Home Affiliate Marketing & Media Buying Performance Marketing: What You Need To Know

Performance Marketing: What You Need To Know

by Patrick D

Performance marketing has replaced blurred KPIs with concrete metrics. It uses technology to assess the effectiveness of every advertising campaign you launch. So, can marketers easily apply performance marketing strategies? How does PM differ from affiliate marketing? Is it related to display advertising? If these questions puzzle you, you’re about to get the answers.

What is performance marketing?

Performance marketing refers to online campaigns where advertisers pay per conversions generated. It gives advertisers more power to define the conversion type they want and then pay when it is completed.

How is performance marketing different from other types of marketing?

In most traditional forms of advertising, the advertiser pays for ad space upfront, regardless of how effective it is. This approach could result in thousands of dollars spent with little conversion.

Performance marketing vs. brand marketing

Brand marketing focuses on purposeful information and creative storytelling, and long-term growth. While performance marketers focus on metrics and revenue.

Performance marketing vs. affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a special type of performance marketing. Why? Because advertisers pay affiliates for promoting their products or services and driving conversions. They receive payment solely for actions such as clicks, leads, installs, downloads, or other conversions.

Performance marketing vs. programmatic marketing

Programmatic marketing automates buying advertising space to reach targeted audiences at lower costs. Performance marketing’s ROI is easier to assess than programmatic’s. Instead of paying for traffic volumes, you only pay for target actions. Performance marketing doesn’t convert every ad click. But most of these clicks are useful.

How does performance marketing work?

Typically, four parties are involved in developing and implementing a performance marketing strategy

Advertisers or Merchants

Often, a company sells goods or services with a specific goal: increasing leads or sales.

Affiliate (optional)

An affiliate is a marketer who promotes advertisers’ products/services to their website users and followers. Affiliates can also buy social, search, or other types of traffic to direct them to the advertiser’s landing page. This way, they profit from the difference between their spending and the payouts for conversions. Publishers (website owners) provide their websites and landing pages for placing third-party ads.

Ad networks

First of all, an ad network is a traffic source for advertisers and a way of earning money for those who provide this traffic.

Advertising networks, in a broad sense, make it possible to:

  • Buy large traffic volumes for different payment models (for views, for clicks, for actions);
  • Set up ad targeting to those audiences who are interested in the product;
  • Choose ad formats and upload creatives for them;
  • Track campaign effectiveness of campaigns.

Ad networks are a source of passive income for traffic providers or publishers. Besides, they can increase their income if they work to provide quality traffic and use the latest ad formats.

To Contents ↑

Outsourced programs managers (OPMs)

These firms and agencies provide full-service performance marketing campaigns for advertisers. OPMs provide marketing strategy, publisher recruitment, campaign design, and regulatory compliance services.

They can also help with landing page optimization, SEO, and other best practices to improve performance.

Pay per sale / CPA (cost per acquisition)

This is an arrangement where an advertiser pays an affiliate or publisher for sales generated. It is the most frequently used payment method in eCommerce. But there are many more forms of conversions.

Pay per lead

Typically, a lead is a completed registration or signup form that requires personal information from the user or consumer and generally is a non-cash conversion. This information may include the customer’s name, email address, phone number, personality characteristics, among other things—the more complicated the lead form, the higher the payout.

Pay per click

Advertisers pay an affiliate for any click that leads users to the desired landing page.

Top performance marketing channels

Native advertising

Native advertising helps to unobtrusively offer a product or service to an audience that may be interested in it. As a rule, native advertising is very similar to the page’s main content on which it is displayed, so the advertiser gets more targeted clicks and longer contact with their offer.

Native ads can appear like recommended content, related content, or as a block of banners that perfectly match the page’s design and structure. Make users engage and buy, not just click and churn.

Here’s how to successfully launch campaigns via native advertising:

  1. Set a goal — determine a specific objective and define critical metrics for tracking progress;
  2. Adapt the content — try to create campaigns around content that can inspire action;
  3. Plan your launch — planning your launch involves deciding on content, audience filters, and budget parameters;
  4. Optimize — improve your campaign by analyzing data, identifying the publishers that deliver the best results, and adjusting your budget appropriately;
  5. Realign — compare campaign performance to your original objective and look for ways to optimize it further using variables such as time, site, and device type.
To Contents ↑

Sponsored articles are a type of native advertising. They expose your brand to a highly targeted audience, increasing qualified traffic, conversions, and overall online visibility. As a result of sponsored articles, brands can naturally converse with consumers in their trusted environments — publications for news, education, and entertainment.

Social media advertising

Achieving measurable results through organic social media reach has become more complex. As a result, advertisers and media buyers include social media advertising in their performance marketing programs.

Social networks provide metrics for tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as clickthrough rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and overall return on investment (ROI). As with any performance marketing effort, the first step is to define your objectives. Then choose which social media platforms to start with. Consider the following:

  1. How the network’s demographics align with your brand;
  2. The organic traction you’ve gained on each network;
  3. How your competition uses various social media platforms;
  4. Which ad formats are available on the network.
To Contents ↑

Social media advertising Best practices:

  1. Use the targeting options to define specific target audiences;
  2. Try to make ads that blend in with the network’s natural content. Promotional posts on social media frequently backfire;
  3. Spend time learning about the pros and cons of the various formats available;
  4. Experiment with and optimize your bidding strategy over time to maximize your ROI;
  5. Refresh your ads and landing pages frequently.

Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to increasing visibility and clicks through paid advertising on search engines. Keyword selection is a skill in search engine marketing. If you want to build a strong campaign, you’ll need to conduct extensive keyword research. For obvious reasons, commercial keywords such as buy, discount, deal, coupon, and free shipping are more competitive and expensive.

Display advertising

We don’t often think of display advertising as a channel for performance marketing. But it all depends on the promotion strategy you use. With Popunder, Native, or In-Page Push traffic ad formats, you can pay either for conversions or for clicks and impressions. Ads will continue to appear on publishers’ websites, but your budgets will only be spent when users complete a required action, such as an app download, signup, or email confirmation. 

*With Adsterra, some payment models are available on the Self-Serve Advertising Platform, while others are on managed accounts.

To Contents ↑

How to build a performance marketing strategy

There is no universal approach to performance marketing because channels and campaigns vary. But you can use the steps below as a guide to launch a successful performance campaign.

Establish your campaign goal

Establishing campaign goals is critical to evaluating the campaign’s success. Performance marketing relies on pre-launch goal setting to ensure you’re building awareness and selling products better.

Many advertising platforms require advertisers to set objectives before creating ads or campaigns. Your campaign goals determine where, who, and how your ads are shown. Once you’ve defined your campaign objectives, you can use ad platforms to create campaigns tailored to those goals.

Choose your digital channel

Rather than focusing on one marketing channel, diversify your efforts. As a result, the campaign’s chances of success increase. Aim for channels that specialize in your conversion type and are where your target audience is most likely to be found.

Creating and launching the campaign

Most resources for performance marketing are spent on creating campaigns –– identifying the target audience, learning their problems and desires, and crafting ads and messaging that address their needs to capture their attention.

The more you understand your target audience and how your product or service can appeal to them, the easier it will be to write the best ad copy, design, and schedule. Furthermore, technical aspects of the campaigns are platform or channel-specific, such as ad sizes, acceptable images, and copy character limits.

Measure and optimize your campaign

The real work begins after the launch. When you launch a performance campaign, it immediately generates data. Individual campaigns must be optimized for performance across all channels by the marketer. Analyze data and metrics to see which traffic sources are the most effective, and then allocate ad budgets accordingly. Performance marketing campaigns should be used to increase sales and determine the best channels, audiences, and campaign objectives to maximize your ROAS.

Handle possible surprises

Performance marketing, like any other marketing campaign, has its difficulties. One way to avoid potential issues is to direct your resources toward high-quality advertising networks and platforms where brand safety and data privacy are responsibly and reliably addressed.

What are the benefits of performance marketing?

Performance marketing is centered on tracking and attribution, which provides marketers with significantly greater control over their budget and return on investment. Here are the top 3 reasons why performance marketing is a new era of marketing:

  • Easy-to-track performance: Performance marketing campaigns are specifically designed to track and measure results with various data analytics tools;
  • ROI-driven: Because ROI drives performance marketing, improving performance is always the goal. As a result, campaigns perform better, generating more leads and sales.
To Contents ↑


If you’re an affiliate marketer looking to sell your traffic conversion skills, then the Adterra CPA Network is just what you need. We provide only proven offers from reputable advertisers plus solid payments for conversions.

If you are looking for high-quality traffic and a pay-per-conversion ad network, then welcome to Adsterra.

Related Posts