Marketing and advertising is like visiting a foreign country—If you can’t speak the language, you’re going to have a hard time getting around.
Video marketing is no different; it requires the same amount of know-how and familiarity in order to navigate the terrain.
So to make sure you’re making the most of your expedition, consider this exhaustive marketing glossary of useful definitions and advertising terms. It contains everything marketers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs need to know in order to function, and function well, in the digital marketing and advertising industries.
We have over 100 marketing definitions to cover, alphabetized for your convenience. So let’s get started.
This is the process of comparing two variables of the same content to determine which version performs better.. It can be used with ads, emails, landing pages, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and more. An example of A/B testing would be using two different colored “Buy” buttons on your website and measuring which one creates more sales.
Account-based marketing (ABM)
The act of focusing marketing efforts toward a specific company, including the creation of unique marketing content and assets. Often used when targeting enterprise-level clients for a high-ticket sale.
This is a broad term that indicates a coordinated series of linked advertisements with a single idea or theme. Ad campaigns typically have a specific time period when they run.
A vendor that accepts money from advertisers to runs ads in various placements. Examples include Google, Facebook, Taboola, Yahoo! Network.
This is a term specific to Facebook ads that is part of its three tiers of organizational hierarchy—Campaign, Ad Set, and Ads. Major details such as audience targeting, date range, placement, and budget are determined at the Ad Set level.
The audience selection process that determines who your ads get shown to. Targeting options include geography, demographics, web or app behavior, past purchases, video engagement, and many other variables.
A specific format or type of ad. For example, Facebook has separate ad units for video view and website traffic campaign objectives.
A system or agreement in which the publisher (website) makes a commission from the advertiser based on traffic or user actions like form submissions, online purchases, etc.
A broad term for the metrics that online user behavior creates. Examples of digital marketing analytics include web traffic, lead volume, cost-per-action, bounce rate, and many more that are also covered in this post.
Annual recurring revenue (ARR)
Revenue that a business can count on receiving every year.
The process of identifying which activity is responsible for a user action. There are different models of attribution for digital analytics including first-touch, last-touch, multi-touch, time-decay, etc. More on the specific models of digital attribution here.
A common type of display ad that sits horizontally on a website or app, usually at the top or bottom of the page.
This is the average cost-per-acquisition (CPA) of multiple digital ad campaigns. This is a calculation that’s useful to include sales/lead volume into your overall ROI equation.
Short for web log, a blog is a regularly updated portion of a website containing informative posts of topical interest to an audience. There are personal as well as business blogs, and each seek to provide valuable information or entertainment to the reader through text, images, videos, and various other multimedia.
The increase in effectiveness between users who did view the ad versus those who did not. There is a specific formula to calculate brand lift.
Bottom of the funnel
A term that refers to a potential buyer or lead who has already gone through the awareness and consideration stages. Examples of bottom of the funnel marketing actions include a call from a sales rep, a demo, or a free consultation.
Website: The percentage of people who arrive on your website and leave without any further action. This is usually considered a negative event, as marketers generally prefer to have users click, engage, and navigate to additional web pages.
Email: The percentage at which an email was unable to be delivered to a user’s inbox. This is a negative event, and you’ll want to understand the deliverability issues with that email address.
These are short, 6-second video ads that play before a user’s chosen video on YouTube.
Business to business (B2B)
Organizations that sell products and services to other businesses, as opposed to selling to consumers.
Business to consumer (B2C)
Organizations that sell products and services to consumers.
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on research and data about them. Check out HubSpot’s guide to buyer personas.
A button, text link, image, or some type of clickable asset on an ad, email, or website that directs a visitor to take a certain action. Examples of CTAs are “Subscribe Now” or “Download the Whitepaper Today.”
CAN-SPAM means “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing” and is a U.S. law that establishes rules for marketing emails and messages from companies. Generally, it gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and defines the penalties for failing to comply. It’s the reason businesses need to have an “unsubscribe” option on every email.
These are a feature of Facebook which allow advertisers to display a carousel of up to 10 images in the Newsfeed. Users can scroll right or left through the images, reading different headlines on each card. Carousel ads allow for some creative executions and are popular with eCommerce brands.
The way in which an advertiser reaches audiences. Also know as Traffic Channel, examples include display advertising, search ads, social media advertising, native advertising, and in-app advertising.
This term refers to the percentage at which customers stop subscribing to a service. This metric represents negative activity.
Click-through rate (CTR)
The percentage of total impressions divided by clicks. If your ad served 100 impressions and was clicked once, the CTR for that ad is 1%.
A broad term encompassing online marketing materials such as blog posts, videos, social media, photos, podcasts, GIFs, and many more. More than 50% of consumers prefer video content over other forms of content like emails, social, and blogs.
Content management system (CMS)
A type of software that allows for the creation, editing, organizing, and publishing of digital content. The primary purpose of a CMS is to allow a user to create web content with a graphical user interface, as opposed to writing all the HTML code manually. WordPress is the most popular content management system, but there are many more, including industry and niche specific examples.
The commercial production and distribution of valuable and relevant content (blog posts, social media, videos, ebooks, webinars, email campaigns, etc.) to attract and retain your target audience. Beyond awareness, content marketing is also used to convert customers and retain them.
A digital record of a website or app user taking a desired action and becoming a known contact. Typical conversions include purchases and form submissions.
The percentage of users who completed a conversion divided by the total views. Conversion rates are measured on ads, websites, landing pages, emails, and more. High conversion rates are good, low conversion rates indicate poor marketing performance.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
The process of improving conversion through design, messaging, and testing. CRO seeks to increase the conversion rates of websites and landing pages.
The process of recording conversion events such as purchases or form submissions. Once a conversion is tracked, you can examine the path users took before the conversion, leading to insights user behavior you can use to improve marketing.
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
The cost, in monetary figures, of acquiring a customer. This is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on ads by the number of customers acquired from that ad.
Cost per click (CPC)
The amount an advertiser pays for a single click on an ad. This is expressed as an average over total clicks.
Cost per engagement (CPE)
The amount an advertiser pays for a user to engage with an ad. This includes clicking the ad, but in social media advertising, also includes Liking, Commenting on, or Sharing the ad.
Cost per lead (CPL)
The amount it costs to acquire a lead.
Cost per thousand (CPM)
The amount charged to an advertiser to serve 1,000 ad impressions.
The act of targeting a user across different channels (YouTube, Facebook, Google Display Network) with ads.
The act of serving the same user ads across multiple devices. Examples include a user seeing an ad on desktop, then seeing an ad from the same advertiser on a mobile device. This is usually conducted as part of a coordinated digital advertising campaign.
The act of persuading a consumer to purchase a product or service, thus becoming a customer.
Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
The total cost associated with persuading a consumer to buy your product or service. This figure includes research, marketing and advertising costs. This figure is expressed as a dollar amount.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
This is software for managing all the relationships and interactions with the customers, leads, and prospects of your business. A CRM is often used by multiple departments of a company such as sales and account management. Popular examples of a CRM include Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, and Zoho CRM.
An ad type that features a graphic appearing on a website or app. Common formats include banners, skyscrapers, and rectangles (read more about display advertising here).
This term refers to brand mentions your company has ‘earned’ from third-party sources like news outlets. Earned media is one of the most important metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your public relations work.
A type of content, usually a PDF hosted on a website, that mimics the layout of an actual book (title, table of contents, chapters, etc.). These are usually longer than blog posts and are typically only released by marketers after a user submits their email address to download the content.
Want a real-life example? Check out our very own Ebook Learn Facebook Video Advertising from the Experts
A calendar of social media, blog, or video content. These are usually spread out over a month or a quarter. Their primary purpose is to ensure an organization’s content is on brand and covers all topics that support their business goals.
The act of using email for a brand to send marketing messages directly to a user’s inbox. Depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey or customer lifecycle the user is in—lead, customer, former customer—the content of the email can vary greatly.
A digital marketing metric that includes user interaction with an ad or marketing content. It’s generally used to describe behavior on social media and video marketing.
The amount of interactions such as Likes, Comments, and Shares that a piece of content receives divided by the total times it has been viewed. High engagement rates indicate your messages are resonating with your audience.
A type of content that provides value to your audience regardless of when they view it. For evergreen content, its value is not determined by its recency. Every marketing plan should contain some type of evergreen content because of the SEO value it provides.
A Facebook app feature where users can post images and video content in a slideshow format. The content disappears after 24 hours and is not recorded your feed or profile. Facebook launched this feature shortly after the massive success of Instagram Stories.
This is another advertising metric that represents the average number of times an ad is served to the same person over a specific time period. Too high of a frequency can result in a negative reaction to your ad.
The purchase funnel is a consumer-focused marketing model which demonstrates the customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service from awareness to conversion. The word “funnel” is used because of the shape of the audiences at various stages—there are many people at the top of the funnel, but only a few actually get all the way through by making a purchase.
The act of showing ads only in a specific location.
This is the broad term for the suite of advertising solutions offered by Google, including the search (formerly known as Google AdWords) and display networks.
Originally pioneered by Twitter, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the # symbol. Social media networks allow users to search via hashtag. This allows Twitter users to get more eyes on their content by grouping their Tweet with others in the same topic. Oftentimes, brands will use recurring hashtags and there is usually an official hashtag for major events, which allows users to see all the conversations happening at that event. Try a quick search on Twitter for #promoteanything to see what we mean!
Another digital marketing metric that indicates how many times an ad has been shown. Note that two impressions could both belong to the same web user.
A marketing philosophy and methodology coined by HubSpot. Here’s their definition:
Creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.
A link that points to your website from an external site. Inbound links are extremely valuable for SEO purposes, especially when coming from an authoritative site.
This is a piece of content, typically a large image, that visually displays a range of information in an engaging manner. Infographics help people understand complex, data-driven ideas.
Check out an example here: The Science of Sharing: Who Shares What, Where, & Why
An Instagram app feature where users can post images and video content in a slideshow format. The content disappears after 24 hours and is not recorded your feed or profile.
Also known as IGTV, this is Instagram’s video sharing platform that allows video creators to upload long-form vertical videos meant to be viewed on a mobile device. IGTV videos can be up to one hour long.
This is a Facebook video ad placement that gives advertisers the ability to deliver 5-15 second, non-skippable, mid-roll video ads to people watching Facebook videos on a mobile device.
Key performance indicator (KPI)
A performance measurement businesses use to evaluate a marketing activity’s success or failure. An example of a KPI for video marketing might be average watch time or percentage, cost per view, or amount of users who finished watching the video. KPI’s are unique to each campaign and business objective.
A keyword typically refers to a word or phrase that a web page may be indexed for. When somebody types a keyword into Google, the search engine returns a list of websites that are ranking for that particular keyword. Keywords are generally associated with SEO, but are also relevant to branding and messaging.
A single web page that is used for lead generation. These pages typically display an offer or call to action. Landing pages typically do not have navigation or menus, as this would distract from the singular goal of getting the visitor to take that action (follow a link, fill out a form, or provide their contact information.). The most effective ads tend to drive to landing pages, not traditional websites.
A person or company who’s shown interest in a product or service in some way, shape, or form. Perhaps they filled out a form, subscribed to a blog, or shared their contact information in exchange for a coupon.
These are advertisements on Facebook that do not click through to a website. Rather, when a user clicks a Facebook Lead Ad, a form within Facebook appears with some fields pre-populated (depending on the user’s privacy settings).
An inbound marketing technique, lead nurturing is the practice of developing a series of messages (emails, social media messages) that move a lead through different stages of the buying lifecycle. Generally run via email, lead nurturing sequences can be based on a user’s actions, such as clicking on links in an email, visiting certain pages, or filling out forms.
Lifetime value (LTV)
This term describes a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire relationship with a customer, including repeat purchase and upsells. This figure is usually expressed as an average of total customers, or a segment of related customers.
This is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. Since backlinks are the most important factor in ranking websites, this is a high-priority for SEO.
This term refers to a keyword phrase from a specific, often 3+ word search query. While long-tail keywords have low monthly search volume, they account for more than 90% of all searches.
This is a specific type of audience with Facebook that uses data points to target people who are similar to your existing customers.
Marketing automation is a broad term that refers to a system that triggers emails and other communication based on user activity conducted on a website, email, or social media profile. There are different levels of marketing automation and different platforms for running these types of activities. With MailChimp, you can automate a sequence of emails based on user activity. With a more advanced marketing automation platform like HubSpot, you can not only automate emails, but score leads and configure more sophisticated actions.
This refers to a company’s plan for creating awareness of their product or service to consumers (or other businesses) and turning people into customers of their products or services. The classic marketing mix is built out of the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. Adjustments to any of those four areas can have significant effects of the overall marketing strategy.
Data that provides information about other data. Metadata is often included invisibly with images or videos that helps computers understand more about the content, since computers can’t ‘see’ images the same way that humans can.
Middle of the funnel
Also called the “consideration stage,” this term refers to the stage that a lead enters after identifying a problem. Their goal now is to conduct further research to find a solution to the problem by comparing the available options. Middle-of-the-funnel content often includes case studies, product brochures, and whitepapers.
This term indicates that the design and format of your website are easy to read and navigate from a mobile device. This can be accomplished either by creating a separate mobile website or incorporating responsive design in the site layout. Mobile optimization is a ranking signal for Google’s search algorithm, and is also the standard for web design in 2019.
Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
Revenue that a business can count on receiving every month.
This is the amount of money you pay to display your advertisement. This money goes to the publisher (Facebook, Google, etc.) and does not cover the production or management of the ad campaigns.
This is a type of online advertising that resembles the content of the publication it’s displayed in with the intent to make it feel less like an ad. Native ads are also referred to as “sponsored content.”
This is a feature popularized by Facebook, the main screen of the website. It displays the latest updates from their friends and subscriptions. On Twitter, this featured is called the Timeline. On LinkedIn, it’s referred to simply as the Feed.
These are ads that display in the Newsfeed on Facebook. As opposed to right column ads, Newsfeed ads look very similar to regular content on Facebook—The only indication that the content is an ad is the word “Sponsored” in grey text above the ad.
This term refers to the actions that can be taken on your website to improve its position in the search rankings. Using the proper keywords in the content, page titles, content heads and meta descriptions are examples of on-page optimization, or on-page SEO.
This term refers to the actions that can be taken off your website to improve its position in search rankings. Attaining backlinks (inbound links) and positive reviews are examples of off-page optimization, or off-page SEO.
Organic search traffic
This just means website traffic that is derived from somebody who conducted a search via Google or other search engines.
An offer is a piece of content that resides behind a form on a landing page. The purpose of an offer is to generate leads for business. Types of offers include ebooks, demos, checklists, webinars, as well as bottom-of-the-funnel content like flash sales and discounts.
This is a feature of Facebook created in 2010 that allows other applications—such as websites—to get data in and out of Facebook. Developers use the Open Graph Protocol to embed Facebook feeds on their websites, allow users to sign into website using their Facebook profiles, use the Like button outside of Facebook, and many more functions.
This is another digital marketing metric that indicates a request to load a single web page. Page view provides a way for marketers to analyze their website and to see if their efforts are effective.
A type of advertising offered by search engines (such as Google and Bing) that allows advertisers to display ads on search engine results pages (SERPs). The type of ad that displays depends on the keyword search of the user. Paid search works on a pay-per-click model.
Pay per click (PPC)
This is an advertising model where advertisers pay a publisher (such as a search engine, social media platform, or website owner) a certain amount of money every time their ad is clicked.
Often, this term is used interchangeably with Google Ads on the search network.
Website tracking code placed on a website to track the user traffic and conversion. Each ad platform (Google, Facebook, etc.) has a separate pixel you’ll need to install to track conversions and retarget.
These are video ads that are non-skippable and run before, in the middle of, or after a video has been played.
These are Twitter’s version of Newsfeed ads. They appear in a user’s Twitter Timeline and look very similar to regular content on Twitter—The only indication that the content is an ad is a grey arrow and the words “Promoted” in grey below the ad.
This is a metric that is specific to the Google Ads platform. It is a ranking from 1-10 calculated by Google based on: the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. High Quality Scores indicate successful ads, while low Quality Scores will end up costing the advertiser more as a ‘penalty’ for poor ad quality. Many advertisers consider this the most important metric for successful Google Ads campaigns.
Reach is the total number of people exposed to your ad during a given period.
This is a metric that is specific to the Facebook (and Instagram) ads platform. It is a ranking from 1-10 calculated by Facebook based on the positive and negative feedback Facebook expect an ad to receive from its target audience. High Relevance Scores indicate the ad is resonating with your audience, while low Relevance Scores cause your ads to be more expensive.
This term describes the act of re-engaging customers with email marketing. Although often used interchangeably with “retargeting,” remarketing is a separate action designed to drive increased conversions upsells. Examples of remarketing include cart abandonment and post-purchase upsell emails.
This is the calculation of the number of customers who respond to your communication efforts such as surveys and interviews.
This is a website development technique that adapts accordingly to how someone is viewing it, whether on a mobile device or a desktop. It uses a technology that recognizes the device the user is on and automatically generates a page that is fit to that device. This is the standard for website design in 2019.
This is a method of serving ads to people who have previously visited your website. This is also referred to as remarketing. Most major ad platforms have some way of retargeting your web visitors on their platform via a tracking pixel.
Return on ad spend (ROAS)
The amount of money you acquired as a direct result of advertising. ROAS is calculated through this formula: (Revenue – Cost) / Cost. ROAS is slightly different than ROI in that it seeks to examine the effectiveness of individual ad campaigns, as opposed to your marketing efforts as a whole.
Return on investment (ROI)
This is a top-level measurement used to evaluate the profitability of a marketing investment. The financial formula for ROI is: (Gain from investment minus cost of investment), all divided by (cost of investment).
Search engine marketing (SEM)
A broad term to encompass both paid search engine advertising as well as search engine optimization. Most people use SEM to describe paid search specifically, however.
Search engine results page (SERP)
The list of web pages displayed by search engines in response to a search query. They can contain paid search results like Google Ads, organic results like web page listings, maps, knowledge graphs, answer boxes, and more.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO refers to the practice of trying to gain more traffic from organic search. This is accomplished through a variety of tactics including on-page optimizations like using the right keywords, as well as off-page endeavors such as link building.
Or, try this definition from SEO expert Glen Allsop:
“SEO to me, if given an explanation that I’m interested in, is part reverse‐engineering algorithms and part reverse‐engineering human nature. It’s about using logic and “gut” to do what you think should matter and then relying on data to correct yourself due‐course. It’s certainly not the best definition I would use to describe SEO to someone else, but it’s what keeps me excited about the industry.”
This is the position in which your website or web page appears in a Google search results page for a given keyword. The first page of Google results contain roughly 10 spots and account for more than 90% of the clicks, so ranking 1-3 for high-value keywords is ideal.
This is the practice of breaking down a group into smaller, more specific groups. For instance, if you have a customer list, you could segment that into separate groups according to which product(s) they purchased. This can be especially useful when creating marketing content—such as a follow-up email—designed to be relevant to the customers’ actual purchases.
This is an algorithm that ranks all outgoing mail server’s IP addresses on a scale from 0 – 100. This numerical score affects your email deliverability. A company called Return Path records how many people unsubscribe and report your email as spam, both of which are negative outcomes of your marketing email. They use this data to compile your unique Sender Score.
This is the public perception of your brand as measured through comments and engagement via social media and other feedback mechanisms like news articles. There are sophisticated tools that can help you analyze social media comments and crawl the web for brand mentions to determine sentiment.
The total number of users subscribed to your brand or content on any given social media platform. Sometimes, brands will combine their follower counts across several different social media sites to present a larger perspective of their popularity.
Social media is the collective of online communication channels dedicated to community-based interaction, self-publishing, content-sharing, and collaboration. Social media is considered one of the most impactful human inventions of the 21st century. Major social media networks include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat.
This term refers to a psychological principle where people seek direction from people around them to determine how they are supposed to act. In marketing specifically, social proof generally refers to evidence that others have taken similar action to what you plan to do. Reviews on Yelp, Facebook posts with lots of engagement, customer testimonials, and celebrity endorsements are all examples of social proof.
Videos that are created especially for social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more. Social videos are created with the specifications of individual platforms in mind (length, aspect ratio, etc.) but also use the nuance and context of the platform on which they’re shared to maximize engagement.
These are LinkedIn’s version of Newsfeed ads. They appear in a user’s LinkedIn and look very similar to regular content on LinkedIn—The only indication that the content are the words “Promoted” in grey above the ad.
This is a feature of LinkedIn that allows advertisers to pay to send people messages directly to their inbox on LinkedIn. This includes people who are outside of your network.
A group of people that advertisers and marketers identify as the intended recipients of marketing and advertising messages. Target audiences can be broken up into limitless segments based on demographics, interests, behavior, and more.
Top of the funnel
This is also referred to as the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. Typically, people at this stage are just identifying their need and are looking to understand it better. Marketing content designed for this stage is supposed to make people aware of their need or problem in order for them to move further down the funnel seeking a solution.
Also referred to as website traffic, this is the total amount of online users who have visited your site over a given time period.
Time on page
This is the amount of time a user spends on a particular page of your website. This metric is often expressed as an average of your total web page visitors.
These are the YouTube ads that the viewer can skip after watching for five seconds. Advertisers only pay for TrueView ads when certain conditions are met such as 1) The viewer watches the ad for at least 30 seconds (or until the end, if shorter) or 2) the viewer takes an action such as clicking.
A digital marketing metric that refers to a user who visits a website more than once within a specific period of time. This is different than a page view because a single unique visitor could create multiple page views on a single page.
Short for Uniform Resource Locator, this is the web address of a piece of online content. It could be the root domain of your website, such as promo.com, or a link to a specific webpage like promo.com/create. For marketing purposes, URLs are helpful for SEO if you include your targeted keyword.
User experience (UX)
This is a term that refers to the overall experience somebody has with a business or website. Generally, it’s used to evaluate the total experience from awareness, engagement, evaluation, purchase, and post-purchase behavior. UX can be measured by many different data points both quantitative and qualitative.
User interface (UI)
This is what a consumer sees on a screen in a website or app. The UI is designed to allow a user to navigate, read, watch, and execute actions within the website or app. Intuitive UI allows people to execute those actions with ease. Bad UI causes users to have a bad experience, submit support tickets, and ask for explanations.
The process of using video to promote or market your brand, products, or services.
Often referred to as “going viral,” viral content can be any sort of multimedia that spreads quickly and exponentially over the Internet via sharing. Social media has propelled this trend, as content now has the ability to gain popularity quicker than ever before due to the ease of sharing and the ubiquity of social media platforms.
Technically, a website is a location linked to the Internet that maintains one or more pages available to anybody with a connection. In the marketing sense, a website is your digital storefront and online brand. As opposed to an online brochure, modern websites have much more technical capability, such as allowing users to log in and take various actions—uploading and downloading content, etc.
The passing of information from person to person in an uncontrolled setting. The origin of the term refers to oral communication, but now also includes online communication such as social media, email, and reviews. Word-of-mouth marketing is delicate because you don’t have total control over the message, but is extremely potent if done correctly.
As marketers, we’re never short on vocabulary to describe the nuance and details of our craft.
And as marketing technology continues to evolve and allows messaging to flow deeper and more seamlessly into products and services, we may see a new batch of terms develop. Do you have any terms that we may have missed or you’d like us to add? Send us a tweet at @promodotcom or drop us a message on Facebook.
Ready to use your new marketing lexicon to win customers and grow your business?