Many digital and performance marketers rely on the same mix of channels to get their messages out. The list includes names you can probably guess off the top of your head: Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
As we start a new year, what better time to think of new approaches and channels to supercharge your growth in 2023 and beyond? After all, a data-driven marketing strategy doesn’t just repeat what is working — it also tests new things.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the top 10 performance media channels you should be advertising on, or at least experimenting with, in 2023. We'll also answer the questions "what is performance media marketing?" and "what is performance media buying?"
Takeaway: Start experimenting with these performance marketing channels today to start seeing performance marketing campaigns that convert.
10 Performance Marketing Channels To Try
To boost your digital marketing strategy this year, sharpen your marketing strategies on the following platforms to increase brand awareness, rank higher on search engine results pages, and experience the other benefits of performance marketing.
A digital marketing strategy without TikTok does not make sense in 2023. After all, as the most downloaded app of 2021, TikTok had over 100 million more downloads (656 million) than the runner-up, Instagram.
TikTok performance marketing campaigns can skyrocket your online marketing efforts. In fact, a whopping 91% of TikTok users take an action after watching a TikTok. That’s six times higher than other channels!
TikTok offers a few different avenues for performance marketing campaigns:
- Paid ads: TikTok’s paid ads feature, TikTok Promote, lets advertisers choose a goal — whether it’s video views, new followers, or website visits — and tailors how the video is presented to TikTok users based on the goal.
- Ad auctions: These auctions let you bid on TikTok ads to ensure you get the most out of your TikTok performance marketing campaign. If you’re looking for more traffic to your website, you will bid for cost per click. The following bids are available:
- Cost per view(CPV)
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Cost per mille/thousand impressions (CPM)
- Optimized cost per mille/thousand impressions (oCPM)
Reddit does community better than most other social platforms. Harness the power of Reddit’s millions of tight-knit communities, known as “Subreddits,” to penetrate the engaged and highly influenceable market of Redditors. In fact, Redditors are nearly 50% more likely to trust a brand because they advertised on Reddit over other social media platforms and websites.
Reddit’s ad products include:
- Reddit Pixel: Reddit Pixel empowers marketers to leverage the insights of engaged Reddit users to optimize campaigns, reach qualified leads, and drive conversions.
- Promoted Carousel: Reddit’s Promoted Carousel feature helps brands create a compelling narrative to connect with customers in a Reddit-centric way — through images and GIFs.
- Engagement retargeting: Re-engage with users who have previously seen or taken action on your Reddit ads to build your connection.
Quora is a Q&A social media platform where users ask questions, get answers, and interact with one another.
Quora is one of the performance marketing channels you should test in 2023 to gain access to its 300 million monthly users and drive high-quality traffic and leads to your website.
Quora Ads is an excellent platform to get your brand in front of your target audience during the awareness and traffic generation stages of the marketing funnel. Quora is also a great way to build authority on topics and trends by answering user questions and driving traffic to your site.
Quora offers a self-service ad platform that lets advertisers create native ads that target users by interest, geography, and the type of browser they’re accessing the website from.
Quora ads can only be purchased via auction, so you will have to specify a bid value you’re willing to pay for each click, similar to Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
There is no minimum you are required to spend to start Quora ads, meaning you can start experimenting with this performance marketing channel without worrying about breaking the bank or wasting money.
If you’re trying to reach a young target audience, Twitch is the place to be, with the average Twitch user being 16–24 years old. The gaming platform sees more than 140 million unique monthly visitors, most of whom are impressionable and eager to consume content and act on it.
Twitch offers two advertising programs: banner ads and in-video ads. You can strategically place your ads before a stream, in the middle of a stream, or at the end of a stream, based on when the creator you partner with sees the highest amount of viewers.
Tip: video is also great for brand building, so you can also use Twitch for more longterm brand building campaigns.
Remember that your ads should be interactive and fun when marketing to young target audiences to ensure they catch and hold the audience's attention.
5. Native Advertising with Outbrain
The best ads enhance a user’s experience on a website rather than interrupt it. Native advertising lets you create ads that look like they’re part of the website’s regular content instead of competing against it for consumers' attention.
Examples of native ads include:
- Article suggestions at the bottom of a blog post
- Twitter or TikTok hashtags
- Instagram or Snapchat story filters
- TikTok trends
Outbrain helps brands grow their customer base with Outbrain recommendations, helping them connect with one-third of the world’s consumers engaging with internet content.
Eighty-five percent of Pinners prefer — and search for — visual content. This makes Pinterest uniquely positioned to host all kinds of content, including written blog content, photos, and videos.
On Pinterest, “Pinners” share their content on Pinterest boards for all their followers to see. Your content could snowball from user to user to user on Pinterest, an excellent way to increase brand awareness and reach. Moreover, 83% of Pinterest users have bought something from content they’ve seen on the platform.
Since many people go to Pinterest to search for specific home trends, fashion, and beauty, they are typically already warm leads ready to make a purchase when they find what they’re looking for — making your job as a marketer much easier! Simply provide an eye-catching and engaging ad, and voilà, watch the conversions roll in.
According to Pinterest Ads, marketers who use the channel benefit from reaching 400 million Pinners monthly to discover and buy new products.
7. Email Newsletters
There are bloggers in every niche, from cat lovers to chefs and tech analysts to make-up artists. Many of them have a newsletter you can subscribe to. That also comes with an opportunity for advertising.
You could argue that sponsoring a newsletter is not real performance marketing (since you don’t pay per action a user takes), but it can be. You could pay a set amount per email open or click to your website. And even an affiliate marketing model is possible here, where you only pay the publisher if their email brings you leads.
Podcasts are serious business today. Sixty-two percent of American consumers listen to podcasts, and predictions expect more than 500 million podcast listeners worldwide by 2024.
The number one reason people download and listen to podcasts is that they like the host and have a real connection with them. Podcasting is an intimate medium, and when a host endorses a product, it has a measurable impact on boosting brand awareness.
If a podcast host gives their listeners a promo code for your website or webshop, you can measure exactly how many people found you through that podcast.
Podcasts are also great tools to help brands reach niche audiences while creating value for listeners (potential customers) by providing entertaining, informative, and/or educational content.
Search Engine Marketing Channels
Search engine marketing uses paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (SERPS). Advertisers pay for keywords that consumers enter into search engines when they are looking for a business, product, or service. These ads are known as pay-per-click ads, and similar to performance marketing, you only pay when someone takes an action and actually clicks on your ad.
Consider adding these two search engine marketing channels into your performance marketing campaign mix:
9. Bing Ads
Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, accounts for 30%–40% of online search volume — while those numbers may pale in comparison to the search engine behemoth Google, it’s still a large chunk of online traffic that you should be attempting to capture. What’s more, Bing users spend 35% more than Google users do, so adding Bing to your search engine marketing strategy is sure to pay dividends.
One of the biggest advantages of Bing Advertising is that it's part of the Microsoft Advertising platform. This means your ads won’t just run on Bing; they will also appear on AOL, Yahoo!, DuckDuckGo, and other partner websites, reaching about 1.5 billion users. Despite having fewer users than Google, Bing captures 63 million users who can’t be captured via Google Ads.
As sustainability continues to become increasingly important in the minds and hearts of consumers, some are turning to a search engine with a purpose. Ecosia is the green search engine that plants a tree with every search. About 15 million people use Ecosia as their primary search engine, most of whom are between the ages of 20 and 30.
If your target customers are eco-conscious, an advertising presence on Ecosia is a must to reach them online.
Here’s how you can get started advertising on Ecosia:
- Set up a Bing Ads account.
- Create an ad campaign and choose your target locations.
- Choose keywords that will trigger your ad.
- Create your ad and define the text and links that will appear in the ad.
- Focus your campaign on Bing’s partner network by clicking “Syndicated Partners Only” and unchecking all other options.
- Launch your campaign.
- Focus your campaign on Ecosia. (Learn how to do that here.)
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Performance Marketing?
Performance marketing is all about the results. Rather than pay for marketing services monthly or yearly, performance-based marketing companies only charge when their marketing efforts are effective.
Performance marketing is the opposite of traditional marketing, where advertisers pay a fee for specific ad placements up front, regardless of how the ad performs.
The most significant benefits of performance marketing include:
- It is trackable and measurable. You can track your campaign performance every step of the way and make necessary adjustments on the fly.
- You only pay for results. With performance marketing channels, you only pay for successful campaigns. This allows you to get a better handle on your budget and stretch it much further.
- It enables you to extend your advertising reach to new audiences.
- It is a low-risk form of marketing. Not only do you only pay for desired actions your target audience takes, but performance marketing campaigns are also much more flexible and allow you to tweak your budget when necessary rather than being locked into a contract or fixed price. If the desired results don't happen, you can stop paying for that channel.
What are performance media channels?
Performance media channels are marketing channels that allow you to create and publish ads that drive actions, including clicks, sign-ups, and purchases, and then track and measure the actions.
Also read: What is a Channel strategy in marketing?
What is performance media buying?
Performance media buying works to identify the channels that are most relevant to your target audience at the optimal time for the least amount of money. This lets you spend money on the channels that are most effective and likely to convert and spend less on the channels that just aren’t landing. Marketers use the following metrics to help them figure out which channels are performing the best:
- Cost per click (CPC): Advertisers are billed based on the number of clicks a display ad receives.
- Cost per lead: Cost per lead is the average cost for each new lead an advertising campaign brings in.
- Cost per acquisition: This marketing metric measures the total cost of a customer completing a specific action, whether clicking on an ad, subscribing to a newsletter, following a social media account, etc.