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common digital marketing terms

7 Digital Marketing Terms You Should Know

Digital marketing is a fairly new science – cluttered with fancy words and acronyms to describe things that until very recently didn’t exist. As such, there are plenty of (new) words and terms that business owners need to now know to understand what digital marketing is, how it works, and how to make the best use of it. By knowing the correct terms—and using them in your writing, speaking, texts, and emails—you can ensure that your marketing team knows what you mean when you say it, and make better use of your time. Here are 7 digital marketing terms you should know.

1. Digital Marketing

So what is “digital marketing,” anyway?


Before we get too far in the weeds, it’s helpful to first understand what digital marketing is, in and of itself. Digital marketing is actually an umbrella term to describe many different types of online marketing.

Any marketing that uses electronic devices to communicate with its customers (and potential prospects), and measure its impact, is considered digital marketing. That means that any marketing campaign or business communication that you do online—using your computer, phone, or tablet—can be considered ‘digital marketing.’ Whether that messaging is in the form of a display ad, a blog post, an email, or a social media post, or something similar determines the specific type of digital marketing it is. But it all falls under the same umbrella, either way.

digital marketing optimized for electronic devices

2. Content Marketing

If you’ve been following the Hercules SEO blog at all, you’re likely already familiar with content marketing. But what does it really mean?

Content Marketing is a type of digital marketing centered around creating and distributing content that’s tailored to a specific audience, with the goal of creating brand awareness, improving website traffic, and increasing conversions. By creating and sharing content that appeals to your prospects, you can sell your products and services (and the value of using them) and convert your readers from interested prospects to leads to customers.

Since content marketing is fairly cheaper than most forms of marketing—such as PPC ads—and is typically just as, if not more effective—it’s a great option for small businesses on a budget. And since you can easily share the same content that’s on your blog, on your social media pages, and email newsletters, it’s a high-ROI investment that can make it easier to do other forms of marketing, as well.

3. SEO

Easily confused with content marketing, SEO is technically a tool that can help you do your content marketing well.


SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is exactly what it sounds like — it’s the art and science of making web pages (and website content) attractive to search engines. Ever wonder how some pages ‘rank’ on the first page of the search results when you type in a query in a search engine? Those ’search results’ didn’t get there by accident. It took someone with acute knowledge of SEO to pull it off and get their site and content to rank in the search engines.


When it comes to SEO, there are literally hundreds of factors that can influence whether your site (and your site content) rank on the top page of the search results. In fact, Google’s own algorithm changes constantly. That said, some elements are more important (and more reliable) than others, and you can leverage those practices to ensure your website content ranks every time. This means that when a potential prospect searches for the products or services you offer, you can ensure you’re the business they find.

4. Social Media Marketing

You probably already heard of social media marketing. Born out of business owners’ directly interacting with their customers through social media platforms, social media marketing is a popular and effective form of digital marketing. Not unlike content marketing, by creating and sharing content on your social media channels, reaching out directly to customers (to answer questions or resolve complaints), and building relationships, you can grow your brand awareness and create a community around your brand. This can help you develop an audience that can spread your content even further (with their own respected networks), push your promotions faster, and, possibly, drive traffic back to your business.


Pro tip: Many social media platforms also offer their own built-in engagement metrics, which can be helpful in helping you better understand if you’re reaching your audience, and how to do it better.

5. Email Marketing

Given the abundance of marketing terms we’ve covered, email marketing might be the easiest to wrap your head around. That’s because email marketing is exactly like direct mail marketing, except that it’s endlessly scalable, instantaneous, and, of course, close to free.

It’s also exactly what it sounds like. Email marketing is sending content, special offers, and more, to your prospects, leads, or customers—by way of an email. But wait! There’s more. By only sending emails to people who opt-in (who expressly ‘say’ that they want them) you can nearly double the size of your open rates (the percentage of people who ‘open them’). And if you personalize your content for them (both in the body and subject line), provide options for what kind of emails they can subscribe to, and segment your emails so that the right content is delivered to the right person, at the right time, it can be an incredibly effective form of lead generation.

email marketing strategy can supplement seo

6. PPC Marketing

In contrast to free forms of marketing like content marketing, social media marketing, and (to an extent) email marketing, there are other forms of marketing that will actually cost you money. PPC marketing is one of those methods – an abbreviated word for a type of marketing known as Pay-per-click. As the name implies, pay-per-click is posting an ad (typically on a search engine results page) and paying every time someone clicks on the ad.

How does this really work? When someone performs a search using keywords related to your products or services, a ’spot’ becomes available to display an ad. By looking at a number of factors, including the ad quality, its keyword relevance, the quality of the page it links to, and the bid amount—the search engine then determines what ad to fill the spot with (either yours or your competitors.) If the search engine displays your ad and a user clicks on it—sending them to a landing page on your site—you pay a small fee.


While PPC works, it’s certainly not the cheapest (or most effective) form of digital marketing. And since Google effectively sets the bid price, it can be hard to see results unless you have a large budget.

7. A Digital Marketing Agency

A digital marketing agency is a resource that provides a wide variety of marketing services under one umbrella that a business typically does not have in-house expertise in. This makes it incredibly easy to design (or redesign a site), start or manage new campaigns on new platforms, or even create content for your content, social media, or email marketing efforts.


Whether you want to drive traffic to your site with SEO-enhanced content marketing, nurture an audience with social media or email marketing, or boost conversions with PPC ads, there’s a digital marketer (at a digital marketing agency) who can do it all for you!


At Hercules SEO, we believe that the more small businesses embrace the possibilities of digital marketing, the more they’ll be able to realize their true growth potential. That’s why we provide complete marketing solutions for all kinds of small businesses—from plumbers to dentists and more—so that you can compete in a crowded online marketplace and take advantage of all the benefits that digital marketing has to offer. Contact us today to learn more about our best-in-class digital marketing services!

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