Marketers are optimistic about paid ad opportunities on search and social channels, but they can't overlook the importance of organic.

It’s essential for brands to capture consumers’ attention on the ‘net, and marketers demonstrate their understanding of this need by investing more in paid ad and organic online content strategies for search and social networks. The 2013 State of Paid Search report from PPC Hero revealed that brands are spending more on sponsored campaigns in 2013, with the majority putting budgets toward search networks (64 percent). However, social sites are not far behind. Fifty-two percent will focus on Facebook and 20 percent will allocate resources toward other networks.

Marketers clearly see Facebook as the leading channel for lead generation and conversions, given it’s immense reach. The social networks remains the largest, considering its aggregate membership counts. (Facebook boasts more than 1.1 billion active users). However, brands should not overlook new commercialization opportunities on other platforms.

Twitter continues to innovate with features that enable businesses to market their products and services to followers via social media content. The Lead Generation Cards was the latest addition, but it was preceded by Product, Summary, Photo and Gallery Cards that allow businesses to close the social sales loop more effectively. Pinterest recently added price-drop alert notifications that update users when vendors discount items they’ve pinned as a way to encourage prospects to complete transactions

Of course, it’s smart for social marketing campaigns to combine paid ads and organic efforts for optimal results. Brafton previously reported that 44 percent of surveyed consumers prefer personalized ads on social channels, meaning the majority would rather see organic branded content in their news feeds. The scales might eventually tip as people accept the penetration of sponsored advertisements on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but it’s best for brands to deliver a healthy mix of both in the meantime.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.