Get Started with Performance Marketing

Get Started with Performance Marketing

So, what is performance marketing? We can all agree on one thing: marketing plays a crucial role in any business’s success. Not only does it build a brand’s reputation, but it also increases sales and helps the brand to resonate with the audience.

Unfortunately, many business people spend way too much money on marketing strategies without monitoring what they’ll be getting in return. As a result, businesses end up making losses, and eventually, failing. Performance marketing comes in to fix all of this. It ensures you spend where you get results!

So, how is it different from other marketing strategies, why is it important, and how can you build a performance marketing strategy?

Stick with us as we explore the answers to these questions and more.

What is performance marketing?

As the name suggests, performance marketing is based on performance. It’s online marketing where advertisers pay marketing firms or advertising platforms for results achieved, such as conversions, leads, or clicks.

Unlike traditional marketing models, where results are never guaranteed, performance marketing allows you to drive actions, track and measure them, all while determining the ROI for each campaign or asset. This allows you to identify an action and pay when it is completed successfully – be it a click, lead, or sale.

Types of performance marketing

There are several types of performance marketing. With Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and native advertising being the most common ones. SEM involves placing paid ads on the search engine results pages (SERPs). It exposes users to highly targeted ads related to the commodity they are searching for, making it very effective.

On the other hand, native ads are the ads that fit “natively” on the websites on which they appear. They don’t interfere with the user’s browsing experience, making them effective.

How is performance marketing different?

For most traditional forms of advertising, you pay an upfront fee independent of performance. That means you can spend your hard-earned money on marketing without seeing even a single click, lead, or conversion. However, performance marketing is different. It allows you to only pay for successful transactions.

With that in mind, let’s look at how performance marketing is different from brand marketing, affiliate marketing, and programmatic marketing.

Performance marketing vs. brand marketing

Brand marketing is marketing your products or services in a way that highlights your overall brand. It involves creating and increasing brand awareness.  Which you can achieve through native advertising, content marketing, social media campaigns, and more.

These brand marketing strategies fall under performance marketing because they’re measurable, and you only pay for specific actions.

However, brand marketing is generally different from performance marketing. Unlike brand marketing that focuses on purpose-driven information and creative storytelling, performance marketing is metric-driven and is focused on driving revenue and therefore made to increase your business performance.

Performance marketing vs. affiliate marketing

People have often used performance and affiliate marketing interchangeably. And while they are somehow related, these two terms are different. Affiliate marketing is a definite subset of performance marketing mainly because objectives and metrics drive it.

The affiliate marketer advertises on behalf of the company, with the primary goal of driving clicks, sales, and traffic to the business. Usually, these marketers earn commissions based on the number of leads, clicks, or sales they drive to the business’s website.

Performance marketing vs. programmatic marketing

Programmatic marketing uses automated, real-time bidding to place adverts across various channels to targeted and relevant audiences. It allows businesses to launch hyper-targeted, highly effective ad campaigns that provide them with desirable ROI.

Today, programmatic marketing is becoming an important component of performance marketing mainly because it allows advertisers to buy better placements at scale and maximise their ROI.

Measuring performance marketing

Everything you do in a business should have a measurable ROI. This is especially true for your marketing efforts – whether online or offline. You need to track your progress to ensure you don’t spend your money on “dead” marketing efforts.

Here are the top five KPIs and metrics to measure your performance marketing efforts.


CPM is the acronym for Cost Per Thousand or Cost Per Mile. It’s is the amount of money an advertiser pays for 1000 digital ad impressions. If the marketer charges $3.00 CPM, the advertiser must pay $3.00 after 1,000 ad impressions.


This is the abbreviation for Cost Per Click, and as the name suggests, it denotes the cost of every click on an ad. CPC is a better unit of measurement than CPM, mainly because a target audience has taken action and clicked on the ad. A higher CPC translates to a higher value of the conversion.


CPA is the Cost Per Action. It measures the performance of a campaign based on specific desired actions that you’d like the target audience to take. This could be signing up for your newsletters, subscribing to your email list, downloading an ebook, or buying an item.

Like CPC, CPA is a vital metric in performance marketing, mainly because it allows business people to measure the actions taken by prospects.


This is the Cost Per Instal. Here, you only pay when a person downloads and installs your mobile application.


LTV stands for Lifetime Value, and it’s used to estimate the amount of revenue a specific customer brings to the business over the life of the relationship with the brand. It’s a critical metric for gauging the cost-efficiency of acquiring new customers and supporting them over a specified time.

This performance measurement metric is gaining popularity among businesses, thanks to its sophisticated measurement capabilities.

Building a performance marketing strategy

Implementing an effective marketing strategy for your business is a surefire way to boost your leads, clicks, and sales. Besides, it means more efficient campaigns, with less money wasted.

So, how do you create a winning performance marketing strategy?

Getting started with performance marketing is pretty much like building other marketing campaigns. However, to give you a better launching-off point, we have outlined a step-by-step guide, as discussed below:

1. Begin with a specific goal in mind

Do you want to attract thousands of new visitors to your website daily? Are you looking to grow your email subscribers list 5x? Whichever objective you have in mind, you need to identify it first.

Before measuring any campaign’s goals, you need to determine what you want the campaign to achieve for you.

Several ad platforms require you to identify your goals before setting up ad campaigns. Your campaign goals outline where your ads will appear, who’ll see them, and other success factors crucial to your business.

Some of the most popular digital marketing goals include:

  • Website traffic
  • Brand awareness
  • Engagement
  • Retargeting and remarketing
  • Sales
  • Leads

Once you have your campaign goals, you can leverage various ad platforms to develop campaigns targeting those specific objectives.

2. Choose your digital channels

Determining your goals and your target audience’s behaviours will help you decide the marketing channels you’ll want to use and how. However, in performance marketing, you should diversify the channels you use. This increases your chances of success by spreading the campaign exposure.

Also, you should look for channels specialising in your conversion types and where you’re likely to find as many prospective clients as possible.

3. Prepare and launch your content

The most strenuous part of this type of marketing involves creating campaigns. This includes determining the prospective customers, understanding their needs, and creating adverts and content that grabs their attention. The better your understanding of the target audience, the easier it is to create an effective ad campaign.

Take your time to identify your target audience, understand their pain points, and develop solutions for them. You may develop relevant content that resonates with the target audience.

4. Continually measure and optimise your campaign

Throughout your marketing campaign, you should monitor its performance by closely observing and analysing your data, tracking the best sales and traffic sources, and updating the campaign accordingly.

You may also use your performance marketing campaigns to identify your best audiences, channels, and campaign goals to increase your ROI.

5. Deal with potential shortcomings

As the saying goes, every yin has yang, and performance marketing is no exception. Some of the pitfalls of performance marketing include:

  • Privacy regulations
  • Brand safety
  • Compliance-related issues
  • Click frauds
  • Placement transparency and publisher fraud

To prevent or minimise these challenges, you may want to focus your resources, time, and efforts on high-quality ad platforms and networks, where issues like data privacy and brand safety are handled reliably and responsibly.

What do you gain from performance marketing?

Compared to traditional marketing advertising models, performance marketing aims at identifying a marketing cost per acquisition and pay when specific agreed-upon targets are met.

You need to dive deeper into what marketing strategies work for you and the ones that need to be tested to reach the ideal marketing cost per acquisition. When this is achieved, both parties can flourish.

Other benefits of performance marketing include:

  • Trackable and measurable data
  • Easy-to-track performance
  • A more diverse revenue stream
  • Low risk
  • Innovative and creative marketing efforts

The bottom line

Performance marketing is undoubtedly one of the best digital marketing strategies out there. In addition to increasing your revenue streams, performance marketing reduces the risks associated with marketing and allows you to measure your brand’s awareness. Here, you pay the advertising platforms for results achieved.

This post outlines everything you need to know about performance marketing, including what it is, its benefits, how it’s different from other digital marketing models, and how you can create a performance marketing strategy. Good luck as you purpose to use it!

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