First, let me define what I mean by "paid promotion." This might include typical paid search, but also display ads, remarketing, and paid ads on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Paid promotion comes in many forms, including sponsored images, sponsored stories, and everything else in the following image .
Recently, there's been lots of discussion of the decreasing organic reach on Facebook. It seems that there's been a shift in the Facebook algorithm—certain posts have seen a decrease, others an increase in organic reach. Pages with over 500,000 likes are seeing a particularly massive decrease in organic reach, perhaps in an effort to encourage them to pay for ads. Additionally, MarketingLand recently reported that Pinterest will be adding promoted pins.
The reality is, paid promotion has a lot to offer online marketing, and can really complement some of what you might be doing with search marketing and optimization. Paid promotion offers a way to test things out to make sure they're worth putting the effort and resources into, as well as add more punch to the impact that search is already making for a site. Paid promotion offers quick results you can control, making it a great complement to your overall marketing strategy.