10 Digital Marketing Terms Every Small Business Owner Should Know To Achieve Success In 2021

Getting a fresh stream of customers is arguably one of the most important and difficult tasks as a business owner. Marketing is the organisation of assets and channels that help you get new leads for your business, and it is more important to understand how marketing works today as the digital landscape has changed rapidly over the past few years through evolving social media trends and algorithm tweaks by Google. 

Here are 10 of the most relevant terms for marketing in the digital age today. These terms will help you communicate better with your marketing team and allow your business to stay relevant in a post-COVID world. 

#1 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is a process where you improve all of your content to drive organic traffic to your website. By optimising your content, your site will appear higher in the rankings of search engines like Google and Yahoo. That means when a customer searches for products or services like yours, they’ll see your site before they see a competitor’s product.

Not only do they see your website, but they can also see Google reviews and other feedback about your business. Customers will be able to see what other people are saying about your business, whether it’s good or bad. That means SEO is also a key tool for your online reputation management plan.

To do SEO effectively, you need to create informative content that provides value to consumers. Think about what kinds of things your target audience may search for. Try to create content that helps them address pain points or answers their questions.

#2 Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing is the practice of marketing a business using paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages (or SERPs). Advertisers bid on keywords that users of services such as Google and Bing might enter when looking for certain products or services, which gives the advertiser the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries.

These ads, often known by the term pay-per-click (PPC) ads, come in a variety of formats. Some are small, text-based ads, whereas others, such as product listing ads (PLAs, also known as Shopping ads) are more visual, product-based advertisements that allow consumers to see important information at-a-glance, such as price and reviews.

#3 Analytics

Marketing is more than just great storytelling and communication skills. Data is essential to any successful marketing campaign. Data analysis enables marketers to see what types of content and campaigns perform well and what areas need to be improved. 

Analytics tools like Google Analytics can help you track how well your content and campaigns perform. You can also use spreadsheets like Excel to keep track of all your campaigns and relevant metrics. Use marketing analytics to ask yourself what channels offer the best return on investment and which campaigns produce the most feedback or leads.

#4 Social Media Management

Nowadays, just about every business has a presence on social media. With more and more consumers heading to Facebook and other platforms for buying advice, it’s important to include social media management as part of your marketing strategy. 

Social media marketing makes it easy for you to build a community of followers among certain interest groups. You can use these platforms to improve your customer service by addressing needs more quickly than through traditional channels.

In addition, social media is a powerful tool for visibility. You can work with influencers to help give your products and services more clout. You can also create viral campaigns that focus on industry trends to drive engagement. 

It’s important to make a distinction between which marketing channels are most effective for your company. Instagram is a great choice if your products are visually pleasing while Medium and LinkedIn are a better choice for information-heavy content. 

Identify what types of social media content you’re creating and decide where to share each piece. Use a tool like Hootsuite or Later to schedule content so you don’t forget to post. With Facebook Creator Studio adding more features regularly, it won’t be long before you can use all the features on those paid platforms for free and post content more effectively.

Read Also: 5 Viral Facebook Ads That Will Make You Rethink Your Marketing Strategy As A Business Owner

#5 Inbound Marketing

This represents all unpaid efforts that drive traffic to your site, including blog posts, referral links, PR, word of mouth and more. Think of this type of marketing as having a “pull” effect on potential customers, drawing them into your business’s digital storefront.

Make sure that your business has a wide variety of inbound marketing opportunities, and always work to expand them. Join industry-specific listing websites, comment on peers’ blog posts, ask for shout outs on social media and more. This shouldn’t be taken as a zero-sum game; look for win-win situations and collaborations between different verticals.

#6 Lead Magnet

If you have watched YouTube ads that tell you to sign up for a “free webinar” in exchange for important information or a great deal, this is what it is about. These offers might include e-books, downloadable templates, webinars, online courses, or free consultations.

In the early days of internet marketing, e-books were the rage. Nowadays, it is getting harder to get consumers to open up your free e-book because of ad fatigue, so it is best to build different kinds of lead magnets for different audiences and segment your customers. 

#7 Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

This is one of the most important metrics to pay attention to, especially if you run an e-commerce related business: The cost to acquire a customer. The math is simple — advertising cost/total customers gained = CAC. If you pay $800 for advertising and get four new customers, your CAC is $200.

Use this simple calculation to determine which paid marketing efforts are working and which ones aren’t. Calculate your CAC for each opportunity every quarter to determine where to spend more and what to cut back on.

#8 Conversion Rate

Arguably the most important metric to monitor in digital marketing is the conversion rate. This ratio is simply the number of leads you can convert into paying customers — converted customers/leads. 

Business owners need to be stakeholders in converting leads, especially in the early stages of growing a business. Converting leads can be done online or offline, but offline conversions should be tracked separately from online conversions because the ratios can differ. 

For example, if you cold-call 100 leads, you may get a higher conversion rate of 5% — 5 customers per every 100 leads you call. However, if you use Instagram ads to target your ideal customers, you might get less than 1% of whom become your customers. 

#9 Customer Lifetime Value To Customer Acquisition Cost (CLV/CAC) Ratio

This ratio allows you to see how sustainable your business is in the long run. If you are spending more to acquire a customer than your customer is paying you over the lifetime of your product or service, then you need to rethink your marketing approach.

To improve this ratio, you can do two things:

  1. Increase CLV by providing continuous value over time (like subscriptions)
  2. Decrease CAC by exploring new marketing channels or different ways to engage your customers

#10 Churn Rate

For software-as-a-service (SaaS) businesses, this one metric can make or break your startup and is a key consideration whether you get funded or acquired. 

The churn rate, also known as the rate of attrition or customer churn, is the rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity. It is most commonly expressed as the percentage of service subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions within a given time period.

If you are running a business that is spending huge amounts of money in acquiring new customers but existing customers are cancelling their subscriptions… you’re haemorrhaging and that’s not a good thing. 

Most SaaS companies burn a lot of cash early on to acquire users, but those who fail often neglect their churn rate. It is important to measure both growth rates and churn rates in the same vein. 

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