The world of marketing is filled with jargon and buzzwords. Some are essential, while others are just… well, interesting.
Personally, I try to stay away from marketing jargon as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not helpful to learn these terms and understand why they’re used in the digital marketing space.
So, without further ado, here’s an essential guide to marketing jargon:
301 redirect is an HTTP status code that tells browsers that a URL has permanently moved to another URL. Basically, it redirects visitors/bots to the new web address when you change it – and tells the visitor/bots’ browser that the move is permanent. Use 301 redirects to preserve your “SEO work” that you’ve put into a page when you change the URL (usually during a redesign). There are WordPress plugins that make these simple.
Actionable analytics are just analytics that you can do something with. Even small websites can generate a deluge of data – the trick is to only look at the data that you can use to achieve your goals or troubleshoot your problems. Learn more about what data you should be tracking here and what you can do with Google Analytics here.
Alt text is the “alternative text” within an image’s HTML tag. The alt text is what shows when an image cannot load on a user’s web page, or when a user hovers their mouse over an image – both of which aid accessibility and user experience. Alt text also helps search engines determine the content & relevance of an image.
Brand identity is everything make someone recognize that you are who you are online. It includes your logo, colors, voice & tone, etc.
Buyer Journey / Marketing Funnel
The buyer journey is the sequence of events before a customer buys something. This can also be called the conversion path, or customer journey. It’s really an updated version of the traditional marketing funnel where a customer goes from product awareness to consideration to conversion. When you understand a typical buyer journey, you can reverse engineer an effective marketing strategy for ecommerce, local business, or otherwise.
Call-to-Action (CTA) is the element on a page that tells a customer what you want them to do. They are particularly important on ads. CTAs can be anything from “Call today!” to “Download now!”
Clickbait / Linkbait
Clickbait is content typically led by an outrageous headline that entices users to click. It’s pretty shady, because usually, a clickbait headline isn’t an accurate description of the article content. It’s a cheap marketing tactic in which the sole goal is to generate clicks.
Linkbait is a similar tactic where the creator is trying to get links or shares back to the article through sensationalism or baiting ego or identity.
Click-Through Rate (commonly referred to as CTR) is simply clicks divided by impressions. The CTR tells you the percentage of people who click the hyperlink text in a particular ad (or social share). You can use it to judge the effectiveness of a headline or ad.
Content marketing is a way to market products/services to a group of people with content that they will find educational or entertaining. A tractor maker providing free weather analysis to get in front of farmers is an example. Read more about the importance of content in marketing here.
Earned media is press, coverage or mentions on other websites that you do not pay for since the story/content is useful enough to the outlet to stand on its own. In other words – you “earn” the placement in the news instead of paying for an advertisement beside the news. Earned media is a big deal not only because you don’t pay for it but also because readers trust it more than overt advertisements.
Hyperlocal is when marketers use GPS data to geographically target customers at the hyperlocal level. It can be an effective way to market on a very individualized level.
KPI stands for key performance indicator. Essentially, you can think of it as a goal indicator. A KPI is a metric that you track to help determine if you are achieving your marketing goals. If your goal is to increase revenue, then a KPI is something that would directly drive revenue (such as more traffic, subscribers, etc).
Long-tail keywords are search queries that contain 3+ keywords, making them longer and more specific than broad, short keywords (aka as “head” keywords). For example, say you’re selling active apparel. A common “head” keyword for shoes would be “running shorts”. But a long-tail keyword would be “black 3 inch running shorts”. Long-tail keywords are less competitive than normal keywords, but still get a lot of traffic in aggregate. This means you have a better chance of ranking for a long-tail search query. Learn more on choosing keywords for your website here.
Low Hanging Fruit / Easy Wins
Low Hanging Fruit is any marketing tactic that requires few resources or little commitment but results in increased traffic or sales.
The meta description is a small summary of what is found on your webpage. It’s also what is shown when your webpage appears on a search engine results page. But the true beauty of a meta description is that it can be optimized for SEO purposes. Check out this article I wrote on how to write a meta description for SEO.
Omnichannel marketing is a fancy way of describing how companies can use different marketing channels to work together. For example, an online store might focus on educational content to drive their organic traffic channel, but follow up the visitor with a paid retargeting ad to drive the sale. Companies may also use print ads to drive online searches or any other combination.
Optimization essentially means making something better. Marketers focus on optimization rather than large scale changes because of the “Law of Incremental Improvements” that says that small incremental improvements and changes lead to big improvements and changes over time – even 1/10th of 1% per day improvement translates into 26% improvement in a year.
Owned media is any media or attention that you own and control. Your website(s), blog, and social media channels are all examples of owned media. Marketers use it in contrast to Earned or Paid Media where other people control the attention you receive. Successful owned media means that your audience pays attention to you directly rather than via other websites or ads.
Paid media is any media or attention that you pay for. Paid media is a great way to promote your website and get the ball rolling on your business. Usually any type of media business will offer businesses attention for a price. The trick is choosing the right media and getting a positive return from it.
Every marketer will tell you that your business must “provide value.” That phrase is fairly meaningless. Whenever you hear “provide value” – substitute “solve someone else’s problem” – you’ll get a better sense for what you need to do.
When we live behind a screen, we tend to forget that there’s a real human on the other side interacting with our brand. But there is — and sometimes, we can interact with that person in real-time, which results in real-time engagement. This can take place in a Twitter Q&A, where you answer questions from customers in real-time, a live-streaming an event, or even a fireside chat session.
Retargeting is how advertisers reach out to customers who have viewed a product or service on their website. Retargeting is otherwise known as “those ads that follow you around.” They are hard to do well, but can be very effective. Retargeting is usually the best option to test when trying out paid media.
Snackable content is cutesy/annoying way to refer to short content. Snackable content consists of short videos, lists, blurbs, etc. It’s short, simple, and easy to digest — just like a snack! Snackable content was all the rage for awhile, but long-form content is slowly making its way back into the game.
SoLoMo stands for social, local, and mobile. It’s another marketing buzzword that emphasizes getting in front of customers at all angles and relies on the idea that customers are social beings who like to be social in local environments where things are relevant to them, and are increasingly engaged on mobile devices.
This is the idea that customers aren’t just behind one screen, but behind two. Basically, when customers watch TV, they’re using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to do so, because it’s easier to engage with communities while watching on your mobile device (AKA they can tweet #spoileralerts whenever they want).
UX stands for “User Experience” and is generally used when describing the way in which a user interacts with your website. UX is incredibly important to how your customers perceive your company. If they have a bad experience on your website, they are less likely to trust you, and even do business with you.
There you have it — the ShivarWeb guide to marketing jargon. Just keep in mind that simpler is always easier, especially for your customers. If there’s a way to not use a buzzword, then don’t! It will be easier for your customers to understand, and can help establish trust in the long run.
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I’ll add to this list over time. If you have an irritating buzzword – tweet it at me.