Comedian Norm McDonald once said you only need to know five words about a particular topic to pass yourself off as an expert.
If only web marketing was that easy.
For many small business owners, trying to navigate a laundry list of phrases and buzzwords can be really frustrating.
What does it all mean and what do you really need to know to make the most of your online marketing efforts?
In this post, we’ll strip away all of the fancy lingo so you can focus on what really matters most—putting more butts in seats, selling more products, generating buzz, and building relationships with your customer base.
Here are 10 of the most popular web marketing terms made simple:
1. Lead Nurturing
Your ability to stay in touch with prospective customers from the second they make contact to the point when they’re ready to make a purchase. No matter what you call it, it’s absolutely critical to your long-term success.
2. Inbound Marketing
Attracting prospective customers to your small business website and sharing content you think they will value (ex. blogs, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, etc.) When you get right down to it, it’s the reason your website is worth visiting on a regular basis.
3. Landing Page
A single web page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information (ex. name, email, phone number) in response to a special offer (see “Inbound Marketing” above). Not everyone will be ready to make a purchase when they visit your site. Using a landing page is one way to entice them to start a dialogue.
4. Dynamic Content
Content that changes based on the interests or past behavior of your visitors. Take Amazon.com’s website. The first time you go, your experience is rather generic. The more times you come back, the more they tweak suggested products and offers based on what you’ve viewed in the past. Whether you have the backend technology to generate dynamic content or not, the important thing is to remember to customize each experience based on the information you have at hand.
Interactions between your small business and your customers. They can range from “Likes” on Facebook, to comments on your blog, to writing an online review. Lots of web marketers focus in on this and it can be great in helping you to build brand awareness, but all the Facebook "Likes" in the world don’t mean anything if you’re not selling products.
The number of people who have seen your content, posts, etc. Reach is important but can be a little deceiving—especially when you see hundreds or thousands of people when take a peek at Facebook insights for your small business page. Bigger numbers are better than the alternative, but in the end that reach has to lead to something on the backend—a sale, a referral, etc.
Your ability to turn visitors into leads and leads into customers. This can be accomplished with web marketing by using educational, informative, and persuasive copy with a clearly defined call-to-action (defined later in this post). Just think of the traditional sales funnel. A conversion occurs every time a visitor turns into a lead and a lead turns into a paying customer.
8. Cross-Channel Campaign
For years, marketers focused solely on print, television, and radio. Each represent different channels. Now web marketing is a big part of the mix. The most important thing is having a clear strategy for each channel and making sure your content is messaging is consistent throughout.
A call-to-action is text, a banner or button, or a graphic on your website that is used to encourage a user to…wait for it…take action. This can include leaving a comment on your blog, contacting your sales team, or scheduling a free demo.
10. Content Marketing
Creating and sharing content that adds value for your target audience. Instead of going for the hard sell, you share information that helps prospective customers become more informed about a particular topic. In turn, generating content can help you increase your visibility in search rankings, build brand awareness amongst prospective customers, and ultimately sell more products and services.
So there you have it. 10 web marketing terms without all of the unnecessary fluff. Instead of stressing out over having to learn an entirely new vocabulary, focus on the traditional sales and marketing concepts and underpinnings that they represent.
No matter what you call it, your focus hasn’t changed.
You still want to put more butts in seats, sell more products, generate buzz, and build relationships with your customer base.
Which web marketing terms would you add?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Lukas Mathis]