Glossary of Marketing Terms by LinkedIn
Explore common marketing terms and definitions, in an easy-to-reference guide to all the marketing keywords and advertising terms you need to know.
From CTAs to KPIs, quickly discover the meanings of frequently used acronyms and marketing vocabulary to make your online advertising journey run smoothly from top to bottom of funnel.
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A/B testing, sometimes called split or bucket testing, is a technique that compares two variations of the same marketing asset to see which performs better. Using the example of a web landing page, 50% of visitors would get version A with a small call to action button, and the other 50% would get version B with a large call to action button. Comparing the results of which version gets more people to click the button is A/B testing.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B sales and marketing strategy where both teams focus on a set of target accounts in a market. This allows marketers and salespeople to create a more personalized approach to closing these accounts. ABM can also include upselling strategies, working to get existing client accounts to upgrade their plan or make additional purchases.
Ad Text/Ad Copy
Ad copy, sometimes referred to as ad text, is the written content in an advertisement that gets a viewer to take action, like clicking on the ad or making a purchase. Some ads are text-only while others have ad copy accompanied by ad creative like a photo, graphic, or video. Good ad copy is key to generating more results from online advertisements.
Audience segmentation is the act of dividing an audience up into different segments based on customer data, like demographics, buying behavior, product usage, and more. This allows for more targeted messaging, creating a more personalized buying experience. Examples of audience segments include location, past purchases, type of device, or funnel stage.
B2B (or business-to-business) marketing is a strategy where businesses market their products and services to other businesses. When marketing to businesses, marketers need to target their messaging to decision-makers in their target companies.
Shortened from the early term “web log,” a blog is a website or page that includes regularly updated content. In the early days of the internet, these were often personal journals, but have now become a powerful business tool. The act of blogging refers to writing and publishing new content onto a blog. Brands will often blog about educational topics relevant to their industry as a marketing strategy.
Slightly different from an ad, a boosted post is a post from your brand’s social media account that you have chosen to widen the audience for by paying money. Known as post boosting, social media platforms make it easy for you to do this kind of paid post right from your page. While boosting may not have all the same customizable features as running an ad, it’s an easy way to increase brand awareness and engagement using content you already have.
In internet marketing, bounce rate is the measure of how many site visitors leave your website without visiting a second page or otherwise interacting with the site. More bounces mean a lower conversion rate (CVR), which is often used as a key performance indicator (KPI). When this web traffic is analyzed, it gives insight on website engagement that will help you understand the effectiveness of your marketing.
The term brand awareness means how much a potential customer recognizes your brand. This doesn't necessarily mean they know your company name, but rather that they recognize something about it, like a logo shape or packaging color, and that they understand what differentiates your brand from others offering similar products or services.
Business to Business (B2B)/Business to Consumer (B2C)
You’ll often see the acronyms B2B and B2C used when talking about online marketing. B2B is short for business to business, while B2C stands for business to consumer, and they're essentially what they sound like. The first means that a business markets what they are selling to another business, and the second means that the business markets directly to the consumer they want to sell to.
Buyer intent refers to the likelihood of a prospective company to buy from a particular company. Buyer intent is essential for marketers to consider when strategizing. Understanding buyer intent helps marketers distinguish between potential clients and people who are researching with no intent to buy.
Created based on marketing research, a buyer persona is a profile of a fictional person who is, or is part of, your target audience. A buyer persona might include things like age, gender identity, education, job title, hobbies, and motivations. These profiles may also be called marketing personas, and serve to outline the ideal customers for your brand, helping to inform the strategy for your marketing campaigns.
Call to Action (CTA)
A call to action (CTA) is something that prompts a consumer to take a specific action. This can occur in any type of advertisement, whether it be a print ad, television spot, or a button on a web landing page, blog, or banner ad. A CTA might say something like “call now!” or “learn more,” directing the consumer to a phone line or form to encourage further interaction.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on the creation and distribution of valuable content to increase website traffic. Content marketing often works hand-in-hand with search engine optimization to ensure that the content will rank well on search engines for better discoverability. Different types of content that may be included in a content marketing strategy include blog posts, landing pages, ebooks, case studies, and more.
A conversion is when someone takes the desired action on an ad or landing page. This can include clicking to view a website, signing up for an email list, or making a purchase. Conversions are tracked using a conversion rate. This can be calculated by taking the number of conversions and dividing it by the number of viewers or visitors. Conversion rate optimization is the act of increasing the number of conversions an ad or website receives.
Conversion Rate (CVR)
“Converting” is what happens when your marketing does what it is designed to do, such as getting someone to purchase something from your company. Conversion rate (CVR) is the measurement of how much that happens. For example, if 100 people click on an ad for your patented Ultrawidget and 15 of them go on to buy the Ultrawidget, your conversion rate is 15%. You can then use this data to judge how effective your marketing is.
Cost per Click (CPC) / Pay per Click (PPC)
Cost per click (CPC) is a term specific to online advertising, referring to a model where advertisers are billed by a website based on how many times an ad is clicked. These ads can contain text, images, video, or a combination of all three, and might appear in a search engine, on a website, or on a social media platform. This model may also be referred to as pay per click (PPC).
Customer acquisition is, very simply, the act of acquiring new customers. This involves creating buyer personas and a strategy, creating a marketing campaign, following a customer through the marketing funnel, and ultimately results in conversion. Customer acquisition cost takes this whole process into account to come up with the total cost of acquiring a new customer.
The customer journey/lifecycle refers to all of the touchpoints or interactions someone has with a business as they become a customer. The most common customer journey or lifecycle has five main phases: awareness, reach, acquisition, conversion, and retention. Marketers need to make sure each interaction with their business throughout the customer journey is a pleasant experience to help increase the chance a customer makes it to the end.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a type of software that manages all of a company’s relationships with both leads and existing customers. Sales teams will often use a CRM to manage the relationship with a new lead all the way until they’ve closed the deal. Marketing teams can use CRMs to create audience segments for targeting.
Demographic refers to information discovered about the human population. Demographics are often used to help brands identify their target audience and which channels they should be using to reach that audience. Demographic data includes information like age, race, gender, income, education, and the like.
Digital advertising refers to advertisements run through digital channels like search engines, social media platforms, website display ads, and more. The formats of these ads can range from basic text ads, links, images, shopping ads, and video ads. Online advertising dashboards can easily track the number of views, engagements, clicks, and conversions digital ads have received.
Digital marketing, or online marketing, means any marketing effort that happens on the internet. That means this marketing occurs through digital channels like search engines, websites, email, social media platforms, and on mobile devices. Digital marketing tactics vary widely and include things like newsletters, landing pages, sponsored content, and banner ads.
Display ads are a type of digital advertising. Display ads are image or video ads shown on online outlets like websites, social media platforms, or apps. This type of digital ad can be used for every phase of the sales funnel, from awareness to conversion.
Dynamic ads are digital ads that automatically change and adapt to show the target customer the most relevant content. Dynamic ads can adjust to show different imagery, ad copy, or landing pages based on the individual viewer. The ads look at individual users’ demographics, geolocation, browsing activity, and other data to decide which content to show them.
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Ecommerce (short for electronic commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods online. Brands can create their own online stores, upload product photos and information, set prices, and start selling. This is a great way for brands to start selling products without needing overhead for a brick-and-mortar store.
Email marketing is a specific marketing channel that falls under the umbrella of digital marketing. Used to promote a brand in general or specific products and services from that brand, email marketing campaigns may include things like special offers, newsletters, and new product announcements, often with a call to action (CTA).
Engagement rate is a term used in marketing and advertising analytics. It refers to how many people have engaged with a brand’s social media content or ads. Engagement rate for organic content can be calculated by dividing the total number of interactions a post received by the number of followers a brand has. Engagement rate for ad content can be calculated by dividing the total number of interactions an ad received by the number of people who saw the ad.
Funnel Stage (TOFU/MOFU/BOFU)
TOFU/MOFU/BOFU may sound funny, but it’s actually a reference to what's known as a funnel, a term used in both sales and marketing. A marketing funnel or conversion funnel shows a consumer’s path from initial brand awareness to customer. TOFU means top of funnel, and is where a customer becomes aware of your brand. MOFU means middle of funnel, and is where the consumer considers your brand. BOFU means bottom of funnel, and is where conversion occurs.
Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategy
A go-to-market (GTM) strategy is a step-by-step plan detailing how a brand is going to launch a new product or service into the market. Steps include identifying the target audience, building a launch and marketing plan, conducting a competitive analysis, and putting together a sales strategy. This will ensure the new product launch goes smoothly and establishes its place in the market.
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Similar to buyer persona, an ideal customer profile (ICP) is more frequently used in business-to-business marketing (B2B). Here, you outline the ideal characteristics of a company you would like to market to, such as type of business, location, employee numbers, and revenue. While your end goal may be to sell to specific buyer personas within an ICP, your planning would start with outlining the ideal customer profile before you lay out buyer personas.
Inbound marketing is an approach that involves creating valuable content and experiences to attract potential customers to your brand. It focuses on building relationships and trust through channels like social media, blogs, and search engines. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, involves pushing messages to a wider audience through methods such as cold calling, and direct mail. It aims to interrupt people's daily lives to get their attention and generate leads.
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Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A key performance indicator (KPI) is any measurement used to demonstrate how a key business objective is performing over time. This provides actionable insight that helps the business manage and achieve goals. Many terms in this glossary can be used as KPIs, including return on investment (ROI), conversion rate (CVR), bounce rate, and brand awareness data.
A keyword is a word or phrase that someone types into a search engine to find the information they’re looking for. Keyword research is the practice of finding popular keywords that a target audience may be searching for. Based on the data, a brand can then create a web page or blog post to answer the audience’s query.
A landing page is very much what it sounds like—a web page that a visitor lands on. In the context of online marketing, this is often a standalone page that is part of a marketing campaign, and is focused around a call to action (CTA). This page may contain a free trial or other content that is traded in exchange for the visitor’s contact information. Landing pages are a key part of lead generation, the initial step toward turning visitors into customers.
A marketing lead is someone who shows interest in what is being sold, and information on leads may come in the form of direct contact info or demographic data that helps a company understand who their target audience is. Marketing lead generation, then, is the creation of leads by initiating consumer interest in the product or service that is being marketed. This is often done through website landing pages, web content and advertisements.
Market share refers to the percentage of a market or industry’s sales one single company owns. In other words, market share is a company’s total revenue share out of the entire industry’s revenue. This data is important to calculate as it shows how competitive a business is in its market.
The practice of collecting and analyzing data about digital marketing efforts is known as marketing analytics. This involves measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) of marketing campaigns such as conversion rate (CVR) and bounce rate alongside data like customer acquisition cost to determine the return on investment (ROI). The interpretation of marketing analytics results in reports that help a business understand where their marketing efforts are succeeding and where they can improve.
The term marketing campaign refers to a cohesive approach to achieving a marketing goal. A campaign is a long-term plan that involves setting up a strategy, then implementing that strategy to promote your product or service. A combination of advertising methods is used, from print, web, radio, and TV ads to influencer marketing, product placement, and events.
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If you have ever seen an article in a magazine or section on a website that looks just like the content around it but is sponsored, that’s native advertising. This form of advertising straddles the line between content and ad, blending with the look and feel of the media it appears in while promoting the marketer’s product or service.
Objective-based advertising is a LinkedIn-specific type of digital advertising campaign. This type of campaign leads with objectives. Brands are able to first pinpoint their ad objective before choosing ad formats and features that support their chosen objective.
In marketing terminology, engagement means someone interacting with one of your marketing assets. Frequently used in the context of social media, this asset might be an ad or post from your brand, and post engagement is the measure of how many people like, comment, or otherwise interact with that asset. The ratio of number of followers to number of interactions is called the post engagement rate.
Responsive design is a web design and development strategy that ensures a website is usable on both desktop computers and mobile devices. The website will not only adjust to fit smaller screens, but will make sure that spacing isn’t altered, links and navigation aren’t hidden or hard to find, and other key factors that ensure the website is fully usable on mobile. Responsive design is a major component in search engine optimization.
In online advertising, the term retargeting refers to serving ads for your product or service to consumers after they have visited your website. These ads may appear on other sites or social media platforms, and are designed to remind the potential customer of your brand. This increased brand awareness improves the chance that they will choose you when they are ready to buy.
Return on Investment (ROI)
A metric that provides a window into profitability, return on investment (ROI) measures the money made from an investment against the money put into that investment. ROI helps inform marketing decisions by giving a snapshot of what types of marketing spend have the best balance of cost and effectiveness. Think of it as the formal term for “bang for your buck.”
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving a website and its content to increase the amount of website traffic generated by search engines. The ultimate goal is to get a website’s landing pages and blog posts ranking on the first page of Google for their target keywords, as that’s the most popular place users click from.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the practice of using social media platforms to market a business. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok can be great places to promote a business and increase its overall customer base. Social media platforms have features that let brands sell products, host live broadcasts, interact with customers, and more.
In digital marketing language, a sponsored post is a post on social media or another platform that is paid for by a brand. This may occur in influencer marketing, where a social media personality receives compensation to talk about the brand in a post, and may also be called a sponsored ad. This can also apply to longer-form content like blogs in the context of native advertising, which is when a website publishes sponsored content that looks similar to their own content.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis is a method often used in business and marketing plans to help companies discover their place in the market as well as where they may need to improve. These are formatted as a square table with four cells—one for each of the four items to analyze.
Total Addressable Market (TAM)
Total addressable market (TAM), also sometimes called “total available market,” is a term used for the overall revenue opportunity for a set of products or services. Essentially, this is the most revenue a brand can make by selling its products or services. This can be calculated through a top-down approach, which is based on industry data, or through a bottom-up approach, which is based on past sales data (and is a more accurate depiction).
A unique visitor is a website analytics metric. This term refers to the actual number of people who have visited a website. Unique visitors are counted only once in the selected time frame, regardless of if they have visited the website multiple times. This helps a business understand how many individual people are visiting their website in a given time period.
User Experience (UX)
User experience (UX) refers to the overall experience someone accessing a website or app has. This can cover anything from ease of use and navigability to content relevancy. Brands can regularly gather feedback from customers to discover if there are ways to improve their website or mobile app and create a better user experience.
Video ads are a type of digital ad that uses video to explain a product or service and convince the viewer to take the desired action. There are many different types of videos that can be used in a video ad—explainer videos, quick promo videos, branded short films, tutorials, etc.
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A wireframe, also known as a schematic or blueprint, is a visual representation of how a website or app will be built. There are three different levels of wireframes: low-fidelity, medium-fidelity, and high-fidelity. These different levels indicate how in-depth the wireframe appears. For example, low-fidelity wireframes are black-and-white with boxes indicating where designs will live while high-fidelity wireframes are identical mockups of what the end result will look like.