A beginner's guide to digital marketing terms, concepts and free resources

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Navigating the digital marketing landscape can be daunting. Professionals and sales people use acronyms that sound complex and difficult to comprehend. Searching the Internet for answers or strategies results in millions of articles, workshops, and templates that can be overwhelming if you're just starting out. We know it can be frustrating, which is why we're here to help.

We have compiled a list of digital marketing key terms and concepts to get you started and make you feel (and sound) like a pro. To dig deeper into current trends, strategies, and tools, we rounded out the list with a few of our favorite resources that feature articles about digital marketing trends, strategies, and tutorials.

Table of Contents

Key Terms
Core Concepts
Recommended Resources

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Key Terms


Conversion
A conversion happens when a customer or potential customer completes an action you set up for them. For example, when the car dealership sends maintenance coupons and then you bring your car in and use a coupon, you have completed a conversion. They set up an action step for you that would benefit their business and goals, and then you completed that action. Digital examples include subscribing to an email list or completing a purchase.

Digital Marketing 
Digital marketing is an over-arching term for any marketing that occurs on the Internet, on mobile devices, and any other digital medium. There are some who would prefer to scrap the "digital" part and simply call it "marketing."

Email Automation
Automating email messages makes it simple to connect with customers in real time. Rather than manually sending out email blasts or welcome emails, you can use a tool like MailChimp to automatically send those messages for you. It also important to note that "automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than 'business as usual' marketing messages" (Epsilon Email Institute).

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
KPIs are data points that can be shown to have a direct impact on the success of the business or brand. Typically, this data is tracked, analyzed, and used to guide strategy for future business success. In sales, for example KPIs might be new customer acquisitions or customer attrition.

Responsive screen display
Responsive Web Design
This trend has grown with the increasing amount of time spent by users on mobile devices while on the web. It refers to the inclusion of design and development elements that adapt based on a user's behavior, screen size, and platform. For example, in each of our web designs, we include responsive elements that shift and resize automatically for the mobile or tablet view.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
How easily it is for searchers to find a website based on its relevance to their search terms is determined by SEO. Including keywords and terms in website content, promoting back links, and ensuring a website is meeting search engine criteria all impact SEO. Good SEO typically means your website is appearing at the top of search results when users are searching for your product or service.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
Many marketing professionals will report on and set goals for SERPs, which is short for search engine results pages. These are just how they sound - the pages displayed when someone enters a search term into a search engine. In those results, an organic listing is unpaid and has been retrieved as a result of SEO and a sponsored listing is the equivalent of an advertisement which as been paid for.

Core Concepts


Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is the opposite of spam, telemarketing, or cold-calling marketing methods. "Inbound" refers to the customers voluntarily coming in to your company or brand through your blog posts, ebooks, social media profiles, or other channels they find helpful or engaging. Old methods, now called "outbound" are disruptive and unsolicited by the buyer.

Content Marketing
Content marketing is a non-interruptive marketing method that consists of you delivering information that is helpful to your buyer. By providing solutions to their problems, you become a trusted source and, ideally, service provider. These deliverables could be blog articles, ebooks, or webinars.

Email Marketing
Email marketing utilizes your list of qualified email contacts to share direct messaging such as ads, educational content, sales/special offers, or company updates that impact your audience. When done well, email marketing can increase customer loyalty and can be tailored to specific segments of your email list using email automation.

Influencer Marketing
With so many competing voices online, influencer marketing is a method that engages key individuals that have influence over your audience and getting those individuals to share your product or service with their networks. The concept is built on long-standing social networks built on influence and admiration.

Recommended Resources


Business 2 Community (B2C)
B2C is a digital marketing news site, featuring blog posts about top trends, news, and expert analysis. They share articles about social media, digital marketing, content marketing, social selling, and more. Visit Business 2 Community

Hootsuite
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows users to manage multiple social media profiles in one dashboard, as well as setup RSS feed auto-posting and keyword monitoring. Visit the Hootsuite blog


HubSpot
HubSpot is an inbound marketing software platform that implements inbound marketing strategies and utlizes data collection and analysis to determine successes and next steps. They regularly share articles with strategies and information about marketing, sales, and agency. Visit the HubSpot blog


Kissmetrics
Kissmetrics is a web analytics solution that has built in marketing-focused tracking and reporting, such as the effectiveness of marketing channels or the time it takes for a user to convert. Their articles focuses on analytics, marketing, and testing. Visit the Kissmetrics blog

Marketo
Marketo provides marketing automation software for companies, including tools like lead and prospect scoring. They post a variety of articles about utilizing metrics in marketing and general trends. Visit the Marketo blog

TBH Creative (of course!)
At TBH Creative, we are an energetic, reliable, and full-service web design company located in Indianapolis. We build successful online strategies and high-end website solutions for businesses. Subscribe to the TBH Creative blog

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Sarah

About the author | Sarah Matlock

Sarah is the marketing manager at TBH Creative, specializing in social media management and data analysis. She likes to blog about social media strategy, the latest trends in the industry, and how to engage the online community more effectively.

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