile site design whenever possible, as well: the average person interacts with their smartphone 2,000 to 5,000 times per day. If your site can't be read and navigated with ease on a mobile device, you're missing out on the lowest-hanging fruit in marketing existence. 

Organic versus inorganic marketing is not the latest Apple versus Android-esque battle royale; they're simply two different methodologies that work far better in concert than in opposition to one another. To stay on top of your game in exposure, you'll need to embrace the balancing act and find the right mix of organic and inorganic techniques that work - for both your company and for your audience. 

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Isaac Oswalt

Owner of 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. Futurist in nature, Isaac displays a deep desire to preserve the human element in today's business. Trust being the ultimate currency, his clients appreciate that "new and stronger handshakes" is a success metric in their businesses.

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