The article is contributed by Vatsal Rajgor, Co-Founder & CEO, DigiMaze.
Every brand today wants to establish a strong digital presence and engage with viewers. Given the fact that viewers today are spending more time than ever on social media, there is a very strong business case for brands to use the digital arena as a powerful marketing tool. Even those brands that have a decent digital presence are always aiming to extend their reach and be in contact with their target base.
The important thing to note is that the digital medium is democratic. It offers a level playing field and is extremely effective once the correct strategies are applied. Appropriate and effective digital strategies, when used, are known to impact the behaviours of the consumers and the purchase decisions they finally make. In our day and age, performance marketing is the perfect digital strategy that can enable this.
According to the IAMAI- Kantar ICUBE 2020 report, there will be an increase of 45% in active internet users by 2025, i.e., from 622 million in 2020 to 900 million in 2025. These numbers act as an indication of the scope of the profits that can be reaped by brands that have a strong online presence. Here is where performance marketing comes to the rescue. It’s not just a popular buzzword. Performance marketing is on the rise and it allows marketers to measure and optimize key performance indicators. It points out the areas where the marketing effort is lacking and closes those loopholes to help craft an effective digital marketing strategy.
Performance Marketing - Helping Build Stronger, Goal-Oriented Campaigns
Performance marketing, powered by data, is inherently goal-driven so brands can measure their ROI. With performance marketing, Once a brand has a clear set of goals that they want its campaign to achieve, can use performance marketing to not just achieve these goals but also measure the probability of success. This is not magic. It’s pure data science. A lot of the decisions made are based on the nuggets of insights from the customer journey and the behaviours displayed by the consumers to create a final plan for the brand.
Performance marketing gives marketers the advantage of collecting and analysing real-time data to curate a framework to target the intended customers and get the desired results. Insights derived from data become critical because they lay the foundation for a brand’s campaign. This marketing approach is a win-win for both the business owner and the publisher as it allows them to focus and build up their campaigns in order to garner a high ROI that is calculable to an accurate degree.
Forms of Performance Marketing
Performance marketing uses various channels to produce the results, and they are:
Native advertising is a channel of advertising which camouflages itself as regular content. Viewers don't even get to know that it is a paid form of advertisement. It is usually opted for when one wants to combat the issue of advertisement blocking and banner blindness. As per the reports, 42.7% of the internet users in the world use an ad blocker. In such situations, native advertisements come to the rescue as consumers look at native ads 53% more than display ads and have purchase intent is 18% more for a native ad.
Sponsored advertising is a type of native advertising. The difference between the two is that sponsored advertising is not an ad but is a piece of content that is usually long-form and is about a brand. It can be an article or a video on a media publisher's site. Sponsored content aims to engage the audience by either entertaining them or educating them. The content needs to mention that it is sponsored or promoted so that people are aware and don't think otherwise. Sponsored ads help brands reach new customers, grow their following, and increase their conversion rate among other things.
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is the bread and butter as some brands mainly use this form of advertising over others. In this form of advertising, paid ad campaigns are launched on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and others to reach the intended audience. According to the CMO survey, brands will double their budgets for social media advertising by 2023. This is an important form of advertising because, as of January 2022, there were 467 million social media users in India. These numbers show us what kind of reach a brand can have if they were to use this form of marketing.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is paid marketing, also known as pay-per-click (PPC). This strategy is majorly used to increase the visibility of a website on the search engine results page (SERP). In this, the advertisers only pay for impressions that result in visitors. This is an efficient form as one only pays for the results. The results are quicker with SEM, and it is non-intrusive in nature.
Affiliate marketing is a subset of performance marketing and includes techniques like email marketing, influencer marketing, and many more. In this form of marketing, the affiliate makes a commission when they promote another person's products or a company's products. Performance marketing is affiliate marketing with other additions in its mix at a larger scale.
Like any other form of marketing activity, performance marketing also has its pros and cons. Hence, brands need to have flexible targets as a business, because setting rigid goals could hamper outcomes. While performance marketing is undertaken to achieve desired goals and paying only when results are achieved, companies need to have a margin of error. If anything unexpected were to happen, it is all accounted for. Performance marketing can be an effective tool in the arsenal of brands and, if used to its full potential, it can do wonders. It is a cost-efficient marketing strategy, where the performance of a marketing campaign, on any digital platform, can be tracked. Performance marketing is transparent in nature, and this essential feature is not found in other forms of marketing.
For any company, big, mid-sized or small, performance marketing is essential when you look at the digital frontier. It’s here to stay, and if used correctly, it can show results that are calculable, hence is a boon for any brand to make it a part of their digital strategy.