Paid and organic reach online – what’s the difference?

Marketing jargon has adapted over time to the channels businesses use to ‘reach’ their customers.

This term ‘reach’ has long been used to describe the number of people exposed to an advertising campaign or a piece of content. For example, if your Facebook advertisement achieves a reach of 500, it means that 500 people have seen the ad while using the social media platform.

Working for online reaching or purchasing it

In today’s world of digital marketing, businesses can build their brand by publishing content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram for free, but this content will primarily be seen ‘organically’ only by followers of their company pages.

Instead, businesses can pay to share their content to a broader audience who have related interests. For example, if you make bathroom plungers, you might run paid ads targeted to reach users that Facebook has identified as having an interest in plumbing.

This introduces the concept of ‘organic’ versus ‘paid’ reach.

Go beyond total reach figures to reveal useful insights

Digital marketing platforms provide value to businesses by offering the ability to see how many people are ‘reached’ by both their paid and organic content.

But when assessing the value of a single post, campaign or a brand overall, it’s important to delve beyond reach figures. Depending on your goals, you may be more interested in how many people have engaged with your content (through clicks, likes, comments or shares), or most importantly, how many sales you have achieved as a direct or indirect result of your advertising.

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