23 Digital Marketing Terms You’ve Always Wanted Explained

23 Digital Marketing Terms You’ve Always Wanted Explained

Digital marketing has a language of its own. It doesn’t matter if you’re a digital marketing guru or new to the ‘biz, this is an industry that’s full of constant change, and that means new words, acronyms, and theories all.the.time. We’ve created this list of 23 digital marketing terms to define some of the terms we get asked about the most often. Take a look for a refresher, or to help you get started if you’re just getting into the whole digital marketing thing:

Digital Marketing General Terms

We know you know what these mean, but here’s a refresher just in case.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management Software

This is software that companies use to track the interactions they have with each customer. Every CRM functions a little bit differently, but you’ve probably heard of big names like Salesforce and HubSpot. Essentially, this software helps you keep track of each client, lead, and potential client.

Your CRM should help you catalog each conversation you have with a client, and it should keep you informed of your client and leads’ activity on your website. Have they spent a lot of time on particular pages of your website? Are there key content offers they’ve downloaded? Maybe they’ve interacted with a chatbot on your site.

A quality CRM keeps track of all of the interactions your clients and potential clients have with your website, your marketing team, and your sales team, helping you provide the best service possible. Learn more about CRMs here.

ROI – Return on Investment

If you’re in business, you’ve heard the term ROI before. You know that old saying, “you have to spend money to make money.”? Your ROI, or your return on investment, is essentially that calculation: how much money you make by spending money on a marketing campaign.

ROI is typically expressed as a ratio or a percentage, and it’s calculated by subtracting the cost of a marketing campaign from its net profit, then dividing that number by the original campaign cost. A visual formula for ROI looks like this:

ROI = (Profit - Marketing Campaign Cost) / Marketing Campaign Cost Click To Tweet

Let’s say you spent $1 on a marketing campaign. (Bear with me, we’re going for easy math here.) Let’s also say that campaign earned you $5 in sales. For every $1 spent on marketing, you earn $5 in sales. Your ROI ratio would be 5:1.

For my percentage people, in this example, you’re spending about 20% of your revenue on marketing. That’s fairly average. You’re making money, but you’re not doing anything crazy or exceptional. An extraordinary ROI is closer to a 10:1 ratio.

Optimization

“Optimization” is undoubtedly a digital marketing buzzword. In the digital marketing industry, optimization means applying learned metrics and analytics to a marketing campaign to improve it.

For example, let’s say you’ve been blogging for a year now. You write blogs that focus on three categories: relevant industry news, informational how-to blog posts, and company updates.

When you look at your marketing analytics, you see that your company update blogs have no traction on social media, are the least read pages on your website, and have a very high bounce rate.

You might “optimize” your blogging strategy by minimizing the number of company update blogs you write, or by taking out that blog category altogether.

You’re using metrics and analytics to improve or “optimize” your blogging campaign. Thus, you are using optimization to increase your blog’s potential to convert visitors and leads.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is another digital marketing term that’s used all.the.time. The term lead generation means bringing new, qualified potential customers into your marketing and sales cycle.

Typically, lead generation is used in the context of describing a digital marketing effort. For example, blogging and deploying pay-per-click advertising campaigns are both digital marketing efforts that work to increase lead generation. That is, they work to draw more qualified potential buyers (um: leads) into your website and sales cycle.

B2B – Business to Business

This is an acronym we use constantly but rarely explain. It simply means a business that sells to other businesses, rather than to consumers.

Good examples include industrial manufacturers or companies that sell a service (like digital marketing companies).

A manufacturer who produces lug nuts is considered a B2B. They develop a very small part of an automobile, and they sell that part to another manufacturer, like Ford or Dodge, who sells to the consumer.

It’s a little trickier to market B2B companies than B2C companies because their ideal buyer isn’t a person, it’s a company. Some digital marketing companies (like us) have taken this challenge to heart, and focus the majority of their time and effort on implementing and optimizing campaigns for B2Bs.

B2C  – Business to Consumer

These are more traditional companies who sell directly to consumers. We mentioned above Ford and Dodge — these are manufacturers who sell to a consumer, rather than another manufacturer. More common examples would be grocery stores and online clothing retailers.

Digital Marketing Terms: Inbound Marketing

Alright, now that we’ve covered some general digital marketing terms, let’s look at a few that are specific to the inbound marketing side of digital marketing. If you don’t know what inbound marketing is, read this first.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is a key concept behind the inbound marketing methodology. When you nurture a lead, you’re interacting with them in a positive way that leaves a good impression of your company. The more of these lead nurturing interactions you have, the further you draw that lead through the sales cycle. Stellar lead nurturing shortens the length of the sales cycle and delivers qualified customers more quickly.

Relevant email workflows and timely, helpful follow-ups are examples of lead nurturing actions.

Check out our blog, What is Lead Nurturing?, for more info on this one.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is the process of changing and improving your website for the best possible search engine ranking. Writing content that addresses specific keywords, implementing a mobile-responsive website design, and ensuring your website has a fast load time are all examples of search engine optimization tactics.

Anything you do to make your website function better and provide a more user-friendly, informative experience for web browsers is considered SEO.

CTA – Call To Action

A call to action is a tool you use on your website, or in your digital advertising campaigns to entice consumers to take an action. In an ad, the call to action might be to click over to your website. On your website, a call to action might ask a visitor to sign up for your newsletter.

Typically, CTAs take the form of a button. When a consumer presses the button and takes the action to visit your site, download your content offer, or sign up for your newsletter, they’ve completed a conversion, and have moved one step further through the sales cycle.

Landing Page

A landing page is any page on your website where a visitor lands after clicking over from somewhere else. Typically, when marketers refer to landing pages, they’re talking about a page on your website that has been designed to capture a visitor’s contact information.

For example, if you’re running a digital advertising campaign, your ads will take anyone who clicks on the ad offer to a specific page that contains a form and a call-to-action that will capture a motivated visitor’s contact information.

Learn more about what a landing page is, and how to make yours work.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a fictitious characterization of your ideal buyer.

Let’s say you’re a home builder that works in the higher market of custom home building and design. One of your buyer personas might be a doctor in his late 50s who is married and whose children are moving out of the house to pursue a college education.

To create a full buyer persona for this doctor, you would look at the pain points, challenges, and goals of this person, and write a very specific narrative for him to help guide your marketing decisions and target that person in the future.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that’s most often associated with the inbound marketing methodology. Any content you create that functions to be helpful to your ideal client or buyer persona is a part of your content marketing strategy.

People most often think of a blog when they think of content marketing. And this is true: your blog is an integral part of your content marketing strategy, as it offers up helpful information that’s targeted to keywords you know your ideal clients is searching.

That said, a blog isn’t the only part of a content marketing strategy. Your content marketing strategy includes any content that works to draw in new, qualified leads and potential clients. That means video development, social media marketing, guest blogging, and even email newsletters are considered aspects of a content marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Terms: Outbound Marketing

In case you haven’t heard, outbound marketing is making a comeback. When done properly, outbound marketing functions to draw in qualified leads to your website quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, outbound marketing is also chock full of acronyms and digital marketing terms that you might want explained. Here are a few of the most common outbound marketing terms that benefit from explanation:

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

KPIs are essentially all of the metrics you see results for from digital advertising campaigns. When an ad campaign ends, and Facebook or Google shows you the results of your campaign, most of the highlighted numbers in that report — like bounce rate, click through rate, cost per click, cost per impression, etc — are key performance indicators. KPIs can be any type of analytic, and in fact, most of the rest of the digital marketing terms in this section are key performance indicators.

CPC – Cost Per Click

How much you pay each time someone clicks on your digital advertisement. This is a KPI, and you’ll see it on reports for every digital ad campaign your company runs. Typically, you’re looking to run ads that have a low cost-per-click, unless your ads are highly targeted. If you’re showing ads to only a very small group of highly-qualified consumers, you might be willing to pay a little more for their clicks.

CTR – Click Through Rate

Click through rate is another metric that indicates how many of the people who saw your social media post or digital advertisement actually clicked on the link, and made it over to your site or the intended landing page.

Click through rate isn’t just for digital advertising. It’s also used in other digital marketing applications, like email marketing. An email’s click through rate refers to how many recipients clicked on a link in the email, and made it to a web page or took a desired action.

CPI – Cost Per Impression

One impression represents one time your ad was displayed on a website. Your cost per impression is how much you pay each time your ad is displayed. This metric doesn’t tell you anything about whether or not a user interacted with the ad, but it can give you an idea of how much reach the ad had. Impressions can help build brand recognition by getting your name out there, even if no one clicks on your ad. If you’re trying to build brand awareness, this is an important KPI.

CPA – Cost Per Acquisition

CPA or cost per acquisition is a metric that tells you how much it costs to acquire one customer. Cost per acquisition is calculated for advertising campaigns by dividing the total cost of your campaign by the number of conversions.

This is an important, high-level metric. CPA can tell you what the ROI of an advertising campaign is, and will show you if your ads are returning enough value. If your CPA is very high, you might consider changing or tweaking your ad targeting tactics.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is the number of people who immediately navigate away from your website or landing page after clicking on an ad or a link. A high bounce rate means that your visitors are probably not finding what they’re looking for on your site.

You can lower bounce rates by making sure your landing pages are specific to each ad you create, and by ensuring that your website and blog is full of informational content that makes sense for your industry, product, or service.

Remarketing

Ever shopped for something online, only to find that the next time you went to Facebook you saw hundreds of ads for that same product popping up left and right? That’s remarketing at its finest. Remarketing is an ad tactic that’s used to draw in customers who have already been to your site, but who have not yet made a purchase.

Digital Marketing Growth Terms

We’ve covered most of the FAQ terms that you hear when you talk about digital marketing. But there’s still one category left that we’d like to cover: digital marketing growth terms. Growth marketing is new, but it’s slowly increasing in popularity. Unfortunately, like most marketing methods, it has a few weird terms that you wouldn’t hear anywhere else. We’re going to try and explain them:

HubSpot

HubSpot is a CRM software, and company. The company acts as a resource for marketing teams and companies interested in the inbound marketing methodology. The HubSpot CRM is a powerful software that integrates your marketing and sales’ teams efforts to help you provide the best possible service to new leads and existing clients.

We wrote a whole blog called What is HubSpot? if you want to know more.

Marketing and Sales Alignment

This is one of those buzzwords (buzzphrases?) that marketers use constantly. But what does it mean?Marketing and sales alignment refers to the process of getting your marketing and sales teams to communicate and work towards one common goal, instead of functioning as silos. Click To Tweet Digital marketing and growth agencies make it their business to train clients on how to align sales and marketing teams for an effective, efficient sales cycle that helps companies grow.

ABM – Account Based Marketing

Account based marketing is a marketing strategy used primarily by B2B companies. It was developed to solve the specific challenge that B2B’s face trying to market to companies, rather than individual people

ABM focuses a B2B’s marketing efforts on a clearly defined set of target accounts — your ideal accounts, the types of companies you’d like to work with all the time — usually in the same one or two markets. ABM relies on highly personalized marketing campaigns that are created to speak directly to those ideal accounts’ specific pain points and challenges.  

Sales Enablement

At its most basic level, sales enablement is the process of empowering sales teams with content, guidance, and training to market and sell more effectively. Click To TweetThe term means different things to different industries, but for digital marketing, people usually refer to sales enablement when they talk about equipping sales teams with traditional marketing training.

For a long time, sales teams focused on making sales and making sales alone. Today, we’re realizing that companies can be more effective as a whole when sales reps also know how to nurture leads and provide helpful content to prospective customers. Training and empowering sales teams to sell, market, and nurture leads is what we call sales enablement.

We hope this little vocab list helps clear up any digital marketing term confusion! If you have any more questions about digital marketing terms or digital marketing in general, we’d love to help. Get in touch whenever is convenient for you.

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