Is it true that the primary way to do online marketing is through paid ads?

I've been told for example, that for Facebook marketing, there is no way I can grow my page significantly without investing in paid advertising. Is this true?

Top voted answer
Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at

George, paid advertising is only one part of online marketing. Search engine optimization is another as is reputation management, content, engagement etc.

Also, consider that online is just one part of your overall marketing plan.

The best marketing for business is a matrix (spiderweb) type where there is a mix of online and offline supporting each other and focused solely on each growth point of your business. The more complex the matrix the stronger your foundation and edge over your competitors.

As to your question regarding Facebook Marketing. Facebook marketing is awesome, be aware though, It is easy to waste a lot of money if you are not very clear on who you are talking too and what you want them to do. Is it brand awareness, purchasing a product, booking some time with you, downloading a report, attending an event or simply liking your page?

If you are deciding what your next move is in marketing I would suggest speaking to a consultant that does strategic marketing, and then when you hit the face book question, ask for a recommendation to an expert.

A good consultant will have a number of trusted advisors they can refer you to and this will avoid picking someone that has been having fun on face book and decided to start a business yet does not really have the depth of knowledge you need to be successful. A good indication of a reputable social media marketing consultant is that they will measure on sales and/or click to your website as opposed to likes.

Hope this helps, Lisa

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

As Lisa mentioned, Facebook can be powerful (I'm still looking at how to leverage the ads as I build my page). However, I can tell you that I've heard from multiple reputable sources that the only way to grow your Facebook following / reach is through paid ads on their platform. As Lisa said, be strategic about the spend and target user. Facebook essentially squashed organic page growth for companies to push them to using the ad platform. It is shameless, but it is the way of the world.

Terry Chadban

Terry Chadban, Founder/Manager at Port Macquarie Online Marketing

Just to add to what Lisa and Jeff said, Facebook ads (and Google and Bing ads) are great for scaling up your business quickly, once you have your basics in place, not before.

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No it's not true. If you just consider the mechanics of 'ONLINE' what you're really talking about is your presence in that space. Much like a store on the high street, it's the complete profile of you or your business on the web.

So online marketing covers all the work you do to prepare and load your profile - content, images, videos and so forth, and the actions taken to then create outbound and inbound 'FLOWS' to that content.

You can do this both unpaid and paid. Everytime you post a blog and a new person follows, likes or responds to you this is creating new 'FLOWS' and networks on that communication line.

Yes, you can pay for ads to boost a particular flow, but it isn't the only way.

Don't forget there is the offline world (I find it funny that the real world is 'offline') and there are many ways to boost your online marketing through offline activity, like promoting a competition in your store, or through a business network. Making sure you include website address and social media pages on all your collateral is a good start.

It's one way, but not the only way. Cheers Hunter

Bella Williams

Bella Williams at

To start with begin with a easy to understand website which has the information your user needs. Paid advertising within a certain budget helps to get new clients for your business. You can think of other avenues of digital and offline marketing once you get started with some orders. Stick to your strengths till you can survive on your orders. best of luck! :)

Paige Arnof-Fenn

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO at Mavens & Moguls

Top 10% Marketing

There are lots of options for online marketing.  Using SEO and SEM together is ideal as main search engines are constantly changing their algorithms  for rankings so stop thinking of SEO and SEM as rival forces. When used together they are complementary services that help boost your marketing strategy and increase brand exposure.  The key is to build brand awareness and trust in your brand or business which begins by getting your business name to appear in prospect’s searches.  Seeing your brand name appear twice, both on organic and on paid results, creates more brand awareness and intensifies your businesses’ trustworthiness.  Research shows that if there are two brands that have apparently the same products, people will be more likely to choose the one they are familiar with. When a brand is shown in organic results alone it only gets 60% of clicks, whereas a brand that appeared in both organic and paid search results, attracts 92% of total clicks.  When paid listings are shown beside organic, the click-through rate of paid ads increases. This means that clicks increase for both organic and paid listings when they are both featured and do not detract from each other.