Top 25 Digital Marketing Terms and What They Mean

In the digital marketing industry, a tech-adjacent field, common digital marketing terms, and popular acronyms dominate conversation and communication. Add to it the rapid advances and changes in technology, and beginners are confronted with an ever-evolving body of digital marketing terminology.

Stay on Top Of the Marketing Game 

Digital marketing is an all-encompassing term for any type of online marketing that occurs through a digital device which is an internet-connected tool. Knowing the terms associated with the work helps to understand the actual process and progress in work by marketers. 

Digital Marketing terms and definitions can be categorized under the various specific domains—SEO or search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, video, paid advertising, influencer marketing, digital PR, and others. On the other hand, there are the general, technical, and operations-related terms that are relevant across the divisions. 

Here is a list of the top 25 most critical digital marketing terms and what they mean. Knowing them will decipher the industry.

1. A/B Testing

Also known as split testing – the process of testing two versions of digital content with a target audience, the preference is learned by measuring by conversion rate – used in testing e-newsletters, email subject lines, social ads, calls-to-action, and landing page copy to know which version has the greater chance of giving the desired action such as subscribing for a paid membership.

2. Affiliate Marketing

A strategy which rewards ‘affiliates,’ i.e., people or organizations outside the business for bringing new customers or visitors; done through a promotion like ads or content on the affiliate’s website for a commission based on the number of customers generated – used on personal or lifestyle sites for product recommendations.

3. Brand Positioning

Building a brand identity and connecting to it as different from competitors through tone, voice, and visual design of ads, promotion, logo, representation in social media, etc. – creates market differentiation, builds reputation, drives sales, and focuses your brand marketing message.

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4. Content Strategy

Planning and implementation of digital content to make it work towards a uniform end; includes creating and distributing content for digital marketing campaigns such as blog posts, articles, social media posts, videos, podcasts, e-books, guides, webinars, etc.; includes testing to gauge content performance – content is the base on which all marketing techniques are built. This digital marketing term is a fundamental component of content marketing campaigns as well.

5. Conversion Rate

The percentage of users who completed the desired action; calculated by dividing the overall size of the audience with the total number of ‘convert’ users; for instance, those who clicked on an ad – conversion rate percentage is used as a metric upon which marketers try to improve further growth. Digital marketing strategies are almost always data-driven, and this digital marketing term is one of the most common parameters measured to determine the performance of any campaign.

6. CPA or Cost per Acquisition

A pricing model that charges only when leads, sales, or conversions are generated; it is a financial metric that measures the costs of acquiring one paying customer – it helps marketers to know how much a company can afford to pay for leads and drive new customer growth.

7. CPC or Cost per Click

A pricing model that measures the cost for each click on an ad; designed to drive traffic to a website – critical digital marketing metric showing how much a business pays for someone to click on their ad.

8. CPM or Cost per Thousand

A pricing model that measures the cost of an online ad per 1000 impressions, impression being whenever the ad is displayed on a web page – ideal for creating brand awareness and delivering a direct message on high-traffic websites.

9. CRM or Customer Relationship Management

A set of applications that marketing firms use to manage customer data, analyze customer interactions, and receive relevant data in real-time – CRM is used to update and improve customer relationship strategies, to personalize and target marketing services.

10. CTA or Call-to-Action

Referring to a piece of content, such as a text, banner, form, button, or image on a web page (or email) prompting visitors to perform a specific action; includes instructions or directives to either read more content, join, subscribe, sign up or buy – CTAs guide visitors in their buying journey, impacts conversion rates.

11. CTR or Click Through Rate

The percentage of users who click on links placed in emails, ads, websites, etc.; measures the users actively engaging with linked content on a site with the formula: CTR = (click-throughs/impressions) x 100 – this metric helps to understand customers and finetune target audience.

12. CRO or Conversion Rate Optimization

The process of optimizing a website to increase the percentage of visitors performing the desired CTA; a marketing system to raise the percentage of visitors converting into paying customers – CRO methods create a better user experience, generate quality leads, shorten time to close deals.

13. Email Filtering

A technique that organizes emails based on a word or phrase in an effort to keep the user’s inbox free of spam – used to steer clear of spam filters and avoid blacklisting; allows targeted reach.

14. Engagement Rate

Metrics to track the involvement of the target market with a brand’s content; understood as the number of likes, comments, and shares or interactions with videos, updates, blogs, etc. – important in social media marketing to measure success through brand visibility, affinity, and credibility. This digital marketing term is one of the strongest measures of social media campaign success, especially when the focus is to build a strong subscriber or follower base for your social profile.

15. The Funnel 

The sales funnel displaying the buying process from a lead to a customer.

ToFu or Top of the Funnel

The first stage of the buying process where visitors are still looking for information – this stage requires building trust through quality content to motivate visitors into the next stage.

MoFu or Middle of the Funnel

The middle stage where buyers have identified their problem and need but continue research – here leads are transferred from marketing to sales.

Bofu or Bottom of the Funnel

The last stage where the buyer is getting ready to buy after identifying several vendors – consultative approach to help a customer to come to a decision will seal the deal.

16. GTM or Go-to-Market strategy

Plan specifying how to present a product’s unique value proposition to achieve a competitive advantage in reaching customers – provides a roadmap for launching a product to achieve product-market fit.

17. KPI or Key Performance Indicators

A metric or quantitative benchmark to track progress towards marketing goals; KPIs should be SMART or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound – used in measuring performance and course correction.

18. Keyword Stuffing

The practice of using too many keywords in the content to improve visibility on search engines; harmful tactic attracting penalization by search engines – sifts bad marketing firms from the good ones who focus on keyword research to optimize web advertising and website search engine placement to match high traffic keywords.

19. Lead Generation

Educating visitors on product or service and the industry where visitors, in turn, provide qualitative information to the sales team – helps to capture qualified leads.

20. LTV or Lifetime Value

Also called CLV or Customer Lifetime Value – the best estimate of expected revenue from an average customer – is used to calculate the overall impact of one sale throughout the entire customer relationship.

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21. Paid Ads

Generating website traffic through paid ads that ensure the marketing content will jump to the head of the line; include two main categories of social media ads and display ads that are targeted based on trackable behavior metrics – helps to reach relevant leads.

22. Relevancy Score and Quality Score

To decide how relevant an advertisement is and how it compares to other similar ads on the platform; higher scores mean more ads will be shown over competitors – improving these scores help to lower CPC.

23. ROAS or Return on Ad Spend

Marketing metric to measure the efficacy of advertising campaigns and calculate the return on investment for paid marketing such as spending on ads – ROAS helps to evaluate which methods are working and how to improve future advertising efforts.

24. SEM or Search Engine Marketing

Strategies to get higher placement on search engines by bidding on search terms and increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages; refers almost exclusively to paid search advertising and alternately referred to as pay per click or PPC – used to generate better leads.

25. Target Audience

The ideal client persona in mind while strategizing new ad campaigns or content; the group of people who could benefit from a company’s offers – determining a target audience through paid and organic efforts helps to increase sales and grow the reach.

Do you want to master the essential disciplines in Digital Marketing? Check out the Digital Marketing Specialist course now.

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Global digital ad spend will reach $389 billion in 2021, and it’s expected to grow by 17% in the latter half of the year. The best career decision would be to match this newfound knowledge about digital marketing terminology with the right skills it takes to make it as a digital marketer. Consider signing up for the Digital Marketing Certification Training Course and skill up to become a part of the flourishing digital marketing industry. 

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