20 Things to Remember for Writing the Perfect Blog Post

Marketing has so many subdivisions, sometimes it’s hard to keep track.

Content marketing, one of the more misunderstood off shoots, is as tricky as it is simple.

What’s so tricky about it, you ask? It’s just writing…

No. Not everyone can write something that speaks to their readers and prompts them to like/follow you on social media.

You are not writing high-school papers. You’re writing to an audience significantly larger than your bored college professor. You want them enthralled with your work. Unlike your professor, this audience can (and will) haul themselves off your website faster than you can say ‘Audience Engagement’ if they don’t find you interesting enough.

My point is simple and obvious: If you really want to make your content more inviting, engaging and user-friendly, you have to beat your articles into shape.

Content marketing can enhance your online visibility and generate leads for you within a short time span – But you need to get it right.

Let’s get this show on the road then, here are 20 things you need to consider when writing your next blog post:

1. Captivating headline

Here’s what David Oglivy has to say about a headline:

On average, five times as many people read the headline that read the copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

Who are we to disagree with the Father of Advertising, really?

The headline of a blog post needs to be creative and magnetic. It’s what draws the reader’s attention at the first sight and prompts them to read what you post. Writing a headline that grabs your readers’ attention is a critical skill.

If you want to create fascinating headlines, you need to thoroughly understand your blog’s concept and then write down the headline that can both deliver the desired message and also persuade targeted readers. You can get some great tips from here as well.

Bottom line: It needs to be short and spunky, something to draw your readers’ eyes and entice them to take a look at the whole thing.

2. Supporting sub-header

You can’t squeeze everything about your content in the 5-10 words of a headline. This is where subheadlines come to the rescue.

You can use sub headers to start, finish, or explain (in short) what your content is about. Attention can be caught by the headline, but interest is generated with your sub-headers.

Bonus: Keyword-friendly subheadlines make your content more visible to search engines.

3. Word-play

Now we’re talking!

I am a huge believer in KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) and I will do everything I can to tone down the jargon or huge, pompous words. If no-one understands what you’re saying, you defeat the entire point of content marketing.

Simply put, use simple words to explain. Of course you can use jargon, but only where jargon is necessary. Everywhere else, keep it short and sweet unless the context (or the content itself) demands heavy words and brutally large explanations.

4. Bullets with a name on it

Checklist 2 for writing the perfect blog post

Articles are a thing of the past. Everyone’s writing ‘listicles’ now.

Make your blog post more easily understandable by using numbered lists or bullet points. It helps people read blog posts and find the information they are looking for instantly, without much effort.

5. Properly punctuate

Punctuation for writing the perfect blog post

Use full stops, commas, colons and dashes to divide the mass of words into smaller chunks of information that make sense.

If you are not sure about punctuation, then keep sentences short and digestive. As you gain experience in writing, you can lengthen your sentences, and break up them by using commas.

By breaking up long sentences, you can make your blog posts engaging as well as informative. Make sure to provide your readers the desired information in an easier way.

6. Try to keep it lean

In a mobile age, we as readers, are more used to reading top-down than left to right.

If you are using the WordPress or Blogger layout along with a specific wide content column, it will be better to select a new layout, or adjust your column width. You can use 80 characters or less in the width to make your blog post narrow.

7. Test your font type

Font for writing the perfect blog post

Monotype Corsiva looks amazing. But if you wrote that paper on, say, Shakespeare’s contribution in that font, prepare yourself for a low grade. Regardless of what you wrote you will be graded down.

Let that be a lesson (hypothetical one): The web is no different. While you can and should do everything to put your brand personality to proud display, keep the fonts and typefaces legible. Sans-Serif fonts (without the squiggly bits) are easier to read on-screens, and of course there are others. Many leading bloggers use the sans-serif font Roboto that is created for easy reading.

Remember, bloggers: Test your web fonts for legibility.

8. Big and engaging font size

Choose a big font size while writing your next blog post. Tiny writing is tough to read online, so it is better to make it bigger.

Check out some of your favorite blogs and compare the font size they use and then you can decide what works best for your potential readers.

9. Be bold, baby

Bold text for writing the perfect blog post

Grab your reader’s attention by using bold text in your posts. But only do this strategically. Writing an entire paragraph in bold will make your blog ineffective. But using this tool to highlight some important sentences is an ingenious formatting technique that will put extra emphasis on things you want to stick out in your readers’ minds.

10. Give italics ago (sparingly)

Italics are a great way to emphasise a point, or a question, in a more discreet manner than bold text. But don’t over do it because after a while italics strain the eyes.

11. Don’t forget caps

Don’t be afraid to dabble with capital letters for entire words every now and then… They JUMP off the page at your readers.

12. Tell a story

Every story has three major parts: the beginning, middle, and the end.

So, you can start off with the introduction, then the main information, and end your blog by wrapping up with a conclusion. It will give a proper format to your blog post, and allow readers to more easily consume the information.

Try to make your blog tempting so that your readers crave more content.

13. Keep attention with internal cliffhangers

Internal cliffhangers basically bridge your article, blog or podcast together by using emotions. These are statements and devices within your content that encourage readers to keep reading.

After all, we engage based on emotion.

14. Use images

Interesting images for writing the perfect blog post

Visually-appealing images will always attract readers to your blog post. Noticeable images in a blog post emphasize its message and also grab the viewer’s attention. It will be great fun to use images to break up your lengthy content into digestive paragraphs.

Reading fully text-ified posts is tiring and boring – so there is bonus points for relevant images that add to the ‘story’ of your content.

15. Use graphs

Graphs for writing the perfect blog post

Graphs can be an essential tool for content marketers who are in technical industries or covering data-laden topics. Data visualization can divide the monotony of dry articles, and increase the chance of sharing.

By creating graphics, you add significant visual interest and give depth to your blog post.

16. Short paragraphs make your content interesting

It is not necessary to apply traditional rules of composition while crafting the perfect blog post. Instead of writing long sentences, you can divide your blog post into short, digestive paragraphs, as it allows the visitor to view the important points quickly.

If you break up your lengthy content into manageable chunks you will engage more readers.

17. Use white space

Whitespace is basically the emptiness in between the characters, lines and paragraphs of your blog post. Proper use of white space in a blog will help prevent your readers from losing their place when they look away from the text for a little while.

It allows the reader to process the information in the story, give their eyes a break and keep them engaged with the blog post.

18. Be aware of your background

Your blog’s background color should contrast your text color because ultimately the hero of your blog post is the CONTENT.

The best combination is a dark and vibrant text color on a light background.

A white background is simple and least likely to cause distractions.

19. Use text call-outs

Showcase the purpose of your blog posts, especially the important points, with text call-out boxes (Such as block quotes). It will add some serious significance to your statement.

Text call-outs can become irritating to readers, so make sure you use them sparingly.

20. Close your blog post in style

You know how the endings of all great horror movies are open?

The main objective of effective writing is to take the reader on an interesting and informative ride from beginning till end. Try to wrap up your blog post in style so that you can deliver the message to the readers in the most exciting way.

The ending of your blog post will determine the reaction and emotions of people after reading your content. You can leave them contemplative, excited, in suspense, and more, just with a few words that make your ending.

Wrapping Up

“We’re all ADHDs here.”

Yes, that was a poor rip-off of Lewis Carroll’s famous line in Alice in Wonderland, but you can certainly see the similarities between a rabbit hole and the vast (and crazy) world of the web. Come on!

The internet is a madhouse and you’re trying to be heard (sorry, read) above the noise. A nicely written piece of content is you trying to stand out from the crowd. And once the eyes are on you, your content will determine how long they stay there.

Whip that blog post writing into shape and keep that spotlight on you forever.

 

This article was written by Lucy Barret from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

9 Stages Of Employee Social Maturity

Throughout my career I’ve been fascinated by how people engage with each other in business. I’m always up for trying those personality studies and tests to try and figure out my business profile and where I best fit into an organisation.

I trained thousands of employees at SAP to build their personal brand online as part of a huge global effort to shift the organisation to become a social business.

During that time I noticed that employees broadly fell into different categories of social maturity largely driven by the extent to which they network and how digitally active they were with their brand.

This isn’t a scientific study by any stretch of the imagination nor is it a hard and fast categorization. It’s more a reflection of 7 years’ experience within a field of work that I feel passionate about – employee social advocacy.

I’d be interested to know what other people think about this. Can you overlay your employees on the model?

The Model Explained

I’ve broadly mapped employees to a model that looks at the extent to which they network against their level of social activity. When mapping employees to such a model it’s easier to target the right developmental steps to help them advance – if they so wish!

Employee Social Maturity Model

Generally speaking, the higher you are in the model the more connections you are likely to have and the more active networker you are. Employees that sit further to the right of the model tend to be more socially active e.g. blogging, tweeting, engaging with influencers.

Employees are unlikely to sit clearly in one box or another. They may demonstrate behaviours from multiple boxes. Most will recognise where they sit from the definitions below.

9 STAGES EMPLOYEE SOCIAL MATURITY BANNER

Whilst it’s a fairly basic set of axes, it does determine a natural path of progression for a social employee. By deconstructing what it takes for a person to become an influencer online, I have been able to create a social training experience that maps to the natural journey.

This is great for the employer since the most appropriate training can be targeted to the correct group of individuals. It’s also great for the employee because they’re not overwhelmed by “Twitter 101” training when they haven’t even got a LinkedIn profile!

Now I’m going to explore each of the social employee types further:

social employee inactive

Inactives

Inactives don’t have much of an online presence. LinkedIn is normally activated only when they’re looking for a new job – it’s considered nothing more than a digital version of their CV. Traits include an incomplete LinkedIn profile, perhaps no photo and a very low number of connections. However, this group may be very active on social networks that would be considered more personal e.g. Facebook and Instagram.

social employee connector

Networkers

This group are typically more active on LinkedIn but no other platform other than personal social networks. They will often accept invitations online and may even occasionally send invitations to others. In my experience, many B2B sales teams sit into this category – historically good networkers offline but limited experience online.

social employee connector2

Connectors

These folks aren’t just networkers – they’re connectors. They have a large network on LinkedIn and always know someone who knows someone else who can help. They actively connect people together because they know that sharing is caring. They don’t have an agenda and they don’t expect anything in return. They just do it because it’s in their nature.

social employee participator

Participators

Whilst this group still has a relatively small network, they are beginning to dabble in social networking. They are testing the water by engaging with others online e.g. liking and commenting on content. They are a group to watch since they are naturally curious but probably don’t have some of the basics in place yet e.g. a good network.

social employee broadcaster

Broadcasters

Folks in this category are showing more social potential. Perhaps they’ve been “dabbling” for some time by engaging with other people’s content and are now starting to share other people’s content to their network. Many organisations that implement employee advocacy tools serve this space perfectly – employees are provided with “corporate approved” content to share but without contextual training it can often look like your employees have become another broadcasting channel.

social employee collaborator

Collaborators

As sharers increase their network you tend to see a behavioural change. They broadcast less and appreciate feedback more. Typically folks in this space have a large network, they’ve been through the engaging and sharing stage and are now starting to formulate opinions themselves and seek to listen to others.

social employee enthusiast

Enthusiasts

This group tend to be highly active on social media. Anyone this far right on the model will be actively out there creating their own content and formulating their own opinions. However, they may have a relatively small network. In my experience millennials typically fit this profile, joining the workforce with a strong social acumen but with a limited professional network. Watch this group carefully. Opinionated enthusiasts that aren’t engaged at work can cause issues, while those that are engaged are potentially strong advocates.

social employee thought leader

Thought Leaders

This group tends to be considered the knowledge experts within an organisation e.g. product marketing, pre-sales, sales consultants and they hold an enormous amount of credibility with customers. They don’t actively network (often they don’t have time) but they may blog or tweet when they can. Enabled and engaged, this group has the potential to set your organisation apart from the competition, by creating content that will attract digital audiences.

social employee influencer

Influencers

This group includes highly active networkers and content creators. Social has become part of their daily routine – part of their DNA if you like. They are considered influencers in their field, formulating opinions and writing content that sets them apart from their peers. This category of social employee (along with Thought Leaders) will attract customers to your brand online. Make sure these folks are engaged in the company – give them influential opportunity, seek their feedback, promote their content!

So there you have it – my 9 categories of employee social maturity. Once you’ve mapped your employees to the maturity model it’s easy to pinpoint the appropriate training to deliver.

 

This article was written by Sarah Goodall from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Marketers: Tactical Is the New Strategic

One of my frustrations in working with marketing professionals is how often they say “tactical” like it’s a dirty word.

I understand where it’s coming from. It’s not easy to make your way to the C-suite much less keep yourself there. It’s a complicated job even before you consider pressure from shareholders, colleagues and the general public.

CMOs work hard to achieve their position, but, as the CMO Impact Study published last year shows, in many companies their C-suite colleagues don’t see them as real business peers, and their CEOs have doubts about the value they contribute. So ambitious marketing leaders need to establish themselves as strategic thinkers who can see around corners.

Meanwhile, brand managers and up and coming marketers looking ahead in their career see what’s happening and naturally want to be seen as visionary thinkers also. They calculate that they won’t have a reputation for strategy if their energy is spent on tactics.

It’s also true that much of the tactical side of marketing, like media programming, has been frowned upon and seen as commoditized. It’s possible to do so much at scale now that it’s tempting to use what I call check-the-box marketing. Do we have all the social media outposts? An influencer program? A content creation program? Check, check, check. But that approach is not authentic, not organic and will not unearth opportunities for innovation.

The problem with keeping tactical concerns at arm’s length is that dramatic transformations are taking place because of new digital technologies and business models, and they make a mockery of the difference between strategy and tactics. Anyone who says “tactical” like it’s a dirty word isn’t speaking the language of tomorrow’s business.

To get big, you have to start small

Pick your metaphor … flat world, level playing field, long tail, disruption from below. It all means that none of us can stake out high ground and hope to play in the new digital world. Too much power has shifted down to the street level and into the smartphones our customers are carrying around.

Think about some of the most disruptive companies in the world. I think we’d all agree AirBnB and Pinterest fit into that cool kids club. No doubt they had strong business and marketing strategies. But an important part of their growth has been driven by getting in the weeds first. They push away from the desk, go to the customer’s home and start watching and asking questions until they learn something valuable. They “do things that don’t scale” as AirBnB’s investor and adviser Paul Graham told them at a critical moment in their growth.

Growth hacking like this is all tactics at heart. There’s no such thing as a growth-hacking strategy. And, as I’ve argued elsewhere, grown-up companies don’t have to leave growth-hacking to the startups.

These companies build entire growth teams that focus on “sweating the small stuff” because they know that paying attention to each and every signal helped them with viral and exponential growth. Instead of going the traditional route to user acquisition of dumping millions of dollars into advertising, they invested in evangelizing the most important audience any brand has: their community.

Convert a few and learn a lot

My firm was consulting recently for a market leader in the consumer goods space to help deepen their internal competencies on emerging platforms and to position their brand to early adopters.

Looking into the analytics provided to its CMO, I noticed he wasn’t getting a report about referring site data.

The summary boasted about all the traffic the team was getting from paid social and display advertising, and so on (most of which garnered 80%+ bounce rates with few repeat visitor sessions). What it didn’t show were the 50 little blogs that repeatedly sent 50 to 100 engaged visitors a month.

Small potatoes, right? Is that worth the CMO’s attention? I think so, because that’s where the true growth opportunity is. One of those micro-communities is bound to be using or evangelizing the product in a creative way, and one is probably responding to a message the company didn’t think was important to highlight.

CMOs who want to see and capitalize on trends before they show up on the cover of the New York Times or Vanity Fair need to taste the small potatoes sometimes. That’s the difference between the goods and the greats.

Data might be the currency of the future, but people aren’t binary

Our customers’ lives are about stories and journeys. When you can find and highlight those early, you establish a foundation for the future that is far stronger than mass marketing methods are. The story of a real influencer in a real community of users is more valuable than whatever you can pay an influencer network of fresh-faced celebrities to say about you.

  • If you are a food brand trying to find those stories, think about what communities are already talking about your product. When you help make them a star in their own story everyone wins.

The CMO should want to know why they are talking about the product. Does this reveal an edgecase or latent need that the product team can leverage. Is it a validation that something is succeeding in market?

And they should want to know if those communities are talking about the product because they love it or hate it. Whatever it is, it’s passionate, and it’s communication. At the most human level, as much as technology tries to get in the way, we just want to communicate. Those moments of love and hate are tipping points where we can convert a few but, more importantly, learn a lot.

Run, don’t walk, to your nearest customer

CMOs who are both strategic and tactical, have to be agile, able to move from analytics to context. To stay agile, I recommend they participate in activities like design sprints, gamestorming, co-creation sessions, and follow-alongs. But at heart, it’s about being customer centric.

How many marketing executives are finding a Meetup group where their customers are active and going there to understand what they need and want? How many watch in real time as customers navigate their ecommerce site? When they do, they grow their ability to, on a one-to-one basis, design for relationships that drive sales through empathy.

I get that it’s difficult to find time for this kind of activity or to scale what you learn from it. It’s only logical for marketing leaders to want to work on plans to meet big business goals and to direct their team to work on the means to meet those goals.

But in the meantime, the digital landscape is swirling with opportunities and threats that don’t respect matrixes, org charts, or Fortune 500 lists. Nobody cares anymore about the traditional boundaries between large and small, new and old, or company and customer.

While you’re working on your plans for market penetration, every customer who owns a cell phone has gained the power of a TV channel. While you’re strategizing for market development, every touch point in the buyer journey has become a target for disruption and innovation.

Growing business in this environment means you can’t treat “tactical” like it’s a dirty word.

 

This article was written by Peter Sena and Digital Surgeons from VentureBeat and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Marketers Spend Five Times More to Reach Millennials Versus Other Groups

A new research report from the ad data and analysis firm Turn says advertisers are spending 500 percent more on digital media to reach Millennials than on media to reach all other consumer groups. Millennials are ages 18 through 35. There are 75 million of them in the U.S. And they have the expendable income that advertisers want. Badly.

Turn breaks it down this way: Advertisers spend four times as much on display, four times as much on social, four and a half times as much on mobile, and six times as much on video to reach Millennials versus any other group.

Turn says Millennials are “the greatest market opportunity the world has ever seen.”

The firm points out that all Millenniums are not created equal, and that the group can be divided into four distinct categories:

Struggling Aspirationals (57%) — People in this, the largest chunk of Millennials, have make less than $50,000 annually, are healthy, fit and green. They’re picky about food and spend time hunting for bargains.

Comfortable TV Watchers (8%) — The primarily Republican group likes to watch TV.

Active Affluents (17%) — These are the nest builders and the parents of kids. They’re outdoorsy, and into food and fitness. Turn believes marketers ought to be targeting this group more on mobile platforms.

Successful Homeowners (18% of millennials) — This richest class of Millenials makes $100,000 or more annually, and are likely to own homes. Turn says this crowd is reachable through video ads. “Marketers should align high-impact media with an audience that’s ready to spend.”

 

 

This article was written by Mark Sullivan from VentureBeat and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

77 Digital Marketing Terms and Stats for Business Professionals

Whether you are an executive, marketer or work in the financial department, chances are you’ve heard a coworker or peer use a digital marketing term you’re unfamiliar with. To help you in those times of need when you’re left saying, “Huh?”, here is a glossary of terms commonly use in digital marketing. In addition, a glossary can be pretty boring, so you’ll also find a fun and/or informative statistic related to each term.

Enjoy!

General Terms

  1. Closed-loop marketing: The use of analytics and data throughout a customer’s lifecycle to improve marketing and sales strategies. To “close the loop”, marketing and sales teams unify their reporting and strategies to generate higher ROI. Considering 69 percent of CEOs believe they are wasting money marketing initiatives, according to Forbes, the majority of marketers have adopted closed-loop marketing in one form or another.
  2. Content marketing: Similar to inbound marketing, content marketing is the use and distribution of content that provides valuable information to help a company grow and retain website visitors and customers. Altimater cites that 70 percent of marketers do not have a consistent or integrated content strategy.
  3. Contextual marketing: Contextual marketing refers to any advertising or tailored marketing messages that are based on the user’s demographic or behavioral data. When in-house marketers are able to quantify ROI and use a personalized website, they see a 19 percent increase in sales (Monetate/eConsultancy).
  4. Digital marketing: A comprehensive and loose term that refers to marketing that utilizes various digital channels to build brand awareness and ultimately generate customers. Fifty percent of companies surveyed by Smart Insights and TFM&A say they use digital marketing, but lack a defined strategy.
  5. Email marketing: The use of email and email performance benchmarks to reach prospects, customers and evangelists. Email marketing leads are rated as high quality by 40 percent of B2B marketers (Software Advice Survey).
  6. Inbound marketing: A marketing strategy that builds interesting and valuable content to attract the attention of people to your company rather than seeking them out as is done with outbound marketing like purchasing lists, cold calling, trade shows and sending snail mail. According to Hubspot data, inbound practices produce 54 percent more leads than traditional outbound practices.
  7. Marketing automation: The use of software and technology to streamline various marketing channels and make them automated. Over 50 percent of top-performing companies have adopted marketing automation (Forrester).
  8. Marketing channel: A way of moving products or services from the producer to the consumer. Marketing channels can be direct, indirect or a combination of both. For example, a company may rely on distributors to sell their product but also use a company website to drive sales directly. According to a survey from 2014, 48 percent of marketers say search-optimized websites are the most effective channel for distributing their product or service (Statista).
  9. Native advertising: The placement of a brand, product, or service where the ad appears in the same context of the user interface. It’s almost like an ad in disguise because the marketing content blends with the content on the third-party application. A study published on Adweek found that 57 percent of millennials are OK with sponsored content, which is really another term for native advertising, but only if it is interesting.
  10. Search engine marketing: A marketing tactic that works to grow a website’s online presence through traffic from search engines. Nearly 100 percent (93 percent to be exact) of online experiences start with search engines (ImForza).
  11. Social media marketing: The use of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube to grow traffic to a website or grow brand awareness. Social media has 100 percent higher lead-to-close rate compared to outbound leads (HubSpot).

Planning & Developing a Marketing Strategy Terms

  1. Buyer’s journey: The process and journey a prospective customer goes through to reach your company. It involves research and communication with your company, as well as within the buyer’s network of those involved in the buying process. According to Forrester Research, almost 75 percent of B2B buyers spend more than half of their buyer’s journey doing online and independent research before researching offline.
  2. Buyer/marketing persona: As defined by HubSpot, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.” Using a buyer/marketing persona makes 2 to 5 times more effective and easier to use by ideal users (HubSpot).
  3. Content and editorial calendar: Helps marketers to plan development, publish and distribute content of various types. A content and editorial calendar helps marketers to carry out their overall content marketing strategy. 84 percent of marketers who say they are ineffective at content marketing actually have no documented strategy (Content Marketing Institute).
  4. Content mapping: Allows marketers to be more personalized and timely in delivering content by mapping existing and required content needed to each buyer persona and buyer’s journey. As widely used as this tactic is, there isn’t much statistical evidence supporting or contradicting, but I couldn’t leave out a stat, so here it is . . . Americans spend 1 hour and 14 minutes everyday eating, which is less than any other country in this study by the OECD.
  5. SMART Goals: A common goal setting framework used in marketing. The acronym “SMART” stands for specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented and timely. 59 percent of content marketers say their number one goal is lead generation (LinkedIn).

Paid Channel Terms

  1. Bid: The total amount that you will pay for a keyword on paid search. Insurance industry keywords have been found to be the most expensive keywords (WordStream).
  2. Call extensions/ click-to-call: A feature of paid search ads that includes the business phone number on the add. With click-to-call, the user can click the phone number to make the call.
  3. Clicks: The total number of users who actually click the ad or paid search result. In the 2012 WordStream study, it was also found that 193.2 million clicks were generated per day on Google AdWords.
  4. Cost-per-click (CPC): The amount of money paid for each click-through to the company’s website that an advertisement generates on search engines or other publication websites. The average cost-per-click on the AdWords search network is between $1 and $2 (WordStream).
  5. Cost-per-conversions (CPA): This term, in relation to paid Facebook and Twitter ads, is the amount of money paid per converted event. The term, as it relates to Adwords, is the total cost of generating clicks or impressions divided by total amount of conversions. Since statistics vary widely on cost-per-conversion, I’m going to share a completely random statistic. There are 293 ways to make changes with a dollar.
  6. Cost-per-impression (CPI): The amount of money paid for each view of an advertisement rather than paying per click. This method of tracking ROI is most relevant to paid social promotions since Google AdWords calculates based on cost-per-thousand. The average cost-per-impression on Facebook is lowest at $1.54, while Twitter is $12.16 and LinkedIn is $27.90 (The Connected Business).
  7. Cost-per-thousand (CPM): A tracking metric only relevant to the Google AdWords display network, cost-per-thousand is the amount of money paid per thousand impressions with the maximum being a set bid. According to MontetizePros, the average cost-per-impression for technology companies is $5.25 in 2015.
  8. Display ads: A digital advertising method that uses rich media and banner images instead of text-only ads. 98 percent of advertisers are wasting their money on display ads (Unbounce).
  9. Display network: The display network is a channel on Google Ads that uses a collection of partner websites to present text and banner ads based on filtering partner sites relevant to the company, the user’s keywords and searches or past engagement with the company. There are over 1 million sites on the Google site network (Wishpond).
  10. Impressions: The total number of internet users who see your ad. In 2012, WordStream conducted a study that found that Google AdWords serves nearly 30 billion impressions per day.
  11. Paid Search: Paid search is the use of search engines or partner sites to pay for clicks or impressions of an ad on the search network. Google’s share of US paid search clicks is 79 percent (Search Engine Land), but the growth rate has recently slowed for Google as a result of more clicks going to Bing when Yahoo struck a deal with Firefox.
  12. Paid media: This is an umbrella term for any media attention that is paid for and includes marketing tactics such as social media ads, paid content promotion, pay per click, television ads, radio ads and direct mail. In 2014, $179.80 billion was spent on paid media in the US with digital accounting for 28.2% of ad investments (eMarketer).
  13. Remarketing: This is used to present targeted ads to website visitors or existing customers around the internet when they aren’t actively looking for your company. According to PPC Hero, a remarketing campaign has 22 percent lower average cost-per-click compared to search campaigns.
  14. View-through conversion: The number of visitors who saw a Google Adwords ad and did not click, but later visited the ad’s website. While there are no statistics on optimal view-through conversions, an article from Glew emphasis the importance of this metric. Reason being, only 0.1 percent of banner ads actually get clicked because humans just don’t click ads anymore; however, they may search the website on Google or type the URL directly into their browser. Thus, view-through conversion rate provides a more accurate measure of ad effectiveness.

Content Marketing Terms

  1. Blog: As a noun, a blog is a web page that is written to inform and educate readers. For many companies, it has become a source of business from digital channels. Marketers who make blogging a priority are 13X more likely to have positive ROI (HubSpot).
  2. Call-to-action (CTA): A message in the form of text-only or as a banner image that instructs the reader to take a next step. A personalized CTA converts 42 percent better than a general CTA (HubSpot).
  3. Conversion path: The path a user takes to convert into a lead or customer from the time they are referred to your website to the actual conversion on a landing page. Once again, there isn’t much data around this topic, so I thought I’d share that it’s estimated that at any given time 7 percent of the world’s population is drunk (are you a part of that 7 percent as you read this?).
  4. E-book: It is a book in the digital world. While the term originally only referred to book-length content in a digital format, it’s evolved to be a loose term for even short-form content that is packed as a book. Sixty percent of business decision makers say company content helps them make a better product decision (Content Marketing Institute).
  5. Evergreen content: Content that will remain relevant today and in the future to your readers. One case study published on MoZ showed that an evergreen piece of content helped was able to grow social shares of that article from 127 in the first year to 631 social shares a year later (MoZ).
  6. GIF: An image file that is animated. Seventy-one percent of GIF searches are from males (Heavy).
  7. Infographic: A visual representation of data or insights. Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual (Unbounce), which means that infographics are great at capturing the attention of users who already have a limited capacity for the amount of information they are presented with.
  8. Landing page:  A web page that is designed to help convert a website visitor into a lead or customer. Companies with over 40 landing pages got 7X more leads than those with 1 to 5 landing pages (HubSpot).
  9. Podcast: A series or single recording of an audio file that can be downloaded online. The percentage of Americans who have listened to a podcast in the last month increased from 9 percent in 2008 to 17 percent in 2015 (Journalism.org)
  10. Webinar: A meeting that takes place online. In a webinar, participants are able to share visuals or presentations. The average number of registrants who actually attend the webinar is between 40-50 percent (ReadyTalk).

Social Media Terms

  1. Facebook: Social networking site that allows users to connect and stay in touch with friends and family. There are over 1.23 billion active monthly users on Facebook (NextWeb).
  2. Followers: On social media sites, someone who opts in to receive your updates. With over 76 million followers to date, Katy Perry is the most followed person on Twitter (Twitter Counter).
  3. Google Plus: A social networking platform created by Google thats features overlap with many other social networks. It cost Google $585,000,000 to build Google Plus (Statistic Brain).
  4. Hashtags: A keyword or phrase on social media that begins with a hash (#) or pound sign. While a statistic on hashtags was hard to come by, one of the most popular and longest running hash tags of all time is #followfriday. This hashtag was used to give a shout out to those worthy of following. Anyone else remember the days of the #followfriday hashtag?
  5. Instagram: A social networking platform geared around sharing images and short videos. Instagram has 300 million active monthly users (eConsultancy).
  6. Likes: Basically, it is a thumbs up on Facebook. With over 100 million likes, Shakira is the most liked person on Facebook (Guinness World Records).
  7. LinkedIn: A social networking site designed for business professionals to connect, collaborate and share information. In February 2015, there were 3 million active job listings posted on LinkedIn (LinkedIn Report).
  8. Pinterest: A social networking site that allows users to pin and share images and other rich media to a board. Seventy-five percent of Pinterest usage happens on a mobile device (Sprout Social).
  9. Twitter: A network for information that is limited to 140 character messages. An average of 6,000 tweets are sent every second (Internet Live Stats).
  10. YouTube: A social networking and search engine site for videos. Every minute over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube (CNBC).
  11. Reach: The exposure a brand gets across social media platforms. This is the total number of people actively following a brand through the various platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. From October 2013 to February 2014, organic reach on Facebook declined 49 percent as a result of changing algorithms in the platform (Social@Ogilvy).
  12. Retweet: A forwarded or reposted tweet. According to Buffersocial, tweets with hashtags get 2X more engagement.

Analytics & Reporting

  1. Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click an element or link in an email, ad or web page. It is also used interchangeably with view-to-click rate. The average click-through rate for emails sent by companies with over 50 employees is 2.98 percent (MailChimp).
  2. Bounce rate: A term found in Google Analytics, which is defined by Google as, “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).” A good bounce rate for a website falls between 26 and 40 percent (RocketFuel).
  3. Direct traffic: Traffic that comes directly to your website, which means the user types your website URL directly into their browser. A word of caution is needed when defining this term, however, because experiments by Groupon showed that up to 60 percent of direct traffic was actually organic search traffic or an unclassified source of traffic.
  4. Entrances: A tracking metric on Google Analytics for the total number of website visitors who entered on a specific page. While I wasn’t able to source any statistics on entrances, a fact on entrances is that this metric was introduced in 2012 to Google Analytics (MarketingLand).
  5. Exit percentage: A tracking metric on Google Analytics for the percentage of people who exit your website through a particular page. It is different from bounce rate because exit rate calculates those who may have entered on any website page but excited on that particular page. There is no statistic to share here, but instead a tip. Exit percentage can be a good indicator of where website visitors drop off your site, so track and analyze your pages with the highest exit rates to optimize.
  6. Lead-to-customer rate: The percentage of leads that convert into a customer. Outbound leads have a close rate of 1.7 percent, while inbound leads convert at a much better rate of 14.6 percent (HubSpot).
  7. Marketing analytics: The measurement and analysis of marketing activities to help improve performance. Eight percent of marketing budgets are spent on marketing analytics (HubSpot).
  8. Open rate: The number of people that open an email campaign compared to the total number of recipients. The average open rate for companies with over 50 employees is 23.45 percent (MailChimp).
  9. Organic search traffic: Traffic that comes from a search engine, which means that the user typed in a search query and clicked on your website in the search results. According to a 2014 study by Search Engine Watch, organic search traffic accounts for 51 percent of overall website traffic.
  10. Referral traffic: Traffic that comes from a referring website outside of the company’s website domain and subdomains. If the New York Times writes an article about your company and links to your website, this is considered referral traffic. Referral traffic can help to improve your website’s overall search engine rankings when referral links are quality links. While some marketing analytic tools will differentiate social media and search engine traffic from referral sources, not all tools will. If you consider social and search traffic as referral, you may want to take into consideration the fact that social media referral traffic has actually surpassed search engine traffic for some major publishers in recent years (Marketing Land), so this may account for any spikes you see in referral traffic.
  11. Sources: The various avenues that bring website visitors, leads and customers to a company. A source can be online and from sources such as organic search or email marketing, but it can also come from an offline event such as a trade show or cold call. The term “sources” can be found in analytic tools such as HubSpot and Google Analytics. Today, mobile traffic accounts for almost 50 percent of total traffic for U.S. retailers (Marketing Land).
  12. Submission rate: The percentage of people who fill out a form on a landing page relative to the total people who view the page. The average submission rate for HubSpot customers is 20 percent (Nick Sal’s Inbound Blog).
  13. Visitor-to-lead rate: The percentage of website visitors that complete a target action. Typically, a web form is completed to turn a visitor into a lead. The top 10 percent of HubSpot customers achieve a 2.20 percent visit-to-lead conversion rate (HubSpot).

Technical Terms

  1. API: An application programming interface (API) is a set of rules or protocols developers must use when working with a service or application. Since there aren’t many juicy stats floating around on APIs, did you know there are about half a million pieces of space junk orbiting the earth?
  2. CMS: A content management system (CMS) is an application that allows marketers to edit, manage and publish content. WordPress CMS is used for 24.7 percent of all websites (W3Techs).
  3. CSS: Cascading style sheets (CSS) describes a code language that describes how HTML should be visually displayed. Here’s a fun statistic: 0.3 percent of all accidents in Canada involve a moose.
  4. Domain name: An identification that helps an entity or organization be found on the Internet. It’s somewhat like a physical address on the Internet. There are 294 million domains and counting in 2015 (Enterprise Networking Planet).
  5. ISP: An ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. It is a company that provides access to the internet. There are around 2,000 ISP businesses (IBISWorld).
  6. Javascript: According to Mozilla, javascript is “a cross-platform, object-oriented scripting language.” Javascript is used by over 90 percent of websites (W3Techs).
  7. Registrar: In the Internet world, a registrar refers to the domain name registrar that manages Internet domains. An example would be GoDaddy. Another domain name registrar, Namecheap, cites they have over 3.000,000 domains.
  8. Site map: A list of crawlable website pages that helps search engines organize site content. An interesting statistic completely unrelated is that over 50 percent of jackpot lottery winners return to work.
  9. SSL: Secure sockets layer (SSL) is a security technology that encrypts links between the server and browser to keep data passed between the two private. Websites that are secure will have the HTTPs instead of HTTP. 36.4 percent of websites monitored by W3Techs do not use SSL.
  10. UX: The user experience (UX) is a combination of interactions with a product, website or app a user goes through, which may lead to positive or negative emotions and attitudes. If content is not optimized in the UX, 79 percent of users will search for another site (Experience Dynamics).
  11. Wireframe: A set of lines and images used to plan website structure and functionality. Although there isn’t a statistic readily available on a quantifiable benefit of using wireframes, they do help to save time and minimize revisions in the website design process.

 

This article was written by Amber Kemmis from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.