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Digital Marketing Acronyms and Terms to Know

Amanda Scheldt
Last Updated April 17, 2024 12:42 am

Many companies have had to evolve their businesses to meet consumer wants and needs in new ways. One area that is evolving consistently and dramatically is digital marketing. 

Digital marketing uses websites, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and similar digital media to market products and services to consumers. As this field grows, new terms and acronyms are popping up daily. Let’s explore digital marketing, its importance to businesses, and some of the most common acronyms and terms used in the industry today.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a form of marketing that uses digital avenues to reach consumers or businesses online. This marketing type includes advertising through search engines, social media platforms, and websites. It also engages with audiences through video content, e-newsletters, and email campaigns.

The goal of digital marketing is to trigger more sales leads by using innovative technology solutions to increase brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales conversions. Digital marketing promotes products and services, builds customer relationships, and creates awareness about the brand or product.

Why Is Digital Marketing Important for Businesses?

Digital marketing is an effective way for businesses to reach customers. It’s scalable, relatively low-cost, and can be used by most companies, from small businesses to large corporations. 

While traditional media marketing techniques work for some companies, they often require a significant investment of time and money. Digital marketing allows businesses to scale their marketing efforts to reach the right audience at a lower cost; digital markets are often able to pursue several marketing campaigns simultaneously because of how digital marketing pipelines can work together and feed into future campaigns.

Sales Acronyms and Terms in Digital Marketing

Digital marketing lays the foundation for businesses to generate more sales. Here are some of the common acronyms and terms used for sales within digital marketing:

  • Sales Funnel: The visual illustration of the customer journey, portraying the sales process from initial awareness of the product or service to taking direct action to purchase it.
  • Sales Forecasting: The process of evaluating future revenue by predicting the number of products or services a sales unit will sell within a coming period.
  • Bottom of Funnel (BOFU): Strategic content marketed and aimed at moving a potential customer from the lower levels of the sales funnel into the purchasing stage. In other words, this stage is about producing content that encourages perspectives to turn into buyers.
  • Middle of Funnel (MOFU): Content created for the pre-buying stage where consumers learn more about the product, services offered, and how it compares to competitors.
  • Top of Funnel (TOFU): Strategic content that aims to build initial brand awareness and rapport with consumers, such as blogs, social media posts, and newsletters.
  • Business-to-Business (B2B): Products and services geared toward other companies, such as wholesalers and retailers or software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies.
  • Business-to-Consumer (B2C): Products and services created specifically for consumers.
  • Online Lead Generation: Building customer interest in products and services on the internet.
  • Customer Funnel: A marketing model that represents the customer’s journey toward purchasing a product or service.
  • Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA): The four stages of content development and goals for the sales funnel. Attract awareness to the brand, generate interest in the product or service, stimulate a desire for it, and spur action for people to try or buy it.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): A prospective buyer who has been researched and vetted by both the marketing and sales departments as someone who is interested and able to make a purchase; SQLs then move to the next stage of the sales cycle. 
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL):  How much it costs for an organization to acquire a sales lead.
  • Conversion Rate (CR): How many website visitors complete a desired action on a web page, such as purchasing a product or service.
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA): An agreement between a business’s sales and marketing teams that defines their expectations for efforts to drive revenue.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): The relationship between businesses and consumers and how that relationship is nurtured. This term is also frequently used to describe CRM software and platforms that support these efforts.

Also read: Best Sales Software for Businesses

Social Media Marketing Acronyms and Terms

Social media marketing is the use of social media networking outlets and websites to promote a business’s product or service. It allows companies to market their products and services to a broader audience, which helps them build authority and rapport in their industry. This type of digital marketing involves posting regular updates that users can share on their newsfeeds while creating a more significant following and audience for the business. Here are some social media marketing acronyms and terms to know:

  • Social Media (SM): Websites and digital applications that allow users to share and create content and network with others.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM): Describes the use of social media websites and platforms for digital marketing strategies.
  • Influencer: A social media user, often a celebrity, who has gained a substantial following and uses that following to influence users into buying products or services.
  • Influencer Marketing: When businesses hire relevant influencers to market the company’s products or services to their followers in order to increase brand awareness.
  • Macro-Influencer: Someone with 1 million or more followers on at least one social media platform.
  • Micro-Influencer: Someone who has 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers on at least one social media platform.
  • Social Listening: The strategy of actively listening to conversations around a business brand, its content, and the digital environment.
  • User-Generated Content (UGC): Social sharing of content from clients or customers who showcase brand loyalty or appreciation.
  • Geotargeting: Focusing digital marketing to a specific user group by location, ZIP code, device, or IP address.
  • Hashtag: A social media tag that connects similar content and like-minded followers of that type of social media content. 
  • Vanity Metric: Any metric that doesn’t align with a conversion for the business’s digital marketing goals. Examples include the number of followers, page likes, and subscribers.
  • Trending Topic: A popular subject or conversation that spreads rapidly and quickly on social media. Trending topics can be local, national, regional, or international.
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI): An analytical measurement used to calculate the performance of social media campaigns for businesses.
  • Engagement Rate: Measures how the audience engages with content on a platform. Metrics include likes, comments, shares, favorites, and retweets.
  • Social Media Optimization (SMO): How businesses manage all aspects of their brand’s online presence and improve, based on both quantitative and qualitative feedback over time.
  • Dark Post: A sponsored message on a social media website that is not published to the sponsor page timeline and will not display in follower feeds organically. They often appear in a conceptual format that blends them with organic posts.
  • Live Stream: A digital video stream filmed live with no prior editing on social media channels, such as Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitch.
  • Audience: The viewers and consumers of digital content.
  • Reach: The total number of people who see your content.
  • Boosted Post: Paid advertising campaign that expands a post’s reach; Boosted posts can frequently target specific audience demographics.
  • Sponsored Post: A paid post on social media geared to reach a wider audience. Many sponsored posts promote a specific business product or service.
  • Dark Social: Describes the “invisible” shares that happen through channels like messengers, email, and text messages.
  • Social Selling: Using a brand’s social media presence to connect with prospects and engage with potential leads.
  • Paid Social: Sponsored promotion content on third-party social networking platforms, used to target specific customers.
  • Clickbait: Content designed to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a specific website or page.
  • Impressions: The number of times your content is shown to users, whether it’s clicked or not.

Also read: Best Social Media Marketing Software

Email Marketing Acronyms and Terms

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to do digital marketing, considering marketing emails and newsletters go straight to consumer inboxes. Email marketing can reach customers and provide them with valuable content in a more personalized way. Below is a list of email marketing acronyms and terms that are frequently used:

  • Hard Bounce: When an email is returned to the sender for reasons such as a wrong domain address. 
  • Email Campaign: A marketing campaign designed to promote a product or service to email subscribers with the goal to convert them into customers.
  • Email Service Provider (ESP): A company that offers software that helps email marketers send out marketing campaigns to subscribers.
  • Soft Bounce: Email that fails to deliver for temporary reasons, such as a full inbox or too large of a file size.
  • Subscribe: An action taken by a website visitor to join the company’s email list. 
  • Opt-In: An action taken by a user to sign up and confirm that they wish to receive emails from a business. 
  • Double Opt-In: A subscriber goes through a two-step process to subscribe to emails. This process is usually a standard sign-up form followed by a confirmation email with a link to confirm their opt-in to emails.
  • Unsubscribe: An action taken by an email subscriber who no longer wants to receive marketing or information emails from a business. 
  • Email Automation: This process is set up within the email service provider platform to send automated emails to subscribers, such as “thank you for subscribing” emails. 
  • Call to Action (CTA): A targeted message or link that encourages readers to take a specific action, such as “start a free trial” or “talk with our tech team.”
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR): Estimates how many people clicked on an image, hyperlink, CTA, or other clickable feature in an email.
  • Bulk Emails: A marketing email that is sent out to a large group of people at one time. It is not personalized and is frequently used for sale promotions or new product launches.
  • Acceptance Rate: Ratio of emails sent that are accepted by recipients’ email servers.
  • A/B Testing: The process of testing two versions of a message to see which is the most effective one for the target audience.

Also read: Best Email Marketing Software

Internet and SEO Marketing Acronyms and Terms

The internet and search engines, such as Google and Bing, are significant traffic drivers for most digital marketing practices. Search engines use complex algorithms to determine which sites rank at the top of their search results. These factors are often called ranking factors, and businesses can employ some simple techniques to improve how their website ranks. These are some of the most important internet and SEO marketing acronyms and terms used within digital marketing:

  • Algorithm: Specific rules and operations that a computer or server follows to power search results. 
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Data-based strategies to optimize a website to rank higher on search engine result pages.
  • Page Views (PV): The number of views or impressions a web page has received.
  • Analytics: Data that has been processed to show performance and activity patterns. Google Analytics is a commonly used analytics tool in digital marketing.
  • Unique Visitor: The number of individual visitors who have visited a website in a given time period. Repeat visits are not counted toward this number.
  • User Experience (UX): The general experience that a consumer has with a brand and its digital properties.
  • Backlink: A link back to a business’s site that is found on another site.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): A strategy used to grow the visibility of a website in search engine results.
  • Search Engine Results Page (SERP): A search engine’s results page for the top-ranking websites, based on relevant keyword searches.
  • Search Engine Market Optimization (SEMO): An organic search marketing strategy used to boost a website’s online visibility and aimed at ranking at the top on search engine results pages.
  • Keyword: A word or phrase used as the focus of a piece of content. Keywords are often targeted toward common user queries on search engines.
  • Keyword Density: The amount of times a keyword appears on a page as a percentage of the overall word count.
  • Keyword Stuffing: Method of packing a webpage with keywords or numbers to influence the site’s ranking in Google search results. Google frequently penalizes pages for blatant keyword stuffing.
  • Gated Content: Content placed behind a lead capture form.
  • Average Response Time (ART): The amount of time the application server takes to produce results for a user request or query.
  • Relevancy Score: – Estimated based on expected ad feedback from its target audience.
  • Sentiment Analysis: Determining whether content contains negative, positive, or neutral emotions.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): Improving website conversion by employing design methods, essential optimization principles, and site testing.
  • Google Analytics: Statistics about a website’s traffic and sources that also measures conversions and sales from Google.
  • Rich Site Summary (RSS): Web feed that publishes frequently updated information, such as blog posts.
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): Manage the design and display of web pages on websites, including the color, look, and overall feel.
  • Domain Name System (DNS): Server that translates web addresses into one or more IP addresses.
  • Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA): Method of differentiating between humans and online bots through user authentication. 
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): A process by which a marketer pays the publisher each time their ad is clicked.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): Funds spent when an ad is clicked while running PPC campaigns.

Also read: Best SEO Tools to Increase Website Traffic

Digital Marketing Career Acronyms and Terms

There are countless career avenues in digital marketing. These are some of the most common digital marketing career acronyms and terms used throughout the industry:

  • Content Writer: Writes and edits content for business marketing materials and websites, such as blog posts or articles.
  • Copywriter: Writes marketing copy for ads, landing pages, and other sales pages.
  • Social Media Manager (SMM): Handles a business’s social media channels for social media marketing. This can include social media content strategy, post scheduling, and platform-based customer service support.
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO): Oversees the marketing team and marketing strategy.
  • Content Manager (CM): Manages the development, distribution, and strategic efforts for brand messaging and content production.
  • Content Marketing Manager (CMM): Similar to a content manager, content marketing managers manage the overall marketing team, including writers, editors, and social media marketers.
  • Growth Marketing Manager (GMM): A data-driven role that oversees SEO or paid promotional content. 
  • Product Marketing Manager (PMM): In charge of a product’s positioning, messaging, and branding, with the ultimate goal of selling products for customer retention. 
  • Marketing Automation Specialist: Manages programs or software to perform routine marketing tasks without constant human intervention.
  • Demand Generation Manager: Builds and nurtures long-term customer relationships with brand awareness; also branches into new consumer markets for business growth.
  • Email Marketing Manager: Oversees the email marketing team, developing strategies and creating campaigns for the business.
  • Account Executive (AE): Works within sales teams to maintain client account relationships for the business. 
  • Brand Manager: Ensures all messaging the company releases is on-brand and drives key marketing strategies.
  • SEO Manager: Oversees SEO strategy and goals for digital marketing content on web properties.

Read next: Best Free Digital Marketing Tools and Software