February 17, 2024

Instagram Ads vs Organic Posts: Which One Should You Use and When?


Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, with over 1.4 billion monthly active users. It offers a great opportunity for businesses to reach and engage with their target audience, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.

But how should you market your business on Instagram? Should you rely on organic posts that show up on your followers’ feeds, or should you invest in paid ads that can reach a wider and more targeted audience?

In this blog post, we will compare the pros and cons of organic vs Instagram Ads marketing, and give you some tips on how to use both effectively for your business goals.

What are organic posts on Instagram?

Organic posts are the free content that you share with your followers on your Instagram account. They can be photos, videos, reels, stories, IGTV, or live streams. They appear on your profile page and on your followers’ feeds, depending on the algorithm.

The benefits of organic posts are

  1. They help you build trust and loyalty with your followers by showing your brand personality, values, and behind-the-scenes content.
  2. They allow you to interact with your followers by responding to comments, messages, and mentions, and by using polls, stickers, and quizzes on stories.
  3. They enable you to showcase your products or services in a natural and authentic way, and to share user-generated content from your customers.
  4. They can boost your organic reach and visibility if your posts get a lot of engagement, shares, or saves, or if you use relevant hashtags, locations, or tags.

The drawbacks of organic posts are

  1. They have limited reach and exposure, as only a small percentage of your followers will see your posts, and you can’t reach people who don’t follow you (unless they search for your hashtags or locations).
  2. They are affected by the algorithm, which prioritizes posts that are relevant, engaging, and timely, and that match the user’s preferences and behavior.
  3. They are competitive, as you have to stand out from the millions of other posts that are published every day on Instagram.
  4. They are time-consuming, as you have to create high-quality and consistent content, and post regularly and at optimal times.

What are paid ads on Instagram?

Paid ads are the sponsored content that you pay to display on Instagram. They can be photos, videos, stories, carousels, collections, or explore ads. They appear on the user’s feed, stories, explore page, or IGTV, depending on the ad format.

The benefits of paid ads are

  1. They help you reach a larger and more targeted audience, as you can use various criteria to define your ideal customer, such as age, gender, location, interests, behaviors, and more.
  2. They allow you to measure and optimize your results, as you can track various metrics, such as impressions, clicks, conversions, and more, and adjust your budget, bidding, and targeting accordingly.
  3. They enable you to achieve specific objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, driving traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales, and to choose the best ad format and placement for your goal.
  4. They can complement your organic posts, as you can use them to amplify your best-performing content or to retarget your existing followers or website visitors.

The drawbacks of paid ads are

  1. They require a budget, as you have to pay for every impression or click that your ads receive, and the cost may vary depending on the competition, quality, and relevance of your ads.
  2. They are affected by the iOS 14.5 update, which limits the ability of Facebook and Instagram to track and target iOS users who opt out of data sharing, and that can impact your ad performance and reporting.
  3. They are subject to ad policies, which restrict the type of content, language, and images that you can use in your ads, and that can affect your ad approval and delivery.
  4. They are intrusive, as some users may find them annoying or irrelevant, and may skip, hide, or report them, or even unfollow your account.

How to use organic and paid Instagram marketing together

As you can see, organic and paid Instagram marketing have their own advantages and disadvantages, and neither one is better than the other. The best strategy is to use both in a balanced and integrated way, depending on your business goals, budget, and audience.

Here are some tips on how to do that

  1. Use organic posts to build trust and loyalty with your followers, and to share valuable and engaging content that showcases your brand story, personality, and values.
  2. Use paid ads to reach new and potential customers, and to drive them to take action, such as visiting your website, signing up for your newsletter, or buying your product or service.
  3. Test and analyze your organic and paid performance, and use the insights to improve your content, targeting, and optimization. For example, you can use tools like Ahref or Yoast (for WordPress) to check your SEO, or Facebook’s Ad Library to see what your competitors are doing.
  4. Repurpose your best-performing organic posts into paid ads, and vice versa. For example, you can use a popular organic post as a creative for a paid ad, or you can boost an effective paid ad as an organic post.
  5. Retarget your organic followers or website visitors with paid ads, and remind them of your value proposition, offer, or benefit. For example, you can use a carousel ad to showcase your product features, or a collection ad to display your product catalog.
  6. Experiment with different types of content, formats, and placements, and see what works best for your audience and goal. For example, you can use stories to create urgency and excitement, or reels to show your creative side.
organic/paid ads

Conclusion: Instagram Ads vs Organic Posts

Instagram is a powerful platform for marketing your business, but you need to use it wisely and strategically. Organic and Instagram ads are not mutually exclusive, but rather complementary and synergistic.

By combining both, you can maximize your reach and exposure, increase your engagement and conversions, and achieve your business objectives. Ready to take your Instagram marketing to the next level? Contact WEBaniX Solutions today to learn more about how to use Instagram Ads and Organic Posts effectively for your business.