What Is Performance Marketing?

How to Craft an Impactful Performance Marketing Strategy

What is performance marketing? It’s technologically sophisticated advertising for the digital era. The digital age has revolutionized the marketing world. The digital age has revolutionized the marketing world. For a long time, advertisers have relied on the traditional advertising strategy of paying an upfront fee for an advertisement slot on TV, newspaper, or magazine. Unfortunately, the advertiser takes most of the risk when using this marketing strategy. The TV or newspaper company isn’t responsible for what happens after the ad has been placed. 

With increased competition and changing consumer behaviors, advertisers today need to measure results to improve their campaign’s performance. This explains why many of them are now focusing on performance marketing strategy. The advertiser only pays the advertising platform or marketing company when a specific action has been taken on the ad, like a click, conversion, sign-up, or sale. 

Also, performance marketing isn’t restricted to any specific channel. Performance marketers can utilize a wide range of channels, including social media advertising, paid user acquisition, search engine marketing, programmatic advertising, native advertising, and affiliate marketing. Read on to learn more. 

The Elements of a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

For your performance marketing strategy to be most effective, here are some of the elements to focus on.

Set Realistic Business Goals in Your Digital Marketing Plan

Setting realistic and specific goals is critical for marketing. According to CoSchedule, marketers who set goals are 377% more likely to be successful than those who don’t set goals. 

One sure way to set realistic goals is to align your marketing efforts with your business goals. Remember, a marketing strategy is only effective if it helps you achieve a key business objective. For example, assuming your marketing goal is to grow your social media following. Having a large social media presence is great, but think about specifically how it will help your business. Here, your business goal might be to reach new clients or increase brand awareness. 

Additionally, ensure your marketing goals are reasonable. If you want to grow your Twitter followers, you shouldn’t just throw arbitrary numbers in your marketing strategy. Rather, check your page analytics to see the rate at which your following has been growing. This sets the baseline. After that, assess your planned initiatives and the available resources to come up with a realistic goal for growth. 

Setting specific, realistic goals also comes in handy when measuring results. Towards the end of your marketing campaign, you have a set reference point against which to measure your achievements. You can then calculate the rate by which a goal was exceeded. 

Identify Your Target Audience for Your Ads

A target audience refers to the particular group of people you want to see your ad campaigns. If you sell anti-aging beauty products, your target audience may be women above 50 years of age, looking to get rid of wrinkles. Knowing your target audience helps determine the marketing channel that would resonate best with them. 

A target audience is not to be confused with a target market. A target market is broader, and it refers to the overall set of consumers you plan to reach with your marketing activities. In the example above of anti-aging products, your target market would be women aged over 50 years. A target audience is a more specific subgroup of a target market.  

Here are steps to follow to help you identify your target audience:

Segment Your Audience

Assess the people who have already interacted with your business and segment them into groups. How old are they, and where do they live? What’s their earning range? You can then segment them based on demographics, special interests, cultures, purchase intent, etc. 

Study the Market

Study the market to determine if there are other players in the market providing similar or almost similar products and where there are gaps that your product can fill. Also, analyze the competition to ascertain who they are selling to, which channels they are using, what content they are posting, and what is missing from their marketing efforts. Doing this helps you to create a unique offer and adopt strategies that can stand in the market. 

Communicate With Your Audience

Talking to your current audience gives you great insights into your target audience’s pain points and struggles. You can do this by checking and replying to their comments and posts on social media, initiating surveys, conducting interviews, or even engaging with your email subscribers. 

Create Personas

By now, you have a lot of data on your audience’s demographics, habits, preferences, and pain points. Analyze the specific segments to create a persona or several personas depending on your products. The personas represent who you should target in your marketing strategies.

Build Your Online Presence

Having a strong media presence is more important than ever when it comes to performance marketing. As more and more consumers adopt a hybrid way of shopping, working and living, you’ll miss out on potential customers if you’re not active online. 

At the most basic level, your business should have a functioning website and be active on the relevant social media platforms. It’s also advisable to create a Google Business Listing to display your contact information so that someone searching online can easily access your website. Below are four ways to build your online presence:

Build a Community on Social Media

In today’s modern world, just being active on social media platforms doesn’t cut it. You need to build a community by sharing a clear and captivating brand story across all your platforms. 

Your target audience will determine which online channels to focus on. If your primary audience is Generation Z, you could build a community on TikTok, as that demographic group makes the most active users on the platform. But if you’re targeting business-to-business customers, you may prioritize platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn. The secret is to choose what works best for your business.If you are doing multicultural marketing, a social media community can help to boost inclusion among customers of different cultures. 

Manage Your Reputation

According to Statista, 38% of online users in the U.S. believe online reviews are critical before making a purchasing decision. Therefore, managing your online reviews should be part and parcel of your online marketing efforts. Ask for customer reviews on Google, Facebook, and other platforms. Also, check your reviews regularly and respond to them appropriately. 

Utilize Multiple Content Formats

It’s likely that all your customers and potential customers have different tastes and preferences regarding how they consume content. Thus, utilize different formats (images, video, webinars, podcasts, etc.) depending on where your customers are most engaged. 

Develop a Stellar Content Marketing Strategy

When customers visit your platforms, they want to find high-quality and engaging content. Keep them active with regular social media posts, well-written blogs, videos, and white papers. The content should communicate your brand’s story and demonstrate value to keep customers coming back for more.  

Optimize Paid Search and Website Copy for Search Engines

Paid search ads are a great way to reach new customers and grow your business. Your pay-per-click (PPC) ads appear on top of search results, where most users view them. However, for your campaigns to enjoy a high success rate, you need to optimize your ad campaign for search engines. Below are three ways to do it.

  • Target Long-Tail Keywords

Instead of going for one-word keywords when launching your PPC campaign, focus on long-tail keywords, as these allow you to reach a more refined audience. Besides, long-tail keywords have lesser competition, making it easier to rank for them. 

  • Include Ad Extensions

Instead of creating a PPC ad that only includes a title and description, you can draw more interest from users by having ad extensions, such as call, price, location, and sitelink extensions. 

  • List Negative Keywords

These are keywords you don’t want your ads to appear alongside in search results. For example, if you are an optometrist with a store that sells eyeglasses, you don’t want your ad to appear when a person searches for wine glasses. Hence, list “wine glasses” as a negative keyword to avoid ranking for it.

Your website copy should also be highly optimized for search engines. For starters, ensure the content on your landing page is high quality and engaging to arouse the interest of those who visit your site. 

Other best practices for copy optimization include:

  • Ensure the content is rich in keywords (without keyword stuffing)
  • Ensure your calls-to-action are above the fold
  • Ensure the content in your landing page is in line with your ad’s messaging

As you figure out paid search as a component of your larger performance marketing strategy, don’t overlook organic search. Unlike other marketing methods where you have to pay for results, organic search optimization can help you achieve higher unpaid rankings in search results. Companies use search engine optimization to optimize their site’s rankings or visibility in search results. 

Another major merit of organic search is that its traffic is targeted. A person asking a query in a search engine has a specific intent, and if you can answer their question, you will be one step closer to making them your customer.

In addition, many users tend to trust organic search results over paid search ads. So, if your site is ranking organically, they may be more likely to trust your brand. And, clearly, trust from customers can be key to exceeding your digital marketing goals.

 Expand Your Performance Marketing Strategy

The following are some common strategies that you can use to get the most out of performance based marketing. 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a strategy in performance marketing that relies on metrics and goals. Affiliate networks typically involve an affiliate marketer and a merchant. An affiliate marketer advertises a product or service on behalf of a merchant, aiming to drive traffic, clicks, conversions, and sales for the merchant’s website. In return, the affiliate marketer receives a payment for every action taken.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a more modern form of social media marketing. It involves product placements and endorsements from influencers or people who possess some expert knowledge in their field.  

Most influencers have an enthusiastic audience that follows them. If the influencer recommends your brand, members of their audience may decide to learn more about your brand or products. Some of them may even become long-term customers. 

One challenge with influencer marketing is that it can be difficult to tell if the strategy brings tangible results. For example, if you’re using an influencer to market your products on Instagram, you may see your following grow, but that’s not necessarily a guarantee of making sales. This is why it’s so important to check other metrics beyond the number of followers.


Remarketing involves advertising to people who have already visited your site but have not taken the intended action. For example, a person may have accessed your website and even added one of your products to their cart but didn’t purchase it. In such a case, a remarketing strategy may involve advertising the same product to that person to encourage them to complete the purchase.

If used well, remarketing can enhance customer experience and increase your sales conversions since you’re reaching out to individuals who’ve already expressed interest in your brand.

Determine the Performance Marketing Channels You Will Focus On

Performance marketing agencies utilize various digital channels in their online marketing campaigns. These include social media advertising, programmatic display advertising, native advertising, paid search advertising, high-impact mobile advertising, and connected TV (CTV) advertising. For best results, leverage an omnichannel approach that will enable you to create an experience centered around your customer and how they interact with your brand. Today, users are scattered across the digital landscape, and hop seamlessly between channels and devices – with a holistic strategy and seamless media access, your marketing can do the same.

Each digital channel has specific key performance indicators (KPIs), so while you should ensure that you have a presence on all the channels that are relevant to your audiences, consider which channels are best suited to each campaign’s individual and specific goals. Ensure that you are also familiar with the types of metrics that are used to measure performance on each channel. If you’re using social media marketing, the KPIs include likes, comments, shares, impressions, clicks, checkouts, and sales. For CTV advertising, they would include cost per completed view, impressions served, return on ad spend, verified visits, and other relevant metrics.

The sheer number of channels and the differing means of approaching and attributing performance on each of them can be overwhelming. This is why at AUDIENCEX we’ve developed a unified tech stack to empower marketers with all the access and futureproof solutions they need in one place, while our team offers extensive strategic expertise and impactful creative to ensure performance on every channel.

How a Performance Marketing Platform Can Help

As a marketer, a performance marketing strategy is highly desirable as you can easily track your spend and ensure you’re paying for quantifiable results. The ability to measure different aspects like brand awareness and conversion rates also gives you full clarity over your ad performance.

If you’re looking for omnichannel performance marketing solutions, AUDIENCEX offers a holistic platform, combining seamless media access and integrated futureproof solutions in one unified tech stack. Backed by our expert strategists, we tailor our extensive solutions to maximize performance for each client and campaign across programmatic display, social, native, video, CTV, DOOH, and more. If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help you achieve your marketing goals, reach out for a free consultation with our team today.