Let's re-frame the question a bit. Should you ONLY rely on paid advertising? A lot of small businesses or startups that come to us for generating traction / leads / demand rely heavily on Paid Digital Marketing. So, what is paid digital marketing - It is advertising on Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram. It is also using Search Engine Ads on Bing or Google (Google Ads) or using Amazon Ads to advertise your eCommerce products. Essentially, businesses are relying heaving on paid mediums to generate traffic / leads / sales. Is this the right approach to rely heavily on paid Ads? Well, what we recommend for most of our clients is to diversify from Day 1. You should focus on content creation, SEO and other channels also. Here's why:
1. Google & Facebook command 70-75% of the spends done by most brands online. There are advertising options available with LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and other Ad Networks. Over the last few years, CPC's are shooting up for most brands across Google & Facebook. It means that the market is getting more competitive in the paid media space. Since a lot of brands have taken to advertising on Google & Facebook, it is but natural that the bids would go up in the auction and hence the CPC. Higher the CPC, higher the cost per conversions and hence keeping in check the customer acquisition costs is getting slightly difficult.
2. Going Omni-channel: There are other channels available with digital marketing to get your message out. You could leverage email marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (Organic), Affiliate Partnerships (for B2B companies) and so on. We recommend utilizing 20% of your budget toward content creation. Start by creating videos - Put up the videos on YouTube in an optimized format, convert the videos to audio and put them up as Podcast episodes across multilpe platforms. Transcribe the videos into long-form blog articles and have them on your website. Find questions on Quora and answer them with the content you have. Basically go omni-channel with your content.
3. Do not disregard Paid Ads: Paid ads are still highly effective to achieve your business objectives. Just get smarter with them and utilize your funds on the platforms with prudence. Only invest on channels that are not too crowded and are getting your the returns or positive RoAS (Return on Ad Spends).