Did you, while researching online about gardening, chance upon a blog on plants for small spaces, got interested, visited the website and Instagram pages of the company, and ended up buying potted plants from them? Great — you have just witnessed a successful content marketing strategy!
So, what is content marketing? It is a type of marketing wherein businesses create and share relevant content that resonates with the target audience, with the ultimate goal of nurturing brand image and converting leads into loyal customers.
Now for some statistics: 84% of businesses in 2020 had a content marketing strategy in place, up from 77% in 2019. In the same year, 37% of businesses spent less than USD 10,000 on content marketing, while 19% spent between USD10,001-USD 25,000.
Now, why are these businesses focusing on content marketing? The key reasons are to generate quality leads, increase website traffic, and improve brand image. SEO-friendly content for Top of the Marketing Funnel (TOFU) is created to achieve these goals, while various analytic tools are used to measure the efficacy of the content.
Well, that's quite a lot of jargon if you're new to content marketing. The first step to uncomplicate matters is to familiarize yourself with the content marketing terms and what they mean.
Here are 27 content marketing terms and definitions that will make it easier for you to navigate the world of content marketing.
1. A/B Testing or Split Testing
If you attempt to examine two variations of one particular element, say multiple versions of your homepage, keeping everything else constant, then you are Split Testing. This is a metrics-based evaluation, wherein multiple elements, like the headline, content format or layout, etc., may be tested to pinpoint the best results.
2. Above the Fold
This, as per content marketing terminology, is the part of a website that is visible first in the browser window. If a visitor doesn't find this section appealing enough, then chances are there won't be any further scrolling through the page by that particular user.
3. Adaptive/ Dynamic/ Personalized Content
This is unique to a user or user-group visiting a website based on locality, buying behavior, or declared interests. The idea behind such content tailoring is to serve the right information to the right user at the right time.
4. Affiliate Marketing
An affiliate website promotes another sites' product and is paid for every click, sales, or registration generated through the backlinks connecting the product site. This is a performance-based income-generating model through carefully curated content.
In content marketing terms, an algorithm is a complex model that a search engine follows to retrieve, analyze, and rank content for its relevance to the search query.
Content marketing is meaningless without analyzing the data derived from users browsing through your website, conversion rate, bounce rate, click-through rates, etc. This understanding and utilizing the insights derived thereof is named analytics in content marketing terminology.
Backlinks display other web pages that link to your posts. Search engine rankings and site traffic tend to skyrocket with appropriate backlinks. Note the word 'appropriate' as backlinks from credible sources reflect the quality of your site or content.
8. Buying Cycle
A consumer goes through a prolonged buying cycle of being aware, considering the product, getting a purchase intent, purchasing, and repurchasing. Understanding this buying behavior is crucial for every content marketer.
Content Management System or CMS is the software that organizations use to manage their gamut of digital content, including websites and blogs. WordPress is a popular CMS.
10. Content Marketing Funnel
A system of generating awareness among the target audience, nurturing leads, and converting them into customers. Imagine an actual funnel - the wide top of the funnel (TOFU) aims to grab the attention of a cross-section of potential consumers; the middle of the funnel (MOFU) educates and informs with the intent to generate and nurture leads. In contrast, the narrow bottom of the funnel (BOFU) concentrates on lead conversion through personalized content.
Create Once, Publish Everywhere is a content strategy where a piece of content is modified to suit various platforms and different user groups. The modified content is then published in the form of infographics, blogs, white papers, e-books, videos, among others.
12. Content Strategy
The foundation of content marketing lies in the strategy formulation of what content to create and how and how to distribute the same to achieve specific results. These content marketing terms form the core of any content marketing exercise or campaign
13. Contextual Advertising
This is a technique in which advertisements on a given web page are relevant to the primary content on that page. Contextual ads lead to better click-through rates and overall revenue.
A very commonly-used content marketing term, copywriting, refers to the art and science of selling through mere words - words that evoke emotion, drive intent, and compels the user to take action. Examples of Copy would be a carefully drafted social media post to get email signup or an exciting product description that induces the reader to click 'Add to Cart.
Call-To-Action is what urges the audience to take a specific action such as a subscription to the newsletter, sign up for the webinar, buy now, etc., that is aligned with the company's long-term goals. This invitation is inserted within the webpage, social media post, infographic, video, and any form of content that a business may be promoting.
The way content is distributed over various media channels can be split into organic and paid. In an organic distribution, content is naturally circulated through search engine results, social media shares, and referrals. In the paid form of distribution, content is published through promoted posts on social media, paid ads on search results, etc.
The goal of content marketing is to grab the consumer's attention and generate enough interest to persuade them to engage in some predefined activity, like sharing your content or giving feedback on the same, participating in a poll, or signing up for updates.
Content Marketing is all about adding value and garnering interest. To up the interest quotient and ensure brand loyalty, marketers often integrate gaming mechanics like reward points, leaderboards, badges, etc., into their content.
19. Gated Content
Exclusivity often generates a different level of interest. Gated content is a concept that does just that, making specific content available to only those visitors who are willing to register with the website or simply share their name and email address.
The visibility of a post can be increased manifold with the use of hashtags. Adding hashtags to your digital content associates it with similar content on the web, so any search with the particular hashtag will throw up your article too in the search results.
The keyword is a word or short phrase that users type in to search content on a specific subject on the web. It is used to identify the content of a web page, specifically text content. Ideally, the keyword is strategically placed in the title, page description, and organically throughout the content to improve search visibility. Keywords can be long-tail or short-tail.
22. Key Performance Indicators
KPIs are the metrics that businesses use to measure the impact of their content. Popular metrics are Cost per Lead, Bounce Rate, Exit Rate, etc.
When you create content relating to current events or covering important news in the context of your product or service, then that is newsjacking. Effective newsjacking can drive traffic to your content page. Not only that, search engines too regard fresh and relevant content with renewed vigor.
24. Owned Media
Owned Media is a company-owned platform of communication with potential and existing customers and ranges from websites, blogs, whitepapers, emails, newsletters, etc. This is the media that a company has total control over.
This is Google's algorithm to judge how relevant a particular page is. The judgment is made based on the quantity and quality of links pointing to the concerned web page. Needless to say, the quality of these links matter more than the quantity.
26. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the tool that businesses use to increase the visibility of their website in organic search results by publishing content with relevant keywords, incorporating backlinks, etc. SEO can be On-Page and Off-Page, wherein the former involves direct application of techniques like title tags, content, etc., and the latter involves indirect tools like building social media community, guest blogging, posting on forums, etc.
27. User-generated Content
This is an unpaid form of content that can create valuable first-hand buzz by the user of your service or product. Such content is considered less biased than those created by businesses and helps organizations gain insight into the consumer experience of their products.
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Grow and Nurture Your Knowledge of Content Marketing
While this list of the most popular content marketing terms and their definitions was a primer on content marketing, there lies a vast ocean of concepts and practices waiting for you to dive into. With the ever-evolving job environment, job roles are no longer confined within the functional boundaries. Multi-tasking and the ability to understand and contribute towards supporting functions are highly appreciated and can advance your career growth. Staying alert and picking up new skills like content marketing for even a front-end technical sales professional can spell success in the long run. So, get started today!