Digital Marketing Glossary
Beginner's Guide to Digital Marketing Terms
We compile the most used terms related to Inbound Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Marketing and Digital communication.
A/B testing involves developing and launching two versions of one element and testing which of the two works better. It is a test that helps us optimize an email marketing strategy or improve the effectiveness of a landing page.
If you have noticed that your web page is going through a rough patch, it’s time to take some steps to improve your open and click-through rates.
Actionable metrics, or KPIs, are those metrics which provide insights into the effectiveness of our actions and help us improve what we are measuring.
Analytics is a crucial part of a content marketing strategy. It allows us to measure the results of our actions to find out what we are doing wrong and how to improve it. This requires establishing different KPIs or actionable metrics.
Big data analytics tries to make sense out of a large mass of data by organizing and studying them to gain insights to make better business decisions.
Therefore, big data is an important benchmark for many companies. Big data holds the answers to all the questions that have ever been asked (and even to those which no one has thought of yet). Its study and analysis helps businesses make the most of their data to identify new opportunities.
The bounce rate is an indicator which tells us how many emails could not be delivered to recipients’ inboxes in an email marketing campaign. There are two types of bounce rate indicators: hard bounce and soft bounce. What are they and how are they different? Hard and soft bounce are two of the most important metrics in email marketing, as they tell us if emails bounce due to a specific problem or because the email address no longer exists.
Bounce rate or percentage
The bounce rate is a metric that indicates the percentage of visitors who leave a website without taking any further action. Several factors can impact the bounce rate, such as the website design, difficulties in finding a specific topic and the information provided, among others.
Brand journalism is the perfect combination of marketing and journalism. It is a new approach that businesses adopt to provide users with valuable content. The goal of brand journalism is to increase loyalty and trust towards the brand by posting original pieces in their own communication media. Content generated from this new perspective is up-to-date, fact-based, transparent, and, above all, extremely valuable to the user. Brands benefit from the reach of this type of content, as it is much more useful to users than traditional advertising.
Branded content involves generating content related to a brand that will help connect that brand with its consumers. It is particularly useful for inbound marketing or content strategies.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of our final (or potential) consumer which is built based on their demographic information and behavior, as well as on their needs and motivations. The ultimate goal is to put ourselves in the shoes of our target audience to understand what they need from us.
The buyer’s journey is the active search process carried out by a potential customer that ends with the sale of our product or service.
Buying cycle or buyer’s journey
The buying cycle is the process a potential consumer goes through before making the decision to make a final conversion or purchase. This process is usually represented by a funnel. The wide part of the funnel contains all the potential users who are likely to buy a product, while the narrow part holds only those users who end up buying the product. This comparison illustrates the stages that the user goes through before purchasing a product or downloading content from our site.
Call to action (CTA)
A call to action or CTA is a button or link we place on our website with the purpose of attracting potential customers and converting them into actual consumers, normally through a form on a landing page. A CTA is what links the content that the user consumes regularly to a page (the landing page) with a more interesting offer for them, which should be relevant and interesting enough to persuade them to complete our form.
A chatbot is a computer program with which we can have a conversation. We can ask the chatbot to provide some kind of information or even perform an action. For example, at present, if you want to buy shoes on Asos, you have to access their website, find what you are looking for and buy it. But what if Asos had a bot? You would only need to message the brand on Facebook and tell them what you want. And even if you were unsure about sizes, you could quickly ask the bot for help. One of the great advantages of chatbots is that, unlike applications, there is no need to download or update them, and they do not take up any memory space on your phone. Additionally, we can have several bots integrated into only one chat. This would prevent us from having to move from one app to the other depending on what we need. What are the main consequences of this? More pleasant user experiences and faster and simpler interactions with customer service.
The churn or cancellation rate is the percentage of customers or subscribers who stop using the services offered by a company during a specific period of time. Although this term is associated with email marketing, it is also used in other fields to refer to customer loss.
Clickbaiting is a popular (and overused) copywriting tactic to encourage users to click on a link or visit a website through overly sensationalist titles. Users are naturally curious and fall for this tactic over and over again, hence the name.
Community managers are responsible for maintaining, improving and, to a certain extent, defending the relationship between a brand and its customers in the digital realm by applying their knowledge on the organization’s needs and strategic plans and on the interests of their customers. The one thing that characterizes today’s community managers is that they know the brand’s goals and base their actions on these objectives to achieve them. In a few words, a community manager is the person in charge of managing a brand’s online community.
Content curation is the process of screening, sorting, and selecting information from different sources. This process makes it easier to provide the user with the exact content they demand.
‘Conversion funnel’ is a term used in online marketing that tries to define the different steps a user has to take to achieve a certain goal on a website, whether it is a subscription, a purchase or lead generation. The conversion funnel is useful for determining the loss percentage at each step that the user takes on our website until they reach the final goal. It also helps businesses pinpoint which areas need to be optimized more urgently to convert as many users as possible.
The conversion rate is a metric that indicates the percentage of users who execute some type of action (i.e., “convert”) on our blog or website. Knowing our conversion rate helps us know if our inbound marketing strategy is good or bad.
Cookies are part of the methods used for measuring web page performance. They are snippets of data stored in a text file on a computer hard drive. They are generated on web servers, which send cookies to different browsers. Once installed, browsers return the information they collected on the user’s behavior to those servers in order to show users specific types of information on their browser.
Copy may refer either to the marketing team member in charge of coming up with the creative strategy of a campaign, or to the creative texts used for that strategy, normally written by this team member.
CTR or click-through rate refers to the number of clicks on a link compared to the number of impressions. It is always calculated as a percentage, and it is a metric commonly used to measure the impact of a digital campaign.
Customer acquisition cost or CAC
Customer acquisition cost or CAC refers to the financial investment businesses make to lead potential consumers to purchase a product or service and achieve their final conversion. This measurement may be applied to the different online marketing areas, such as SEO, SEM and emailing.
Dark social makes reference to visits from unknown origins. We could say it is invisible traffic for analysts. Measurements are an essential part of inbound marketing: getting to know the user, testing the actions we take to entice them, and even knowing where they come from and how they found us, are the foundations of a successful strategy. The problem is that it’s not always possible to know the user as well as we would like.
A dashboard is a visual representation of the main metrics or KPIs that contribute to achieving the goals of an inbound marketing strategy. This tool allows us to visualize problems and facilitates decision-making to amend any mistakes we might be making. Its ultimate purpose is to transform data into useful information to guide our strategy towards the achievement of the goals we set.
The aim of these actions is to establish communication with prospects in the most personalized way possible.
An eBook is a digital book that the user can download from the Internet for free or by paying for it. In inbound marketing, content and strategy are not the only important factors. Offering the user a variety of format options is a great way to conquer our target audience, and this is one of the most widely used formats.
Email marketing is a communication technique that uses email to attract potential customers. This channel is a form of direct communication with the user that makes it possible to tailor content to each customer, resulting in a higher return on investment. Appropriate segmentation is key in this kind of strategies. There is no point in massively sending information to users who are not interested in our content.
Engagement refers to the capacity of a product (a brand, blog, or app) to build strong and long-lasting relationships with its users, creating a sense of commitment between the brand and its consumers. The more we know about users, the better the tactics that we can implement to achieve this goal. There are many ways to measure engagement, such as repeat purchases, repeated visits to a website, web analytics metrics like the bounce rate and the time on site, the number of pages viewed per user, the time the user spends on a website or the comments on a post. In short, the love the user has for what we do must be measured and increased.
In online marketing, content is said to be evergreen when it can last over time without becoming outdated. Evergreen content has no expiration date. It is valuable for the user today, and so it will in six months. On the Internet, where a day feels like a year, where everything goes out of fashion before we even know it ever was, and where everything expires long before we have time to savor it, the most valuable content is the one that stands the test of time. Is this contradictory? Perhaps, but current trends show that evergreen content is the one to go for.
F-commerce refers to the kind of e-commerce that takes place on Facebook, the most prominent social commerce platform.
The footer is the bottom part of a web structure which usually includes navigation links, useful links, copyright information or buttons to the site’s social networks. Normally, the footer is clearly differentiated from the rest of the web page, either by changing the background color or by using a different font size.
Growth hacking is a discipline that seeks to rapidly and significantly increase the number of users, the revenue or the impact of a company with minimal spending and effort.
Guest blogging is a common practice among bloggers, which involves participating as a guest on someone else’s blog. Blogging is another inbound marketing tool that helps us share information of interest with both our actual and potential users, among other things. While there are many ways to uplift a blog, guest blogging is the most common method.
H1 is an HTML element commonly used to identify the most important header on a web page. Some examples of H1 are page titles, post titles, or product names. HTML language allows us to classify headers based on their relevance. More specifically, on a web page, we can create headers ranging from H1 to H6, the former being the most relevant one and the latter the least important one. Although we are used to seeing only one H1 per page, it is not uncommon to find many of them. For example, think of a blog homepage or a product category page on an online store. In these cases, each post title and product name would be labeled as H1.
Hashtags are a way to label content on social media. It was first popularized worldwide on Twitter. However, its use has expanded to all spheres of the Internet. It involves typing a number sign before a term or string of terms to generate a conversation around it. Users of some social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or Instagram use them very often to group published content about a specific subject.
HubSpot is a platform that we can use to manage our whole marketing funnel. This software includes tools for analytics, blogs, SEO, social media, landing page generation, automatization, and more.
An influencer is a person who has a certain level of credibility on a specific topic and who might be chosen by brands to become their spokesperson due to their presence and influence on social media.
Infographics are visual representations to support information and translate data into something everybody can understand at a glance. Its visual format makes it an incredibly useful communication tool, as the human eye can process information much faster. Moreover, we are 80% more likely to remember graphical representations than information conveyed in texts or orally, and we are even more inclined to believe it! When infographics are well designed and executed, they can enhance our message and allow us to establish a stronger connection with our target audience.
An insight is a key that enables us to find an answer to a problem. It is a guide, a piece of information that suggests a solution to any equation, regardless of its complexity. An insight is not a solution, but simply a stepping stone that leads us to a solution.
Instagram is a social network and mobile app designed to take, edit, and share photos and videos.
The Instagram profile is the tab on Instagram where you can see all of the pictures a user has posted in chronological order, either in a grid or as individual posts you can scroll through. There is an ongoing debate about whether the grid should give the impression of being carefully curated (with visually appealing photos and harmonious colors) or, on the contrary, if it’s better to post pictures without taking this into consideration, as it might act as a barrier for sharing content that could work but would otherwise be left out for not matching the overall profile design.
Instagram’s Reel feature allows you to record and edit videos using one or more clips up to a maximum of 90 seconds. It provides various creative tools to surprise your community, such as speed regulators, audio effects, filters, and more.
A key performance indicator or KPI is a value, usually a number (to be fully measurable), that shows whether a company or person are managing to achieve the goals set at the beginning of a task, campaign, or specific period of time. In addition to indicating if goals are being achieved, KPIs are also often used as a motivator. Since they are not subjective, unlike someone’s attitude or performance in a team, they are quantifiable elements that provide a realistic reading and serve as a target.
A landing page is a website specifically designed to convert visitors into leads.
The term ‘lead’ is used in inbound marketing to refer to people who have provided us with their contact details through one of our landing pages in exchange for content of their interest. These contacts are voluntarily included in our database. Leads are considered potential customers for our products or services. The key is to avoid losing sight of them and to start a nurturing process to keep their attention and convert them into customers.
A lead magnet is any type of valuable content that we deliver to users for free in exchange for their contact details.
Lead nurturing is an inbound marketing technique based on building valuable relationships with our users with the aim of walking them through their purchase process. According to a study by MarketingSherpa, 73% of captured leads never become customers. Therefore, it is essential to provide users with content that is relevant to them and that helps them move forward on their buyer’s journey.
Lead scoring refers to the “temperature” of a lead. In inbound marketing, lead scoring measures a user’s level of interest within the lead nurturing process that we defined in advance. This score describes leads as cold or hot, depending on what stage they are at. When we generate a very large number of leads, we cannot treat them all equally because they are not all interested in the same type of content, nor do they show the same level of interest.
Lifetime value or LTV
Lifetime value refers to the net value of the income generated by a customer while they are our client. This estimate is only a prediction, as it is impossible for us to know in advance how long a customer will stay with us, how frequently they will make purchases or how much they will spend on each purchase.
Marketing automation involves creating automated processes that give us the opportunity to scale our marketing operations. For example, it allows us to:
– Send automatic replies to newly registered users.
– Classify users based on their behavior and send customized content whenever they meet certain criteria.
– Inform users about new content.
– Send content only a few days after having downloaded other material.
Memes are ideas, behaviors or styles that spread culturally among people. The term was coined by Richard Dawkings in his book The Selfish Gene. It derives from the Greek word ‘mimema’, which makes reference to something that is imitated. This concept has been appropriated by the Internet community to describe ideas that go viral or are massively replicated through social media, blogs, or emails, and which spread rapidly from person to person.
A newsletter is a digital publication distributed via email on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly). Newsletters are usually made up of different articles of interest for subscribers about the brand or the industry that they are keen on, often including some offer or CTA leading to premium content or products/services. Typically, people who receive this kind of communication are subscribers who have shown interest in the brand in the past and have agreed to receive this information. This is crucial, as we should only send out communications that the user has previously requested. Whenever possible, the user should go through a double opt-in process before receiving newsletters.
Opt-in is one of the most important factors for the success of an email marketing campaign because it ensures that emails are sent to recipients who genuinely want to receive information about our product or service. When users sign up on a form and agree to receive the newsletter, we say that they are opting in.
Outbound or traditional marketing involves a set of actions aimed at selling products or services to users through unilateral communication. This means that it is always the company who communicates with the user, and not the other way around. Outbound marketing is characterized by its intrusive, unexpected nature. Some great examples are the ads that pop up while you’re watching YouTube videos or the banner that interrupts you while reading an article.
Paid media refers to content that is promoted through paid placements, such as video or pay-per-click (PPC) ads, pop-ups and sponsored posts on social networks. Paid media campaigns can provide instant access to potential customers and help businesses generate more visibility, engagement and revenue.
A podcast is a radio or television show a user can download from the Internet by subscribing to it, and which can be listened to either on a computer or on a mobile device. This form of communication can be ideal for certain types of strategies.
Responsive or adaptive web design is a web design technique that aims to ensure that the same web page is displayed correctly on different devices, from desktop computers to tablets and cell phones. Nowadays, we access websites from all kinds of devices (computers, tablets, smartphones), so there is a growing need to adapt them to different screen sizes.
Retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that aims to impact users who have previously interacted with a specific brand.
Return on investment or ROI refers to the economic value businesses obtain from various marketing activities. This piece of data allows us to measure the performance of our investments.
RTB stands for Real Time Bidding, a method used for purchasing online digital advertising by bidding for different types of ad space. This is an extremely quick process (about 200 milliseconds) enabled by the good use of a combination of technology and user data: the amazing big data. This is one of the best ways to reach the right audience through video display, social media, and mobile advertising. And all of this is possible thanks to the information collected by cookies.
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. When we talk about SEM, we usually refer to paid ad campaigns on search engines, although, technically, SEM refers to any marketing action within search engines, whether paid or not. SEM involves using tools and strategies that help us optimize our visibility and increase the accessibility of our websites and web pages through search engine rankings.
Share of voice (SOV)
Share of voice (SOV) refers to an entity’s (a brand, company, or user) level of involvement or presence in a specific channel. In online marketing, it is essential to understand the impact of our actions in terms of engagement. It tells us if we take part in these actions and if users mention us, how they do it and how often they do it, as well as whether the discussions are positive or negative.
SMarketing (sales + marketing) is a process that involves integrating the sales and marketing teams in the lead generation strategy with the aim of turning them into a comprehensive entity and having both teams work towards the same goals. This is a crucial strategy for optimizing resources within the company, as it aims to minimize potential conflicts of interest between the two departments and multiply efforts on what really matters: closing more deals.
Social CRM, or social customer relationship management, refers to customer relationship management (CRM) and engagement fostered by communication with customers through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Social selling refers to the use of social media channels (often attributed to networks like LinkedIn) for sales purposes. Or better yet, for any stage of the sales process: from researching potential prospects and qualifying leads to engaging with customers.
SoLoMo is a combination of the beginning of three words: social, location, and mobile. SoLoMo refers to a type of strategy that aims at users who consume local content.
Storytelling is the art of telling a story. It’s about creating and harnessing a magical atmosphere through a narrative. In marketing, this technique is used to connect with users through the message that is being conveyed, whether it is through spoken words, written content, or a story with characters and a plot.
Thank you page
A thank you page is the place where the user receives the offer promised on the landing page. This page marks the end of the conversion process. It starts with a user visiting our website. Through call-to-action prompts, they reach a landing page offering content of their interest. After providing us with their details, we convert the user into a new lead. At this point, we have enough information about them to interact with them. In addition to delivering the content offered on the landing page, the thank you page can become a very useful tool that we can take advantage of.
TOFU, MOFU, BOFU
TOFU, MOFU, BOFU are the abbreviations for top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, and they refer to the stage of the conversion funnel targeted by our inbound marketing tactic or strategy.
Trending Topic (TT)
A trending topic is an algorithm that highlights and classifies terms that people are using on Twitter in real time. The popularity of a topic on the platform depends on various factors: the number of different users using a term, the increase in the number of people using it, or the number of retweets including that specific term. This algorithm is identified with a # symbol preceding the keyword, and Twitter recognizes it as a hashtag.
‘Tweet’ is the name given to posts on Twitter.
Tweets have a maximum length of 280 characters. They are public by default (unless the account is private) and they automatically appear in the timeline of users who follow the person who posted the message, in other words, who tweeted.
User experience refers to the process the user goes through when interacting with a product. This concept originated in the online marketing field and is closely related to the concept of brand experience (the aspiration to build a familiar and consistent relationship between a brand and its consumers). The user experience also comprises a set of factors and elements related to the user’s interaction with a specific environment or device, resulting in a positive or negative perception of said service, product, or device.
Vanity metrics are deceptive metrics that are easy to measure or monitor and which can give us a false impression of growth. Unlike actionable metrics, vanity metrics provide information that, though useful and visible, does not indicate any specific improvement areas. Therefore, focusing on vanity metrics can make us lose sight of the areas of our strategy that could be optimized.
We say that content goes viral when it spreads massively on the Internet, whether through social media, email, instant messaging, etc.
A webinar is an online video conference, workshop, course, or seminar. What characterizes webinars and adds value to them is the interaction that takes place between the speaker and the attendees.
A white paper is a guide-like document that presents information to explain to users how to solve a problem or help them understand a specific topic.