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A Quick Reference Article for Digital Marketing Terms


In the Navy, a booter would often have the unenviable chore of being called upon at zero-dark-thirty to clean the head prior to morning muster or colors. Upon completion, he’d have to stand tight against the bulkhead and await what he’d pray would be a Bravo-Zulu. If he was caught skylarking, he’d risk Captain’s mast and NJP. (see bottom of this article for translation)


Much like the Navy, businesses and industries use their own language, commonly referred to as “industry jargon.” The digital marketing world is no different. While we are familiar with personas and TOFs, we understand that association managers and board members might not be. For those of you interested in learning some of the more common industry terms, keep reading. These will also help the non-marketing professional decipher or clarify quotes, proposals, and make doing research much easier.


Commonly Used Digital Marketing Terms

1. Personas – In marketing, a persona is a fictional character created to represent your ideal target market (for associations, it’d be members). A persona is a tool or method of getting to know your audience in a more intimate manner. By creating a physical representation of the people in our target market, we ensure our marketing messaging, content, and conversion approaches fit the audiences perfectly.


2. Call-to-Action (CTA) – The CTA is the end goal you want your user to take. It can be a button, form, phone number, pop-up, chatbot, etc. Common CTAs include:

a. Call Now
b. Learn More
c. Click Here
d. Join Today


3. Marketing Funnel – There are various stages of the buyer’s journey, from researching to being ready to purchase. It is critical that your content appeal to each of these potential clients, regardless of where they are in their journey. The marketing funnel compartmentalizes these stages into:

a. Top of Funnel (TOF)/Awareness Stage – These visitors are just learning about what it is you have to offer. They are doing research and are at the beginning of their buyer’s journey.
b. Middle of Funnel (MOF)/Consideration Stage – This stage consists of people who have done their research, are familiar with the products/services, and are now examining competitors. They are considering who to use to help them. They are in the middle of their buyer’s journey.
c. Bottom of Funnel (BOF)/Decision Stage – These are the people who have done all of their research and are ready to make a decision. They are typically looking for one or two very specific things and are at the end of the buyer’s journey.


4. Offers – An offer is a free product or service you give in exchange for people fulfilling a call to action. The offer is a way to start building trust in your organization and get them to come back to your website. There are several types of offers:

a. No-Risk Offer – A no-risk offer is content a website visitor can receive for free. Blogs, videos, quizzes, and case studies are great examples of no risk offers. The reader receives real value from this type of offer and will hopefully click the CTA at the end to move into the low-risk offer. No-risk offers live at the top of the funnel.
b. Low-Risk Offer – This educational content is typically a free report, feature article, white paper, tip sheet, webinar or seminar, or free assessment. The downloadable content provides the visitor with valuable information to help them do their job better. In exchange for this information, they simply need to provide an email address. Low-risk offers live in the middle of the funnel.
c. Direct Business Offer – There will be visitors who have already decided that they want to start a more active sales conversation with your company. The Direct Business Offer gives them the opportunity to jump right to this step, or to initiate this step once they have become comfortable with your firm. These offers typically look like: “Contact Us Today!,” “Schedule A Call With One of Our Representatives,” or “Open a New Account Today and Receive…” Direct offers live at the bottom of the funnel.


5. SEO – Short for search engine optimization, SEO is an art and science unto itself. Through keyword and key phrase placement, SEO helps your content “get found” when someone types that term into Google or another search engine.


6. Organic and Paid Search – Organic search allows your term to rank higher on a search engine at no cost. Organic results take longer because the term needs to appear in the copy of your blogs and websites many times over a longer period of time. Paid search (also called pay-per-click or PPC) allows people to pay the search engine for higher rankings. Cost varies based on the term.


7. Conversions – This is a term used to describe the movement of a visitor through the marketing funnel. Visitors convert from awareness to consideration, then consideration to decision. Finally, they’ll convert from decision to customer.


8. KPIs – A KPI is a key performance indicator. In the digital marketing world, a KPI could include:

a. Clicks
b. Opens
c. Form Submissions
d. Event Registrations
e. Likes
f. Shares


Contact Stansfeld, LLC

If your association is curious as to how digital marketing can help your association grow, download our free guide below, or reach out to one of our digital marketing specialists and receive one of the following FREE offers:

1. Website Audit – We review your website and offer feedback on:
a. Look and feel
b. Usability
c. Effectiveness

2. SEO Audit – We run a custom report on your site and let you know where your association is currently ranking and for which key terms.

3. Content Audit – We analyze your content and give you a one-page report on how well your content is working for your website’s visitors.


As promised, here’s the translation of our intro paragraph:
In the Navy, a new recruit just out to his first duty assignment would often have the unenviable chore of being called upon at the wee hours of the morning to clean the bathroom prior to morning gathering or raising of the flag. Upon completion, he’d have to stand at attention against the wall and await what he’d pray would be a “job well done.” If he was caught goofing off, he’d risk non-judicial punishment from his commanding officer.