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How content creation has changed performance marketing

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By Entail Staff
Kelly Hendrickse - Editor
Edited by Kelly Hendrickse
Romi Hector
Fact-check by Romi Hector

Published June 12, 2024.

How content creation has changed performance marketing

Key takeaways

  • Marketers must adapt to third-party data-sharing limitations with first-party data and new techniques like fingerprinting.
  • With social media advertising set to grow, adapting to consumer behavior shifts is also crucial.
  • Personalized experiences can boost customer satisfaction and conversions with proper consent.
  • Storytelling and creative content are essential to capture attention and maximize reach.

Performance marketing primarily encompasses all aspects of marketing that are measurable, and the key is to always market for results. If your campaign yields conversions and profits, it's positive.

A HubSpot survey shows that 45% of marketers expect their 2023 budget to be the same as 2022, with 39% having seen an increase from 2021 to 2022. And as marketing costs rise and budgets shrink, there's a need to be more accurate with spending while staying performance-based.

So, let's dive into performance marketing's current standing and how it can be optimized for better results in an ever-changing digital world.

» Discover how to monetize your video expertise with performance marketing

How performance marketing has evolved

There was a time when practically everything was measurable, with an unprecedented level of insight into consumer behavior. Performance marketing can run on various channels, like:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Search engines
  • Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram

But this era of exhaustive measurement started declining when limits on data sharing were introduced. This profoundly affected businesses relying on third-party data, particularly platforms like Facebook.

» SEO or paid search? Use the right strategy to optimize your conversion funnel.

Techniques for effective performance marketing

Social media advertising is expected to grow to $85.31 billion in the United States by 2027. So, it's certainly worth bolstering your current advertising channels to fit the data-access changes and the shifts in consumer behavior. Here are some aspects you can look at:

First-party data usage

First-party data is collected directly from the user during their visit to your website.

For example: If you search for running shoes and visit Nike's website, Nike can track your visit. This is first-party data.

However, the issue begins when third-party platforms like Facebook want to know that you visited Nike and show you Nike ads.

Apple's decision to block third-party tracking was followed by Google, which significantly affected Facebook's ad targeting capabilities since users could now deny access to their data, like browsing habits.

Screenshot of Apple's privacy policy

Influencer marketing

Revolutionize content creation by using influencer marketing. The challenge here lies in attribution. A successful campaign can lead to a spike in direct visits, which can lead to conversions and reaching your business objectives.

Screenshots of influencers doing sponsored post on Instagram

However, if your business has multiple influencers running numerous campaigns, tracking which campaign led to increased direct sales becomes difficult. Be sure to use built-in or third-party metric and analytic tracking tools.


To understand this, think of how your fingerprint is often linked to verification, especially in industries like banking. In digital terms, each computer or mobile device has unique characteristics:

  • Browser language
  • Time of the last update
  • Battery status
  • Timestamp of your visit
  • Other features

By comparing these data points, it's possible to statistically determine if two visitors are the same person, just like matching fingerprints.

This technique is a workaround to third-party data limitations and might face restrictions in the future due to privacy concerns.


By leveraging first-party data—like demographics and purchase history—businesses can personalize a user's experience and the overall customer journey. This data can be collected through social media connections, activity on your site, and sales. Personalization can present in:

  • Recommended products
  • Discounts
  • Marketing emails
Screenshot of personalized product recommendations

Getting visitors to sign up on your site is valuable as it allows for targeting. This can boost customer satisfaction and conversions, especially since 69% of consumers say they appreciate personalization as long as it's done by obtaining data with their permission.

Using cookies

A cookie is a tool that stores data on a user's browser when they visit a website. What's stored depends on the specific settings of the cookie, such as:

  • An identifier, like user location
  • Device information
Screenshot of Amazon using cookies to track user location

When the user visits another site, that information can be read and used for various purposes, like personalization. If the cookie doesn't have the ID, companies might try to match other metrics to see if it aligns with a known fingerprint, associating the user with information stored elsewhere.

» Find out if Google will close sales directly from Search.

3 tips for performance marketing in the era of AI

Graphic of a group of people sitting around a table with laptops

While modern performance marketing can garner high vanity metrics like shares and reposts, it's not a success if it doesn't translate to sales. So, since most campaigns now operate on platforms like Google, Facebook, or Instagram, here are some tips:

1. Avoid goal-setting and technical setup mistakes

When you set up a campaign on platforms like Meta (which includes Facebook and Instagram), you have to choose a goal. If your goal is awareness or "likes," the platform will show your ad to individuals more likely to "like" it, not necessarily those who might purchase.

Technical setup mistakes include incorrectly setting your campaign's goals and tracking the outcomes.

This process often requires professional knowledge and expertise, as errors lead to inaccurate results.

2. Prioritize storytelling and creative content

Screenshot of creative IKEA ad campaign

Since platforms largely manage automatic targeting, brands are on a somewhat more level playing field. So with content creation as the key, competitors are more likely to mimic a long-running ad—especially if creativity is not their strong suit—because it's assumedly profitable.

Therefore, your creative elements need to capture people's attention long enough to encourage them to visit your website. The narrative must also remain consistent through repeated exposure.

Scenario: If you're advertising a sustainable jewelry brand, the next ad can't portray it as budget-friendly since consumers won't remember a brand from just one ad. However, they may connect the dots after seeing a consistent message several times.

3. Maximize customer reach

An existing customer is often more valuable to a business than a new one. This is because existing customers are 60-70% likely to make a purchase, and new customers are only 5-20% likely.

Platforms will automatically target users they deem aligned with your content based on the users' activity and demographics. A similar situation occurs on Google with performance max campaigns.

Scenario: A jewelry brand allows Google to manage its campaign, and the platform effectively decides which campaigns succeed using AI technology.

The same process happens on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, with each platform's algorithms determining the target audience. Depending on your keywords and content, this can leave room for missed reach, but it can also help streamline the process. These platforms require engaging videos to have a real impact on your audience.

» Explore the role of guest posting in today's content creation landscape.

Let your content outperform competitors

Without brand marketing or other advertising strategies, it's challenging to definitively mark campaigns as successful, even when using performance marketing techniques. This is because the data limitations and push for transparency and brand recognition impact customer conversion.

Expert quote: Performance marketing is not dead—rather, its focus has evolved

And with performance marketing, engagement is not enough. So, to help drive sales, avoid poor goal-setting and technical setup mistakes, and push for more creative, cohesive branded content.