What is Performance Marketing?

Performance Marketing is a form of marketing that brings measurable results, only paying when a specific result occurs. 

With performance marketing, marketers and advertisers pay only when a specific action occurs, such as a sale, online lead, or link click. It is a performance-based model, whereas, with traditional advertising and marketing, the advertiser pays a flat fee regardless of the outcome.

Types Of Performance Marketing 

Performance marketing can be used through various marketing tools and platforms across several channels.

  1. Search engine marketing
  2. Social media advertising
  3. Native advertising
  4. Influencer marketing
  5. Referral marketing
  6. Content marketing

1. Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing is a performance marketing tactic used to drive traffic to your website by running text advertisements on search engines like Google and Bing. These ads are run by bidding on keywords and setting up your site’s ad text and web pages. You can measure the performance of your search campaigns through platforms like Google Ads. This is a pay-per-click model, meaning that advertising companies can select how much you are willing to pay for a click on their website.

2. Social media advertising

Social media advertising is another well-used performance marketing tactic. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer businesses and brands access to audiences through cost-per-click (CPC) performance models to display ads on social feeds.

3. Native advertising

Native ads are designed to match the look of the media that appear so they don’t disrupt the user’s browsing experience. Because of this, they are considered to be more effective than other forms of advertising. Native advertising can be easily measured through specialized native ad platforms like Taboola and Outbrain.

4. Influencer marketing 

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which brands partner with an individual with a strong online presence and following. Influencers leverage their social media accounts to promote products or services, including platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or Twitter.

5. Referral marketing 

Referral marketing is another performance marketing tactic to build long-term trust and customer engagement. With a “refer-a-friend” campaign, you will typically have a referral link or a code that can be tracked online. A company might offer customers a referral incentive or discount for referring new customers to their business. 

6. Content marketing

Content marketing is another performance marketing tactic that is leveraged. Forms of content marketing can include blog posts, articles, whitepapers, e-books, videos, and podcasts. All these forms of content can be measured by a specific result, whether page views, downloads, or another measurable action. 

How do you measure performance marketing?

To best measure marketing ROI, there are several ways to determine the performance of marketing plans and campaigns. Here are some common metrics used to measure performance marketing:


  1. Cost per acquisition (CPA): this is the cost of acquiring a new customer or converting a lead into a sale.
  2. Pay Per Click (PPC): This metric is defined as the price a business pays for any clicks on their ads that direct users to a landing page.
  3. Click-through rate (CTR): This metric is the percentage of online users who click on an ad or link divided by the total number of people who view the ad or link.
  4. Lifetime value (LTV): This is the total amount of revenue generated by a customer or client throughout the lifetime as a customer.

Benefits of Performance Marketing

Compared to traditional marketing, performing marketing provides the following benefits:

  • Performance visibility: perhaps the best benefit of performance marketing is the transparency of performance, which can be easily tracked in platforms.
  • Channel attribution: with performance marketing, attribution of leads is much more straightforward with a pay-for-action model.
  • Quick returns – once a performance marketing campaign is published, you can start seeing results quickly. 
  • Reduced risk – in terms of your return on investment for marketing, you pay only for the end goal. 
  • Amplify your audience: through performance marketing, businesses and brands can reach new online users.

By analyzing these metrics, businesses and brands can evaluate their marketing effectiveness and identify areas of improvement to make the necessary adjustments needed to boost their marketing.

Including Performance Marketing Tactics Into Your Marketing Plan

Compared to traditional marketing models, performance marketing offers many advantages. Is it right for your brand? Consider using the performance marketing strategies and tactics listed as part of your marketing plan. 

With Planful, marketers can use our platform to help you create a marketing plan online. Learn more about our marketing planning software and build a strong strategy for your organization.

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