Marketing is the bread and butter of the internet. Without marketing, the business models of some of the largest internet-based tech companies would go under. The beauty of marketing is that it’s highly scalable. One can market simply by retweeting a link. For us with smaller businesses and startup marketing firms, The best way to take advantage of this is through performance-based marketing or “performance marketing”. Performance marketing is fast becoming the most used option on the internet. It helps keep individuals on top of their finances as well as build notoriety around their product or service in real-time.
If you’re interested in performance marketing, here are the ins and outs.
When companies pay for advertising, they usually do so with a set price. That's an older, more static method. Performance marketing sets up variable pricing based on how well you perform. The more people interact with your advertising, the more you pay out for it. This is the base function of performance-based marketing. It is, more or less, a “pay as you go” system. For example, if you take out a billboard advertisement, you’re paying out monthly or annually on that piece of “visual real estate”. In performance-based marketing, companies can pay for an ad on a website or a search engine. They pay out a minimal fee every time it’s viewed. They also pay incremental fees every time it’s clicked. That number is compiled over an agreed upon period, and payment is requested from the ad’s host, publisher, or affiliate.
The most important form of performance-based marketing today is affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, companies pay individuals for referrals on their website. If you’re reading a “top 10 best laptops” list, and you end up buying one from a link, the company selling the laptop will pay out a percentage to the creator of the blog. Some affiliate offers are good, some are not. Because it’s such a big opportunity, not all affiliate programs are the same, nor are they all dependable. You really have to look into these programs. Do your research. Put in the work. Some of the biggest ones, like Amazon and Alibaba, are sure to payout. But to get the best out of your content, a deeper dive into your options is necessary.
It’s always a good idea to stick to the big players when you're starting out. You can get the feel of how it’s done, as well as figure out what you need to further your operation. If you’re starting a website for the purpose of performance-based marketing, keep the first 100 pieces of content focused on the niche you want to build your affiliate company around. Go back and edit. Change and update your focus, and shift minimally. After you get the hang of it, you’re all set to explore all the options available to you.
There are different ways you can get paid out in performance-based marketing. Some of the most common are “pay per lead”, in which someone fills out a form or agrees to be a part of an email list. The other is “pay per sale” which means you get a payout every time someone buys their product on the link you provide. Other means of getting paid like “pay per X” and “pay per click” can be arranged. Be sure to clarify and secure your payment schemes before becoming an affiliate. The kind of fine print that’s missed in affiliate marketing operations is quite significant. It’s in your best interest to secure and be completely on top of your means of getting paid.
Performance-based marketing is the new standard for businesses operating online. They’re the most effective in the digital age. As a marketer, your job is to put out the content that entices people and pushes them further down the funnel. As a byproduct, you’ll grow and expand outward as you keep going. Marketing is a massive industry. It only makes sense that you get your cut. Best of all, if you’re getting paid on a performance basis, then may the best marketer win.