Content Creation and Content Marketing Glossary
Above the Fold – Content that can be seen without scrolling down the page. Usually includes the headline, introduction, and first subheading – content that catches the eye. In printing, these are part of the content that is “above the fold”, hence the term.
A/B Testing – A method of testing the performance of a web page, landing page or newsletter that’s usually part of a marketing campaign. It can be used to test the overall performance of the page or that of a particular page element such as a subheading or a call to action. Metrics can include traffic, conversions, sales, and more. For example, two versions of a landing page are created, each featuring a different call to action. You can send half of your Facebook traffic to one page and half to the other. After measuring conversions, you decide which is more effective and remove the other. A/B testing helps you to better understand your audience and can improve your marketing performance.
Active Verb – When the subject does the action, the verb is active, as in “Content marketing beats advertising.” When the subject undergoes the action, the verb is passive, i.e. “Advertising is beaten by content marketing.” Active verbs make writing more powerful and easier to read. They also allow writers to make their point clear in fewer words.
Affiliate Marketing – A type of performance-based marketing in which online advertisers promote products for other brands. It often uses affiliate links to help track performance. Payments are usually based on the number of clicks, sales, or registrations.
ALT Text – A website HTML element that helps search engine crawlers better understand and categorize visual content. Adding a short, relevant description to the ALT text attribute of every image on your site can improve your Google Image Search ranking for each of those images. It’s an important component of on-page SEO optimization.
Analytics – The practice of discovering and interpreting patterns in data that shed light on user behavior, site performance, and marketing campaign results. Analytics tools range in complexity from simple insights built into social media networks like Facebook or Twitter to more advanced software like Google Analytics. With analytics, you can better understand traffic sources, on-site customer behavior, or the effectiveness of social media marketing in improving your conversions.
Anchor Text – The clickable words in a hyperlink that directs readers to another web page. Anchor text can be used to link to other content on the website, blog, or social media pages or to authoritative web sources. It can also be used to link to a product or service page or a landing page. See more at the entry for Call to Action (CTA).
Article Marketing – A type of inbound marketing that involves the creation and distribution of articles on websites, social networks, blogs, ezines, and other content sites. Article marketing can be used to inform, educate, or entertain an audience. It helps a business build backlinks and improve authority and reputation in their market in an organic way.
Article Writing Services – A way to generate new content for websites, blogs, social media pages, and marketing campaigns. It involves working with a team of writers and editors who understand your content needs and can create original content. When you don’t have the time to write articles yourself, these services can help improve your visibility and authority online, and even boost your sales. You can hire them on a project basis or as part of an ongoing collaboration. Article writing services may include content editing, proofreading, and publishing as well as other content services which independent freelancers may not provide.
Audiobook – A recording of a book or other text read by a narrator. Unabridged audiobooks feature the full text of the original while abridged audiobooks only a shortened version. While audiobooks may have initially emerged as radio programs and books for the blind, in today’s fast-paced world they offer people who are simply too busy to read the opportunity to enjoy their favorite written texts while driving, doing housework, or running. Content marketing can include audiobooks, often as free downloads.
Authorship – A way to credit the author of content published on a website by giving them an image and a byline in the search results page. To establish authorship, both the author of the content and the website on which the content is published must connect to Google+.
Backlink – A link from one site to another. The authority of the referrer site contributes to the quality of that link, which Google and other search engines determine through a series of algorithms. The more quality backlinks a site has, the higher its search engine ranking. You can earn backlinks naturally by publishing valuable and engaging content that other sites will link to, as well as by being active on social media.
Backlink Profile – A way for Google to evaluate and grade your website introduced after the Google Penguin algorithm update. To determine your Backlink Profile, Google looks at the number and quality of links pointing to your website, how the links were acquired, and the naturalness and quality of the anchor text in the links. A good backlink profile means a good SEO ranking.
Banner Ads – Visual advertisements that you place on your website or blog or buy on other sites. They may include dynamic elements or animated ads. Costs for banner ads are usually calculated on a cost-per-click basis.
Bottom of the Funnel – The stage in the buying process in which leads are about to become new customers. By the time they reach this stage, they have already compared their options and have almost made up their minds. They are ready to talk with a sales representative for a consultation or try a demo/trial of the product or service they want to buy.
Bounce Rate – The number of people (expressed as a percentage) who leave a site, blog, or specific web page soon after they land on it, without having clicked on any links or buttons to navigate to other related pages. A high bounce rate is often equated to a site that is unengaging. It is seen as undesirable, as it usually correlates to a poor conversion rate.
Brand Awareness – The extent to which customers can recognize a brand. It also plays an important part in an audience’s ability to recall that brand. Brand awareness increases customer trust, engagement, and ultimately conversions and sales. Content marketing is an effective approach to increasing brand awareness in a natural and persuasive way and without the higher expenses that advertising entails.
Branded Content – Content created by or for a specific brand. While it’s often written in a journalistic style, it may include a more or less subtle marketing message meant to increase conversions. Often used to differentiate promotional content from other types of content a brand may publish online (see Curated Content).
Business Blogging – Blogging that is infused with marketing to help a business increase traffic and authority, generate leads, and improve sales. To maximize results, Business Blogging often uses search engine optimization strategies such as keyword optimization (see SEO entry) and copywriting techniques. Business blogs tend to feature calls to action and are tracked using analytics.
Buyer Persona – A character that embodies your ideal customer, usually created by the marketing team based on customer data and market research. A business may have different Buyer Personas. A Buyer Persona helps to define and segment your target audience, allowing you to optimize your marketing message to make it more effective.
Buying Cycle – The stages through which a consumer passes before making a purchase. Traditionally, there are five stages: Awareness, Research, Comparison, Purchase, and Retention. Ideally, the content on a website is optimized for the different phases of the Buying Cycle. For example, including a call to action on a page visited by customers in the Research stage will not improve conversion rates.
Call-to-Action (CTA) – An instruction that encourages readers to take immediate action. A CTA can come in the form of a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, or a button with text. It can push for a direct sale or ask users to subscribe, visit a page, download something, etc. While a CTA is the key element of a landing page and appears on many product pages, content marketers usually leave it out of their regular content. Using too many CTAs too often can make a brand’s marketing too aggressive.
Categories – Broader than tags, categories are used to organize blog posts and other web content to improve content management, discovery, and navigation. For example, a post about common garden pests and another about growing roses can both be placed in the category “Gardening”.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) – A marketing metric included in most insights and analytics available for websites, blogs, and social media. It measures the ratio of people who have clicked links on a page compared to the total number of users who have viewed that page. It can be a valuable metric when assessing the effectiveness of the content on that page.
Content Attribution – The act of giving credit to the author of the content that you feature on your site, blog, or on your social media profiles, or whose ideas you incorporate into your own content. It refers to the specific act of acknowledging the original author of a piece of content you use.
Content Management System (CMS) – In its general sense, a type of web-based software that allows website owners to create, edit, publish, and organize content such as blog posts even if they don’t have any coding knowledge. A CMS features a back-end, or interface for the content creator and manager, and a front end, or visitor interface. Popular content management systems include WordPress and Joomla.
Content Marketing – A form of online marketing that involves the creation and publishing of web content targeting a specific audience. The purpose of this type of marketing may be to increase sales, generate more traffic and leads, improve a brand’s search engine ranking and authority, increase brand awareness, engage online users, or a combination of these. Content marketing aims to provide specific information to customers who are searching for it. It may take the form of website content, blog posts, email newsletters, social media posts, digital books and courses, and more. Content marketing is not limited to articles but can include videos, podcasts, slideshows, webinars, live videos, and mixed media content.
Content Network – Through their content networks, search engines like Google allow you to pay for your content to be promoted in the search results pages. Content on these sites come in the form of ads. Most content networks give you the choice between choosing the sites on which to display your ads or using keywords to target your ads across sites to the right audience. Ads in a content network may take the form of content you published on your blog or site.
Content Retargeting – Using cookies and visitor data to send specific content to returning visitors or visitors who have interacted in a particular way with your site. This strategy can increase engagement rates and conversions.
Content Schedule – Defines when your content will be published. On a macro level, it helps you plan out content for seasonal holidays, brand events, and other important dates. On a micro level, it may feature the specific hours when the content should be published for maximum engagement. Often, the Content Schedule is part of a Content Strategy.
Content Strategy – The planning of your content marketing, which may draw on keyword research, website analytics, and customer and marketing data to determine what content you create and where you publish it. It also defines who will create and distribute this content and what metrics will be used to determine its efficiency, i.e. traffic, conversions, sales, etc.
Context – The meaning behind what you write. Applied to content marketing, it includes all the information you have about the audience who receives the content as well as the brand that publishes it. Context enables the right content to be delivered at the right time to the right audience.
Copyright – The legal right that grants the creator of content exclusive rights for its use and publication. It prevents others from using that content as their own without permission from the creator. Online, copyright may apply automatically to the creator of the content upon publication of that content. However, ghostwriters may relinquish their claim to copyright.
Copyscape – A web-based plagiarism checker that allows users to establish content authenticity. The free version allows anyone to scan and compare web pages. The premium version allows users to scan for plagiarism content that hasn’t been published yet. Copyscape is a powerful content marketing and SEO tool, as Google and other search engines penalize sites with duplicate content.
Copywriting – The practice of writing copy or written content created for marketing purposes. Good copy increases brand awareness and can drive sales. An art as well as a science, copywriting is an integral part of most successful online marketing campaigns. Copy on the web often comes in the form of website content created by content writers.
Cost per Click (CPC) – A way to pay for ads on content networks and other online platforms. With this payment model, you pay a specific sum for every click on your ad.
Crawler – Google and other search engines use a crawler that quietly analyzes your site, follows links, and rates your pages. Crawlers work by creating a perfect copy of your site in the search engine’s index and then serving those files to web searchers.
Creative Commons License – A public copyright license that allows the free distribution of copyrighted work. It gives people the right to share and reuse text, images, and other forms of content. Note that some restrictions may apply, such as the non-commercial use of content.
Curated Content – Content gathered from online sources such as news sites, media channels, industry sites, or authoritative blogs. Usually a manual process, content curation adds diversity to a brand’s content and can improve its authority. Due credit is given to the source of the content, including a direct link to the page from which the content was taken. In some cases, content curation may require the consent of the original author of the content.
Descriptive Writing – Writing that presents and describes something. It often appeals to the five senses and uses similes, metaphors, and other types of figurative language. While often used in product and service descriptions on web pages, it can also be woven into most other types of online content, including blog posts, social media updates, and landing pages.
Digital Reputation – The opinion that web users have about you or your organization. Influenced primarily by your online content, it may vary based on the location of your audience and the marketing strategies you use to reach them. There is no simple metric for measuring your digital reputation. To do so, you have to monitor social response, including comments and shares.
Direct Marketing – Marketing that aims to get an immediate, direct response from recipients, even if they’ve never heard about the brand that’s being marketed. Direct Marketing can be seen as the opposite of content marketing, which seeks to provide value and generate engagement naturally and often doesn’t involve a direct call to action. That said, direct marketing may be used alongside content marketing as part of a digital marketing strategy.
Dynamic Content – Content optimized for a particular group, usually intended to increase engagement and improve conversions. Dynamic content may appear on websites and landing pages, in marketing emails, on social media posts and updates, etc. Often draws on the Buyer’s Journey and customer data to provide content tailored to the visitor’s interests, location, and shopping habits. For example, the homepage of a content marketing site may show mobile visitors from the U.S. a video showcasing a case study from San Francisco and desktop users from Europe an infographic.
E-book – A digital book often published in PDF format. It can be read both online and offline using computers, mobile devices, and e-Readers. e-books have the same structure as physical books, but they are often shorter and include more graphical elements. e-books can be free to download or are sold through digital marketplaces such as the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon.
E-book Marketing – A form of content marketing that involves the creation and a free giveaway or sale of a digital book, often on a specialized topic. Many authoritative bloggers use e-book marketing to attract more followers and increase their reach. This type of marketing often takes the form of a free downloadable e-book that tries to consolidate the reputation of the author.
Editorial Calendar – A content calendar that defines your content creation and publishing process. It includes brainstorming content ideas, content creation, instructions as to where and when to publish the content, and publication dates. It usually includes copy editing and proofreading, as well. Larger editorial calendars that feature multiple authors and cater to wider audiences may include a more in-depth reviewing process with multiple stages, including fact-checking and legal reviewing. An editorial calendar can help even a small business to achieve a clearer content marketing purpose. By outlining the content creation process in advance, it can increase the output of the creative team and ensure all content creation deadlines are met.
Email Marketing – A simple yet effective way to deliver content, special offers, and calls to action to your audience. It requires a mailing list, which you can create by asking visitors and customers to subscribe to your newsletter, often in return for registration or some other perk. Email marketing can be easily incorporated into almost any content marketing strategy, whether or not you already use an email marketing platform. Advanced email marketing enables you to send personalized messages to a segmented audience at the hours when they are most likely to open them and then track open rates, conversions, and more.
Engagement – The ability to hold the attention of your audience and persuade them to comment, like, share, join a contest, actively follow your content, etc. In the world of content marketing, engagement is seen as a measure of your content’s ability to get people to participate in what you are proposing, whether it’s responding to your content or taking selfies of themselves using your product. Engagement is considered a more reliable metric than traffic since a website can receive a lot of traffic that doesn’t amount to clicks or conversions.
Evergreen Content – Content that remains relevant and continues to generate traffic months and even years after it has been published. Evergreen content may include educational or instructional posts and articles, comprehensive lists, product reviews, entertaining videos, and infographics. Evergreen content usually answers key questions that your audience is asking and provides effective solutions to the problems they are facing.
Expository Writing – Writing that informs or explains. Expository writing includes news articles, how-tos, listicles, press releases, and reports, and makes up much of the content that’s available online. Good expository writing is clear, simple, and to the point, grabbing readers’ attention quickly and retaining it through valuable information and insight into the topic in question.
Ezine – An online magazine that allows authors to publish original content in order to build backlinks and improve their reputation, exposure, and traffic. Over the years, Google algorithm updates have decreased the importance of Ezines in content marketing, but even today they continue to be valuable sources of traffic for many niche authors and businesses.
Forum – A message board in the form of an online site where conversations are published through a thread. While social media groups have replaced many forums, specialized forums still exist across the web. You can draw on them to better understand the problems and concerns of a specific audience. It is also possible to directly publish content on a forum for SEO and marketing purposes. Most forums are moderated, which means that moderators may remove content that’s considered to be advertising. Some forums feature sponsored content.
Guerrilla Marketing – A form of creative and often unconventional marketing that may combine traditional and digital marketing strategies to draw attention to a brand. It relies on creativity rather than a big budget to catch the attention of a target audience. Online examples of guerrilla marketing may include videos, live streams, or webcasts. When successful, guerrilla marketing can be highly memorable. However, it is considered a more risky marketing strategy, so not all brands embrace it.
Hashtag – Tags or labels like #food or #fashion added to the content on Instagram, Twitter, and other social networks. Hashtags facilitate content discovery by acting as keywords that users can search for. They can be used for events, trends, and specific topics, among others. Hashtags differ from keywords in that they are relevant only to the network in question. Content with hashtags still needs keywords to rank well on Google.
Heading Tags – Defines the headings in an HTML page. As a rule, documents have only one H1 tag and H2, H3, and H4 tags that follow a well-defined hierarchy which helps to structure the content. For best SEO and content marketing practices, use heading tags throughout the content of a web page to make the information more coherent and easier to read and help Google and other search engines understand it better.
Hyperlink – An anchor text that features a link from one web page or file to another, or to an element within a document. Hyperlinks simplify navigation on a website and allow readers to easily follow through information on other pages. Within the greater structure of a website, hyperlinks may be used for reference purposes, as on Wikipedia.
Inbound Link – A link from a website or web page (referrer) to one of your pages. Inbound links are essentially backlinks, and they are often also called incoming links. Inbound links can help your site become more visible online and improve your search engine ranking, provided that the referrer is an authoritative, well-ranked site.
Inbound Marketing – Online marketing that often combines content marketing with social media marketing and SEO to provide relevant information to an audience and improve the customer experience. Through inbound marketing, a brand can build an online reputation and connect with its audience. Inbound marketing can be more cost-effective and have a wider reach than outbound marketing, which tries to promote products and services through ads and sales. Inbound marketing often aims to increase awareness and solve customer problems.
Infographic – Combining text and images, an infographic presents content in a visually engaging way. Infographics are often used to present stats and other findings in a beautiful way. They catch the eye and can be easily shared across networks. For these reasons, infographics are today among the most popular types of content. Good infographics take time to create and may require the touch of a graphic designer or other creative.
Influencer – A popular professional, blogger, or social media user with many fans and followers. Influencers use blogging, social media, and other digital platforms to cover a particular area of interest. By reaching out to influencers who share your values, you can promote your business in an organic and effective way, as people trust influencers more than ads and are more likely to act based on their recommendations. See also Micro-Influencer.
Internal Linking – Directing readers to previous posts and pages on your blog or website. It can help keep visitors on your site longer, which could ultimately increase conversions. At the same time, deep linking ensures that even older pages on your site get indexed by Google and other search engines.
Keyword – A term that defines the topic of a page or piece of content. Keywords are what users type into Google Search and other search engines to find what they are looking for. When relevant keywords are added to the content, they make it more visible online. Keywords improve the ranking and relevancy of a website. While search engines can only pick up keywords used for text-based content such as articles and blog posts, keywords can also be added to the ALT tag used for images and to other content tags. Keywords used in the Headline, Subheading, and URL of a page are especially important.
Keyword Density – The number of times a keyword is used in a piece of content, usually expressed as a percentage. For example, when a keyword is used five times in a 500-word article, the keyword density is 1%. If it had been used nine times, it would have fallen just short of 2%. The desired keyword density on the web has decreased after repeated Google algorithm updates. Keyword density still matters.
Keyword Research – Finding relevant keywords for SEO purposes or content marketing, usually by looking at the keywords that a specific audience is using on Google search. Usually the domain of SEO professionals, keyword research often aims to find additional keywords that an organization can incorporate into their content marketing strategy to generate more traffic and improve search engine ranking.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – A metric chosen to define success. When applied to marketing, it may include the number of unique visits, time spent on site, heat maps, comments, bounce rate, and page views. KPIs are important because they enable you to steer your content marketing campaign. Content analytics and marketing tools allow for easy tracking of KPIs and can generate automated reports based on them.
Landing Page – A web page specially created to trigger a specific response in an audience. It can be used to directly sell a product, turn visitors into subscribers and followers, get them to watch a video, or fill a form. Landing pages combine copywriting with web design to maximize conversions or leads.
Lead Generation – The process of obtaining contact information such as email addresses from potential customers, typically by offering them content in return. This can be used for other marketing purposes. For example, an online pet store may offer a free e-book or a weekly newsletter to unregistered visitors in return for their email address, name, and phone number. Lead generation may be used with the aim of growing a brand’s following on social media, rather than to sell products or services.
Local SEO – Optimizing a site to rank higher in the search results for local searches. Google detects local searches based on the location of the searcher and any location-related keywords they may use. More than keyword optimization, local SEO entails creating content with a local flavor and claiming a Google local business listing. It also involves a certain measure of social media marketing to a local demographic.
Link Building – Improving a website’s authority and ranking in the search results by attracting links from good-quality websites. While Google algorithm updates outdated link building through article directories and other low-quality content sites, external links remain important. Today, safe and effective link building strategies include guest blogging and content curation. You can also generate links by using social media regularly.
Long-Tail Keywords – More specific keyword phrases that visitors are likely to use when they want to purchase a product or service. These keywords are also commonly used for mobile voice searches. While long-tail keywords require more keyword research and precise targeting, they can be more valuable than short-tail keywords, especially for brands in competitive markets that try to stand out from competitors.
Marketing Automation – Using software to streamline your marketing processes. Marketing automation tools come in many forms, allowing you to make the most of email autoresponders, content scheduling and auto-publishing, data analysis and reporting, and marketing segmentation. It can save you time by significantly reducing or even eliminating repetitive marketing tasks.
Membership Site – A site that offers exclusive content such as in-depth training on a particular topic. Membership sites rely on content marketing to generate both free and premium content. Paid content on such sites usually builds on free content, providing more in-depth information. Membership sites often use a monthly or an annual subscription-based model.
Meta Tags – Website HTML elements that describe pages and content. They can help search engines better understand and present content.
Micro-Influencer – An influencer with a smaller but more engaged following, often favored by smaller brands. Micro-Influencers who share your values can improve the image of your brand and give it an authentic voice. See also Influencer.
Microsite – A small site, often consisting of only one page, that represents a brand but is hosted at a different web address than the brand’s main site. Microsites can also live on a brand’s site when they represent a particular campaign and feature content that’s different from the brand’s main site. Unlike a landing page, a microsite isn’t necessarily designed to maximize conversions and doesn’t need to have clear calls to action. For example, a brand selling clothes that launches a fund-raising initiative with a partner brand may create a microsite to promote that campaign and make it easier to find by regular visitors.
Mobile Marketing – Marketing that specifically targets mobile users, creating custom content for them. While all of your online marketing should be optimized for mobile devices, mobile marketing aims to reach mobile users with special content and web experiences. Mobile content features mobile-friendly typography and formatting and is delivered in a way that aims to improve engagement and shares. This often calls for custom site design, even though most mobile marketing happens through social media.
Narrative Writing – A mode of writing that tells a story. Often used for blog posts, About pages on company sites, or social media. Narrative writing may use a personal, informal voice (blog posts, social media content) or a more detached and objective tone (case studies, brand history page). Narrative writing can also be converted into video and audio content such as YouTube videos and audiobooks. It is one of the major forms of writing found online, alongside descriptive writing, expository writing, and persuasive writing.
Newsjacking – A marketing practice in which you take advantage of breaking news and other big stories by becoming somehow connected to them. You can do this by picking up a major news item and covering it fast or adding a new spin to it so that online journalists can pick it up and pass it on through other channels. Newsjacking isn’t something that all sites can do, but those that focus on great headlines may benefit from it.
Newsletter Marketing – A type of email marketing that focuses on delivering regular newsletters to subscribers. Unlike conventional marketing emails, newsletters tend to focus on content and may not feature special offers or products at all.
Niche – A subset of a market, with a large enough audience for marketers to target it. For example, in the organic food market, a niche could be “vegan protein bars” or “natural sun-dried fruit”. However obscure a niche may be, it is usually considered profitable enough for brands to market products for it. Niches are not only the domain of small brands but can also be targeted by larger companies already established in other markets. Niche brands often make use of inbound marketing because the cost of such marketing is comparatively lower than that of traditional marketing.
Nofollow Link – An outgoing link with an HTML attribute that signals Google not to consider that link when determining a site’s search engine ranking. To prevent webmasters from abusing these types of links, in 2009 Google introduced a new approach to calculating a site’s PageRank by dividing it by a total number of links. Nofollow links became popular in the wake of Google algorithm updates when webmasters understood that the quality of particular backlinks could hurt their search engine ranking. Nofollow links can still be used for greater control over backlinks, but cannot be used to mask poor content.
On-site SEO – Focuses on a website’s content, design, navigation, and performance. It includes all strategies you can use to make your site as search-engine-friendly as possible and is usually the foundation of any good SEO strategy.
Off-site SEO can include link-building, guest blogging, brand mentions, social media marketing, and influencer marketing. It complements on-site SEO and makes a website easier to discover online.
Organic Search – Searching for content that is relevant to the keywords you have entered and that appears naturally in the search results page as a result of this. By contrast, the non-organic search displays results that have been paid for or are advertised.
Outgoing Links – Also called outbound or external links, these are links from your website to other websites. While they are not as crucial for SEO purposes as backlinks, they remain important and it’s important that your site has no broken links. A normal outgoing link influences the PageRank of the website to which it points. See entry for Nofollow Links.
PageRank – A search engine ranking algorithm Google uses to determine the relevancy of a page based on the number and quality of the links pointing to it. PageRank is known to reward websites with plenty of high-quality incoming links. While Google uses many different algorithms, PageRank is one of the most important ones.
Page Views – A metric that shows how many times a particular web page has been viewed. It includes multiple views from the same visitor and is a broad measure of the popularity of a page and the content on it. Compare with Unique page views.
Persuasive Writing – Writing that tries to convince readers to do something, agree with your point of view, or answer a call to action. Persuasive writing blends in with copywriting to create product pages, landing pages, or copy for marketing content. It may also appear on blogs and news sites in content that intends to generate comments, shares, or conversions.
Podcast – Audio content that an audience can listen to online or download on their devices. Podcasts may come in the form of interviews, shows, case studies, or narrated content. They can be a valuable type of audio content, one that your audience can enjoy on their mobile devices while running, driving, or relaxing. Livestream audio can also be turned into podcasts.
Press Release (PR) – A news item that announces something noteworthy. PR sites specialize in news-based content that brands can use to highlight new products or services, announce events, or introduce new developments. PRs are important even for small, local companies because they are fresh content and often include at least one backlink.
Q&A – A type of content that comes in the form of Questions and Answers. An example would be an online store’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about ordering online, which may include general information about shipping, payments, or returns. The Q&A format can also be used on blogs and social media for interviews with influencers, testimonials and case studies, as well as to discuss a specific topic and provide a solution to a problem.
QR Code – The Quick Response Code is a 2D barcode that can be attached to packaging, products, printed material, or sites and that provides additional information about something. QR codes can be decoded through mobile device cameras using QR-code apps. For example, a QR code on a product sold in a supermarket can encode a link to the brand’s website online, or to a particular page related to that product. While QR codes are usually used in the physical world, they may also be incorporated into web pages, newsletters, and other forms of content and decoded through a mobile device.
Quality Control – Applied to content creation and marketing, a quality management process that reviews all factors involved in the production of content to ensure a high level of quality. It may include several in-house revisions and additional revision and feedback from the client before the content is finalized.
Quote – The repetition of someone else’s thoughts, often marked with quotation marks, as in “Life itself is a quotation.” – Jorge Luis Borges. Excessive quoting may hurt a website’s search engine ranking to the content duplication effect unless the page itself is intended as a compendium of quotations. In content marketing, quotes should be used sparingly and their authors always named.
Reference – A link to a source of information, used to verify stats or statements, as well as to support any ideas or evidence provided. References are generally listed at the bottom of the article. On the web, websites with the .org, .edu, and .gov extensions tend to carry more authority than .com or .net sites and are considered more valuable for referencing as they often present original research and accurate information.
Repurposing Content – Rewriting, updating, expanding, and improving old content in order to publish it in another format or channel. For example, an old blog post about a currently trending topic may be repurposed into a social media update or infographic.
Responsive Web Design – The practice of designing websites that adjust themselves to the device they are viewed on. A responsive website looks just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktops. It also loads fast and provides a smooth and fluent browsing experience. In a world full of mobile devices, responsive web design has become a new web standard.
Return on Investment (ROI) – The gain that an investor makes as a result of an investment, often used as a performance measure in online content marketing. For example, a brand may invest $500 in an online marketing campaign and as a result see traffic, sales, and engagement that’s valued at $1,500, hence their ROI would be 200%. ROI can be especially important for campaigns that aim to boost sales, as traffic, engagement, or subscriber metrics may be harder to quantify.
Review – A form of content that reviews and often compares a particular product or service. It may highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the product/service and rate it using specific metrics or an existing ranking system. Some websites specialize exclusively in product reviews.
RSS – A web feed protocol that allows users to subscribe to your site and receive content on their devices. Most popular content management systems integrate RSS and other internal content feeds that make it easier for readers to follow content from a specific site or blog.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – A way of marketing a website in order to improve its search engine visibility, usually through paid strategies. SEM often involves keyword research, pay-per-click advertising, mobile optimization, and content marketing. Used in a broad sense, SEM may incorporate SEO as well as social media marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The process of optimizing a website to make it easier to find online, and so improve its position in the search results pages of Google and other search engines. SEO combines on-site and off-site strategies.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – The page a search engine displays in response to a keyword search. It includes the most relevant results, in the form of links to pages and snippets of text that describe those pages. Some search engines may also feature promoted listings and other information as part of a side pane. The first search engine results page for any query carries the most authority – it’s what all sites aim for.
Search Term – A word or a phrase that an online user types into a search engine to find something. For example, someone searching for an affordable dental service in Dortmund may type into Google “cheap dentist Dortmund”, which would be a search term. The length and characteristics of search terms can vary based on audience, market, and device on which the search is carried out, i.e. mobile search may use the more natural search term, often in the form of a question such as “Where can I find an affordable dentist?”
Shares – The number of times someone shares a particular page or piece of content on social media or by email. Sharing on most sites is done through social media sharing buttons which can be customized to reflect the networks your audience is most active on. Sharing buttons help you generate backlinks, grow your presence on social media, and improve the reach and authority of your content.
Social Media Marketing – A form of marketing through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, usually focused on content in the form of posts, updates, tweets, and videos. Brands often use it to broaden their audience, connect with customers, and generate engagement, as opposed to directly generating sales. Because content plays a key role in most social media marketing campaigns, these are often incorporated into a brand’s general content marketing strategy. Social networks have built-in insights and analytics that allow you to measure the performance of your campaigns. Social media marketing may also include social advertising.
Social Proof – The authority and reputation that comes with having an engaging social media presence with many followers, plenty of fresh content, and a lot of comments, links, and shares.
Stock Photography – Professional images published on special websites that you can download and use without any restriction even for commercial purposes, usually for a fee, but sometimes also for free. By contrast, images that show up in the search results after a Google image search are usually protected by copyright and cannot be used for marketing purposes.
Storytelling – The practice of telling stories as part of your content marketing strategy in order to connect with your audience and make your content more personal. Stories not only appeal to people’s curiosity but often present humane values. Popular on social media and beyond, storytelling plays an important role in content marketing, as the old copywriting strategies of previous generations of marketers leave modern audiences indifferent.
Tags – HTML elements that you can add to your online content such as articles and blog posts to help Google categorize them and make them easier to discover online.
Target Market – The specific group of customers that your marketing is targeting. The target market may vary depending on the type of marketing used and the content, product, or service promoted. Some content marketing campaigns may use a broad target market like new moms, while others are more specific, targeting new moms in a particular area, with a certain income and an interest in organic food. Social media marketing and advanced analytics make very specific targeting possible online.
Taxonomy – An organizational structure that helps you classify your content better and make your marketing more effective. It includes titles, folders, and tags, and can be applied to every blog, site, or social media network on which you publish content.
Timely Content – Content that is posted at the right time, reflecting trending topics or major news. For example, posting an article about how your brand has become more sustainable in the last quarter just before the Sustainability Summit. As both search engines and your audience value fresh and relevant content, timely content should be incorporated into your overall content strategy.
Trademark – A sign that recognizes that a particular product, service, or idea is owned by an individual, a company, or other entity. Trademarks on the web can protect your original content on the web.
Unique Content – Content that is 100% original and that has not been previously posted anywhere online or offline. Given proper quoting and paraphrasing, unique content may incorporate bits of text from other sources. It should be the cornerstone of your content marketing campaign.
Unique Page Views – A measure of page views based on individual visitors to a page. It counts only one view from every visitor and so can help you to gauge the true reach of a web page.
URL – The web address that specifies the location of a web page or web resource on the internet. In terms of SEO, the URL should be short, easy to read, and incorporate the same words that describe the content found on the web page.
User-Generated Content – Content that users create after a prompt and post on your social media page, blog, or site. Includes content created with mobile devices, artworks, writings, videos, audio recordings and more. User-generated content can improve your online visibility, boost your engagement, and help you generate content in a cost-effective way.
Vlog – A video blog that features only or mostly video content in the form of recorded videos or live streams. Many vloggers upload their videos to YouTube, from where they share it with their audience across channels.
Video Marketing – Using videos and live streams to connect with an audience, present products and services, and generate engagement. Videos traditionally have higher response rates than other types of content, as they easily attract attention. Video marketing can be incorporated into a wider content marketing strategy to add variety. It doesn’t have to entail large production costs, as many audiences prefer authentic videos filmed through mobile devices.
Viral Content – Content created with the purpose of generating many shares on social media. Viral content usually spreads from one site to social media, and from there to news sites and major publishers. As a concept, it draws on the self-replicating properties of viruses. By spreading from site to site, viral content can generate major traffic and possibly boost sales.
Visual Content – Images, slideshows, infographics, illustrations, interactive media, and any other form of content that uses visual media alongside text. Visual content grabs attention in a world of short attention spans and drives engagement, and can be easily published and shared across online channels.
Webinar – A live or recorded web conference in the form of a video to which viewers can participate by asking questions either before the event or while it’s underway, through a commenting system. Webinars are announced in advance and can be free or require a subscription.
Word of Mouth (WOM) – A type of online marketing that relies on social media and content marketing to spread the word about a particular product or service online. While WOM is traditionally steeped in oral communication, today many conversations have moved on to Q&A sites, forums, and the comments sections of popular blogs and social media pages.
XML Sitemap – A list of all the pages on your website in the XML format that allows Google to easily crawl and index your site. Having an up-to-date sitemap ensures that all your pages can be found online. A sitemap can be especially useful if you don’t have internal links to your website pages, which in some cases can make it more difficult for search engines to establish the structure of your site.