Marketing Terms Made Simple

June 9, 2017

Marketing term guide

Whether you are trying to learn some marketing tricks for your own company or looking for an agency marketing can be confusing. It is not been made easier by the excessive list of complicated terms and abbreviations. Most of these terms are actually pretty basic this guide will give you everything you need to know about marketing lingo.


You will see this term a lot, Facebook measures metrics like “organic views” and “organic clicks” and an agency may say you had 100 “organic Google leads” to your website. Organic is simply leads you do not have to pay for. For example, if you were to post a link to your website on as a Facebook post all your followers who click on the post would be “organic click”. If you decide to promote this post and put money on it anyone who clicks on the post after seeing it as an ad would be a “paid click”.


Think of impressions like a view. Every time your advertisement or post is displayed you get 1 impression. Impressions can be both organic and paid and is one of the most used measurements on social media to judge the success of a post or advertisement.


Similar to impressions reach counts how many users saw your post or advertisement. For example, if you were to post a picture on Instagram, and Mr. X viewed your picture 5 different times it would only count as a reach of 1 but as 5 impressions.

Engagement/ engagement rate

Engagement is a term primarily used on social media. Engagements count the number of interactions your post receives. Facebook, for example, counts likes, shares, comments, link clicks, photo clicks, and video views (at least 3 seconds) as engagements. Engagement rate is the total number of engagement divided by the number of posts in a given time period. Both engagements and engagement rates are important stats for measuring success on social media. It is worth noting that some companies may calculate engagement rate differently, for example, some do not count image clicks as engagement and some require more than 3 seconds of video views.

Call to Action (CTA)
A CTA can take many forms, whether it is a line of text at the end of a video or a button on a website a CTA is a way of telling your potential customer what to do next. For example, a “learn more” button on a Facebook Ad directing a viewer to your website.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Most commonly referred to as SEM, search engine marketing is simply the process of ensuring your business is easy to find in search engines. SEM is an encompassing term which takes into account both organic and paid rankings on a search engine. If an agency is offering you SEM services they are essentially saying they will make sure you can be found on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Most commonly referred to as SEO, search engine optimization is a critical marketing skill for any company. In essence, SEO is the organic (unpaid) side of SEM. If an agency is offering SEO services they are working to make you show up as high as possible on a search engine. Depending on your industry ranking on the first page of Google can be a very long, difficult, and expensive process but can be worth it to be consistently easier to find on Google.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC or pay per click is a term used for paid advertising. As the name suggest a PPC campaign is a campaign where you pay whenever your ad is clicked. A company with poor SEO or to promote a service in a competitive field a PPC campaign is often a good option. The most commonly used PPC platform for search engines is Google AdWords. Check out this video ( for a basic tutorial from Google on how PPC bidding works.

Cost per click (CPC)

When purchasing advertising space in the digital world there a number of options you can use to buy advertising space. The most commonly used is a cost per click campaign. A CPC campaign is simply a way of paying for ads where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Most online advertising outlets like Google Adwords, and Facebook ads will offer CPC advertising.

Cost per thousand (CPM)

The acronym CPM can be confusing as it technically stands for cost per mille, in Latin mille translates to thousand and that is CPM is used for cost per thousand ad purchasing. When buying ad space using CPM you are buying advertising space for 1000 impressions. When using CPM you will be charged the same amount no matter the number of clicks as you are paying for impressions. This betting strategy is less common than CPC and is typically used for promoting a post with no clear Call to action.

User Experience (UX) design

UX design is becoming of growing concern not just in marketing but in the competitive business world. It is essentially a way of design while keeping the user’s journey in mind. Have you ever had a feature on an App hard to find or had trouble navigating a website. A UX designer’s job is to make sure that this does not happen. Even things like bank machines and grocery stores can be designed with UX in mind. In the digital marketing world, a UX designer will typically be focused on a website and an agency offering UX design is simply saying they will design your website in an optimal way to support your customer’s journey.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is a fairly new but effective digital marketing strategy. Inbound marketing involves using content, social media, and SEM to address the needs of your consumer. Inbound marketing is an effective marketing strategy that allows customers to find you rather than going out and aggressively looking for customers.

Media Buying

Media buying is a term many marketing agencies like to use as a service. Media buying is the act of purchasing advertising space. Media buyers will review your customer data and ensure your ad is targeted toward the right consumer and advertising material is most prevalent on platforms where your target consumer exists.

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