Mandarin may be the most spoken language on earth, but it’s “marketese” that you need to brush up on if you want to help your brand to stand out from the crowd. The language of digital marketing is sometimes highly technical and specific. Whether you’re a new marketer or you’ve been entrenched in the digital jungle for a while, it’s worthwhile to brush up on some of the definitions of the terms you hear (or even use yourself) on a daily basis.

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What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the marketing strategy that employs all kinds of digital mediums and methods. It mainly relies on the internet to connect with a brand’s target audience through a variety of digital media platforms. Some of these platforms include social media, mobile apps, email, web applications, search engines, and websites.

Compared to conventional marketing, digital marketing gives businesses more control, advanced tools, and accurate data to evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising. With the help of digital marketing, companies can reach out to their prospects and customers quickly and effectively.

Your Pocket Guide to Digital Marketing Lingo

Digital marketers will continue to throw around a plethora of acronyms like SEO and B2B, or flaunt jargon like ‘churn rate’ and ‘conversion’. It can be easy to get confused! For that reason, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common--and the most confusing--digital marketing terms to upgrade your digital marketing lingo.

1) Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a specific digital marketing strategy where a business provides incentives or rewards to individual “affiliates” to acquire new customers for their website/business. The affiliate in this case refers to people or organizations outside of that business that can bring in customers through ads or content on their own website or social media channel.

These affiliates are paid depending on the number of customers they generate. You might have observed this practice on personal and lifestyle websites or influencer social media accounts. It’s become a popular and almost essential aspect of digital marketing.  

2) Audience

Audience refers to the group of people you want your message to reach. Audience is not just limited to your existing customer base but also extends to new prospective buyers. Savvy digital marketers are well aware of who their target audience is, and how to tailor their brand to that demographic. Identifying your target audience is one of the first steps in digital marketing. After all, if you don’t know who you're going to sell to, how can you sell anything at all?

3) B2B (Business-to-Business)

This one is perhaps the most familiar acronym among digital marketers. Business-to-Business or B2B is a model in which business is conducted directly between two businesses. Certain types of digital marketing are especially effective when marketing to other businesses rather than directly to consumers, which is why this distinction was developed.

On the other hand, the term B2C or Business-to-Consumer is the opposite. This refers to the business model in which products or services are sold directly to the customers. These customers are also the end-user of the products or services.

4) Churn Rate

In the world of digital marketing, churn rate refers to the number of customers that you’ve lost during a given timeframe. This metric holds particular value to those businesses which are renewal or membership-based. The churn rate could serve as a measure of whether your digital marketing efforts are working or not.

For example, if during 2018-19 you had 1 million customers, and during 2019-20 you were at 750,000, your churn rate would be 25%. That means that you lost 25% of your clients in one year. Ouch!

5) CTA (Call-To-Action)

No, CTA has nothing to do with those irritating promotional calls we all get flooded with every day. In fact, a Call-To-Action (CTA) is an encouraging instruction for online users to take the next step in the sales process. That step or action might be making a purchase, calling the company, subscribing to a newsletter, or simply filling out a form. Digital marketers typically add a CTA to every main page of their website.

CTAs can be in the form of a text, banner, form, or a button. CTAs are powerful digital marketing tools used by businesses to convert online users into potential customers. If you want to see an example of a CTA, click here and look for the “Contact Us” button. You’ll see why the CTA plays such a pivotal role in today’s  digital marketing campaigns.

6) Conversion and Conversion Rate

In digital marketing, conversion is what follows a CTA. Assume that some of the visitors to your website followed your CTA. That means that you successfully encouraged them to perform the action you wanted. But what about the other users who visited your website and then simply left? They make a difference in your conversion rate, too.

Let’s say you have an Instagram ad for an ongoing sale, and 10,000 online users saw that ad. But only 2,000 people registered for it; that means your ad resulted in a 20% conversion rate. Digital marketers rely on this rate to gauge the success of their ads.

7) SEO – Search Engine Optimization

In order for online users to see your product, the first thing you need to do is ensure that they visit your website. To do this, marketers use SEO tools and techniques to ensure that their content appears at the top of  users’ search result pages on search engines like Google.

SEO has become a major aspect of modern digital marketing strategies, distinct from paid advertising.

8) Keywords

Keywords are a key piece of SEO, and therefore an essential aspect of digital marketing. They are words or phrases that your audience uses on search engines to find the information that they’re looking for. They can be in the form of single words, a string of words, or even questions.

By using high-traffic keywords in your content, you can direct more and more Google users to your website. In fact, most blogs and webpages have a keyword focus to make their content Search Engine Optimized.

9) KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

KPIs are quantitative parameters used to check how much progress you’re making towards your digital marketing targets. In other words, key performance indicators or KPIs are the benchmarks you focus on achieving. This is to make sure that your organization is working in the right direction.

Most KPIs work on a system often used in management consulting, known as the SMART framework. The SMART framework states that a KPI should be:

10) User Experience or UX

Understanding how online users interact with your content and how they ‘feel’ about it is known as user experience. In order for the users to perform the actions that you want them to, you have to ensure that their experience while interacting with your business platform or channel is satisfactory.

There are various techniques to improve the user experience, some of which are:

To learn more about UX and how it influences digital marketing, browse our UX design career tips.

The Power of Digital Marketing Skills

A powerful digital presence can help your business in multiple ways. It can:

So, there you have it! We hope you found value in our comprehensive list of important digital marketing terminologies. Understanding these terms will set you up for success on your journey towards successful digital marketing.

If you’re considering a career change, digital marketing skills could earn you a lasting, lucrative career. Enroll in an online digital marketing bootcamp to learn how to attract, engage, and convert your customers. You can also schedule a call with one of our in-house experts who are ready to answer any of your questions about digital marketing, or any of our other bootcamps.

Attend a Free Webinar

Our workshops help you start your journey to a new career, create opportunities to collaborate with like-minded experts and students, or teach you a new skill.

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