Navigating the marketing maze

Idiots guide to marketing terminology

As a profession, Marketing tends to wrap itself up in jargon and terminology that sometimes appears to deliberately confuse. During my 20+ career I have often had to learn and assimilate new theories quickly and have created ‘idiot guides’ and aide memoirs to help me along the way.

So this is my gift to you – below you will find my notes and information that I have pulled together to make navigating the marketing maze that bit easier. Please feel free to comment and add anything that you feel would help others too.

What is SEO?

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
  • Webmasters and content providers began optimizing sites for search engines in the mid-1990s, as the first search engines were cataloguing the early Web
  • Initially, all webmasters had to do to get their sites catalogued was to submit the URL to the various engines which would send a ‘spider’ to crawl the site and then catalogue it. This was not always reliable and easily manipulated.
  • Search engines developed more complex algorithms to make sense of the web to ensure that the search results for a given search term are the most relevant to the user. The most famous being created by Stanford University graduates Larry Page and Sergey Brin who went on to found Google in 1998.
  • The term SEO probably came into being in 1997 when site owners started to realise that they could influence where their sites were ranking within the natural listings.

What is PPC?

  • PPC (pay-per-click) is an internet based  advertising model that directs search engine traffic to a website
  • Advertisers bid on keywords that they wish their advert to appear on
  • Advertisers pay for each click their advert receives
  • The actual cost per click (CPC) paid for each bid is determined by how much the advertiser is willing to pay, how much the competition is willing to pay and how effective the search engine believes the advert is (quality score)
  • PPC is a live auction and the CPC is recalculated each time a search is made

What is Social Media Marketing?

  • Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. – Search Engine Land
  • Social media often feeds into the discovery of new content such as news stories, and “discovery” is a search activity. Social media can also help build links that in turn support  SEO efforts.
  • Each social media channel is useful for different interactions and business KPI’s
  • Social links can be naturally generated or paid for (SEO or PPC)

What is Affiliate Marketing?

  • Performance based marketing tool that is used by Merchants (like The AA) to promote and sell products and services via Affiliates (publishers such as Quidco/Nectar etc)
  • For every click, lead or sale that is made via an affiliate’s website, the Merchant pays an agreed commission to the affiliate.
  • The Affiliate can then choose to keep the commission (non-cashback site) or pass the commission on to the customer in the form of cash or rewards points (cashback site).
  • Affiliate marketing can have a significant impact on increasing the amount of traffic to a Merchants website. It is a cost-effective method of gaining links from established web sites and online marketers.

What is Content Marketing?

  • Content is seen by over 70% of UK adults every month, it should account for more than 20% of marketing budgets and take its rightful place at the heart of Digital Marketing. However, content without purpose is just noise (Contentini).
  • Good content is professionally planned, commissioned, edited and measured to give customers what they want to consume to gain loyalty and create sales.
  • Content marketing should touch every part of the organisation and be aligned to business goals. In the converged digital marketing landscape good, well planned content is a valuable asset and acts as the glue at the intersections of media types. It doesn’t prevent adhoc and responsive content generation; it gives a structured backbone to support such activity.
  • The CMA’s definition of content marketing is: Content marketing is the discipline of creating quality branded editorial content across all media channels and platforms to deliver engaging relationships, consumer value and measurable success for brands.

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