Wednesday, April 24, 2019

What Is a Marketing Consultant? A 1-Minute Rundown

Thanks to movies like Office Space and Up In The Air, if a company hires consultants, it doesn’t send the best message to their employees. A lot of times, their initial reaction is to think they’re not performing well enough or that the company is downsizing. In reality, though, most companies hire consultants to augment their employees’ efforts, not replace them.

Consultants might get a bad rap from time to time, but, in general, they’re more like a helpful advisor than an heir apparent. If you’re interested in becoming a marketing consultant, here’s a quick rundown of what marketing consultants are, their core responsibilities, and their average salary.

Marketing Consultant Salary

According to over 2,100 marketing consultant salaries submitted to Glassdoor, the average marketing consultant salary based on years of experience, and not on industry, company size, or city, in the United States is the following:

  • 0-1 Years: $39,145
  • 1-3 Years: $41,386
  • 4-6 Years: $47,234
  • 7-9 Years: $52,667
  • 10-14 Years: $53,372
  • 15+ Years: $60,974

Goals vs Objectives: The Simple Breakdown

Whether you're working on a team project or defining goals for an entire company, it's critical your employees are on the same page when it comes to terminology.

"Goals" and "Objectives" often seem like two interchangeable phrases. "We have ambitious goals for 2019," you might tell your marketing team, following up with, "Our objectives are aggressive, but entirely possible."

When used in a marketing context, it's easy to misconstrue goals and objectives. To ensure efficiency and unity, then, it's vital your employees are up-to-date on the two terms you likely use when outlining your quarterly and yearly strategy.

Here, we'll explain the difference between goals and objectives to make sure there is no ambiguity when it comes to your long-term and short-term marketing plans.
Download your free marketing goal-setting template here. 

Goals are undoubtedly critical to your business's success. Ultimately, your company's goals need to align with your vision and purpose, and propel each employee's individual actions and decisions.

For instance, let's say this year your leadership team has outlined three broad goals for your company:

1. Create a more inclusive workplace culture

2. Grow international brand awareness

3. Increase customer retention by 40%

Great ... now what?

Here's where objectives come into play -- objectives are essentially the measurable actions you can take to achieve your overall goals. Typically, you'd use the S.M.A.R.T. criteria to define and measure specific objectives.

"Create a more inclusive workplace culture" is an admirable and important goal to have, but it's vague and too broad to measure -- does "more inclusive" mean one diversity and inclusion panel discussion, or does it mean a 10% increase in women in leadership positions?

Ultimately, your objectives will help your employees understand exactly what you expect from them.

For instance, let's say you inform your marketing department that your overall goal is to "grow international brand awareness".

Now, when your social media marketing manager is crafting her quarterly video campaign, she'll think to herself -- Hmm. How can I increase international brand awareness?

She can cater her objectives to fit company goals, as well as her own personal vision. Perhaps she decides, "To demonstrate my success at increasing international brand awareness, my objectives for my video marketing campaign will be a) 10% of all form submissions come from outside the U.S., and b) an increase in engagement from Spanish-speaking Facebook fans by 5%."

Your social media marketing manager can then use her unique objectives to measure whether or not she's contributing to the larger company goal of increasing international brand awareness.

As you can see, objectives can be uniquely tailored to fit each departments' needs, and allow for a large amount of autonomy. By instilling clear and firm company goals, you can feel confident that your employees are all working in the same direction, but taking largely different steps (e.g. objectives) to end up at the same finish line.

There's one more term differentiation you need to know -- objectives versus strategy.

Referencing our example above, let's say your social media marketing manager decides one of her objectives will be "an increase in engagement from Spanish-speaking Facebook fans by 5%".

This is aligned with your company's goal to increase international brand awareness.

A strategy, then, tells your employee or team how she can accomplish her objectives. For instance, your social media marketing manager might decide to focus her paid efforts on Spanish-speaking countries, using Facebook's location targeting features. Alternatively, maybe she decides to cultivate partnerships with international companies, and posts videos in Spanish on Facebook specifically highlighting the work of those international organizations.

Both of these options are examples of strategies.

Her strategy might change over time. She might decide her paid efforts aren't working, and try something else. Ultimately, however, her objective (increase engagement from Spanish-speaking Facebook fans by 5%) should remain the same.

free marketing goal setting template

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

5 Tips to Improve the Performance of Your PPC Campaigns

Let's say you're tracking the performance of your pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. After all that hard work and PPC strategizing you put toward improving your performance grade, how's the traffic looking? Is it a steep climb, or are you unimpressed with the result?

Some of us come off as natural all-star rock climbers, while others are left frigid, timid, and stuck to the crevices of the wall.

What's the secret? As with most things: proper training. And if you don't have any, don't worry -- there's still hope.

Fix these common ecommerce conversion mistakes to grow your business. 

We here at KlientBoost have partnered with HubSpot to bring you some rock solid tactics that you can use to get a grip on the whole PPC thing. Below, you'll learn how to run a PPC campaign on a few of the most common platforms, followed by five tips for how to maximize your campaign's performance.

1. Choose a platform for your PPC campaign.

Your first step in running a new PPC campaign is to decide on which platform to run it. Google Ads are perhaps the most popular PPC campaign among today's marketers, but did you know social networks like Facebook and Twitter also offer pay-per-click advertisements?

Here's how each of these common ad platforms work.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads allow you to place "sponsored" posts on the newsfeeds of users who identify with specific audience characteristics set by you, the advertiser. Using this platform, you can choose your ad's objective -- including brand awareness, website traffic, and store visits -- your target audience, budget, and ad format. Facebook will then place your ad on the newsfeeds of users who match your choices, and charge you every time this ad is clicked.

Twitter Ads

Twitter Ads work similarly to Facebook Ads. Using Twitter's PPC ad platform, advertisers can choose between eight different advertising objectives -- including app installs, new followers, tweet engagements, and website traffic -- as well as their target audience for the ads they run. Twitter will then "promote" your post on the newsfeeds of users who match your choices, and charge you every time this ad is clicked.

Google Ads

Google Ads allow you to pay for high-ranking real estate on Google's various web properties -- including search engine results pages (SERPs). Your campaign can take the form of a Display Ad, a Search Ad, an App Ad, or a Video Ad -- the latter of which places your video on YouTube. These PPC campaigns allow you to set your ad budget, customize your audience, and/or commit to groups of search terms on which you want your search result to appear. Google then charges you each time this search result is clicked.

For the purposes of explaining how to run a PPC campaign, we'll focus on Google Ads in the steps below.

2. Choose a type of ad to invest in.

Each platform described above will give you options for the type of ad you want to pay for clicks on. On Facebook, for example, you can choose between a single image, a single video, or a slideshow to be your ad's main asset. On Google, your ad options are:


Image credit: AdEspresso

Display Ads

These banner ads can appear anywhere in the Google ecosystem, such as Gmail, YouTube, and similar domains within Google's "Display Network."

Search Ads

This ad type is what you most likely associate with PPC. A method of search engine marketing, Google's Search Ads show your chosen landing page in the form of a hyperlinked search result when users enter specific search terms. You can choose these search terms when setting up your Google Ads campaign.

App Ads

These ads help to promote an app you've developed for sale on Google Play, the company's app marketplace. Using this ad type, Google automatically synthesizes each ad's artwork using the contents of your app's download page. Google then runs these ads in your chosen languages and locations. App Ads can appear across the Google ecosystem, including Google Search, Google Play, and YouTube.

Video Ads

Google's Video Ads appear across YouTube and certain Google partner platforms. Advertisers can run their video ads before, during, or at the end of various videos that share a similar audience with the advertiser.

3. Determine your ad budget and bidding strategy.

Your PPC campaign budget will dictate how much you're willing to pay for the clicks you get on your ad placements. On Google Ads, you'll set a daily budget, whereas platforms like Twitter and Facebook will have you select the increments you want your payments to be in.

So, for example, if your marketing team is allotted $1,000 for PPC, you'll first want to find out how many campaigns you're running. Let's say that number is eight, which would theoretically make each campaign worth $125. Having determined how much of that budget is available to each campaign, you'll then divide this number by the number of days you want this campaign to run. If you want it to run for 14 days, your daily budget would be roughly $8.93/day.

However, there is another element of budget-setting in the world of PPC: Not all topics and audiences are equal in value. This means certain interests, audience segments, and especially search terms will cost different amounts per click.

Most PPC platforms have "auction" systems that help you decide how much your audience criteria will cost you. In turn, you have several bidding strategies available to you to help you make the most cost-effective purchases for your campaign. On Google Ads, these bidding strategies include:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding: You pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad.
  • Cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) bidding: You pay Google for every 1,000 times your ad appears to users.
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding: You pay Google each time someone clicks on your ad, but the amount you pay is automatically optimized against how much it costs you to "acquire" a customer -- or similar conversion behavior -- from your website.
  • Cost-per-view (CPV) bidding: You pay Google each time your video ad is viewed, clicked on, or otherwise engaged with on YouTube.

Learn more about Google Ads bidding here.

4. Customize your target audience, interests, location, and search terms.

In any PPC platform you choose, you have ability to choose who you want your ads to reach. The "who," in the context of Google Ads, includes your audience's location, interests, app they use, and of course the searches they perform. You can also create custom audiences each with their own "custom affinities" and "custom intents" to help you further tailor your PPC campaign to the right people.

Once you've established your target audience, you'll top it all off with specific search terms, whose SERPs you want your ads to appear on (this is assuming you're creating Google Search Ads). Be careful how many keywords you choose for each ad. Contrary to what Google Ads might suggest, the more keywords you choose to place an ad on, the higher the chance you'll wind up in front of the wrong audience.

Start with just one or two keywords that are high in search volume and match the intent of your target visitor (we'll talk more about intent in step 6, below).

5. Organize your campaign into "ad groups."

Assuming you're creating Google Search Ads, you'll take the keywords you selected in step 4, above, and put them into "ad groups." If you're creating PPC ads on Twitter, you'll use a similar campaign framework.

In each ad group, you can further customize the search terms associated with that ad to be sure your ads are appearing in front of the people who are most interested in your content. For example, instead of simply selecting two keywords that both sound alike and have high monthly search volume, you can parse the specific words within your search terms and set your ad to appear in any search engine query that contains those words. Here's an example of both scenarios:

A Bad Ad Group

If your PPC ad is promoting the sale of ice skates, you might start with the search term "ice skates." Then you discover the search term, "ice skating," and decide to add it to your PPC ad. The second search term, "ice skating," weakens the ad group. Why?

While "ice skates" appeals to those who are looking for the ice skates themselves, "ice skating" stretches your audience to include those who might be looking for ice skates, ice rinks in their area, or even instructions on how to start ice skating -- searches that limit the chances you'll find interested customers among the people who click on your ad.

A Good Ad Group

If your PPC ad is promoting the sale of ice skates, you might start with this search term and decide to branch out into other search terms that include this term, but carry different or additional wording.

For example, using Google Ads features like Modified Broad Match, you can also pick up searches like "skates for ice rinks." Using Phrase Match, you can pick up searches like "ice skates for hockey." This way, you can diversify your ad with more search terms without sacrificing the interests of your audience.

6. Identify and design landing pages that match the intent of each search term.

It's not a good idea to make the destination of your PPC ad your website's homepage. This only serves to confuse your visitors and, ultimately, scare them off. Whether you choose from an existing webpage on your domain, or design a new one, make sure you're sending your visitors to a destination that helps them find what they're looking for. This is known as "intent match," and search engines like Google take it very seriously.

Let's go back to our "ice skates" example from step 5, above. If someone searches for "ice skates," clicks on your ad, and they're taken to a page on your website offering ice skating lessons, you haven't matched the intent of their search -- even if this page is set up to convert visitors using a signup form for paid skating lessons. These people are looking to purchase ice skates, not lessons. Therefore, a better destination page for this ad would be a product browsing page with all of your available ice skates listed and optimized for purchasing.

7. Track your PPC campaign's performance in context of your larger marketing initiatives.

The platform on which you're running your PPC campaign will have an analytics dashboard where you can track how your ads are performing. Take full advantage of it -- here, you get to see the fruits of your labor. This includes the traffic you're receiving to your ad's landing page, how much you're spending, and even how well this traffic is converting into leads or revenue.

With this data, you can find out if you're getting the bang for your buck. But don't be afraid to consider a more holistic view of your PPC ads' performance, as well. By integrating your Google, Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn ad campaigns into your company's marketing software, you can associate these PPC campaigns with the rest of your marketing initiatives -- helping you determine how the business is performing as a result of your paid efforts.

PPC tips by KlientBoost and HubSpot

1. Include "negative keywords" in your PPC campaign.

Just as there keywords and search terms that dictate where each PPC ad you run will appear, there are keywords that you can specifically omit from your campaign. These are called "negative keywords," and they prompt your ad platform to avoid placing ads on results pages that are produced when a user enters these search terms.

Here's an example by Google:


Image credit: Google

In the example group of search terms, above, an advertiser on Google Ads has elected to place their ad on the SERPs of the search terms, "blue tennis shoes" and "running gear" -- but not "blue running shoes," "shoes running," and "running shoes." This allows the advertiser to avoid audiences who are searching for these products, since they're looking for something similar but that the advertiser doesn't actually sell.

Learn more about how to select negative keywords here.

2. Use the "Iceberg Effect" to gain more control over your PPC campaign.

The search terms that you end up paying for and the keywords that you're actually targeting don't always line up the way you want.

Too often we see the "Iceberg Effect" in action, where miscellaneous search terms below the surface are tacked onto keywords that we think are working properly in our ad campaigns. It gives us an unhealthy search-to-keyword ratio that might look something like this:

Iceberg Effect.png

Not being in control of all those search terms? Not ideal. With a search term to keyword discrepancy ratio of 132:1, it can be challenging to continually improve your clickthrough rates and lower your cost-per-click averages.

How do you gain control of this icy situation? We use something called Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) to shoot for a 1:1 ratio of search terms to keywords, allowing for more control over the entire ad group.

Here's what a non-SKAGs search term report might look like:


It's not that any of these search terms are bad, it's that each search term has a different conversion and sales rate. And by keeping them as search terms and not turning them into keywords, you will never be able to control them to take your PPC campaigns to the next level.

So what does a search term report look like if we use this granular PPC tactic and use SKAGs?


Everything in the search term column matches the keyword column. With the SKAGs tactic, you can get super granular and isolate one variable at a time, which means you have more control over your entire PPC account.

And with the ability to lower your search term to keyword ratio to 1:1, you can take it one step further and do the same from keyword to ad. When this happens, you're able to increase your clickthrough rate, which in turn:

  • Increases your quality score
  • Decreases your cost-per-click
  • Increases your impression share
  • Improves your average position

3. Keep tabs on conversions vs. sales.

With your PPC tactics now upgraded, your PPC campaigns should be driving up conversion volumes and making you more money. But do you know which keywords, audiences, or placements are actually making you money?

If you don't track the components of your campaign and attribute them to your sales, you might be missing out on where to focus your efforts. By implementing Google's ValueTrack parameters you can automatically track data within URLs when your visitors convert.

When you tie your hidden field sales tracking back to your CRM, you can find out specific details about which leads are making you the revenue (doesn't apply to ecommerce). Hidden form fields can reveal to you things that happen during a conversion, like which landing page URL your conversion came from, where the visitor is located, or what keyword they typed in.

You can also do this with manual UTM parameters. Here's an example of how on the surface, you would think Keyword #1 is converting better:

Top Performing Keyword.png

Keyword #1 has a lower cost-per-conversion.

Here's an example of what hidden field sales tracking can reveal to you on a deeper level:

PPC Keyword Insights .png

Now Keyword #2 looks better, right?

Although Keyword #1 has a lower cost-per-conversion, Keyword #2 has a much higher sales rate, which is making you more money. See the benefits of tracking the sale vs. the conversion?

Knowing these types of details can help you understand where you should be crediting your sales success, so you can be more aggressive in bidding on those keywords, audiences, or placements. With this PPC tactic, you can ease up your budget on the areas that aren't contributing to sales, and allocate to the areas that are.

4. Gauge your visitors' intent on the CTA temperature scale.

Not all PPC visitors come through to your landing pages with the same conversion intent.

Typically, those that come through from display tend to be colder, while visitors that come in from search tend to be warmer. Here's a visual we've learned works well across the multitude of client verticals we service:

Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 11.17.23 AM.png

There's a temperature scale that varies depending on visitor origin. Knowing where your visitors come from can help you immensely when it comes to matching your call-to-action with their temperature in the conversion funnel.

We recommend testing out various CTAs to match the intent temperature of your visitors -- after all, a small CTA tweak could've made all the difference.

Here are some ideas to make your offer more relevant to your visitors:

Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 11.19.35 AM.pngIn short: the warmer your visitor's intent the warmer the CTA can be. Traffic that comes in from the display network will likely respond to colder CTAs, since those visitors are in the awareness stage.

5. Use micro PPC conversions to break down the larger conversion into smaller pieces.

As you know, the more granular and detail-oriented you can get with you PPC campaigns, the more control you can have over the success of them.

When it comes to conversions, you can break down your larger macro conversion into micro conversions to figure out where your issues are.

An effective way to figure out which part of your PPC campaign is causing the conversion bottleneck is to analyze the micro conversions. Let's say that you're running some new Facebook campaigns but for some reason, no one is converting. If you knew, however, that visitors spend an average of four seconds on your site/landing page, then you know that your Facebook ad targeting may be off. Instead of thinking it's the ad or landing page that needs some tweaking, it could be your targeting instead.

Here are some common types of micro conversions we use to analyze the path towards a conversion:

micro conversions.png

What can each of these common micro conversions tell you about your landing page? Let's break it down:

  • Time On Site. How long are your visitors spending on your site? If the time is brief, the conversion issue doesn't have to do with your landing page design. The issue is happening in an earlier stage, like in your ad campaign or your targeting options.
  • Scroll Depth. How far are your visitors scrolling down your landing page? If they aren't scrolling down very far, maybe you need to have a shorter landing page where your CTA is above the fold. If they're scrolling pretty deep, it might be a good opportunity to include additional (super legible) offer details toward the bottom of the page.
  • Form Field Completion. Are visitors abandoning your forms? If so, try testing out different formats and include a multi-step landing page with more form fields.
  • Button Click. Testing out different CTA button colors and copy may be the key to your larger conversion success.

By isolating micro conversions you can zero in on where exactly the conversion friction is located, which can help you alleviate the issues quickly and reach your larger conversion goal.

Whether it's addressing the Iceberg Effect, tracking your sales vs. conversions, testing CTA temperatures, or analyzing your micro PPC conversions, each of these PPC tactics can have a significantly positive impact on the performance of your campaigns.

And the best part, there's a good chance your competitors don't even know about them.

Now it's your turn to up your PPC performance game. With these useful PPC tactics, you'll be climbing your performance incline to the top with utmost ease.

free guide to using Google AdWords


Build a Better Instagram: HubSpot's Social Media Manager's Hot Tips on Building Brand Awareness on Instagram

Instagram officially has one billion monthly active users -- and 80% of those users follow a business. Your business isn't on Instagram? Well, chances are good that your customer is. So it might be time to start 'doing it for the 'gram'.

But, first and foremost, what do most businesses get wrong about marketing on Instagram?

They forget how they use Instagram in their own lives!

For instance, consider this scenario -- you're scrolling through your Instagram feed. You see your friend's puppy (♡), your friend's engagement photos (♡), a video of Ellen Degeneres dancing (♡) ... and then you see an ad for garden hoses. I'm willing to bet you keep scrolling.

But what if, instead of a generic ad for garden hoses, you saw a beautiful shot of a gardener nurturing her garden by watering it? You'd be more willing to like it, wouldn't you?

Social media is an innately emotional and human space. You follow friends, you like friends' posts, you follow causes you care about, and you share content with which you identify. Ultimately, it's about a sense of community.

Unfortunately, when a brand is "me me me" all the time, they remove themselves from that social community, and accidentally exclude the exact people they want. They make it all about themselves, and steal their audience's attention, rather than earning it.

But what if a brand embraced a tone of "us", where they shared content that both you and the brand valued? Well, I'd say that's a whole different experience.

So are you looking to start using Instagram as a brand awareness tool? We're #pumped if you are. Here are three hot tips to remember as you get going.

New Data: Instagram Engagement in 2019

1. Make your mission your message.

64% of consumers choose or avoid a brand based on its stand on a societal issue. Since social media is rooted in emotion and identity, people want to rally around something they believe in.

Consider how your brand can inspire your audience and encourage them to rally around a cause. Play your cards right, and they will become brand advocates, telling their friends who also share that mission.

2. People like content that looks like it's from real people.

It is imperative that every brand remember what they post on social is invading someone's space that is typically reserved for friends and family. So how can you make sure that your brand is welcome in that space? By taking nods from friends and family. People prefer content that feels like it was made by a person with a heart and soul, versus a corporation.

So how are people making content on social these days? How this takes form will be unique to each business. Here are a few tips:

1. Have an engaging brand voice: Some brands play with how they communicate. Netflix is a particularly good example of a brand embracing a uniquely human tone of voice. From their commentary on pop culture to clap backs, it feels like one of your friend's engaging. And you remember them for that exact reason.
2. Don't overthink production: You've heard us say it before -- content is king. Social is proving this in a big way, as audiences don't seem to mind if something is shot on an iPhone as long as the content is valuable. In fact, we're finding more often than not, audiences actually prefer a lower production value. Why? Because it feels like something a friend of family member could have made. It doesn't have as much of that "big corporation stink" on it.

HubSpot has played around with lower production -- like the example below, which was made in Instagram stories.

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 12.25.04 PM

3. Value on social is a different kind of value.

One size does not fit all. When you are seeking brand awareness on Instagram, the value you want to provide is different than the value you would provide at a different stage of the buyer's journey. You want to focus on how someone feels when they see content or engage with your brand.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel" by Maya Angelou? You should apply this philosophy to your Instagram strategy.

For instance, chances are good a free e-book offer on Instagram while someone is on the train coming home won't make them feel too much -- but what if the content was a bit more human?

Here are some questions to ask when you are thinking about providing value to your audience for brand awareness:

  • Identity: Does our audience feel seen? Do they feel like we understand them as a person first, customer second? Does it make them scream, "This is so me!"?
  • Informative: Is this something our audience didn't know already, and would care about while browsing on Instagram? Is this helpful to them in a snack-able social way? Will our audience be thankful we shared this content with them?
  • Emotional: Does our audience feel something? Do they care with their heart when they see our content?

Lastly, don't forget about Stories!

There are 500 million stories every day, and one-third of them are from businesses. Best news of all? The principles we've described above in regards to brand awareness also apply to Stories.

To read more on Stories, check out our post Instagram Stories: What they are and how to make them like a pro.

Follow HubSpot’s Instagram page for tips on marketing, sales, and customer service.

instagram data

The Social Strategy Brands Like Marvel Are Using to Generate a 68% Conversion Rate

2% and 18 minutes.

That’s the average reach of a Facebook post and life of a tweet, respectively.

Crazy insignificant, right?

These are networks that millions of people spend time on every single day -- and they seem to offer such slim, fleeting opportunities for brands.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There's a method to turn a paltry social media conversion rate into something that can offer real benefits to your brand.

A method that’s helped brands both large and small achieve up to a 68% conversion rate on social.

Free Download: Social Media Marketing Strategy Kit

I'm talking about social commerce -- the current best way to make more sales and increase reach through social media channels. Let's take a deeper look about what exactly social commerce is, and the big problems it can solve for you brand.

What is Social Commerce?

This is not an overstatement: social commerce changes the way brands use social media.

Rather than generating interest and directing traffic to your site, social commerce allows brands to sell directly from their social feeds.

It effectively reduces the purchase journey down to two simple, frictionless steps. The first is when the user sees the product they want, the second is buying it.

It’s important because -- as any commerce pro will tell you -- most purchase journeys suffer from huge leaks. Just take a look at the chart below. It accurately represents how few of your leads turn into customers.

By reducing the steps a user has to go through, you can effectively streamline the purchase journey and reduce the possibility of funnel leaks.

Social commerce:

  • Provides simpler purchase journeys and thus a lower abandonment rate
  • Removes confusing multi-part conversion paths
  • Doesn’t disrupt the user by redirecting them to a completely different site

Just a simple checkout available directly from the user’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social feed.

Here’s how social commerce looks in real life. The video below shows a social commerce campaign Marvel ran

 When users commented with #AntManandtheWasp, an automated chatbot messaged them to discover their theatre and time preference before processing payment.

Over the last few years, the most successful digital marketing has primarily focused on making the user experience more logical and seamless.

Shorter forms have a higher completion rate.

Auto-fill is becoming commonplace because it generates more conversions.

And one-click purchasing is held up as the ideal ecommerce model.

Social commerce is yet another example of a solution that plays to the more streamlined needs of modern users.

But it’s not only providing a conversion benefit.

Secondary Benefits of Social Commerce Solutions

So the primary benefits of social commerce are the more streamlined purchase journey leading to higher conversions (more on that later).

But there’s also an impressive list of secondary benefits.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on social media developments over the last year, you’ll know it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to stand out. Ad costs are on the rise and algorithm updates are de-prioritizing brand content.

If you watch the Marvel gif above again, you’ll notice that users are required to comment on the post to kick off the automated checkout.

That comment is key to the secondary benefits.

As soon as a person comments to start the checkout, the post is then redistributed to their network, increasing its reach.

With each subsequent engagement, reach is yet again increased.

Before long, your posts and ads are achieving much high impressions than they would if users weren’t prompted to engage.

Social commerce is a great solution for any brand looking to increase social media sales and engagement.

It all sounds great, right?

But how does it actually work in real life?

Well, I've broken down a couple of social commerce campaigns that drove real results to help highlight its use.

How Brands are Using it To Massively Increase Conversions

I’ve tried to pick three examples that not only shows the potential power of social commerce, but also highlight different approaches to implementation.

So here’s a quick overview of what I’m going to cover.

- The completely digital strategy Marvel used to achieve a 68% cinema ticket conversion rate.

- How Ben & Jerry’s moved consumers from online to offline forgetter engagement.

- How Nike’s social commerce strategy started in the real world before seeing completion on social media.

Marvel’s 68% Conversion Rate

Marvel, despite being one of the biggest entertainment brands in the world, never rest on their laurels.

They’re forever looking for ways to better engage with their customers.

And when they took a look at their current channels, they realized their social campaigns were due for an upgrade.

The problem with traditional social media marketing is that purchase journeys become incredibly complex and long-winded.

Prior to Marvel's investment in social commerce, users would have to go through various steps to make a purchase after viewing a social post that interested them.

I actually walked myself through that very process in writing this piece, and counted nine steps between viewing an Instagram post and landing on a page that confirmed my final purchase of movie tickets. Here's what that long journey looked like pre-social commerce:

  1. Viewing the Instagram post
  2. Following it to the page bio
  3. Clicking through to Fandango
  4. Confirming the movie (and ignoring ads for commuting and upcoming movies)
  5. Confirming my location
  6. Choosing time and cinema
  7. Confirming the number of people
  8. Confirming seat location
  9. Payment information

I had to navigate through nine steps after seeing a cool post on Instagram.

Average purchase journeys have enough of a drop-off rate. On social media platforms like Instagram, that drop-off rate can easily become even more exaggerated.

Instagram is designed to keep users within the app, so any process that requires users to take multiple steps to exit the app and navigate somewhere else is going to leak leads like no one's business.

This step drop-off rate is exactly what Marvel wanted to combat.

They wanted to reduce the friction and maintain the experience Instagram users were expecting.

The below is one of the real ads they ran to promote Infinity War.

You’ll notice users are asked to swipe up, and then comment with an appropriate hashtag.

Once they do, an automated checkout bot takes over and asks a few questions that lead them through those nine stages of the purchase funnel in less than a minute -- without leaving the app.

Here’s how the chat sequence looked for those engaging with the Ant-Man and the Wasp campaign.

This conversational method of driving sales is not only more aligned with the user’s expectations on social, but it also streamlines the purchase journey.

Users are kept on the platform they’re engaged with and are able to complete their purchase in a fraction of the time.

Marvel results speak to the effectiveness of the campaign.

On the initial Infinity War campaign they achieved:

  • A 58% conversion rate
  • 18X more comments than any other in-season content

But they also took it a step further.

They built a custom audience of those who engaged with the Infinity War campaign and retargeted them with a secondary campaign that promoted Ant-Man and the Wasp.

By retargeting an already engaged audience who were comfortable buying through social commerce solutions, they increased their overall conversion rate to 68%.

Not too shabby.

The moral of this story is that your customers are looking for more streamlined purchase experiences.

Bouncing them around from one site to another so they can complete numerous steps is too much of a chore, and leads to the terrible social media conversion rates.

Marvel’s conversion rates were so high because they did three key things:

  • Made the purchase journey as simple as possible
  • Used (at the time unreleased) brand assets within the chat to keep users engaged
  • Retargeted their best audience with Facebook Ads for easier sales

5000 Free Samples Moved in 72 Hours

Whether you’re just starting a new business, launching a new product line, or just need to inject a few new leads into your pipeline, there’s one method that’s more successful than most.

Giving stuff away for free.

But here’s the thing. Free products will generate a lot of buzz for your products and brand, but they generate zero revenue.

You’ve got to have a follow-up sale in the pipeline.

Which is exactly what Ben & Jerry’s did when launching a new product -- pint slices.

To drive interest and awareness of the new product, they ran Facebook and Instagram ads that were linked to a social commerce checkout.

Users who engaged with the ads would receive a chat sequence similar to the Marvel one above.

It would ask for their preferred pickup location and flavor.

Using that information it would then generate a free QR code which, when taken to the nearest vending machine, would secure a free pint slice.

Ben & Jerry’s received huge engagement with this campaign.

In addition to moving 5000 samples within 72 hours, they gained 2.2X the customer insights they usually would through a similar campaign.

But it’s the insights that were the most valuable.

Ben & Jerry’s now had the details of 5000 people who both expressed an interest in the product and had tried it. People who would be the perfect target for the launch of a sales campaign.

All they now had to do was run a sales campaign targeting those 5000 people to see a healthy boost in sales.

Nike Flips Social Commerce On Its Head

This is one of my favorite examples of social commerce for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s a great example of bridging the offline and online sales worlds
  2. It’s the opposite way around to many social commerce campaigns
  3. It bucks the general trend of social commerce and focuses on higher priced products for better AoV

The campaign I’m talking about is Nike’s promotion of Jordan’s through Snapchat.

Nike started by targeting an audience they knew would be interested. Basketball fans.

Instead of targeting these people with Facebook Ads or another digital channel, they launched a campaign that started at an in person event - the after party for the NBA Allstar’s game.

At the afterparty, Nike hid snap codes in different areas of the event space.

When scanned with Snapchat, the code would kick off a social commerce checkout within Snapchat.

The prize was an (at the time) unreleased pair of Jordan’s.

Despite being a higher priced product, Nike sold out of this limited run within 23 minutes.

I like this example more because it bridges the offline and online world of sales.

Nike leveraged the device we all carry every day. But they did it at a time when interest in the product would be at it’s highest.

The fact that this was a campaign type not used commonly also added something of a gasified element to the whole process.

It’s a great example of understanding your audience’s desires and how you can best serve them.

But Don’t Rely Entirely on Social Commerce

Social commerce is one of the best ways to simplify the purchase journey.

It’s an incredible method to improve sales and connect with a wider audience.

But it’s not foolproof. In fact, despite all the benefits and case studies that highlight great gains there’s one thing that social commerce isn’t great at:

Selling high-priced items.

People aren’t on social media to do serious research of the products they’re thinking of buying.

They’re there to procrastinate, have fun, and connect with friends. The most successful campaigns are those which focus on impulse purchases of products or services that fall in the <$100 range.

If you sell $1,000 electronics, this might not be the best method to drive sales.

But fear not, there’s still a way to use social commerce in your strategy.

In short, you use social commerce to qualify prospects and bring people into the top end of a longer upset funnel. For example, let’s say you deal in $10,000 audio systems. Your audience is made up of audiophiles and music aficionados. Hawking a $10k system off the bat isn’t going to work. But selling a $50 pair of headphones with superior sound quality would appeal to the market and fits within the all-important impulse purchase price point.

Making that sale is much easier and fills your upsell funnel. Which is incredibly important because:

For those selling high-priced items, social commerce isn’t going to transform your business by driving direct revenue, but it’s going to fill your upsell funnel.

It allows you to more easily attract leads who, in time, will spend more with you.

Think of social commerce not just as a way to drive sales, but as a method to attract new customers and generate more qualified leads.

Social Commerce Is Going to Be Huge Across All Industries

Social commerce seems to finally be coming into its own.

It’s finally providing real, tangible benefits to business beyond the vanity metrics of likes, shares, and comments.

But it’s still in its infancy.

Over the next five years, it’s a safe bet to assume that social commerce will become a more permanent fixture in the marketing strategy of brands both big and small.

If you’ve not yet managed to get your social commerce strategy off the ground, do so.

It's already driving great gains for others, but so few are leveraging the strategy that there’s a lack of competition. Now is the perfect time to begin.

free social media strategy resources

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Ultimate Dictionary of Marketing Terms You Should Know

Here on the HubSpot blog, we’ve written glossary-themed posts that cover some of the core components of inbound marketing. We've covered social media terms, content marketing terms, smarketing terms, email marketing terms, website optimization terms ... heck, even marketing acronyms.

Discover a framework for running more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.

Well, we thought it was time to create a blog post that could serve as a holistic marketing glossary -- one that not only defines each term, but also offers some helpful resources in case you want to learn about them in more depth. We hope you can bookmark this post and come back to it whenever you need to.

Now, I'm no math whiz, but when you try to make a glossary based on a topic with sub-categories that could be their own glossaries, well -- that’s a lot of gloss. So instead of throwing hundreds of terms at you from all those other glossaries, I narrowed this one down to the top 100 terms that are imperative to anyone learning about marketing.


1. A/B Testing

This is the process of comparing two variations of a single variable to determine which performs best in order to help improve marketing efforts. This is often done in email marketing (with variations in the subject line or copy), calls-to-action (variations in colors or verbiage), and landing pages (variations in content). Outside of marketing, you can use it to determine what tastes better on a peanut butter sandwich: jelly or fluff. (Learn how to run A/B tests here.)

2. Analytics

What I sometimes refer to as the “eyes” of inbound marketing, analytics is essentially the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. When referred to in the context of marketing, it’s looking at the data of one’s initiatives (website visitor reports, social, PPC, etc.), analyzing the trends, and developing actionable insights to make better informed marketing decisions. (Want to learn marketing analytics? Here a list of nine great sources to get you started.)

3. Application Programming Interface (API)

APIs are a series of rules in computer programming, which allow an application to extract information from a service and use that information either in their own application or in data analyses. It's kind of like a phone for applications to have conversations -- an API literally "calls" one application and gets information to bring to you to use in your software. APIs facilitate the data needed to provide solutions to customer problems.

HubSpot has APIs that developers use to get information from our software into theirs. It’s important for marketers to understand what APIs can do to factor them in to their marketing strategies. Learn more about how marketers can use APIs here.


4. B2B (Business-to-Business)

An adjective used to describe companies that sell to other businesses. For example, Google and Oracle are primarily B2B companies.

5. B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

An adjective used to describe companies that sell directly to consumers. For example, Amazon, Apple, and Nike are primarily B2C companies.

6. Blogging

This is short for web log or weblog. An individual or group of people usually maintains a blog. A personal blog or business blog will traditionally include regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material, such as photos and video.

Blogging is a core component of inbound marketing, as it can accomplish several initiatives simultaneously -- like website traffic growth, thought leadership, and lead generation. It does not, however, do your taxes.

7. Business Blogging

Business blogging retains all the attributes of "regular" blogging, but adds a tasty layer of marketing strategy on top. It helps marketers drive traffic to their website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority on certain topics, and drive long-term results. (Learn about these benefits in more detail here.)

When blogging for a business, marketers should create posts that are optimized with keywords that their target audience is searching for and provide helpful, educational material to these readers. Typically, these blog posts should be actionable (by providing an opt-in, downloadable offer), as to provide a metric for the effectiveness of the business blogging.

8. Bottom of the Funnel

Since we’re going alphabetically, the last part of the funnel process is first! So, “bottoms up,” I suppose. The bottom of the funnel refers to a stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close as new customers. They’ve identified a problem, have shopped around for possible solutions, and are very close to buying.

Typically, next steps for leads at this stage are a call from a sales rep, a demo, or a free consultation -- depending on what type of business is attempting to close the lead.

9. Bounce Rate

Website bounce rate: The percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else or navigating to any other pages on your site. A high bounce rate generally leads to poor conversion rates because no one is staying on your site long enough to read your content or convert on a landing page (or for any other conversion event).

Email bounce rate: The rate at which an email was unable to be delivered to a recipient's inbox. A high bounce rate generally means your lists are out-of-date or purchased, or they include many invalid email addresses. In email, not all bounces are bad, so it's important to distinguish between hard and soft bounces before taking an email address off your list. (Learn about hard and soft bounces here.)

10. Buyer Persona

A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. While it helps marketers like you define their target audience, it can also help sales reps qualify leads. (Learn more about developing buyer personas here.)


11. Call-to-Action

A call-to-action is a text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and become of lead. Some examples of CTAs are “Subscribe Now” or “Download the Whitepaper Today.” These are important for marketers because they’re the “bait” that entices a website visitor to eventually become a lead. So, you can imagine that it’s important to convey a very enticing, valuable offer on a call-to-action to better foster visitor-to-lead conversion. (Download our free, introductory guide to effective calls-to-action here. Hey, that was a CTA!)


CAN-SPAM stands for "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing." It's a U.S. law passed in 2003 that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, it gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law. For example, CAN-SPAM is the reason businesses are required to have an "unsubscribe" option at the bottom of every email. (Learn more of the details here.)

13. CASL

CASL stands for "Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation." It's a Canadian law passed in 2013 that covers the sending of "commercial electronic messages" that may be accessed by a computer in Canada. CASL covers email, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada. (Learn more of the details here.)

14. Churn Rate

A metric that measures how many customers you retain and at what value. To calculate churn rate, take the number of customers you lost during a certain time frame, and divide that by the total number of customers you had at the very beginning of that time frame. (Don't include any new sales from that time frame.)

For example, if a company had 500 customers at the beginning of October and only 450 customers at the end of October (discounting any customers that were closed in October), their customer churn rate would be: (500-450)/500 = 50/500 = 10%.

Churn rate is a significant metric primarily for recurring revenue companies. Regardless of your monthly revenue, if your average customer does not stick around long enough for you to at least break even on your customer acquisition costs, you’re in trouble.

15. Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

The percentage of your audience that advances (or clicks through) from one part of your website to the next step of your marketing campaign. As a mathematic equation, it’s the total number of clicks that your page or CTA receives divided by the number of opportunities that people had to click (ex: number of pageviews, emails sent, and so on).

16. Closed-Loop Marketing

The practice of closed-loop marketing is being able to execute, track and show how marketing efforts have impacted bottom-line business growth. An example would be tracking a website visitor as they become a lead to the very last touch point when they close as a customer.

When done correctly, you’d be able to see just how much of your marketing investment yielded new business growth. One of the biggest business benefits of implementing an inbound marketing strategy and utilizing inbound marketing software is the ability to execute closed-loop marketing.

17. Conversion Path

A conversion path is a series of website-based events that facilitate lead capture. In its most basic form, a conversion path will consist of a call-to-action (typically a button that describes an offer) that leads to a landing page with a lead capture form, which redirects to a thank you page where a content offer resides. In exchange for his or her contact information, a website visitor obtains a content offer to better help them through the buying process. If you’re still having difficulty grasping the topic based on this description, feel free to absorb it as a rabbit hunting analogy in comic form.

18. Content

In relation to inbound marketing, content is a piece of information that exists for the purpose of being digested (not literally), engaged with, and shared. Content typically comes in the form of a blog, video, social media post, photo, slideshow, or podcast, although there are plenty of over types out there. From website traffic to lead conversion to customer marketing, content plays an indispensable role in a successful inbound marketing strategy.

19. Content Management System (CMS)

A web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to create, edit, and manage a website. Helps users with content editing and more "behind-the-scenes" work like making content searchable and indexable, automatically generating navigation elements, keeping track of users and permissions, and more.

(At HubSpot, we think COS is better than CMS. Find out why.)

20. Content Optimization System (COS)

A COS is basically a CMS (Content Management System), but optimized to deliver customers the most personalized web experience possible. (Learn more about HubSpot's COS here.)

21. Context

If content is king, then context is queen. Serving up valuable content is important, but ensuring that it’s customized for the right audience is equally (if not more) important. As buyers become more in control of what information they digest (again, not literally), it’s important to deliver content that’s contextually relevant. If you own a restaurant, you wouldn’t want to send a coupon for a steak dinner to a vegetarian, right? Unless you’re anti-herbivore, of course …

22. Conversion Rate

The percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single web page, such as filling out a form. Pages with high conversion rates are performing well, while pages with low conversion rates are performing poorly.

23. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

The process of improving your site conversion using design techniques, key optimization principles, and testing. It involves creating an experience for your website visitors that will convert them into customers. CRO is most often applied to web page or landing page optimization, but it can also be applied to social media, CTAs, and other parts of your marketing. (Learn more here.)

24. Cost-per-Lead (CPL)

The amount it costs your marketing organization to acquire a lead. This factors heavily into CAC (customer acquisition cost), and is a metric marketers should keep a keen eye on.

25. Crowdsourced Content

Creating your own content can take more time than you have to lend to it -- which is where crowdsourcing comes into play. Allowing subject matter experts, customers, or freelancers to create your content for you is a prime way to get more quality content published in less time. Compile the content you get back into a really awesome offer and give credit to all the contributors -- a win-win for everyone involved. (Learn how to crowdsource a blog post using Google Docs here.)

26. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Your total Sales and Marketing cost. To calculate CAC, follow these steps for a given time period (month, quarter, or year):

  1. Add up program or advertising spend + salaries + commissions + bonuses + overhead.
  2. Divide by the number of new customers in that time period.

For example, if you spend $500,000 on Sales and Marketing in a given month and added 50 customers that same month, then your CAC was $10,000 that month. (Learn more here.)

27. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A set of software programs that let companies keep track of everything they do with their existing and potential customers.

At the simplest level, CRM software lets you keep track of all the contact information for these customers. But CRM systems can do lots of other things, too, like tracking email, phone calls, faxes, and deals; sending personalized emails; scheduling appointments; and logging every instance of customer service and support. Some systems also incorporate feeds from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. (Learn more here.)

28. CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and it's what gives your entire website its style, like colors, fonts, and background images. It affects the mood and tone of a web page, making it an incredibly powerful tool. It's also what allows websites to adapt to different screen sizes and device types. (Learn more about CSS, HTML, and JavaScript here.)


29. Dynamic Content

A way to display different messaging on your website based on the information you already know about the visitor. For example, you could use Smart CTAs so that first-time visitors will see a personalized CTA (perhaps with a top-of-the-funnel offer) and those already in your database see a different CTA (maybe for content that offers a little more information about your product or service). You can read this post to learn more about dynamic content.


30. Ebook

Ebooks are a common type of content that many marketers use, often to help generate leads. They are generally a more long-form content type than, say, blog posts, and go into in-depth detail on a subject. Here's an awesome ebook on how to write an ebook (so meta).

31. Editorial Calendar

It's like a road map for content creation, showing you what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target, and how often to publish to best support your strategy. Maintaining an editorial calendar will keep you more organized and show you any gaps you may have in your content library. It also helps ensure you're doing the right things for your personas and not going way off-track with the topics you're covering. (Don't have a proper calendar of your own yet? Check out this free, pre-designed editorial calendar template.)

32. Email

In its most basic sense, email stands for “Electronic Mail.” It’s a core component of marketing because it’s a direct connection to a contact’s inbox. However, with great power comes great responsibility, meaning it’s important for marketers to not abuse the email relationship with a contact. It’s far too easy for a contact to click “unsubscribe” after gaining their hard earned trust in your communication. Don’t blow it.

33. Engagement Rate

A popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction -- Likes, shares, comments -- a piece of content receives. Interactions like these tell you that your messages are resonating with your fans and followers. (Click here for engagement rate benchmarks for a range of different industries.)

34. Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble upon it. In other words, it can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it's still valuable to the reader. This post on how to write blog posts serves as a prime example.

Typically, a piece of evergreen content is timeless, valuable, high quality, and canonical or definitive. These posts are typically a content marketer's best friend because of the tremendous SEO value they provide. (Learn more about evergreen content and why it's important here.)


35. Facebook

Facebook is a social network you're likely quite familiar with already -- but it has become so much more than just a platform to publish content and gain followers. You can now utilize the awesome targeting options available through Facebook advertising to find and attract brand new contacts to your website and get them to convert on your landing pages ... but remember, you still need awesome content to do it.

While it’s a core component of any marketing strategy, it shouldn’t be the only component. Focusing entirely on Facebook (or any other large social channel, for that matter) will only give you a small piece of the inbound marketing pie. And it’s still piping hot, so be careful. (Download our free guide to using Facebook for business here.)

36. Form

The place your page visitors will supply information in exchange for your offer. It’s also how those visitors can convert into precious sales leads. As a best practice, only ask for information you need from your leads in order to effectively follow up with and/or qualify them. (Read this post to learn what you should and shouldn't ask on your landing page forms.)

37. Friction

Any element of your website that is confusing, distracting, or causes stress for visitors, causing them to leave your page. Examples of friction-causing elements include dissonant colors, too much text, distracting website navigation menus, or landing page forms with too many fields. (Learn more about identifying and fixing friction here.)


38. Google+

Google+ (referred to as "Google Plus") is a social network that allows you to join and create circles in which you can mix and match family members, friends, colleagues, and fellow industry members. While you can use it much like other social networks -- to publish and share content, and generate new leads -- it also provides content marketers with tremendous SEO value due to the rising importance of social sharing in search engine algorithms. (It is owned by Google, after all.)


39. Hashtag

Hashtags are a way for you and your readers to interact with each other on social media and have conversations about a particular piece of content. They tie public conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram together into a single stream, which users can find by searching for a hashtag, clicking on one, or using a third-party monitoring tool like HubSpot's Social Inbox.

The hashtags themselves are simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it -- like #InboundChat and #ChocolateLovers. You can put these hashtags anywhere in your social media posts. (Learn more about how to use hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram here.)

40. HTML

This is short for HyperText Markup Language, a language used to write web pages. It's at the core of every web page, regardless the complexity of a site or number of technologies involved, and provides the basic structure of the site -- which is then enhanced and modified by other technologies like CSS and JavaScript. (Download our free guide to HTML here to learn some simple and useful HTML coding hacks.)


41. Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that draw visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention. It's all about earning the attention of customers, making the company easy to find online, and drawing customers to the website by producing interesting, helpful content. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time. (Learn more about inbound marketing here.)

42. Inbound Link

An inbound link is a link coming from another site to your own website. "Inbound" is generally used by the person receiving the link. For example, here's an inbound link to our co-founder Dharmesh's blog. Dharmesh could say, "I received an inbound link from HubSpot."

Websites that receive many inbound links can be more likely to rank higher in search engines. They also help folks receive referral traffic from other websites. (Learn more about inbound links here.)

43. Infographic

A highly visual piece of content that is very popular among digital marketers as a way of relaying complex concepts in a simple and visual way. (Learn more about how to create a knockout infographic here.)

44. Instagram

Though initially a haven only for younger generations who wanted to post, edit, and share unique-looking photos, Instagram has grown into a premier social network that's a viable opportunity for content marketers. Many businesses are taking advantage of the site by posting industry related photos that their followers and customers would enjoy seeing. (Download our free guide on using Instagram for business here, or read this blog post for our favorite Instagram tips and tricks.)


45. JavaScript

Mix ¾ oz coffee liqueur with one shot espresso ... nah, just kidding. JavaScript is a programming language that lets web developers design interactive sites. Most of the dynamic behavior you'll see on a web page is thanks to JavaScript, which augments a browser's default controls and behaviors.

Uses for JavaScript include pop-ups, slide-in calls-to-action, security password creation, check forms, interactive games, and special effects. It's also used to build mobile apps and create server-based applications. (Learn more about JavaScript, HTML, and CSS here.)


46. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A type of performance measurement companies use to evaluate an employee's or an activity's success. Marketers look at KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals, and successful marketers constantly evaluate their performance against industry standard metrics. Examples of KPIs include CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), blog traffic sources, and homepage views. Choose KPIs that represent how your marketing and business are performing. (Here are some tips for choosing the right KPIs for your business.)

47. Keyword

Sometimes referred to as "keyword phrases," keywords are the topics that webpages get indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Picking keywords that you’ll optimize a webpage for is a two-part effort. First, you’ll want to ensure the keyword has significant search volume and is not too difficult to rank for. Then, you’ll want to ensure it aligns with your target audience

After deciding the appropriate keywords you want to rank for, you’ll then need to optimize the appropriate pages on your website using both on-page and off-page tactics. What are those, you ask? Skip to “O” to find out -- but don’t tell “L”, “M”, or “N”! (Learn how to do keyword research for SEO here.)


48. Landing Page

A landing page is a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.

A smart inbound marketer will create landing pages that appeal to different personae (plural for persona) at various stages of the buying process. A hefty endeavor no doubt, but one that pays off in spades. (Download this ebook to learn more about landing pages and how to optimize them.)

49. Lead

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.

Generating leads is a critical part of a prospect's journey to becoming a customer, and it falls in between the second and third stages of the larger inbound marketing methodology, which you can see below.


Landing pages, forms, offers, and calls-to-action are just a few tools to help companies generate leads. (Learn more about lead generation here.)

50. Lead Nurturing

Sometimes referred to as “drip marketing,” lead nurturing is the practice of developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that seek to qualify a lead, keep it engaged, and gradually push it down the sales funnel. Inbound marketing is all about delivering valuable content to the right audience -- and lead nurturing helps foster this by providing contextually relevant information to a lead during different stages of the buying lifecycle.

51. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. Nowadays, with more than 414 million registered members, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals and one of the top social networks overall. Getting on the platform, developing a completed profile, and networking has helped many a jobseeker find work. (Click here to learn about using LinkedIn for professional networking, business, and marketing.)

52. Lifecycle Stages

These divisions serve as a way to describe the relationship you have with your audience, and can generally be broken down into three stages: awareness, evaluation, and purchase.

What's important to understand about each of these stages is that not every piece of content you create is appropriate, depending on what stage your audience might fall in at that moment. That's why dynamic content is so great -- you can serve up content that's appropriate for whatever stage that particular visitor is in. (Learn more about how to map content to lifecycle stages here.)

53. Lifetime Value (LTV)

A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. To calculate LTV, follow these steps for a given time period:

  1. Take the revenue the customer paid you in that time period.
  2. Subtract from that number the gross margin.
  3. Divide by the estimated churn rate (aka cancellation rate) for that customer.

For example, if a customer pays you $100,000 per year where your gross margin on the revenue is 70%, and that customer type is predicted to cancel at 16% per year, then the customer's LTV is $437,500. (Learn more here.)

54. Long-Tail Keyword

A long-tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains three or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term, plus one or two additional words that refine the search term. For example:

Long-tail keywords are more specific, which means visitors that land on your website from a long-tail search term are more qualified, and consequently, more likely to convert.


The ratio of lifetime value (LTV) to customer acquisition cost (CAC). Once you have the LTV and the CAC, compute the ratio of the two. If it costs you $100,000 to acquire a customer with an LTV of $437,500, then your LTV:CAC is 4.4 to 1.


56. Marketing Automation

While there’s some overlap with the term “lead nurturing,” marketing automation is a bit different. Think of marketing automation as the platform with associated tools and analytics to develop a lead nurturing strategy. If you’ll let me run with an “art” analogy, marketing automation is the paintbrush, watercolors, and blank canvas. Lead nurturing is the artist that makes it all come together. Like Bob Ross! You can’t paint a happy little nurturing campaign without both.

Bonus: Want to get super-savvy with your marketing automation terminology? Take it to the next level with behavior-based marketing automation. Behavior-based marketing automation refers to a system that triggers emails and other communication based on user activity on and off your site. It enables marketers to nurture leads and send them information only when it is most relevant to their stage in the buying cycle.

57. Microsite

A cross between a landing page and a “regular” website. is a great example. Microsites are used when marketers want to create a different online experience for their audience separate from their main website. These sites often have their own domain names and distinct visual branding. (Here's a list of 11 of the best microsite examples out there.)

58. Middle of the Funnel

This refers to the stage that a lead enters after identifying a problem. Now they’re looking to conduct further research to find a solution to the problem. Typical middle of the funnel offers include case studies or product brochures -- essentially anything that brings your business into the equation as a solution to the problem the lead is looking to solve. Also, if you want to be cool, you can refer to this stage as “MOFU” for short.

59. Mobile Marketing

With mobile search queries officially surpassing desktop queries, now is probably the time to explore mobile marketing. What is it? Well, mobile marketing refers to the practice of optimizing marketing for mobile devices to provide visitors with time- and location- sensitive, personalized information for promoting goods, services, and ideas.

60. Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization means designing and formatting your website so that it’s easy to read and navigate from a mobile device. This can be done by either creating a separate mobile website or incorporating responsive design in initial site layout. Google's algorithm now rewards mobile-friendly websites, so if your site isn't fully optimized for mobile devices, you will likely see a hit to your ranking on mobile searches. (Learn how to make your website mobile-friendly here.)

61. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

The amount of revenue a subscription-based business receives per month. Includes MRR gained by new accounts (net new), MRR gained from upsells (net positive), MRR lost from downsells (net negative), and MRR lost from cancellations (net loss).


62. Native Advertising

A type of online advertising that takes on the form and function of the platform it appears on. Its purpose is to make ads feel less like ads, and more like part of the conversation. That means it's usually a piece of sponsored content that's relative to the consumer experience, isn't interruptive, and looks and feels similar to its editorial environment.

Native advertising can come in many forms, whether it's radio announcers talking favorably about a product sponsoring the show, or an article about a product or company showing up in your news source. Here are examples of some of the best native advertising out there.

63. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

A customer satisfaction metric that measures, on a scale of 0-10, the degree to which people would recommend your company to others. The NPS is derived from a simple survey designed to help you determine how loyal your customers are to your business.

To calculate NPS, subtract the percentage of customers who would not recommend you (detractors, or 0-6) from the percent of customers who would (promoters, or 9-10).

Regularly determining your company’s NPS allows you to identify ways to improve your products and services so you can increase the loyalty of your customers. Learn more about how to use NPS surveys for marketing here.

64. News Feed

A news feed is an online feed full of news sources. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of users' accounts where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. (Learn all about Facebook's News Feed here.) The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.

65. No-Follow Link

A no-follow link is used when a website does not want to pass search engine authority to another webpage. It tells search engine crawlers not to follow or pass credit to linked websites as a way to avoid association with spammy content or inadvertently violating webmaster guidelines. To varying degrees, the no-follow attribute is recognized by all major search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Not all links (and linking domains) are created equal, and a no-follow attribute helps avoid any foul play.


66. Offer

Offers are content assets that live behind a form on a landing page. Their primary purpose is to help marketers generate leads for your business. There are many different types of offers you could create, including ebooks, checklists, cheat sheets, webinars, demos, templates, and tools. (If you need help putting together some high-quality offers your buyer personas will love, take some time to read over this post.)

67. On-Page Optimization

This type of SEO is based solely on a webpage and the various elements within the HTML (see “H” if you skipped here directly). Ensuring that key pieces of the specific page (content, title tag, URL, and image tags) include the desired keyword will help a page rank for that particular phrase.

68. Off-Page Optimization

This is the free-spirited cousin of on-page optimization. Off-page SEO refers to incoming links and other outside factors that impact how a webpage is indexed in search results. Factors like linking domains and even social media play a role in off-page optimization. The good news is that it’s powerful; the not so good news is that it’s mostly out of an inbound marketer’s control. The solution? Create useful, remarkable content and chances are people will share and link to it.


69. Page View

A request to load a single web page on the internet. Marketers use them to analyze their website and to see if any change on the webpage results in more or fewer page views.

70. Pay-per-Click (PPC)

The amount of money spent to get a digital advertisement clicked. Also an internet advertising model where advertisers pay a publisher (usually a search engine, social media site, or website owner) a certain amount of money every time their ad is clicked. For search engines, PPC ads display an advertisement when someone searches for a keyword that matches the advertiser's keyword list, which they submit to the search engine ahead of time.

PPC ads are used to direct traffic to the advertiser's website, and PPC is used to assess the cost effectiveness and profitability of your paid advertising campaigns.

There are two ways to pay for PPC ads:

  • Flat rate: where the advertiser and publisher agree on a fixed amount that will be paid for each click. Typically this happens when publishers have a fixed rate for PPC in different areas on their website.
  • Bid-based: where the advertiser competes against other advertisers in an advertising network. In this case, each advertiser sets a maximum spend to pay for a given ad spot, so the ad will stop appearing on a given website once that amount of money is spent. It also means that the more people that click on your ad, the lower PPC you'll pay and vice versa.

(Learn more about getting started with PPC here.)

71. Product Matrix

A product matrix is a chart that describes the various products a business offers and the features that apply to each product. Product matrices typically assign each version of a product its own column along the top, with the features included in each version listed in rows down the lefthand side.

For example, a business that sells three versions of the same product -- and 10 potential features across this product -- could create a product matrix with three columns and 10 rows. In each cell where a column and row intersect, the business can include a symbol or checkmark indicating that this feature is included in this version of the product.

72. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual social network typically used by ecommerce marketers, but not without its fair share of top-notch B2B and B2C content marketers. Businesses and consumers alike use the website to post images and photos they like so fellow users can repin (share) that content.

Not every company has taken advantage of this site yet. If you're one of them, we advise you check out this free guide to Pinterest for business.)

73. PPC

PPC, (or Pay-Per-Click) is an advertising technique in which an advertiser puts an ad in an advertising venue (like Google AdWords or Facebook), and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on the ad. I couldn’t think of anything witty to place at the end of this definition, so let’s move on to “Q.”


74. Qualified Lead

A contact that opted in to receive communication from your company, became educated about your product or service, and is interested in learning more. Marketing and Sales often have two different versions of qualified leads (MQLs for Marketing, and SQLs for Sales), so be sure to have conversations with your sales team to set expectations for the types of leads you plan to hand over.

75. QR Code

A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data. It also starts with “Q,” which is a rarity with marketing-related terms. (Learn how to create a QR Code here.)


76. Responsive Design

This is the practice of developing a website that adapts accordingly to how someone is viewing it. Instead of building a separate, distinct website for each specific device it could be viewed on, the site recognizes the device that your visitor is using and automatically generates a page that is responsive to the device the content is being viewed on -- making websites always appear optimized for screens of any dimension. (Learn how responsive design works here.)

77. Return on Investment (ROI)

A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment, or to compare the efficiency and profitability of multiple investments. The formula for ROI is: (Gain from Investment minus Cost of Investment), all divided by (Cost of Investment). The result is expressed as a percentage or ratio. If ROI is negative, then that initiative is losing the company money. The calculation can vary depending on what you input for gains and costs.

Today, marketers want to measure the ROI on every tactic and channel they use. Many facets of marketing have pretty straightforward ROI calculations (like PPC), but others are more difficult (like content marketing).

78. Retweet

A re-posting of a tweet posted by another user on Twitter. Retweets look like normal tweets except for the retweet icon. They can be done in three ways:

1) You can retweet an entire tweet by clicking the retweet button, indicated below.


2) You can post a new tweet that includes your own commentary. In a new tweet, which also features the original tweet. It means you've pressed the rotating arrow icon to retweet a post, and then added a comment in the text box provided. We prefer this method of retweeting because it allows you to add your own thoughts. (Note: The retweet takes up 24 characters, leaving you with 116 characters for the comment.)


3) You can post a new tweet that includes your own commentary in addition to the information you're retweeting. The formula is this: Your own commentary + RT + the original tweeter's Twitter handle + colon + the exact text from their original tweet. This method of retweeting allows you to add your own thoughts, but with a very limited character count.


When you see "Please RT" in someone's tweet, it means they are requesting that their followers retweet that tweet to spread awareness. (Learn more about retweets here.)


79. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practice of enhancing where a webpage appears in search results. By adjusting a webpage's on-page SEO elements and influencing off-page SEO factors, an inbound marketer can improve where a webpage appears in search engine results.

There are a ton of components to improving the SEO of your site pages. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links -- and that's just to name a few. Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in the search engine results pages. (Learn more about SEO here.)

80. Sender Score

An email marketing term that refers to a reputation rating from 0-100 for every outgoing mail server IP address. Mail servers will check your Sender Score before deciding what to do with your emails. A score of over 90 is good. (Learn more about sender score and email deliverability here.)

81. Service Level Agreement (SLA)

For marketers, an SLA is an agreement between a company's sales and marketing teams that defines the expectations Sales has for Marketing and vice versa. The Marketing SLA defines expectations Sales has for Marketing with regards to lead quantity and lead quality, while the Sales SLA defines the expectations Marketing has for Sales on how deeply and frequently Sales will pursue each qualified lead.

SLAs exist to align sales and marketing. If the two departments are managed as separate silos, the system fails. For companies to achieve growth and become leaders in their industries, it is critical that these two groups be properly integrated. Learn how to create an SLA here.

82. Small-to-Medium Business (SMB)

Usually defined as companies that have between 10 and 500 employees.

83. Smarketing

A fun phrase used to refer to the practice of aligning Sales and Marketing efforts. In a perfect world, marketing would pass off tons of fully qualified leads to the sales team, who would then subsequently work every one of those leads enough times to close them 100% of the time. But since this isn't always how the cookie crumbles, it’s important for Marketing and Sales to align efforts to impact the bottom line the best they can through coordinated communication. (Download our free guide to unifying your sales and marketing efforts here.)

84. Snapchat

A social app that allows users to send and receive time-sensitive photos and videos known as "snaps," which are hidden from the recipients once the time limit expires. (Note: Images and videos still remain on the Snapchat server). Users can add text and drawings to their snaps and control the list of recipients in which they send them to.

A Snapchat story is a string of Snapchats that lasts for 24 hours. Users can create stories to be shared with all Snapchatters or just a customized group of recipients. (Learn more about how businesses are using Snapchat here.)

85. Social Media

Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ are examples of social media networks that one can join for personal or business use. Social Media is a core component of Inbound, as it provides marketers with additional channels to spread reach, increase growth, and reach business goals.

86. Social Proof

Social proof refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people seek direction from those around them to determine how they are supposed to act or think in a given situation. It's like when you see a really long line outside a nightclub and assume that club is really good because it's in such high demand. In social media, social proof can be identified by the number of interactions a piece of content receives or the number of followers you have. The idea is that if others are sharing something or following someone, it must be good. (Learn some tips for adding social proof to your landing pages here.)

87. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Any software that is hosted by another company, which stores your information in the cloud. Examples: HubSpot, Salesforce, IM clients, and project management applications. (Here are some examples of SaaS companies with exceptional marketing.)


88. Top of the Funnel

Sometimes called “TOFU”, top of the funnel refers to the very first stage of the buying process. Leads at this stage are just identifying a problem that they have and are looking for more information. As such, an inbound marketer will want to create helpful content that aids leads in identifying this problem and providing next steps toward a solution. TOFU is also very tasty in certain Thai dishes.

89. Twitter

For the sake of creativity, I’ll define Twitter in 140 characters or less: "Twitter is a platform that allows users to share 140-character long messages publicly. User can follow one another and be followed back." There you have it -- a tweetable definition of Twitter.


90. Unique Visitor

A person who visits a website more than once within a period of time. Marketers use this term in contrast with overall site visits to track the amount of traffic on their website. If only one person visits a webpage 30 times, then that web page has one UV and 30 total site visits.

91. URL

This is short for Uniform Resource Locator. I honestly didn’t know that before writing this definition. Basically, this is the address of a piece of information that can be found on the web such as a page, image, or document (ex. URLs are important for on-page SEO, as search engines scour the included text when mining for keywords. If a keyword you’re looking to get indexed for is in the URL, you’ll get brownie points from search engines (but no real brownies, unfortunately).

92. User Experience (UX)

The overall experience a customer has with a particular business, from their discovery and awareness of the brand all the way through their interaction, purchase, use, and even advocacy of that brand. To deliver an excellent customer experience, you have to think like a customer, or better, think about being the customer. Learn more here.

93. User Interface (UI)

A type of interface that allows users to control a software application or hardware device. A good user interface provides a user-friendly experience by allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in an intuitive way. It includes a menu bar, toolbar, windows, buttons, and so on. Learn how to create a user-friendly website registration process here.


94. Viral Content

This term is used to describe a piece of content that has become wildly popular across the web through sharing. Oftentimes, folks don’t know a piece they’re creating will be viral until it actually does, which is usually unfortunate if it’s particularly embarrassing.


95. Website

A website is a set of interconnected webpages, usually including a homepage, generally located on the same server, and prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group, or organization. An inbound marketer should structure a website like a dynamic, multi-dimensional entity that can be used to attract relevant website visitors, convert those visitors into leads, and close those leads into customers. Otherwise, it’s just a brochure -- and let’s be honest -- could you really use another brochure?

96. Word-of-Mouth (WOM)

The passing of information from person to person. Technically, the term refers to oral communication, but today it refers to online communication, as well. WOM marketing is inexpensive, but it takes work and involves leveraging many components of inbound marketing like product marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. (Learn more about creating a powerful WOM marketing strategy here.)

97. Workflow

A workflow is another way to describe a lead nurturing campaign. It’s a set of triggers and events that move a lead through the nurturing process. A workflow can also serve other purposes, such as adjust contact properties on a lead record based on certain conditions, or adding a contact record to a certain list. Regardless of how you use it, workflows can be a very powerful asset in an inbound marketing strategy.


98. XML Sitemap

We couldn’t leave “X” out of the party! An XML sitemap is a file of code that lives on your web server and lists all of the relevant URLs that are in the structure of your website. It's kind of like a "floor plan" for the site, which especially comes in handy whenever the site gets changed. It also helps search engine web crawlers determine the structure of the site so they can crawl it more intelligently.

Sitemaps don't guarantee all links will be crawled, and being crawled does not guarantee indexing. However, a sitemap is still the best insurance for getting a search engine to learn about your entire site. It’s sort of like saying “Hey, Google -- check out this fine website.” (Learn more about XML sitemaps and how to create one here.)


99. YouTube

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google. YouTube is the largest video-sharing site in the world and you’re probably on it now instead of finishing up this post.


100. Zilch

We couldn’t think of anything for "Z." So I ask you dear readers: What inbound marketing related topic should we define that begins with the letter "Z"?

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