Digital Marketing: Digital Marketing 101: The difference between free and paid online advertising

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing 101: The difference between free and paid online advertising

Picture of Luke Marthinusen
By Luke Marthinusen May 18, 2017 • 3 minutes to read

New media is trumping old media in the realm of advertising. Even in this digital age, online advertising is one component of the marketing process.

However, you need to understand the difference between paid and free online advertising. This is essential in getting your foot through the digital marketing door. Let’s explore the different options at your disposal!

What is free online advertising?

Free online advertising are tools that you can make use of with no actual cost attached to them. This includes tools that can increase your website traffic, crawl your website and index it in search engines. Some of these tools help build back links and a referral network. All of this increases exposure of your brand and your reach.

Free tools include:

  • Website indexing directories
  • Search engine submission websites
  • Blog directories
  • Affiliate networks like Google’s AdSense, and Amazon and eBay’s Partner Network

What is paid online advertising (PPC)?

Paid media or advertising is as it implies comes with a price tag attached. Most examples involve online partnerships, website banner takeovers, pay-per-click advertising and paid search engine results.

Typically. most people understand paid advertising in today’s world as pay-per-click (PPC). Examples of PPC are Google Adwords, Facebook and Twitter advertising. With PPC, you pay for your advert when someone clicks on it.

Why paid advertising is far different from free online advertising

With paid online advertising, there is a higher level of control. It allows you a higher degree of customisability with targeting. Be it targeted to keywords or to specific demographics on social networks. PPC, in general, allows you to do this and is more cost effective than other forms of advertising. This is because you’re directly attracting your niche/target audience. PPC is also easily measurable and you get a stronger indication of your ROI (Return-on-investment).

Free online advertising is vitally important to a business as it helps with organic reach and ranking naturally on search engine results. However, the time needed and invested in this might be a great deal. But if you’re looking for quick results and brand exposure, including reach, then paid online advertising is the way to go.

Lastly, while with you can teach yourself to use paid advertising channels effectively, we advise reaching out to a digital marketing agency to fast track your start. You can always take it over once the agency has set up your paid. Doing it yourself, in the beginning, can be a costly affair - in mistakes and learning what works.

Digital Marketing 101 blog series:

Read more of the Digital Marketing 101 blog series and be educated on every digital marketing topic under the sun. Learn all the basics about digital marketing and how to put together your own digital marketing strategy.