Why organic content and paid advertising go hand in hand

Advertising campaigns work best when they’re multi-layered. It means you’re finding as many different ways to get your properties or your brand in front of the right people as you can. It’s why, though paid campaigns are essential, organic social media content still has an important role to play in your overall digital strategy.

While we know that you have to ‘pay to play’ on platforms like Facebook to get your ads in front of the right sets of eyes, good quality organic content can help build strong foundations for your digital marketing success.

What is organic content?

Organic content is the free posts, photos, videos, memes, and stories social media users share via their accounts. This content finds its audience organically; initially through the friends and followers of the person who posted it. Good quality, engaging content then finds its way to a wider audience through the likes and shares of those who see it. In rare, often hard to predict cases, the content can go viral, meaning there are exponential numbers of people sharing it so it gains a large audience.

Today’s social media algorithms can make it very difficult for organic content to go beyond a portion of your existing followers (referred to as your ‘organic reach’) and some of your followers’ followers.

Top tip: Using hashtags on some platforms (particularly Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter) can help your organic posts find a wider audience because they’ll group your content for users searching particular topics.

Why organic still matters

Because organic content goes directly to people who are already following you, it is an excellent way to nurture and connect with your existing customers and is particularly good for personal branding. Maintaining those relationships and keeping your brand front of mind for those customers, helps ensure repeat business and referrals, while your paid advertising goes out and finds other potential customers who may not yet know who you are.

Another reason organic posting is important is that it can help you determine the types of content that your social media audience responds to before you start putting money behind campaigns. How your organic audience responds can inform how you target your paid campaigns, and who you try to reach with them.

The more you grow your social media profile organically, the more data it gives you on your ideal target customer audience. Where do they live? What causes do they support? What are their interests? What do they want to know from you?

Organic posting helps build trust with your followers, particularly if you’re posting content that is authentic and helpful. That trusted relationship means your followers are also more likely to engage with or share your paid content because your connection is not based purely on paid advertising.

What content works

The key to effective, engaging organic content is to be useful and authentic. That means being yourself, and being informative. Try market insights from your local area, a quick video on an interesting new listing, or helping to promote community events or charities. From a personal branding perspective, it demonstrates that you’re part of your local community, and you’re interested in people not just selling their homes.

Top tip: Post organic content regularly but not too often; one or two times a week is plenty. And even then, don’t post for the sake of it. Have something specific to say or offer.

The benefits of combining paid and organic

Both paid and unpaid social content will help you build your audience and find customers. With so much going on on social media, an organic strategy alone is insufficient for most businesses these days. To maximize returns on your marketing investments it’s important to have a hybrid strategy. Paid content helps you find a wider audience and target specific ideal customers. Organic helps build brand trust and awareness, and build relationships.If your marketing objective is to increase audience reach and brand awareness, paid social media should be part of your strategy. That’s why you see the most successful real estate agents using Facebook advertising to reach out to a huge local pool of potential buyers and sellers.

Used well, both types of content can combine to give customers (both new and repeat) a complete picture of who you are as an agent, as well as the properties you have for sale.

Someone interested in a paid ad for one of your listings may then turn to your social accounts to find out more about you and find out what other properties you have for sale.

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