When you start on your content marketing journey, you should prep for the road ahead. Good content strategies focus on organic growth, meaning that quality content is published on a consistent basis to attract search traffic and build authority in social spheres. This organic strategy takes time to see returns but, without fail, it works. 

It happens almost like clockwork.

You publish a few blog posts and begin to wonder …

“Where are my customers? How do I know this is working?”

Organic growth is tough. It takes consistency and dedication to grow without the help of a flush marketing budget. Despite its difficulty, organic growth is gold and will keep you in business for years to come. 

So why is the effort so worth it, and how do you go about achieving it? We’ll start by breaking down the difference between paid versus organic growth, then we’ll look at the importance of metrics and what the data actually means. Finally, we’ll dive into the benefits and 4 proven strategies of organic marketing to help you hang in there (and enjoy the ride!) as you grow.  

Read all the way to the end for a free download to get you started!

Paid vs. Organic Growth

The definitions of paid and organic growth are just like they sound. With paid marketing, you dedicate a budget for social media and search engine ads, influencer marketing, and other paid promo opps. Meanwhile, organic strategies grow your reputation by consistent publishing, word of mouth, longer sales cycles, and social media sharing.

Though they are quite different, they can be used in tandem because they have the same goal: to drive awareness and traffic to your product or services. In fact, investing in paid advertising when you launch a new content marketing initiative is a good way to get immediate traffic while your organic efforts gain traction. As your reputation builds, you can take the gas off the paid ads.

While it’s easy to check the stats on your paid ads and get a sense for the ROI, or see the number of social media followers grow from month to month, the results of your organic strategy is harder to pinpoint and takes longer to realize. There are entire conferences, workshops, careers, and analytics platforms dedicated to figuring out that million-dollar question: “What’s the ROI of my organic marketing?” 

So what do you do when you can’t measure the results of your investments directly? 

Watch, but Don’t Obsess, Over the Numbers 

We’d never recommend ignoring the numbers. But, the fact is, they will drive you insane if you start to obsess. 

Most social media management platforms and marketing agencies emphasize the importance of statistics, even when some marketing efforts can only be correlation — not causation — to ROI. Plus, some of the data that marketers rely on are based on algorithms that are out of your control and challenging to decode. 

Don’t get us wrong; data is extremely important to spot trends, get inspired, and follow best practices. But, it’s important to think of organic marketing like long-term investing. If you check the status of the value of your stocks on a daily or even weekly basis, you’ll go bonkers over the constant fluctuation. You might even make hasty decisions that look like solutions in the short-term, but sabotage your long-term growth. On the other hand, if you continually make small but thoughtful investments and sit on them, your account will grow. 

We like Warren Buffett’s mindset here: “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”

Like stocks, you can only really see the ROI of your marketing investments when you zoom out and analyze over extended periods. Instead of worrying about the metrics, a better game plan is to invest more time in creating valuable content for your target audience but reserving judgment until the end of a full year of marketing.

Benefits of Organic Growth

As much as paid growth sounds like the quick fix your business needs, you need to balance your marketing plan with organic strategies, specifically in creating a solid website and thoughtful content plan. Here’s why: 

  • The content you create drives traffic for years to come.
  • You grow your reputation, voice, and authority over time.
  • Your content can be evergreen and serve as reference material for prospective clients and lead generation. 
  • Organic search engine traffic from great web content still outranks social media traffic.
  • Organic strategies are accessible for all budgets, especially small ones. 

Though organic growth seems like the impossible code to crack, there are strategies to up-leveling your game.

Related: You Have More Influence Than You Think 

4 Proven Strategies for Organic Growth

1/ Start a blog

Blogging allows you to connect with your audience by sharing your story and providing personal yet relevant solutions to their needs. A single blog post that gets shared or goes viral has tremendous value to your brand because it will draw more traffic to your website with no additional money or effort from you.

Blogging is also (still) the number-one organic SEO strategy. With the right keywords and consistent publishing, you may land on those coveted position zero or page-one search results. Once your content is bringing in the traffic, you can focus on capturing and converting with services like live chat or gated content (more below). 

2/ Create gated content for lead generation

Gated content is high-quality content that a visitor must supply their email address to gain access to. This results in qualified leads that you can then market to in other ways, such as an email campaign. Gated lead gen content should be extremely valuable to your audience. Buying guides, ebooks, whitepapers, samples/demos, and discounts are all great examples of lead gen your brand can utilize.  

3/ Create content on other platforms

Outside of your blog and the standard social media sites, there are various quality platforms like LinkedIn articles, Medium, or YouTube that allow you to grow your brand’s reputation. The platform you choose should be relevant to your audience and industry. For example, LinkedIn is an excellent platform for B2B companies, Medium is ideal for edgy thought pieces, and YouTube has the visual punch to connect in the fashion, beauty, health, and travel industries.

4/ Add your voice to the conversation

Start adding your commentary to articles and conversations within your industry to build up your reputation. A great strategy is to comment on relevant articles and videos on the social platforms your peers and customers are on. You can also search for related concerns and questions on Quora and Reddit and provide answers with backlinks to your blog (always avoiding a spammy vibe, of course). They call it social media for a reason — you have to be social and engage with your audience in your niche to see results. 

Related: It’s Time to Ditch These 8 Myths About Content Marketing

Hang in There While You Grow

Organic growth takes blood, sweat, tears, and time. Nobody said it was easy, but it is so worth the returns. Don’t trip over vanity metrics. Focus more on making a real connection with your audience. Enjoy talking, helping, and getting to know your prospective tribe as you let the creativity flow.  

Bonus Tool to Get You Started

The best thing about our top four strategies is that they are accessible to anybody. The hard part is curating your brand voice and nailing down a content plan. 

That’s why we’re including this bonus tool to help you out. It’s our personal brand planner and it’ll get you jazzed and inspired.

If you need help nailing your message, planning out your content calendar, or figuring out a social media strategy, reach out to us. Organic growth takes teamwork, and we are in your corner.   

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♦Elevate Your Authority♦

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