Are you Up-to-Date? A Guide to Digital Marketing Terminology

Digital marketing is part science and part art. This push-pull of left brain/right brain leads to lots of innovation and a flush of new ideas, hashtags, acronyms, tags, buzz words, and terminology that come at us with lightning speed. If you pay attention and keep one ear to the rails, you may just be able to keep up. If only there was a handy guide available to make it all simpler....

Fear not! Working with a wide range of companies big and small, we hear it all. We have added quite a few popular four-letter words to our lingo (your mind—out of gutter) as well as a few mouthfuls (visit-to-contact conversion rate, anyone?) Read this list, bookmark it, and rest easy.

A/B Testing

If you are wondering whether that e-mail, design, font, or ad copy is effective, why not send out two slightly different ones to test it? That is the idea behind A/B testing. It is an attempt to improve marketing efforts by presenting two variables and then choosing the more successful of the two to further efforts.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

It’s a numbers game. We’ve all heard that phrase. When marketing a brand in the B2B world, we often try to cast a broad net to reach the widest audiences possible, but the idea behind ABM is to focus on securing customers at an account-based level.

Say that you’re a design firm whose sweet spot is healthcare companies of a certain size and you have lots of great existing accounts to use as references. With ABM, you can pull together your ultimate target list of accounts and create personalized campaigns, examples, and messages that speak to their specific challenges and goals.

Rather than marketing to 50,000 “leads,” you flip your focus to nurturing 3000 specific influencers at 1000 accounts.  This approach is said to have a much higher ROI than traditional marketing initiatives.


Before you tell us to wash our mouths out with soap, let us explain. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, savvy customers want to be addressed depending on where they are in the buyer's journey. Therefore, terms like "Top of the Funnel" and " Bottom of the Funnel" are used to help companies develop the right content, messaging, and website paths to match up exactly to where people are in their purchasing phase.

Here are a few examples. Let’s say we’re a wireless services company about to launch a new version of the hottest smart phone. In your campaign, you would want to make sure that at the TOFU, you have content available to help customers learn more. So you’d include lots of product intro videos, gorgeous emails with glossy designs, display cases, and pop-up shops for people to try the phone out, etc.

Let’s move to MOFU, your prospect is intrigued, they like what they see, but is it really worth making the change? This is where technical demos, features & benefits, and easy, high-level pricing comes in.

Finally, you’re there…the land of BOFU. To close the deal, testimonials and good customer service with opportunities to ask a million questions, goes a long way. 

Bounce Rate

This is the metric that determines the percentage of people that land on your website pages but click nothing. A high bounce rate indicates that something needs to be improved and some A/B Testing may be in order. If people come but aren't finding what they’re looking for, you get poor conversion rates. No one is sticking around long enough to buy anything. In this case, you need to refresh content, make sure that your message is clear and engaging, and evaluate your UX (more on this later).

Buyer Journey

You may LOVE the show Mad Men, but unlike the traditional sales and marketing of the 50's (think Don Draper et al.), buyers are incredibly informed about products and services.

Before buyers pull out their wallets or submit a PO to accounting, they have so much more data and information about your company, your history...and your competition. We may not even know it sometimes, but we are passengers on prospects’ buying journey.

The latest stat is: that 70% of the buyer's journey is complete before a buyer even reaches out to sales (SiriusDecisions) so we need to make sure that we establish a fantastic and complete digital presence that anticipates everything a buyer might need.

It starts with your audience gaining knowledge on a product or problem that they wish to resolve, and ends with the actual purchase itself. Everything in between are touch points and instances in which a marketer can influence and engage by personalizing outreach to the prospect. The buyer journey is the ultimate sweet spot for video marketing.

Buyer Persona

Since the buying process is more complex than it was back in the day, marketers now have to create a fictional persona of the customer to help align their efforts.

Typically based on market research and any real-time data of existing customer needs, personas are intended to assist in helping you get your message right to all of your potential customers. Once the message is right, you can craft the buyer's journey and make sure that you are attracting the best target audience for your business. To learn more about how to do this right, check out our latest post on this topic.


This is a common problem and it’s easily solvable; lack of CTAs or calls-to-action. Let’s start with an analogy. Imagine that you’ve constructed a gorgeous scenic route overlooking an amazing vista.

You did a great job promoting it as a destination stop for people to add to their vacation schedules, but you missed one big thing—no exits, no food stands, no gas stations, no hotels, no restaurants. In other words no opportunities for actions that can introduce ways for you to make enough money to maintain the upkeep on this gorgeous drive you have so painstakingly designed.

Imagine this road as your website, ad copy, video, social media feed, or email.  Your visitor hits a dead end, turns around and leaves. The majority of digital content should have some form of call-to-action to spur the reader into moving further down the funnel. This can be a text link, image, button, content form, or landing page.

Any effort to convert a visitor into a buyer is considered a CTA. But also beware of the opposite condition. Too many CTAs can confuse your audience. Give them one or two compelling options, and you’re likely to see results.


Like turning the pages of a magazine, you can also watch how people scan and browse your site. This can help determine the parts that are picking up traction and what isn't quite holding peoples' attention.

The CTR is typically calculated by the total number of clicks on a page vs. the amount of opportunities for someone to click there. If 10,000 people visited your Product Demo page last week, but only 25 watch the video and no one calls or fills out the form, there’s a definite conversion and click-through issue.

CTRs can also help you determine if your CTA's are worth it, placed in the right area, or are being ignored, so you can improve them.

Content Management System

A content-management-system (otherwise known as a CMS) is a platform for keeping things organized. If you have a library of images, videos, content, branding elements, etc, a CMS makes it easy to manage and scale a large repository of content. Thankfully, most websites have CMS systems built into the backend.

There are lots of excellent marketing and social automation tools out there that allow you to organize and push content. Think of yourself as the maestro of an orchestra- these types of platforms help you curate, search, edit, and track content on a large scale.

Conversion Rate

This is a popular metric that looks at the percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single web page. This can include taking action like filling out a form or purchasing a product. Pages with high conversion rates perform very well and generally lead to a higher ROI.

Dwell Time

The actual length of time a user spends on a page or a particular piece of content before returning to search results is a metric known as "dwell time." Simply put, it measures the amount of time someone dwells on your page and where they are hanging out (i.e. the spots that interest them the most).


Dynamic Content

If you are switching your message based on who is visiting your site, then this is considered dynamic content.

This can usually be seen with the use of different CTA's defined by the audience of focus. Therefore, you could have two landing pages or buttons that are displayed depending on the buyer journey. That is considered a dynamic concept and a key dynamic in personalization.

Engagement Rates

When it comes to measuring actions on social media or in video, it's all about engagement. Simply defined, this metric measures how involved people are with your content. Factors that influence engagement rates include user comments, postings, likes, completion rates, click-throughs and shares. Engagement rates are a helpful metric to evaluate how you’re doing?

Lifetime Value

An easy way to define customer acquisition strategy is by assigning each customer a value. Known as a lifetime value (LTV), it is roughly defined as the projected revenue of a customer over the course of their lifetime as your customer.

For example: say a client comes in purchasing one phone and basic accessories in year one. But she also has purchased twice the value of the phone in accessories in years two and three. This metric helps to estimate marketing costs to keep this customer happy.

LTV shows where to focus efforts over the long term (not just to get a customer), but to keep and grow them over time with products that are relevant. Some companies calculate their net profits based on the entire future relationships of their customers.


Dynamically tailoring your efforts to the wants and needs of each user/customer is how personalization works. You may already experience forms of personalization with companies like Facebook and Netflix, who make recommendations based on your personal purchases and online actions. Tailoring a service to accommodate very specific needs is part of the backbone of modern marketing.

Responsive Design

Most people are checking you out on their smartphone rather than their desktop or laptop. It is imperative that your web and all content is designed to be responsive in a variety of outlets.

If you build a website that is difficult to view on a mobile device, you may be losing more than half of your audience to inconvenience. Responsive design is part of every digital marketer's uniform content.

Return on Investment (ROI)

This metric is measured in almost every aspect of business—and digital marketing is no different. ROI compares the efficiency and profitability of investments. Therefore, when making all of these decisions based on numbers and metrics, it is important to continuously measure ROI to ensure you are on track with your efforts. The simplest way to calculate this ratio is gain minus cost. Learn more about how to measure the ROI of video here.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The holy grail of digital marketing is to make it onto on the first page of search results when people are looking for products or services in your industry. Intertwining intelligent SEO into your marketing and video strategy is like being featured as a feel-good 'Breaking News' story. All eyes are on you, you can’t be missed but it’s hard work to stay in heavy rotation.

There are a variety of components that can add to your page's overall SEO efficacy. This can include things like keywords, title tags, meta tags, page titles, image tags, internal structure, and inbound links—to name a few.

The most important factor is intent and relevancy. You can use the same 20 keywords 1000 times in a page, but unless the context is there, Google and other search engines will not recognize you.

Unique Visitor

If someone has never visited your page, it makes them a unique visitor. This is typically defined by their IP address and is marked in your system files.

Mind you, security is a major issue so IP addresses are now more dynamic than ever. But what this does for marketers is provide a metric that allows you to figure out, in contrast to overall site visits, is your new audience growing? Is your traffic healthy?

User Experience (UX)

Ultimately, all sales and marketing comes down to is the experience. Competition is more prevalent than ever.  Customers are incredibly smart, with limitless resources at their fingertips. They don't need to be patronized, they need to be educated, engaged, and provided with value.

By definition, User Experience (UX) refers to a person's emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system, or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful, and valuable aspects of interaction with your product and website.

The overall takeaway a customer has of your brand (from discovery and awareness to interaction and purchase) leads to how they define their buyer journey and if they would do it again.

If you have any questions about these terms or how video plays into these digital metrics and strategies, give us a call. We're always willing to talk shop.