Digital Marketing Dictionary: 10 Buzzwords Defined

person reading book on digital marketing terms

The field of digital marketing is constantly changing and evolving – and as a result, so is the language used by its professionals. Trying to make sense of all the acronyms and jargon can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a background in marketing or communications.

To help demystify the language of this field, we’ve broken down 10 common digital marketing terms in layperson’s terms.

Algorithm

Each digital marketing channel has its own algorithm – a set of rules that establish how content is being seen and prioritized – that is meant to better connect customers to what they want to see. These algorithms are seemingly ever-changing, so understanding how they work is key to making sure you’re effectively reaching your audience. 

B2B and B2C

B2B (business to business) companies market goods and services directly to the decision makers of other businesses. B2C (business to consumer) companies market their goods and services to customers for personal use. While B2B and B2C marketing strategies have similar best practices, the specifics of your business strategy will depend on your audience.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona refers to a representation of your target customer, based on data from market research as well as your existing customers. When creating a buyer persona, you might consider their demographics, motivations and goals, and what your business can do for them. This information can help you focus your marketing efforts in the right places. For more guidance on creating a buyer persona, check out this blog from our client, Go Narrative.

CMS

A CMS (content management system) is any application used to produce and publish your online content. Multiple users can log into a CMS to create, store, edit and publish that content. Some popular CMS platforms include WordPress, Squarespace and Wix, though there are countless others.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors that complete a desired goal or task (e.g., sales, email signups, or form completions) out of the total number of visitors. A high conversion rate indicates that your marketing strategy is working – people are interested in what you have to offer and are following the necessary steps to get it.

Engagement

On social media, engagement refers to how people are interacting with your content. While each platform has its own mechanics, people will ideally follow your accounts and regularly like, share, and leave positive comments on your posts. It’s important to remember that engagement is a two-way street – if you’re interacting regularly with your customers and other businesses, it’s more likely they’ll interact with you.

Metadata

A website’s metadata refers to what appears on search engine result pages. This includes the meta title (title of the page) as well as the meta description (the text that appears below the title, usually a brief overview of the page content). Optimizing metadata is one great way to organically boost your search engine ranking.

Organic Growth

Whether you’re looking at social media or search engine results, any growth is either organic or paid. Organic growth refers to increased customer reach without any kind of promotion or payment. On the other hand, paid growth comes from posts that are “boosted” (i.e., more likely to show up in people’s searches or feeds) for a fee. Both organic and paid growth have their place in marketing – the strategy will depend on what your company needs.

SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of organically increasing both the quality and quantity of traffic to your page. A strong SEO strategy helps ensure that your pages are higher-ranked and will come up more often when people are searching for specific keywords. In other words, it helps more people who are interested in your business to actually see and click through your page. A quick note: SEO and SEM (search engine marketing) are not interchangeable terms. SEM is the practice of increasing a website’s visibility through organic search engine results as well as advertising. SEO is one of many strategies used within SEM.

Thought Leadership

A thought leader is someone who’s considered an expert in their industry and uses their knowledge to offer guidance to others. Thought leadership typically involves creating and sharing content that you as an influencer who can offer solid insights and identify trends before they arise. Our client, NB Talent Services, published a great blog explaining more about how to become a thought leader!

If you’re ready to power up your marketing strategy, we’re here to help. Lightning Media Partners offers social media marketing, content marketing, and SEO services. Get more details on our services here or contact us with questions.

What is the Ideal Word Count for My Business Blog?

ideal blog post length | open laptop with blank notebook and pen

Content marketing is a great way to increase your credibility as a business and cultivate brand awareness. By offering consumers information and insight on relative topics, you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your industry while building trust from your audience.

There are many forms of content marketing today, from social media to blogs. If you’re interested in starting a business blog for your company, you’ll want to understand the best practices to drive the results you’re aiming for. One major factor to consider is your word count.

You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much text or filler words, but you also don’t want to skimp on them either. To help you, we did some research on the ideal blog post length for certain business goals. Here’s what we found.

Quality vs. quantity

With so many digital distractions today, it can be difficult to hold your audience for more than just a few minutes. That’s why you should aim to make your content as easily digestible — and interesting — as possible.

First and foremost, when drafting a blog post, your priority should be creating insightful and informative content. While its quantity, or length, plays a major role in its success, a blog post will not drive the right results if it’s lacking in quality.

Focus on following a specific structure with subheadings, bullet points, lists and keywords, as well as including links to sources and relative stats. Back your claims with research, but also speak from your own experience in a professional yet conversational tone.

Additionally, make sure you’re answering any questions your readers might have and hitting all the points associated with the topic. You can do this by reading similar articles on the subject and doing SEO research to better target your audience.

Factors to consider for your blog post length

The average blog post length in 2019 was 1,236 words (53% longer than six years ago), with word count slowly increasing each year. But a higher word count doesn’t automatically mean your blog post will be successful or well-read.

Before you can determine your ideal word count, consider your goals for your blog. What do you hope it helps you achieve? Maybe you want to rank high on search engines to widen your reach, or perhaps you’d like to increase your brand awareness or engagement levels.

Depending on your objectives, you might experiment with different word counts and see which post lengths perform best. For example, if you’re trying to improve your SEO rankings, you’ll want to aim higher (upwards of 2000 words) than you would if you were focusing merely on engagement (max 600 words).

To rank in search engines, keywords are a must; and the more words you have, the more opportunities there are to hit the recommended keywords. However, if you’re going to write lengthy posts, your content will have to maintain its quality throughout the piece. Writing aimlessly simply to reach word count will not bode well.

If your main mission is to engage and connect with your readers, such as by encouraging comments and discussions, you’ll want to keep the piece short, simple and to-the-point — typically no more than 600 words.

For generating social shares and cultivating brand awareness, on the other hand, try to find a middle ground. You don’t need to reach 2,000 words, but you should have at least 600 under your belt, with the sweet spot somewhere between the two.

Best practices for your business blog

Now that you’ve mapped out your priorities and assessed your goals, you can consider the general best practices of business blogging. Here a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Write at least 300 words. Your blog post is highly unlikely to even be ranked by search engines if it doesn’t reach this amount. Also, if you’re keeping it this short, you may be missing some important key points. Think outside the box to bulk up your content with quality information, like stats, firsthand anecdotes or even expert interviews.
  • Aim for at least 1,000 words for better SEO. You’ll have a much greater chance of ranking if a blog post is at least 1000 words. Again, your word count depends on your goals for the post/your blog, but good SEO will help you better reach your consumers in the first place.
  • Break up your content. Use subheadings, lists, bullet points, etc. This will help keep your readers’ attention. They’re more likely to lose focus if they’re reading chunks of long-form writing than if they’re consuming short, digestible bits at a time.
  • Include keywords. Your readers won’t find your posts if you don’t include important keywords. Do your research to learn which keywords are best in relation to your topic.
  • Focus on your readers. While SEO is important, you should never lose sight of your audience. Keep their needs in mind while you’re writing, and cater your posts to them. What do they want to know? What is something only you can offer them? Don’t be afraid to ask them directly before writing your post, and try to allow comments on your blog to encourage feedback/further engagement.
  • Experiment with different lengths. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different post lengths. See what works best for your company and its objectives, and take note of the specific benefits each mark has.
  • Be consistent with posting schedule. Don’t just post whenever you have a new idea; make sure you’re consistent. You can achieve this by creating a content calendar that manages your blog posts topics/posting schedules, as well as its respective social posts for increased engagement.
  • Outsource your blog to experts. Company blogs have the potential to really ramp up your marketing strategy; but as a business owner, it can be difficult to give yours the attention it needs. If you’re unable to dedicate the right amount of time and effort to your blog, look to an agency that offers its expert services, so you can focus on the work you’re best at — without missing out on content marketing’s potential. 

Need help creating great blog content for your audience? Lightning Media Partners offers content marketing packages to help you meet your business goals. Contact us for more information.

You Published a Blog — Now What?

promote your blog post | blog post on laptop screen

You found a niche you can fill by creating consistent, quality content and crafted blog posts with the best intentions for bringing in views — carefully chosen keywords, compelling titles, smart meta descriptions and helpful images.

Without taking additional steps to share your blog, you’ll likely lose out on connecting with the audience you’re hoping for. After all, there are over 500 million blogs on the internet, with new ones created every day.

To engage with your followers and expand your audience, here are seven strategies you can adopt to promote your blog post.

1. Create and publish social media content for all your brand’s channels with unique visuals.   

The average person spends almost two and a half hours a day on social media. 

According to Statista, globally, Facebook has the most user activity, with over 2 billion active monthly users, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Your brand should have a presence on more than one social media platform, but promoting your blog is more than posting links. Each platform has a unique interface and user experience, so you’ll need to take time and care to tailor content to the strengths and expectations of the platform.      

Take this example from Lightning Media Partners’ recent blog post:

Screenshot of Lightning Media Partners LinkedIn post promoting a recent blog post
A Lightning Media Partners blog post shared on LinkedIn
Screenshot of Instagram post promoting a Lightning Media Partners blog.
The same Lightning Media Partners blog post shared on Instagram.

LinkedIn is a social media platform focused on professional development and networking. Users come to LinkedIn to interact with recruiters and professionals in their fields. They aren’t looking for entertainment. Because of this, LinkedIn favors succinct, no-frills content. Instagram, however, is a network with a more casual feel, created specifically for sharing photos and videos. Successful content on Instagram has artistic visuals and easily-accessible language.

Pay attention to the culture of the social media platforms linked to your brand. By creating unique content for each of your outlets to promote your blog post, users will be more likely to view and find your content.

2. Share it directly with industry peers and colleagues who might find it interesting.

You know who your content is created for, so share it with those in your network who might utilize it. Is there a problem your blog can speak to? Offer a solution through an email or social post that pulls from content in your blog, and share the link. If your content is useful, your connections may pass it on to others as a resource. 

There’s no guarantee to word-of-mouth sharing, but promoting your blog through real-life applications may give you insight into whether or not your content is useful. This can help you decide if your content needs a new direction or a new audience. 

3. Send out an email newsletter to your subscribers.

Email is a common way to connect with followers. Most internet users check their email regularly, with the ability to do so almost anywhere. It’s inexpensive and beginner-friendly, and with email tools, you can manage distribution lists, include links to social media profiles and even personalize newsletters to address subscribers by name.

The voice and feel of your newsletter should match the content of your blog. However, your newsletter shouldn’t just be a repost of text. Why should someone read your blog? Why is it relevant right now? Think about how the content of your blog posts relates to seasons, local events or current events. If you have an older post that can use a little love, this can be a great way to get more views and revive content.

4. Reach out to media contacts who cover the topic you wrote about.

This can be a challenge if you are still establishing a budget and authority on your content. However, if you are able to prove that your content knowledge and expression are worth sharing, you can increase your exposure and brand awareness to audiences that are already engaging with specialized content related to your niche.

For example, podcasts, due to their specificity and convenience of access, cultivate a unique loyalty in media. By being a guest or advertising on a podcast that is targeted at a similar audience to your brand’s, you can bring appreciative eyes to your blog — with viewers who will be more likely to share it with like-minded people.  

5. Run a paid social media ad to promote your post.

Posting to your brand’s social media pages and accounts will get your content to your current followers, but to reach a larger audience, consider using paid advertising. With paid ads, your social media posts can be promoted to users who aren’t followering your account — yet — based on demographics you select for your target audience.

Who needs your content and finds it interesting? Where do they “hang out?” Understand this, and budget for advertising on the platforms your audience is most likely to use.

6. Republish it on a self-publishing platform like LinkedIn or Medium.

Once your post is indexed by Google, consider republishing it for more readership.

Medium is a collection of published material — amateur and professional — with over 120 million readers. By creating an account, you can directly import your blog post to Medium to republish. From there, subscribed readers will be recommended your blog post if its content matches their interests. 

LinkedIn also has a built-in publishing platform that will share articles you write with connections and followers. Articles remain on your LinkedIn profile and can be searched, so they have lasting power compared to posts. When republishing on LinkedIn, consider sharing the most relevant parts of your blog post if you are constricted by word count.  

7. Share your link on content aggregator sites or community forums for more exposure.

Where do people go when they don’t go to Google? Content aggregator sites and community forums.

Reddit, known as “the front page of the internet,” is a combination of both. With “subreddits,” communities dedicated to specific (sometimes very specific) subjects, you can find audiences who will be exceptionally receptive to your content. However, beware self-promotion posting. Reddit users are especially negative toward users who post simply to promote their own content, and many community rules won’t allow it.

If you’re planning to share your blog with Reddit, other aggregator sites or a community forum (like a Facebook group), make sure you’ve established yourself as a community member and regular contributor to conversations — and only share links to your content when it is addressing a particular community need.

To bring awareness to your blog and your brand, try one of these promotion strategies. Each works best when it is given focus and time to develop.

If you need help with creating great blog content and/or implementing any of these tactics, Lightning Media Partners offers content marketing packages that can meet your brand’s needs.

What Does a Content Marketing Agency Do?

open laptop on table with mug and book

You wake up and grab your phone. Before leaving bed, you read an email newsletter. Throughout the day, you stream videos, listen to a podcast, and post a photo to a weekly Instagram challenge. It may not feel like it, but these pieces of your everyday experience are the result of a  business’s content marketing strategy.

What is content marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

In other words, content marketing is a way to sell products and services without overtly “selling” something. Instead, as people regularly engage with content that provides something meaningful their lives – information, entertainment, or community support – they arrive at decisions to use a business’s products or services because of the knowledge and experiences the business has provided them.

Let’s return to that email newsletter you read this morning. It was casual, and it had tips about healthy living. You started receiving it weekly when you attended a local nighttime cooking class. You like everything you’ve been learning and trying from the emails, and you’re looking forward to attending another class. 

This is content marketing at work. You, the customer, are interacting with valuable (gaining new knowledge and skills), relevant (related to your health), consistent (weekly) content, and it’s driving you to profitable action (attending another class) for the business.

Content marketing works because it makes customers more than consumers. They are actively part of a business’s mission and experience. They develop trust in a business – because it’s doing more than selling to them. It’s helping them solve problems and work toward personal or professional fulfillment.

Content marketing can work for any kind of organization, and success means more than profit. It’s holding onto customers and getting leads. A good content marketing strategy also saves money per lead, over time.

What does a content marketing agency do?

Content marketing is more than emails. It’s blog articles, audio, video, online communities, free and paid apps, interactive experiences (like using QR codes), augmented reality, virtual reality, and more. It’s what people interact with in their everyday lives.

Here are a few common tasks that a content marketing agency might handle for its clients:

Copywriting

In 2018, 55% of marketers designated blogging as their top content marketing priority. Why? It’s a way to reach customers that allows them to digest content and build familiarity at their own leisure. A business can use the copywriting services of a content marketing agency to ensure consistency and quality content – written by professionals experienced with producing content and employing best marketing practices.

Social media marketing

Globally, 3.2 billion people are on social media, and many people access social media throughout the day on their phones. A content marketing agency’s social media marketing services can help businesses find unique ways to connect with their customers in a way that speaks to their personal needs and interests, building relationships that are a natural part of customers’ everyday experiences.

Search engine optimization

Good content retains customers, but customers and leads must be able to find content. SEO (search engine optimization) services provided by a content marketing agency improve business content by using analytics tools, making it more likely to be indexed by search engines and accessed by internet users .

Paid marketing

A good content marketing plan can be supplemented with advertisements. With a variety of digital venues for advertisement, navigating set-up and follow-through can be overwhelming. A content marketing agency can generate advertisements aligned with a business vision and overall marketing strategy.

Public relations

Businesses uncertain about tackling individual pieces of a marketing plan can rely on a content marketing agency to help with their  public relations strategy. By working with an agency on PR initiatives, a business can get help developing a brand, setting goals, and getting media attention from relevant publications and influencers.

Developing and implementing a content marketing strategy is a long-term investment for a business. Through engaging customers with content they connect to their personal goals and experiences, content marketing builds a reliable customer base that leads to business profit and visibility. 

If your business is interested in developing or improving its content marketing strategies, Lightning Media Partners can help. Learn more about our comprehensive service packages here.

5 Things Content Marketing Can Do for Your Business

Content marketing is a popular form of marketing today, with brands across all industries starting conversations as ways to connect with their customers. There are various types of content marketing, from infographics to podcasts and blog posts to videos. But what can content marketing do for your business? Is it really worth the time and energy to produce a constant stream of relevant, engaging content across multiple channels?

If you’re considering content marketing for your business, we’re here to give you a gentle push to help you commit. Here are five things content marketing can help your business achieve.

1. Establish your relevance and expertise

When you share what you know about a given subject, especially in an organized, entertaining manner, you are essentially telling consumers they can trust you and your insight. Your tone must exude confidence to draw consumers to your brand, convincing them you are an expert in your industry — because you are.

By brainstorming new topic ideas and following a consistent posting schedule, you can become a go-to for information on specific topics. This will persuade customers to trust your products and services because, as you’ve portrayed, you do know best. As you continue to produce quality content, you’ll gain a loyal and growing audience who views you as credible and trustworthy.

2. Raise awareness of your products/services

By writing content based around your products and services, you’re ultimately spreading awareness and identifying a specific gap that you bridge in your industry. For example, say you’re a coffee roaster selling only fresh and organic coffee; you might maintain a blog with posts about the downsides of conventional coffee, and why organic coffee is the healthier choice. Or perhaps you’ll create a video about how you roast your own coffee. These insightful pieces of content will raise awareness of your brand and highlight the importance of its products and services.

3. Increase sales

Good content marketing is like free advertising. Sure, you’ll have to invest your time in the process; but it is an affordable option for businesses of all sorts and sizes.

Because your content drives traffic to your site and helps your consumers make more sound purchasing decisions, it seamlessly increases sales. Your customers will feel more informed and be in the right position to decide whether they need or want a specific product or service you offer. However, they should not feel pressured in any way to do so. When done right, good content marketing will help customers make the subconscious decision to choose your brand.

4. Build trust with consumers

According to research by the Content Marketing Institute, 96 percent of successful content marketers say their audience views their organization as a credible and trusted resource. By creating content specifically for your customers, you are providing insight and solutions without asking for anything in return. Of course, they have the option to then look into your products and services if their needs align with your offerings; but this accessible information is priceless to them.

Additionally, consumers will see you as human rather than just a company looking for money. When you invest in getting to know them better and their needs, they’ll feel more comfortable doing business with you.

5. Help you better target your ideal audience

When producing content for an audience, many content marketers create “buyer personas,” or characters who represent real consumers. The Content Marketing Institute found that 73 percent of those surveyed used or planned to use personas for content marketing purposes at the end of last year.

Your content marketing strategy should involve communicating with your audience, either in the comments section of your blog or even at in-person events. Getting to know your customers on a more personal level is crucial to understanding their wants, needs and habits. 

Small businesses especially will benefit from this tactic, as their consumers are typically more niche. When you’re cultivating your content, simply ask yourself what your personas would want to better understand and deliver accordingly.

Content marketing is an affordable and relatively simple option for all business. By injecting your personality and insight into your content, you are building lasting relationships with your consumers and strengthening your brand’s voice.

No time for content marketing? We can help! Check out our blog management and social media management packages, or contact us to ask about a la carte copywriting services.