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A Comprehensive Guide to Performance Marketing

by | Jun 7, 2022

Whether you want to generate brand awareness or drive traffic to your website through a retargeting campaign, performance marketing offers the potential to target an audience while carefully tracking your performance. It uses certain measurements for calculating KPIs, making it simple to align your goals with any B2B and B2C marketing campaign. 

Learn what performance marketing is, the types of marketing that fall within its umbrella, and how to build a successful strategy in a few key steps. 

What is Performance Marketing?

Just as the name suggests, performance marketing is based on the performance of your advertisement. It is a form of marketing where the advertiser only pays if an ad performs at obtaining measurable results, such as a sale, click, or lead.

Unlike traditional forms of digital advertising, where an advertiser pays a predetermined amount of money for an ad unit and impressions served, with performance marketing,  advertisers only pay if there is a successful result. Performance marketing is used to drive and measure the results of a campaign where businesses can pay after the action has occurred. 

Performance Marketing Metrics & KPIs: Measuring Success

While we know performance marketing is based on performance, we must know which key performance indicators (KPIs) we are looking for to measure success. Once you have an optimal campaign set and know which platforms you want to place your ads on, it is time to determine how you will measure success. There are four standard metrics used to measure your KPIs. 

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): the amount an advertiser pays when an action has accrued, such as a click, form fill, or sale
  • Cost Per Sales (CPS): the price an advertiser pays only if a sale occurred
  • Cost Per Impression (CPM): the cost per one-thousand times an advertisement is shown
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL): the cost an advertiser pays after receiving a signup from an ad
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): what an advertiser pays when their ad is clicked on

Common Performance Marketing Channels & Platforms

Now that we know the KPIs and how performance marketing acts as an umbrella for affiliate marketing, brand marketing, and more, let’s explore the types of performance marketing and the different channels commonly used in performance marketing campaigns.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an older term than performance marketing and refers to an advertiser paying a third party to place an ad on their website. Performance and affiliate marketing are different approaches. Just like in performance marketing, you typically do not have to pay the affiliate until a sale or download occurs.

Native Advertising

Native advertising, also referred to as sponsored content, is a form of advertising that closely resembles content on a publisher’s website. However, it is paid for instead of being part of the editorial content. It can be seen in “in-feed” ads, promoted listings, and even content recommendations. Performance marketing and native advertising are similar because the success of these ad placements is performance-based.

Native advertising is three times more likely to receive clicks than other forms of advertising. Known for brand appeal, this type of advertising fits in with the editorial content that publishers are using. Lastly, because these ads are displayed in places where users are already visiting, they are more effective at generating conversions than other ad placements. 

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a type of marketing that enhances your placement on the search engine results pages (SERPs). You can build a successful SEM campaign by A/B testing and searching for examples of other advertisements in your industry. These ads can be linked to a landing page or product details in Google shopping. A paid search campaign only charges advertisers for impressions that turn into website visitors, which helps businesses more effectively spend their ad dollars. 

Search engine marketing is an excellent way to extend your online reach and establish brand identity. When it is implemented correctly, it is possible to show up on the first page of the SERPs. You can easily control your marketing budget with PPC campaigns and begin seeing results immediately.  

Paid Social

Paid social is an advertising channel where companies can promote content to a targeted audience on social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Performance marketing and paid social go hand-in-hand. While conversions and post-reach measure paid social metrics, it is also calculated by CPC.  

This performance marketing channel is one of the most affordable ways to advertise to a highly targeted audience in video, images, or carousels and an excellent way to drive brand awareness. Users can convert into customers by having paid content in social media feeds. Additionally, there are many options to build personalized ads based on your target audience, and paid social is an easy way to make content digestible. 

Developing a Performance Marketing Strategy

Now that we know how to measure metrics and the types of marketing that fall beneath the umbrella of performance marketing, the next step is to develop a performance marketing strategy. From deciding on which goals you want to pursue to launching your campaign, every step in your process is as important as the next. 

This blog will show you how to effectively implement a performance marketing campaign.

1. Decide on a Goal to Pursue

Every strategy starts with a goal, so building your campaign around your objectives is essential. For example, do you want to generate leads through clicks or promote a product with a CPS campaign? No matter your goals, it’s important to focus on one. The more you try to promote within one strategy, the more likely you will cause distractions and confusion. 

2. Pick a Channel and Platform

Now that you have a goal, it is time to pick a channel. Whether it is to generate brand awareness or drive traffic to your website through a retargeting campaign, the channel you choose must align with what your result should be. Identify which channels align with your objective and build a strategy that targets the audience using those channels. 

3. Prepare Content

After choosing your platform, the next step is to build content. Take a look at what types of content perform well on your selected channel. For example, if you decided to use paid social and want to target users between ages 25 and 34 who use Instagram, your best content might be in the form of a video or reel. Some platforms are text only, while others have images, and some require forms and blogs. All of your content and creative should be complete before launching your campaign. 

4. Launch Campaigns & Measure Performance 

It is time to launch your campaign and measure its performance. You can make data-driven decisions based on what you see is performing the best and eliminate what is not working for your ad. There are also A/B testing options that allow you to test a combination of creative and copy and choose which combination performs best in your metrics. 

5. Evaluate and Adjust

Since your campaign has been launched for some time, you can evaluate its performance and adjust based on the results you see. Check the data to see if it meets your current goals and provides a positive ROI (return on investment). Implement the content your audience responds best to, and eliminate what does not work. 

Performance Marketing is One Piece to the Puzzle

From implementing data-driven strategies to targeting the right audience on the right platform with personalized content, since 2009, the experts at Bullseye Strategy have been building effective performance marketing campaigns that hit the target. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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