Digital marketing jargon can be confusing. And confusing means people often use marketing terms incorrectly, which only confuses everyone even more. So, for clarity’s sake, we’ve defined the most commonly used marketing terms. No more blank stares in the marketing meetings!

And if anyone in your marketing team uses terms you don’t know, make sure they define them for you. In no particular order, this is your essential guide to marketing terms.

Marketing Term #1. A/B Testing

Digital marketing depends on testing, evaluating, and iterating. In marketing, A/B testing is a method used to determine which version of an email subject line, landing page, et cetera performs better. Two versions of the same content are created and distributed. Then, the data is analysed to determine the best approach.

2. Analytics

Perhaps one of the most frequently used marketing terms, analytics refers to data tracking and analysis. Analytics tools are used to define and determine meaningful patterns from website, email, and social media traffic to inform your future marketing efforts

3. Blog

In content marketing terms, a blog (or blogging) refers to the creation of online articles. Businesses often maintain a blog (effectively an online journal) on their websites as a source of information and insight for visitors. Publishing a regular blog helps to drive website traffic and improve search engine rankings. And blogging also builds trust and authority. It should play a significant role in any inbound digital marketing strategy.

4. Bounce Rate

Simply put, bounce rate equates to the number of people who land on a page of your website then leave without clicking on anything. Typically, bounce rate means that your page was either irrelevant, unexpected, took too long to load, or was the final step. A high bounce rate on your product page would be a bad sign. But a high bounce rate on the ‘thank you’ page after a purchase isn’t as worrisome, it’s expected.

5. Buyer/Customer Persona

This marketing term is often uttered in the same breath as Target Audience or Audience Segmentation. Effectively, a buyer persona is a summary profile of your ideal customer. This is based on market research, data and hypothesis, helping marketers to define and imagine their ideal audience.

6. Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

A B2B business is simply a business that markets  – or sells – to other businesses. Conversely, a B2C business is a business that markets and sells to consumers (basically, any retailer).

7. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the fine-tuning of your own website and content, to improve your search engine rankings. It’s about optimising performance in search results. Ideally, you want to get your website to appear at the top of page 1 of an online search. SEO elements include keywords, title and image tags, links, and more. (We talked about SEO for small business more in our quick guide.)

8. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is one of those marketing terms that often confuses people. In essence, CTR represents the number of people that move through your website or marketing campaigns. It’s effectively a representation of the total number of “clicks” or actions visitors take, divided by the total number of actions they could take.

9. Content Management System (CMS)

If your business has a website (and it should), it’s CMS is basically the back end. It’s the console you log into to manage all the content on your website. This typically includes editing and publishing page content, indexing, organising navigational elements, incorporating third-party plugins, etc.

10. Conversion Rate

Another one of those marketing terms that often confuses people, conversion rate equates to the percentage of people taking a desired action on your website, email, or other digital marketing collateral. These actions typically include filling in forms, registering, signing up for a newsletter, or any activity aside from passive browsing.

11. Digital Marketing

We had to throw this one into the mix as it’s important to distinguish digital marketing from traditional marketing and advertising. Essentially, digital marketing refers to marketing activities that specifically target audiences via the internet. This tends to included email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, etc. It’s also referred to as Online Marketing, whereas traditional marketing is seen as Offline.

12. Lead Magnet

What are lead magnets? To summarise, they are an incentive, such as a free eBook, you ‘trade’ to get someone’s contact details. For instance, you could offer a free guide in exchange for an email address. For B2B products or services, it’s typical to ask for more detailed information.

13. E-Commerce

If commerce is, well, selling products, e-commerce is selling products online. An e-commerce website allows visitors to select and pay for items of stock directly on the internet, without the need for a physical shop. For instance, Amazon is an e-commerce giant.

14. Engagement Rate

Engagement is one of the social media metrics that truly matter. Your engagement rate is an essential way to track the success of your social media marketing. Overall, it measures shares, likes and comments a specific piece of content receives. But you might want to focus on specific types of engagement, depending on the campaign.

15. Evergreen Content

Evergreen content never, or almost never, gets outdated. That means it remains as valuable to readers in 12 months or 5 years time. That’s what makes it “evergreen”. In short, it’s timeless. You’re offering readers the highest-quality information, as well as getting huge search engine ranking benefits for your website. (Especially after the June 2019 update, this is more important than ever. Goodbye clickbait!)

16. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is simply a marketing approach that draws people in. As part of an inbound marketing strategy, you attract people to your brand using content marketing, podcasts, video, eBooks, email newsletters, SEO, social media marketing, etc. So it’s different from ‘interruptive’ advertising which sells your brand, product or service.

17. Infographics

An infographic is a type of visual content that makes complex information easy to understand. It’s a popular and effective way to make a point. And it’s particularly effective in B2B marketing. As part of a campaign, it can be used to demonstrate industry growth, values of your brand, the expertise invested in your product, and trends.

18. Keyword

Keywords or ‘keyphrase’ are specific words that describe the content of a webpage. They are used to tell search engines what your page is about. So in that way, they help your website rank in online search queries. In fact, every page will rank for keywords, whether you deliberately set the keyword or not. You’re just unlikely to hit Page 1 without being deliberate about it.

19. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

KPIs are essentially metrics that allow you to measure performance towards specific goals or targets. Tracking KPIs helps businesses achieve their goals. However, tracking the right KPIs is essential in determining the success of your digital marketing campaigns.

20. Landing Page

A landing page is a specific page on your website designed for lead generation, services, or direct purchases. Typically, these are hidden from your main menu and only accessible via a direct URL. In practice, this allows you to measure traffic to the page. A landing page often contains forms or lead magnets for gathering visitors’ contact details. They may also be used as purchase pages as part of a wider marketing campaign.

21. Pay Per Click (PPC)

Ever had an ad online? It’s likely you’ve had a pay-per-click option in it somewhere. PPC is an online advertising method where you only pay when someone “clicks” on your ad.

22. Responsive Design

A website that changes based on the device the consumer uses is said to have responsive design. For instance, you’ll notice that on our website that mobile and desktop devices offer different views. Responsive design accommodates for each view, without you having to build separate websites. Google insists on it!

23. Return On Investment (ROI)

Another essential marketing term, ROI is a measure of how profitable your digital marketing investment is. Or any investment, really. And if your ROI is negative, it generally means you’re losing money. ROI is how you ensure you’re putting your money into the strategies that bring results.

24. Sales Funnel

Your sales (or content) funnel represents the entire sales process from start to finish, or from prospect to paying customer. For instance, ranking highly on Google might lead to a contact form, might lead to a consultation call, might lead to a sales meeting. Your funnel can be used to map out all marketing, advertising and sales processes in between.

25. Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

Mmm, tofu. TOFU customers are at the initial stages of the buying process. They are looking for solutions to a problem. ‘Top of the funnel’ content helps prospects identify the problem and leads them to solutions.

26. Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

This is the stage of the sales funnel a prospect enters after they have identified a problem. This is the point at which you position your business as the solution to their problem.

27. Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

What’s BOFU? Bottom of the funnel prospects are in the ready-to-buy stage. That means someone has moved through the TOFU, MOFU, and finally, to the bottom. (See #25 and #26.) They’re ready to buy. At this stage, people are interested in a demo, a call, a free consultation, or a direct purchase.

28. Omnichannel

Omnichannel isn’t a new concept, but it’s a bit of a buzzword right now. You’re probably familiar with multi-channel. Multi meaning, having a website, social media channels, brick-and-mortar shop, and other ‘platforms’ where customers can engage with you. Omnichannel means bringing everything together into one cohesive experience. We’ve talked about what omnichannel marketing means for business. Which brings us to…

29. User Experience (UX)

And last but not least, UX describes the experience a user has with your brand/website. UX applies from the moment they discover you, through the purchase and beyond. To be successful, the experience should be as frictionless and intuitive as possible. You want to ensure your customers become advocates.

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Gareth Alvarez
Gareth Alvarez

Gareth, Social INK’s Head of Content (sometimes playfully referred to as ‘spellcheck’), just adores words. He’s written copy for ads, websites, and blogged extensively. Content marketing is his bag. He loves getting creative with his writing.