The Ultimate Glossary of Content Marketing Terms and Terminology

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You don’t need to know it all. In a dynamic industry like digital marketing, even experts like us have to stay on our toes to keep up with the latest content marketing terminology. Industry-specific terms aren’t designed to alienate anyone; they’re created or used to accurately represent the tools, roles, and aspects of content marketing.

Content Marketing Terminology You Need To Know (Kind Of)

Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself”. Before diving into our content marketing glossary, we want to preface these terms with a disclaimer.

It’s easy for experts to hide behind jargon. So ask questions. When working with a digital marketing agency or any business vendor, communication and understanding are the foundation of your partnership. The best explanation is the one you understand.

We know these glossaries are helpful as quick resources or refreshers. If we missed a term you’re interested in on this page, check out our other glossary resources:

A

A/B Testing – A common strategy to test the performance of two different but similar landing pages, emails, ads, or another digital asset. Evaluating performance side-by-side generates data that teaches marketers what version of the content performs best.

Affiliate Marketing – Online advertisers and publishers split revenue from a website based on specific performance metrics (usually sales, clicks, or form-fills). An excellent example of affiliate marketing is food blogs, which earn money from on-page ads and conversions from the food blog to retailers.

Analytics – This term describes the process of gathering and organizing data. Tools like Facebook Insights or Google Analytics allow marketers to gather site metrics and adjust strategy based on insights.

B

B2B – Business to Business; a term that describes a business that sells products or services directly to another business.

B2C – Business to Consumer; a term that describes a company that sells products directly to consumers. “Consumers” here might be defined as the end-user.

Bounce Rate – Bounce rate measures how many visitors enter your site on any page and leave before viewing another page on your site. Bounce rate is measured as a percentage; the lower the percentage, the better the bounce rate. Is your website’s bounce rate any good?

C

Click-Through Rate – Often abbreviated as “CTR, ” click-through rate measures what percentage of users click on a link. CTR is often used as a metric in social media and email marketing.

Content Creation – Generating digital content in the form of blogs, images, graphics, emails, blogs, social media assets, or anything that lives on the internet.

Content Management System – Often abbreviated as “CMS,” a content management system is any system used to organize website content. Some examples include Squarespace, WordPress, or Wix. A CMS is used to create, manage, and publish content online.

Cost Per Click – Normally referred to as “CPC,” cost per click is the basis of much online advertising today. In CPC advertising, marketers pay only per click instead of based on user impressions. Most CPC campaigns will automatically shut off when a marketer’s budget is reached unless other settings are in place.

Cost Per Sale – CPS is the alternative to CPC. In a CPS advertising campaign, marketers pay based on how many impressions their ad gets, regardless of whether the user clicks on the ad or converts.

Customer Relationship Management – A CRM software helps businesses collect, organize and automate communication with its customers. CRM software like Salesforce and Hubspot are often used for lead generation and automating communication with past and current customers.

D

Direct Response – This type of promotional material is usually printed or published. Also known as ‘direct mail,’ direct response materials ask the reader to take direct action. A less-friendly term for direct response marketing is “junk mail.”

E

Editorial Calendar – Alternatively referred to as a content calendar, an editorial calendar plan when specific types of content will be created and published. Today, editorial calendars include blogs, emails, social media posts and podcasts. We’ve got a handy how-to to get you started.

Email Marketing – Email marketing is a pillar of digital marketing efforts. Email marketing is more than a newsletter. Today, automated emails amplify the frequency, reach, and effectiveness of your content by getting it to the right readers at the right time. Email marketing is even more important today as a source of first-party data and the end of third-party cookies.

F

Funnel – Refers to the visual representation of the customer lifecycle. Customers enter at the wide “top of the funnel” to receive different types of marketing messaging that slowly pulls them closer to the narrow bottom of the funnel, which represents a purchase.

G

Gamification – A common term today, this describes the strategy of incentivizing the user by making a task more fun by making it competitive. This often includes some way of scoring points and pitting users against each other.

H

Hashtag – A tool used on social media sites like Twitter and Instagram that lets users explore content by tags. Using a hashtag narrows the topic to specific places, products, actions, or events.

I

Impressions – Used in social media extensively, impressions are also used as an important metric in paid advertising as well. Impressions are a running tally of how many users saw a specific ad or piece of content. Also, see Reach.

K

KPI – A key performance indicator, or KPI, is any metric a marketer or brand deems vital to its performance. Different marketing campaigns have different KPIs and KPIs can also change as a company grows or changes its priorities.

Keyword – A single word or short phrase that is integral in describing the content or purpose of a web page. Keywords are often used throughout the page to make it easier for search engines to find the page and serve it to the right user. The keywords for this blog, for example, are ‘content marketing glossary’, ‘content marketing terms’, and ‘annoying content market jargon’. Can you count how many times we squeezed each one in?

L

Lead Generation – Often used in B2B marketing, this is simply the act of a potential customer offering their content information to learn more about a product or service. Lead generation is often built on the premise of trading a resource (a free eBook) for a customer’s email address or phone number.

M

Market Segmentation – This term describes the process of adjusting a marketing campaign to focus on a smaller group of users in a single category. Market segmentation is an effective way to personalize content to specific users and may improve the cost-effectiveness of a campaign at the expense of total impressions.

Related Content: Why Do You Need Market Research?

Marketing Automation – A feature of many CMS platforms, marketing automation is a system that sends pre-written but personalized emails on a set schedule or based on triggers like email responses, purchases, or other behaviors.

N

Native Advertising – Advertiser content designed to look like editorial content in a magazine or online. Most countries require this type of advertisement to be clearly labeled as paid content.

O

On-Page Optimization – These are technical aspects of SEO that appear on a web page. By improving title tags, content formatting and headers, internal and external links, that page will become easier to discover for search engines. Here’s what it looks like.

Owned Media – Any media or digital asset controlled by a brand. Owned media includes websites, social media, accounts, or video platforms.

P

Page Views – The total number of times a page has been viewed by a user. This number can be used to measure total views across a site or views of a single page.

Pay Per Click – Known as PPC, pay per click is the advertising model that built Google, Facebook, and other online publishers. Marketers only pay a fee when a user clicks on an ad.

R

Responsive Web Design – Most new websites are designed to responsive web design standards. Simply put, it’s designing a website to appear and function relatively the same across devices. Desktop, tablet, and user interfaces all look and behave as intended.

Return on Investment – Known simply as ROI, return on investment is the comparison of cost input and revenue output to generate a profit metric. The higher your ROI, the more you’re getting for your marketing bucks. That’s something we do very well.

S

Search Engine Optimization – SEO! This is the science (and art) of shaping written content to perform well in organic search results. Effective search engine optimization improves your content’s ranking on the SERP.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – We wouldn’t drop an acronym on you without explaining it right away! The SERP is the page you get after you enter a search query into Google (or Bing, or Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo, whatever search engine you prefer). Today, the SERP is a lot more than just links.

T

Top of the Funnel – The top of the sales funnel. At this point, the customer is expressing a light, non-committal interest in a brand. This could include following the brand on Twitter or landing on the site from the SERP after entering a related query.

U

Users – A term used to describe anyone accessing or viewing your digital assets. The term can be applied to website visitors, social media account followers, mobile app users, and software tool users.

V

Viral – Describes the process of a piece of content spreading at an exponential rate. Social media platforms have made it easier for content to “go viral” while tools like Twitter’s “Trending” tab also make it easier for marketers to jump on new trends and capture impressions.

Now Get To Your Next Marketing Meeting And Drop Some Jargon!

There is a lot that goes into successful content marketing. Every industry and every business has its own best practices and tricks of the trade, but having a common language ensures everyone is on the same page. We threw a lot of content marketing terms at you. Get in touch for more details. (Don’t worry, there won’t be a pop quiz.)

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