Social Media Video: Organic vs Paid

Social media is the distribution backbone of most video marketing strategies, but is organic or paid better?  

Organic Social Video

Organic social video refers to video content shared using the free capabilities of a platform. The audience you attract via social organic video is arguably the most desirable because its obtained at no or minimal cost; and the prospects have genuinely chosen to follow you because of a legitimate interest in your business. 

However to the social media platforms your content is 'just another video' within their content sphere, and therefore in 99% of cases it will struggle to attract sufficient viewers to drive business success. 

As the number of businesses with a social media presence continues to grow, drawing in a crowd is only going to become more and more difficult – no matter how good your video content is. 

Pros • Inexpensive – or free • Engages existing audiences • Easy and intuitive 

Cons: • Tricky to build viewership • Unpredictable over time  

Paid Social Video

Paid social video refers to paid adverts and promoted messages. All of the major social media platforms offer businesses the chance to stand out with paid content – usually in the form of promoted video posts. 

Through paid social video, your brand can hone in on specific audiences and while you still have to produce video content that actually attracts these prospects, they are much more likely to become loyal brand followers than some random viewer stumbling across your company account.  

Compared to organic social video, paid social video is much better at connecting your brand to new audiences, but one significant downside when you use paid video is that you lose some of the authenticity inherit within a social network. Some viewers can become irritated by having unrequested videos pop into their feeds - even if those videos relate to topics that they might be interested in. 

Pros: • Targets valuable prospects • Grows your audience exponentially faster • Content more likely to resonate with targeted viewers 

Cons: • Potentially cost-prohibitive • Undermines authenticity  


Often, the best strategy is to utilise both organic and paid social videos at the same time.  

Its reported that 93% of businesses have gained a new customer as a direct result of a video they posted and although there are differences, both types have the same goal: Converting potential leads into loyal customers.