If you want to widen your brand’s reach and increase your customer base, it’s critical that you embrace different forms of online marketing, including performance marketing. But there’s more than one type of performance marketing, and it’s important to understand the differences so you can decide which ones make the most sense for your business.
What Is Performance Marketing?
Before diving into the details of different marketing strategies, it’s essential to answer the question “What is performance marketing?” There tends to be a lot of jargon that can get confusing, but performance marketing is a simple concept: It refers to online marketing and advertising programs where the marketing partners are paid when a specific, pre-determined action takes place.
This action could be a potential customer clicking on a link, hitting a certain level of engagement, or a completed sale. Unlike outdated, traditional marketing models, where a company pays for a billboard or magazine feature in the hopes that it will lead to sales, marketing partners are paid only when they meet specific tangible targets. You can keep track of how these targets are met by establishing KPIs for performance marketing channels.
1. Social Media Performance Marketing
Social media performance marketing is when brands use advertisements placed on social media platforms to increase brand awareness, engagement, and sales. The performance metrics associated with social media marketing are typically concentrated on engagement — specifically likes, comments, shares, saves, and reposts. There are many social media platforms out there, and the ones you choose depend on your target customer. If you’re aiming at a younger audience, then Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram are good options. While companies targeting professionals will have more success with Facebook or LinkedIn.
2. Display Advertising
Display advertising is a highly visual form of online marketing that often includes images, video, and audio. Banner ads and rich media are popular examples of this kind of advertising. Display advertising has a reputation for bad clickthrough rates. But the key to harnessing its potential is to have a targeted approach. Only use it on websites where you know you will find your target audience, like relevant blogs or digital publications.
3. Native Advertising
Native adverts are essentially the opposite of display adverts: While the latter stands out, the former blends right in. When scrolling online, many internet users can’t tell the difference between native adverts and the surrounding content, which is precisely the aim of this kind of marketing.
One example of native advertising is the use of Instagram ads that look like regular Instagram posts. Another type is the use of marketing blog posts or sponsored articles written in the same style as the webpage. The performance metric for native adverts is usually pay-per-click or pay-per-impression.
4. Affiliate and Influencer Marketing
Affiliate marketing can take many forms but it essentially means that you offer compensation to a partner when they generate leads, sales, or traffic on your behalf. This may involve bloggers or influencers using your products and creating posts or videos about their experiences. But the third party you partner with could also be a review-, incentive-, or coupon-site. With any form of performance marketing, it’s crucial to stay on top of all activities, but this is even more essential when you are working with third parties, as with affiliate marketing. Keeping track of where clicks, leads, and sales come from is challenging, which is why we recommend using a data-driven affiliate tracking platform to make the most of your KPIs.
5. Search Engine Advertising
Performance search engine advertising refers to the ads that appear on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing when you search specific terms. These ads are a fantastic way to target potential customers who are probably already interested in your products or services. While these paid ads are more or less guaranteed to be seen by potential customers, many companies also opt for the free, organic search approach (SEO).
Experiment with Performance Marketing
The term “performance marketing” covers a wide range of advertising techniques that all share the same goal: ensuring marketing targets are met. Although you must recognize the benefits of paying for tangible results rather than the promise of results, depending on your business, you may find that not all of these marketing channels are right for you.
What’s great about performance marketing is that it allows you to experiment and take some risks to see what works. Just make sure you thoroughly evaluate each strategy you try before moving on.