Digital Marketing Terms
Every language has its unique vocabulary. It’s vast and ever-evolving. Therefore, it can be challenging to keep up with the novel usage of every second word.
Jargon in digital marketing is no exception.
Here are 30 digital marketing terminologies that are often interchanged incorrectly by beginners and professionals alike.
Are you one of them? If you said “nope” then, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
Let’s understand the difference between these marketing buzzwords with some fun analogies.
(Spoiler alert: We can almost hear you say “My whole life has been a lie”.)
1. Social Media Marketing vs Social Media Management
Remember Joey – loyal to the core, followed his heart, and how he would never give up? Well, we thought of hiring him as our digital marketing coach to help you understand the terms better.
Confused? Keep reading.
Let’s imagine. Joey walks into the bar in hopes of meeting a beautiful girl.
He is a handsome lad with swoon-worthy facial features. Naturally, he attracts the attention of ladies. (Brand presence + Lead generation)
That’s not all though.
Joey has a set of smooth-moves and not-so-generic pickup lines that he uses to approach the girl he sets his eyes on. (Content strategy)
But what after he has got her attention? How can he continue to make her feel important, noticed, special?
To score her trust and cell phone number, he needs to pull her into a memorable conversation. (Engagement)
Hence, if social media marketing is Joey’s “How you doing”, then social media management is the dinner talk that follows on date night.
Social media marketing answers the who and how of approaching your target audience. It is concerned with creating and executing a content strategy. It helps establish your brand presence on platforms and generate leads.
A social media marketer identifies the target audience, analyses the platform, assesses metrics, and strategizes all the ad campaigns.
Once you have a marketing strategy in place, that’s when management comes into the picture.
Social media management answers the “what to post” and “how to maintain audience engagement”. It is all about posting and publishing content. Its primary aim is to give the audience something to come back to.
A social media manager interacts directly with the audience through replies on comments, DMs, stories, profile bio updates, etc.
2. Impression vs View
Let’s move on to Rachel.
After a sour breakup, Rachel is finally ready to get back in the game. This time she has given online dating a shot, and oh boy is she excited.
It’s a new beginning so it calls for a new set of clothes! She goes shopping for a cute outfit.
She saw thousands of clothing items in the mall. How many of these did she try on? Only a couple.
All those mannequins she walked past count as an impression.
The ones that caught her eye and made her take an action (like checking the price tag or a trial for fitting) count as a view.
The same applies to every ad or any other digital content you see on the internet.
The impression is the number of times a piece of content appears on the user’s screen. It gets counted even if a user doesn’t click on it or leaves the page half a second later.
Check the metrics of any video on Instagram or other platforms. You’ll notice the number of impressions is almost always significantly higher than the views.
This is because not every user sticks around to open or watch the whole thing. They just scroll past it.
The view is the number of times a user watches or engages with your content. It gets counted only when a user takes an action upon seeing your content.
These users are thus action takers called visitors.
The percentage of ads that are clicked on i.e viewed are reflected by the Click Through Rate (CTR).
In the case of video content, there’s a minimum duration a visitor needs to watch for it to gain a view. For instance, on YouTube, a view is counted upon meeting two conditions:
- The user intentionally initiates the watching of a video.
- The user streams it on the platform for at least 30 seconds.
Therefore, every view is an impression, but not every impression is a view.
3. Bounce rate vs Exit rate
This is a little tricky, so read closely.
Rachel has been going on dates for a while now. It’s safe to say that dating is hard.
On her first date, the guy ordered a pizza with pineapple topping. To make it worse, he wouldn’t shut up about himself and kept interrupting her. Needless to say, she never saw him again.
Her second date turned out to be a pleasant surprise. He was a fine gentleman with the looks of Robert Downey Jr. and wit of Iron man. Everything felt too good to be true (and it was indeed).
She went out with him again the next night and that’s when it happened. He had been evicted and had brought a suitcase along with the declaration of moving in with her. Do we need to say more about how that ended?
So here’s what’s interesting about these two cases.
The first date was a bounce. Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who, after landing on a page, leave it without taking any further action (such as clicking a link or navigating to another page). In Rachel’s case, she never spoke or went out with the guy again.
Unlike bounce, the second date was an exit. Exit rate represents the percentage of visitors who close the webpage or move away to a different site, after surfing multiple pages on a website. In Rachel’s case, she dumped the guy after two dates.
Put simply, bounces are ALWAYS one-page visits. Whereas, exits can be more than one-page visits.
But what if you got what you wanted on the first page itself? (What if Rachel just wanted a one-night stand and got it on the first date?)
That counts both as a bounce and an exit.
Curious about how these metrics reflect your website’s performance? Read this article for more insights.
4. SEO vs SEM vs CRO
It’s Friday night and Ross wants to blow off some steam. He decides to go clubbing.
At the pub (SERP), his eyes land on a beautiful girl. And he’s not the only one trying to get her attention. (Competition)
Now, we all know how painfully tragic his flirting skills are.
What can he do to increase his chances of getting noticed? There are two ways to go about it.
a. He can work on his flirting and approach her organically. (SEO)
b. He can pay the bartender (Search engine) to prioritize sending drinks from him over to her table. (SEM)
Tonight, luck was by his side and he’s able to get the girl to play a round of darts.
So he’s having a good time and desires to go out with her again. How can he get her phone number? (Desired action)
He continues to talk about things she is interested in and ensures that she’s having a pleasant experience as well. (CRO)
Want her digits? Be like Ross.
In digital marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of continually optimizing a website to rank in the organic, non-paid search engine results pages (SERPs).
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) on the other hand uses paid advertising strategies to rank a page in SERPs.
Both of the above aim at bringing traffic to the website.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) aims to convert visitors into customers. It is the process of optimizing your site or landing page experience to make the visitor take desired actions on the said page.
Desired actions can include purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, filling out a feedback form, etc.
5. CPC (cost per click) vs CPA (cost per acquisition) vs CPL (cost per lead)
After marrying his last girlfriend and ending it in a divorce, Ross (advertiser) sets out on a quest for love, yet again.
This time he strikes a deal with the bartender (publisher). He asks him to direct the girls towards his table.
For every girl who approaches Ross, he offers to pay the bartender a certain amount. (CPC)
This goes on for a while but Ross realizes most girls don’t end up going out with him. He’s gotta pivot his approach.
He tells the bartender that he’ll now pay him for every girl who gives him her phone number. (CPL)
He’s getting better results than earlier but girls still ghost him after a night. He’s not getting what he wants and also losing his money.
So he rearranges the deal again. This time around he pays the bartender for every girl who agrees to become his wife. (CPA)
(PS: Please don’t judge Ross. We all have our vices. )
Now let’s define these models in the context of online marketing.
In the CPC (Cost Per Click) model, the advertiser pays the publisher for every click that an advertisement receives.
In CPL (Cost Per Lead), the advertiser pays per new potential customer or lead. It involves getting a survey response or contact information from the audience. The information received is then used to convert these leads into customers.
In CPA (Cost Per Acquisition aka Cost Per Action), the advertiser pays the publisher per sale or service made on an advertisement.
But how does an advertiser decide what’s profitable for him?
Depending on his business objectives, each model has its pros and cons. You can check them out here.
6. Lead generation vs Lead nurturing
Under the first sub-heading of this blog, we read why Joey is so popular among women.
The secret behind his popularity lies in these two steps.
Step 1: Get the girl interested and excited about him.
Step 2: Leverage that interest to build a connection of trust between them.
BAM! Just like that, he’s got the girl.
Marketing is just like that.
Attract. Engage. Convert.
A digital marketer also follows the above-mentioned steps to make a sale.
Step 1: Lead generation
Stimulate the interest of your potential buyers in your business’s product or service.
You do this by collecting information about your ideal customer and identifying your target audience. Thereafter, you generate awareness about your products and services in that audience.
Step 2: Lead nurturing
This is followed by building a relationship with these potential buyers.
You do this by identifying their needs, interests, problems, and aspirations. You then use these to personalize your offering.
Lastly, you answer their questions and take their feedback to build a bond of trust and to establish brand authority.
7. Rebranding vs Repositioning
Welcome to another episode of “The one where Ross wants a girlfriend”.
Ross still hasn’t made any progress with the ladies. He is thinking about what can be done to turn the tables.
And then it hits him. He needs a new identity.
He buys himself a hot pair of leather pants and gets a funky haircut. To top it off, he goes to the tanning place to get a fake tan.
He even starts introducing himself as Red Ross! (or rather Brown Ross)
Ross has completely rebranded himself.
But he soon realizes the issue isn’t so much with his identity as it is with his image and reputation.
He needs to reposition himself.
He makes changes in his personality, values, and overall behavior so that women start perceiving him differently.
It works! He gets his lobster!
Just like Ross, brands also rebrand and reposition themselves when they feel that with a company brand image that no longer reflects who they are or what they do.
Rebranding is done to change the brand’s identity. For this, some changes are introduced in the brand’s visual elements like brand name, logo, slogans, etc. In some cases, they may be altered altogether completely.
Repositioning aims to change the thoughts customers associate with their brand. It involves changing the personality of a brand. This can be through changes in the tagline, brand promise, brand value, and other intangible elements.
We know you might be looking for some examples.
Case studies always make everything easier, don’t you think?
Have a look at how repositioning revived these companies’ growth here.
Looking for instances of rebranding? We got you, fam! Here are three companies whose rebranding made our jaws drop.
8. Lead vs Prospect
Earlier in the blog, we read about how Rachel gave a shot at online dating.
The dating app had a lot of heterosexual males who were looking for partners, just like her.
But she was tired of swiping left on every profile. Until finally one fine unicorn put an end to it. She swiped right! This was her lead.
Now she is hoping they match and guess what? They do! If he responds to her text message, he would then become a prospect.
For a digital marketer, a lead is an unqualified contact. It is an initial phase in the sales process where the communication is one-sided. Example: Subscribers on your email list.
If a lead engages with you and expresses interest in buying your product, it becomes a prospect. In this phase of the sales process, communication is two-sided. Example: A subscriber who responds to your email inquiring about your product.
This flowchart by LeadFuze has beautifully explained the aforementioned digital marketing terms for dummies.
9. Content writer vs Content strategist
Just now we read about Rachel finding the unicorn guy online. To everyone’s utter shock, he ghosted her!
Rachel is devastated.
She tells Monica and Phoebe that from this moment onwards, they are in charge of her profile on dating and social media apps.
Monica being the control freak that she is draws up a detailed roadmap. She outlines what her profile should look like, what should be posted, what kind of guy would be a good match and things alike. This roadmap is driven by data at all times.
To get a clearer idea for optimizing Rachel’s profile, she asks her as to why she is dating and what she expects to get out of it.
Phoebe takes charge of writing the content for her profile. So if Monica has marked that Rachel’s profile should have a witty personality, then Phoebe will accordingly write a clever bio and a caption with humorous punchlines.
Despite this, if there is no improvement in the kind of leads Rachel gets, Monica will audit the roadmap data to identify what’s missing in the current strategy and what corrections need to be made.
Can you take a guess who’s the Content Strategist and who’s the Content Writer?
Monica is the strategist and Phoebe is the writer.
You’re on a roll today!
Content Strategists and Content Writers are two sisters from the same mother: Content Marketing.
A content strategist’s primary role is to analyze business goals and consumer needs. She creates a plan or strategy for generating inbound leads.
For this, she does a great deal of research on keywords, competitors, target audience, and industry trends – among other areas – to ensure that the content is optimized accordingly.
A content writer writes content as per the content strategy to inform, educate, or entertain the reader through blogs, captions, articles, etc. This helps in creating brand awareness and building a relationship of trust with the audience over time.
These roles are often played by the same person. But it doesn’t mean they’re the same!
10. Affiliate marketing vs Network marketing
Monica has recently opened her own bakery business. Her lifelong dream is finally coming to life! She wants more people to know about it to increase her sales.
What can she do?
She asks her friends to post about her cupcakes online on their blogs and social media handles. In return, she says that for every order placed through their profiles, she’ll give them a commission.
We’re sure this model seems familiar. Can you recollect which one?
This is the basic concept of affiliate marketing where her friends are acting as affiliates. It uses digital platforms to increase leads and sales.
Now suppose, she sells her cupcakes to another set of friends at a discounted price on the condition they will sell it person to person at the full market price.
This is a case of network marketing where her friends are acting as a network of distributors. These distributors are also encouraged to recruit other new distributors who are given a small percentage of earnings on every sale.
If you’ve got some kick-ass sales skills, network marketing and you are a match made in heaven. You can read about it in-depth right here.
11. Mission vs Vision statement
Our dear copywriters, this one is for you!
If only we had a dollar for every time someone said these statements are not different…
Joey wants to become a famous actor with a huge fan base. He wants to star in blockbuster films and beloved soap operas. This is his vision.
He aims to achieve this goal by taking acting classes which will be funded by Chandler. He also takes guitar and french lessons from Phoebe. This is his mission.
The vision statement states what the brand wants to achieve. In other words, it communicates your business goals to the audience.
The mission statement on the other hand states how the brand will achieve its desired vision. It focuses on primary business strategies and initiatives.
Both of the above go together like bread and butter. They go in tandem with the brand values and the very purpose behind the company’s existence.
Check out these tips on writing an inspirational vision and mission statement.
Andddddd.. that’s a wrap.
How many of these terms have you been using incorrectly?
Well, damn. Here’s a cookie!
A solid foundation is a stepping stone towards becoming a skilled digital marketer. And you’ve got it!
If you were unknowingly misusing these terminologies, we hope this article puts an end to it.
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