Small and medium businesses must leverage the online platform to make sure that they can reach out widely to their customer base. While utilizing social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and other such platforms is an essential strategy, businesses do well if they leverage the various ways of organic marketing. However, it's no secret; online companies face many challenges in employing organic marketing alone. On the flip side, startups and small businesses may not have a sufficient budget for exploiting paid marketing to the required level.
Also, organic marketing techniques, when diligently practiced, requires time, at least 3-4 months, to show outcomes. Digital marketing experts at SEO Company India expressed that business owners do not want to wait for greater traffic and improve their reviews. The competition in the market is more significant than ever because most businesses are now online. Therefore, moving ahead of your competitors and getting your services and products seen by potential customers is the first step of the game. Getting conversions is the second.
Businesses relying purely on paid marketing may not earn the necessary level of trust if they do not figure on top results organically. The bigger brand websites are a favorite for Google, so beating them up with organic marketing alone is a tough nut to crack. So, what is the way forward? Delving into this further, we have expressions and opinions of experts from various niches that share insights.
The first requisite for businesses is earning the trust of their prospective customers. Businesses may face budget limitations, and the management may be reluctant to wait too long to see an increase in revenues.
Eric Jones from Shop Couture Candy said, "It's important to understand that not all businesses will require budgetary resources to deploy paid marketing campaigns. Some businesses embrace organic marketing because a marketing strategy designed only based on pay is shallow and won't help you build an authentic connection with the customers. If your customers keep on getting advertisements with no informational mails, educational content, or engaging social media posts to complement those ads, then you'll lose the mindshare of the customers in two primary ways:
Therefore, when you build a marketing strategy, always consider how you can address all the business goals with the blend of organic and paid marketing."
It means businesses need a tailored marketing plan based on their business goals, budgetary resources, and their need to establish a meaningful customer-business bond in the long run.
Laurel Mintz is J.D., M.B.A. is the CEO and Founder of award-winning, Los Angeles-based marketing agency Elevate My Brand. Giving her astute viewpoint on the current scenarios of organic marketing, she said, "Organic ain't what it used to be. I would argue that unless it truly is the most magical, unique thing in the world, or a historically easy marketing area like CPG, you better not hang your hat on organic."
"We do believe at least 30-60 days of Organic using a platform like Planoly is a good starting point so you can start to develop hypotheses about the type of organic content your audience wants, but after that, it's time to take to the ads. That's truly the only place where brands will see exponential growth."
Laurel is an energetic CEO and has won several awards and recognitions to her credit. "Her awards include the 2017 Patrick Soon-Shiong Innovation Award; 2016 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Company; Los Angeles Business Journal 2016 Women In Business Award; and more."
Laura Fuentes, operator of infinity dish is a seasoned business leader who manages roughly a dozen full-time employees. Her experience with organic marketing has been somewhat positive. Laura said, "I'm happy to share what we've learned when it comes to organic marketing and growth on social media. Marketing organically shouldn't be overlooked, as many in my industry believe you must spend money to make money. The truth is: organic marketing strategies are some of the best tools you have at your disposal and can be utilized completely free."
Highlighting the experience of their own company, Laura said, "For my team, organic marketing on social media platforms like Instagram has been our best path forward. Interacting with our audience, posting content we know our followers will enjoy, and keeping our profile up to date has dramatically increased our viewership and online sales. However, organic marketing does come with its challenges, and you shouldn't expect to see the same results as you would with more targeted advertising. It can be hard to grow an organic audience quickly, but that doesn't
mean it's not worthwhile."
A quite peculiar observation comes from Tony Heiser. Tony, a professional eMobility Auxiliary Electrification, Commercial Vehicles - KEB America, and a website owner, said, "A challenge that we've faced in our organic marketing techniques is increasing conversion rates from leads to existing customers. Many people are interested in automation these days, and that's great! But many people want to read about how it might be possible for their company to implement certain changes in the future, as opposed to doing it now."
Giving thorough information has always been the in thing in organic marketing for bringing up consumer awareness. It builds a brand reputation and helps businesses in the long run.
"One thing we've tried to change in an attempt to increase organic marketing conversion rates is we've put a focus on the actual use of certain products rather than how those products can benefit companies. This means that readers are likely in a later stage of the marketing and sales funnel and are closer to utilizing these products rather than simply reading about how they might benefit them later. So far, these changes have had even better results than we originally predicted. It's amazing how a simple adjustment can make such a big difference," said Tony.
Cody Crawford, Co-founder of low-offset, observed that the greater expectation of buyers for their sellers is now changing the complete scene on how people will see your brand.
"I would say the biggest issue is understanding that marketing is now about operations (how your business runs and the client experience). There was a time when with enough money, or a great campaign, you could make a significant difference even if the product/service you delivered was not that hot."
Further on, Cody stressed on the importance of resolving issues that customers may face. Moreover, the operations of the organization need to be revamped for giving quality and flawless services and products. This is what it would take to bring great reviews that matter a lot. "The internet has affected how small business owners and representatives differentiate themselves and advertise their unique qualities. Not only that, it has also changed buyer behavior. Most people now research products and services as well as providers online. Nowadays, word-of-mouth is word-of-mouth with the whole world. Reviews, review sites, and social media are what needs to be paid attention to. And resolving issues and stopping them occurring is operations," Cody said.
Ralph Severson, the owner of flooring masters had an insightful revelation to make about revamping and resourcing the company's overall marketing target. Besides paid and organic marketing, they have relied greatly on traditional brand reputation management marketing strategy. Ralph suggested that your business's reputation among the consumers holds excellent value. He said," A big challenge for professional services business owners is overcoming the SEO of big index sites that charge companies like ours for leads. It needs a good deal of time and investment to move up the rankings for broad local searches, and you are still competing with pay-per-click ads even after you have surpassed the indexes. Organic SEO is a great way to collect quality leads, but we must still focus on old-fashioned networking. It can be a real challenge, especially when someone first sets out on their own."
Ralph emphasized further, "Doing great quality work, communicating well, and going above and beyond for your customers is the best bet to grow your business through word of mouth. This worked great for us over the years, but I was looking to grow faster. We started providing an incentive for referrals so that our customers would be rewarded for recommending us to remodels for friends and family. Since we started this program, we have hit our stride."
Google has also pointed out the quality of the services will play a significant role in how it will see businesses in the coming times. It is essential that apart from digital marketing, companies must focus on core operations.
Not only does organic marketing take time to start showing results, but it requires consistent action throughout the process. Subsequently, your outcomes will be getting more and more favorable and nearing your business goals. However, you cannot stop paying attention to organic marketing if you achieve the first year's business goals. Search engine algorithms change, and so do the requirements for staying ahead in the competition. New competitors keep entering the market, and you have to be on the go.
Nicky Tavera, Chief Executive Officer at DNT Home Buyers, observed, "There's no other way of saying this, but my competition is always my biggest pain point when it comes to organic marketing. There's always a race to the top, and the marketing strategies feel like they never end. The back-end work on my website is a constant process that I'm very grateful to my SEO people, but we never stop monitoring and making any necessary changes, so my website ranks high in search. Organic marketing is a great way to get me in front of potential buyers and sellers, so I'm happy to invest the time and the money and happiest that I can delegate this to another person as it's certainly a full-time job. Real Estate is a hot market right now, so it takes extra effort to stay ahead and the benefits of working with me versus my competitors."
In similar terms, Abby Herman, the Director of Strategy at Snap Agency, said, "We often encounter potential clients (business owners and entrepreneurs) with the idea that organic marketing is just pretty much posting on social media every day, or more than once a day. While this might be true in some cases, it's just a small scope of organic marketing and what it means. For us, many of the struggle has been to get new business owners to understand and be on board with how things work to have a good marketing strategy to work and bring in organic traffic. There's a piece of the puzzle that is often missing for them, and it's beyond social media posting."
However, Abby admitted that SEO played a significant role in bringing in greater traffic and emphasized more needs to be done along. "A huge part in bringing new site visitors and potential customers, and while that helps rank your website and shop higher in the search, it is not a once and done process. This is a constant thing that they need to include in their marketing efforts, usually for a few months, so part of getting our clients comfortable with either spending the funds to do it or learning how to do that themselves takes a little bit of time" said Abby.
SEO is a process that needs time to show results, and professionals like Abby acknowledge this. "Also, the time that this takes to show any results or return is also not conducive of super happy clients at first. They are doing a good thing for their business, so we make sure to educate as much as we can and be transparent on what is and isn't working so we can change directions if necessary. It's tricky and very understandably scary to pay for a service and play the waiting game for a while until there is data to be shown and analyzed," she said.
When it comes to organic marketing, small business websites may face another set of challenges. Though they want to make things easy for customers looking for their products to straightaway make a purchase, optimizing the content on website pages holds the key to attract traffic. Customers may look forward to making purchases on the first go on your website, but how do they find you online? Content optimization, on-page and off-page SEO strategy, and other organic marketing techniques must be in place for this.
Hosea Chang, the marketing consultant at Hayden Girls, said, "SEO tends to run on keyword usage and frequency as well as detailed explanations. One thing that is challenging for Hayden Girls, an apparel company, is the clothes rather than paragraphs of copy. Compare that to a service business that can spend pages explaining what they do. An online store is pretty straightforward, and we wouldn't want to overwhelm our customers with descriptions when they want to shop. But if they can't find us through the search engine results, then no shopping will happen. It's a difficult balance to find. Plus, there's the SEO competition of the big-name companies whose brands have established decades of recognition that Google loves. Taking it as one step at a time, making sure we're using other strategies as well to grow our customer base."
Though COVID had brought significant disruption in our lives, it also challenged digital marketers for the greater competition online. Moreover, businesses had to leverage more of all the marketing opportunities present in the virtual world to realize their business goals. Simon Elkjaer from Chief Marketing Officer & YouTuber at avXperten observed, "Though organic marketing has always been a challenging waiting game, the pandemic has upped the difficulty a little bit more. The rise of eCommerce and the growing competition that comes with it has encouraged us to do more research, be more creative, and boost our optimization strategies more."
A diligent effort never goes in vain if it is done smartly according to the need of the hour. Sharing the inspiring part of his story, Simon said, "Thankfully enough, we were able to overcome these challenges with the help of our research, solid work culture, and effective engagement, appreciation, and training strategies. Our story only goes to show that preparation and unity help make challenges easier to overcome."
Chris Kindler, Campaign Director at American Refugee Committee, revealed his exposure to how beneficial and varied organic marketing aspects are in 2020 (the year that taught us a lot!).
"When someone mentions the word organic marketing to me, I think of social media, and to my surprise, it is much more than that. I have often thought that I needed to be consistent on social media to get in front of my audience more organically, but I was very wrong. I also needed to maximize the ranking opportunities on my website with things like SEO, for example, so all the people that are looking for us, whether be volunteers, people seeking a career with nonprofits, and other types of partnerships would be able to find us."
Chris Kindler realized the importance of having a dedicated team that works on organic marketing for the time it deserves. He candidly said, "Our biggest struggle was TIME-Time to do all of this ourselves, time to invest in learning the process and the best strategies and so much more, especially when everything seemed to go digital during the past year. We figured that our best choice was to invest time in things we are good at, connecting and helping people, so we were happily forced to delegate this service to people who know best, marketing experts. Front and center when it come to organically pushing our company in front of people to help us connect, raise awareness to issues we care the most and find very much needed help across many different places around the world."
Many business owners do not have a clear perception of organic marketing and hence cannot leverage the same.
Todd Ramlin, the manager of an cable compare, similarly felt that having a dedicated team that can generate content as per the needs of the target demographics' queries will significantly impact organic results in the long run. Describing their company's strategy for the organic market, Todd said, "We're always trying to rank better on search engine results pages and one thing we use to improve our ranking is the blog on our website. We post articles on our blog that directly answer the questions that we think our target audience may be typing into their search engine. Not every article you write is going to be a winner, so the key to long-term success is frequent and consistent additions of new content to your blog."
Like Chris, Todd also recommended that businesses go for third-party digital marketing efforts according to their requirements. It helps the company to focus on its core operations.
"The nice thing about blogging is that if you don't have the time or the talent in-house, there are plenty of options for outsourcing the work. Also, if you're not sure what to write about, you can check out what topics your top-ranked competitors are writing about and write a better version of it," said Todd.
Christian Velitchkov, an SEO, Lead Generation, and Content Marketing professional in Huntington Beach, California, said that even the best ideas for organic marketing strategy need the company's approval, which is highly speculative of the returns the idea would generate. So, implementing an idea is the first challenge, and forming a risk cover plan is even more important. This means you should have an alternative method to go about generating RoI or meeting business goals. If Plan A doesn't work, you have Plan B or Plan C in place.
Christian categorically remarked, "Challenge- How might you make an amazing advertising effort without a spending plan? In all actuality, it's quite hard. However, in any event, when you have an extraordinary, income-creating thought, you still ordinarily need to get your budget endorsed by a higher-up."
"Outcome- The way to opening a budget lies in having the option to demonstrate the ROI of your showcasing endeavors. The amount you invest in organic marketing should pay off returns with incentives. Otherwise, you need to create a better budget plan. Ultimately, your organization will come out stronger and employees more experienced."
Maggie Blazo, the Marketing Assistant at Milligan University Career Development Center, said, "We work with several clients at a time, and a lot of it is organic marketing. We have some clients who want to pay for promotions or advertising space, but many want us to take the time to be consistent with their digital marketing. This has proven results, but one of the biggest challenges with organic marketing is its time. It's not a process that takes a few days or even two weeks, it's weeks and months of consistent work. We appreciate that some clients prefer to wait and let us take the time to write the blogs and create the content, but occasionally we do the paid stuff, and those companies who pay for seeing faster results at sometimes a better cost. It can be an intricate balance."
Organic marketing indeed gives results, but clients need to show patience and reap long-term benefits.
Karol Nowacki, Search Acquisition Manager at Tidio, Warsaw, Masovian District, Poland astutely observed, "Building a successful organic marketing plan is crucial and challenging at the same time. A well-prepared strategy can benefit our business, including more authentic customer engagement and brand loyalty. However, what can be challenging in organic marketing, is the deep understanding of the customer's needs to target our content to the right audience. We need time to research to ensure that what we are creating has the best chance of landing. What's more, organic marketing is not segmented. We cannot precisely choose who should read our content, so understanding the customer's needs is something we have to spend time on and not underestimate the power of deep customer insight."
Companies need to invest time and effort in understanding their prospective consumers' concerns and design content and outreach plans (like choosing relevant platforms for certain age groups of the audience) accordingly.
There is surely a no-one-size-fits-all approach to organic marketing. Businesses need to understand what will suit their requirements and business goals to carve out the right organic marketing strategy. A business's organic marketing should also be combined with paid marketing techniques in a suitable proportion to meet budgetary allowances and beget effective results. Flexibility and expertise are essential criteria that must be taken care of while designing and implementing an online marketing job.