• Team Impakt Agency

What are the Most Common Uses of the Term “Performance Marketing”?


1. Affiliate Marketing

2. Native Advertising

3. Sponsored Content

4. Social Media Marketing

5. Search Engine Marketing



When it comes to the use of the term “Performance Marketing”, there are several areas within the digital marketing space that use it, yet differ from each other slightly.

Meaning, not all performance marketing is the same.

While one merchant might decide only one area is appropriate for their strategy, others might use multiple areas within a larger “Performance Marketing” umbrella to fulfill their goals.

Here are some of the most common areas in digital marketing that the term “Performance Marketing” is used.

1. Affiliate Marketing

As stated above where we discussed the difference between Affiliate Marketing and Performance Marketing, Affiliate Marketing is more related to any type of marketing that’s affiliated with the advertiser and paid out after the desired action takes place.

In many cases, especially within the North American market, this usually involves partnering with coupon, loyalty, review, and incentive sites.

Affiliate Marketing is the most traditional, and most commonly used term when referring to Performance marketing.

2. Native Advertising

This is a form of paid media that, unlike display ads or banner ads, don’t truly look like ads.

These types of ads tend to follow the natural form and function of the site it is placed on such as news or social sites, and can often be fed dynamically based on each user reading or viewing the content.

The most common payment models for Native Advertising are CPM (Pay Per Impression) and CPC (Pay Per Click).

3. Sponsored Content

Mostly used by influencers and content sites, this type of Performance Marketing involves a dedicated post or article promoting a brand and/or product in return for some form of compensation.

Sometimes the compensation will be in the form of free product or an experience, while other times it is a CPA, CPM or CPC based payout.

4. Social Media Marketing

This type of Performance Marketing is the usage of social media platforms to gain traffic or brand awareness, such as content being showcased on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.

The metrics that are typically measured in social media based “performance marketing” are usually centered around engagement, likes, clicks, and sales.

5. Search Engine Marketing

Broken down into two parts, Search Engine Marketing can be successful through paid and/or organic options.

Paid Search Marketing is simply when an advertiser pays for clicks to ads on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo while Organic Search is the opposite – using unpaid methods such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and relying on the search engine’s own algorithm to rank in the top.

Some companies measure their Search Engine Marketing results on a performance basis, while others partner and pay out commissions to SEM companies and campaigns based on results.

content originally ran in BigCommerce by Sarah Bundy

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