Performance marketing is all about maximising ROI – or return on investment – on your marketing spend. This ultimate guide will help you learn everything you need to get things rolling.
Marketing as a tool for business has undergone great changes over the last few decades. There was print marketing, then radio, and TV advertising, and currently digital marketing completing the evolution.
In later years, digital marketing then took on its growth journey spawning affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, search marketing, email marketing, and lately, performance marketing.
All these are efforts towards a common goal, to drive sales – but through different strategies and platforms. Here is everything you need to know about performance marketing and the digital marketing mistakes teams make.
What is Performance Marketing?
Performance marketing is essentially an online advertising and marketing program that does not involve payment upfront. However, it is broad enough to include affiliate marketing, search marketing, influencer marketing, and email marketing, among many other online programs based on commission payouts.
The beauty of performance marketing is in its ROI element, considering that the merchant can get massive brand and product exposure without budget constraints. Someone works for you without a retainer and you only pay for actual measurable performance after completion. This is what makes performance marketing such an attractive option, especially for digital marketers today.
Performance marketing opens the door to anyone interested to collaborate with a business by offering his/her social status as a marketing tool. You have to demonstrate that there were leads, conversions, and purchases by prospects from your following.
In a fast-industrialising region with mega multinationals like the Asia Pacific, young people with a good social image and a sizeable following can partner with these multi-nationals to promote their products and create a viable revenue stream for themselves. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn are popular platforms with millennials and can work well in performance marketing.
How Does Performance Marketing Work?
Performance marketing is anchored on four groups working in concert for the same goal, to promote the product on sale. These groups comprise of:
• the Advertiser (Merchants)
• the Publishers (Affiliates)
• the Network (Affiliate Networks and Tracking platforms)
• Managers (Affiliate management companies)
The digital marketing head at a popular college paper writing service says that each one of these groups plays a crucial role that pulls together the performance marketing effort for execution. Each role played at every stage function to feed the next in harmony and joint effort for mutual benefit. It is important that each group understands their role and contributes accordingly for the others to work.
Performance marketing starts with an advertiser seeking online marketing, exposure, and lead generation. The most notable categories in this group include beauty products, fashion and clothing, sporting goods, and beverages who seek Influencers as brand ambassadors. Next in line are the publishers or marketing partners, who do the actual marketing on behalf of advertisers.
In this group, you find multiple categories of websites offering product reviews, online magazines, influencer blogs, and content sites. Coming third is the third-party tracking platform that facilitates the dynamics of the marketing program.
They track clicks, leads, conversions as well as offer a settlement platform for payouts. Affiliate managers complete the setup and can be in-house or outsourced. They handle content creation, strategies, and partner recruitment, among other duties.
Measuring Marketing Performance
To justify your spending, you must have a measurable ROI on your marketing performance as indeed, you must have for every other business activity. Metrics are especially crucial for assessing online marketing efforts and, more so, the performance marketing conducted through partners and subject to third-party tracking.
If your marketing is driven by content, you must install appropriate analytics to gauge your traffic flow against ROI. Equip your website with dynamic analytics that can process and submit a comprehensive report of your web traffic for better decisions.
There are many metrics, but a few stand out and these include inbound links directed to your sales site. Timely inbound link reports are essential to evaluating qualified leads and conversion rates.
Page ranking is another good indicator that you have strong brand awareness and visibility in the market. PageRank usually corresponds to your website traffic rising in tandem in a demonstration that there is interest in your products. The vibrancy of your social media platforms with soaring weekly traffic, trending posts, and an increased following are factors to consider in your ROI.
This requires that you incorporate social media analytics for better monitoring. Your search traffic must account for about 50% of the total visits with direct and referrals 20% each and 10% from responses to campaigns. All these metrics must coalesce into increased sales to become significant.
Benefits of Performance Marketing
Performance marketing offers one outstanding benefit at first glance – it is 100% measurable, and the metrics involved are credible. Third-party tracking platforms have excellent software for analytics to track and analyse every activity of the program for credible reports.
They go a step further and break down the raw data for you and provide an easy-to-use dashboard to keep you in the loop. This makes it easy and simple for the merchant to track the overall performance in near real-time and comes with a high level of transparency.
Working with an expanded group of partners ensures you benefit from maximum reach to a wider and diverse audience. The partners also go out full throttle to secure conversions because their pay depends on it. Performance marketing puts the control in your hands and at low risk.
You can monitor effort results in real-time and reassess your strategies if necessary, and all without putting excessive strain on your budget resources. This marketing strategy allows room for flexibility and adjustment at no extra cost. If one campaign or content fails to work, you learn from it and change tact for re-launch.
Performance Marketing Trends in APAC
Social commerce is projected to rise significantly in the Asia Pacific region and this could give accelerated growth for performance marketing. Social media drives this commerce model with buyers transacting online on platforms such as Instagram, for instance.
A tap on the picture will provide the price tag and a link back to the supplier. This next billion-dollar market in India, for instance, promises to be exciting for influencer marketing and affiliate marketing that adventurous young entrepreneurs can explore.
Another area of growth that is likely to power performance marketing is the emerging adoption of artificial intelligence in e-commerce. With end-to-end, AI-assisted automation platforms, companies are poised to adopt better marketing strategies, improve customer experience, and drive conversions through performance marketing.
The rise in sophistication levels of consumers in this region means that more persuasive but subtle marketing strategies will be in high demand. Influencer and affiliate marketing are likely to take precedence over traditional channels due to its attraction to young and impressionable consumers.
Asia Pacific countries, especially China, Korea, India, and Singapore, have the potential for a sudden burst in growth for performance marketing.
Performance Marketing Tips for Success
To support your performance marketing effort successfully, you need to sustain the tested and tried models of marketing. Ensure that every platform in your overall marketing strategy remains functional and delivers results.
Email marketing is still effective and especially at a personal level, to retain existing customers. Invest in it with AI technology for automated email processing for efficiency.
You will also want to give your blog more attention if you hope to expand your presence on the web and share relevant content with your customers. Make sure your blog posts are shared across social media with your customers and your marketing partners.
Keep your brand alive on social media and interact with your followers (customers) to generate leads and convert those qualified. Put out sponsored links in Google Ad campaigns to instigate traffic to your website that could include leads.
Speaking of social media platforms, pay special attention to Instagram and Pinterest if your products have a great visual appeal. To enhance your profile and respectability in the market, do not hastily close the door on the press and occasionally place ads or special pull-outs in leading publications. It is a highly competitive world, so act smart to gain your spot.
Whereas performance marketing seems a good deal for marketers, and it is, you must engage professionals to help you set up the program. These affiliate managers will coordinate all functions and players for better results. They have a better knowledge of the right influencer and affiliate marketing partners that can deliver for your line of business as well as third-party trackers to keep your records.