18 New Marketing Terms Every Business Leader Should Know

May 06, 2010

Here is my attempt to explain important new marketing concepts in plain English.

AFFILIATE ADVERTISING. On the Web, affiliate advertising means using one Web site to drive traffic to another Web site. For instance, Amazon has a highly successful affiliate program. You can display links to Amazon on your site, and if a visitor clicks through your ad and makes a purchase, you recieve a commission.

COPY, LONG. Long copy is the use of lots of words to make a sales pitch on your landing page. Contrary to popular wisdom, long copy sells just as effectively on the Web as it does in traditional direct mail marketing.

COPY, OPTIMIZED. Optimized copy is Web content that incorporates your keyword phrases in ways that make search engines rank your page higher when searches are conducted for that phrase. Creating optimized content requires special skills and normally costs somewhat more than standard copywriting.

CORPORATE BLOG. An interactive Web site used by a business to improve SEO, build customer relationships, establish thought leadership, generate sales, and more.

GEOTARGETING. Today it is possible for Web sites to determine the physical location of site visitors and display content specifically relevant to them. If you search for certain products or services on Google, you may notice that the top search results are in your geographic market. This is geotargeting, and it makes SEM more beneficial to small and/or local businesses than ever.

KEYWORD PHRASES. Keyword phrases are search terms you believe people will use on search engines to find you. "Keyword phrase" is more accurate than "keywords" because searchers almost always use more than one word when looking for a business (the most common being, product/service + location). The cost of keyword phrase analysis ranges from zero to many thousands of dollars, depending on your needs.

LANDING PAGE. A landing page is a web page specifically designed to sell a particular product or service, and is most often used in conjunction with pay per click advertising or a similar form of SEM. It is a serious mistake not to use landing pages in search marketing, because the landing page is ultimately what makes the visitor decide whether or not to take the next step. Driving traffic to a website's home page seldom generates a high percentage of conversions.

NEW MARKETING. A general term for Web-based marketing tools and techniques, including, blogs, podcasting, social media marketing and social network marketing. According to industry studies (and your own observations, no doubt), companies are increasing investment in new marketing and scaling back on traditional marketing. Why? Because new marketing works.

NEW PUBLIC RELATIONS. Today, companies can use online press releases and other media to tell their story directly to consumers, rather than pay a pricey PR firm to place their story with a magazine or newspaper. This development is critically important for two reasons. First, it enables small and midsize firms to engage in effective public relations. Second, it reduces the cost of that effective PR from many thousands to a few hundred.

OPEN SOURCE. Open source is software code that is not proprietary. Open source programs have several advantages over proprietary products such as Microsoft. Those advantages include lower aquisition cost (no licensing fees), lower maintenance cost, and easier integration with other software programs. Examples of open source programs include Linux and the most popular blogging software, WordPress.

PAY PER CLICK. An SEM model where advertisers pay based on the number of "clicks" visitors make on their ads. The advertising you see on Google is pay per click, or PPC, at its best. PPC is one of many advertising models now in use. The pay per conversion model is becoming more popular and, while more expensive, may be a better overall value.

PODCAST. A podcast is a digital audio file delivered over the Internet, and is technically different from a videocast. Podcasting technology is low cost, making it easy and inexpensive for a business to create and distribute podcasts. Since many people prefer audio to written communication, podcasts are quickly becoming a hot method of merchandising a product or service. It's possible to charge for podcasts if the content is valuable and create a new revenue stream for your business.

SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the art and science of building Web sites that rank highly on searches conducted for specific keyword phrases. SEO is considered an "organic" form of SEM, because it does not involve spending money on advertising. A site without at least minimal SEO characterics built into its programming and content will be virtually invisible on the Web.

SEM. SEM stands for search engine marketing. It is a catchall phrase that includes many of the terms in this article -- and much more. One way to think of SEM is to divide it into two parts: organic search is the art and science of building a Web presence intrinsically capable of driving traffic; paid search is the art and science of placing advertisements to cost-effectively drive traffic.

SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media allow customers to interact with sellers. Types of social media include corporate blogs, customer service chat rooms, and social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

SOCIAL NETWORK MARKETING. This, in my view, is the art and science of using social media to effectively and efficiently market a business or brand. The operative words here are "effectively" and "efficiently", because one can spend untold hours on a site like LinkedIn without accomplishing anything. On the other hand, used wisely, sites such as LinkedIn or Twitter can be more valuable sources of leads and information than anything you've ever seen.

UNIVERSAL SEARCH. Universal Search is a fairly new Google development that aggregates and delivers search results for not only traditional Web pages, but video, podcasts, news, blogs, images, and other forms of digital information. Since Universal Search makes searching more convenient and productive, it will earn Google even more traffic than ever, if that's possible (and it is). For businesses, Universal Search is another compelling reason to invest in SEM.

WEB 2.0. This term has many definitions. It does not refer to a specific software program or technology. It is often used to describe a trend in the Web environment toward transparency, information sharing, collaboration, and the use of interactive tools (some of which are described in this article).

(Thanks to David Meerman Scott and Wikipedia, two important references I used for this article.)

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