Crash course on PR and digital marketing jargon
Written by Kevan Barber
If you’ve started a new business, chances are you’re thinking about your brand’s digital marketing strategy. Maybe you’re thinking about getting the word out through a PR campaign. To comment on ‘hooks’, get seen by potential investors, or build your core audience.
At Eulogy, we do this for our clients every day. But If you’re researching how to do this yourself, or looking at pitch decks and case studies from PR agencies, you might come across a lot of terms you don’t understand, words you thought you understood but seem to mean different things when talking about PR, and a lot of abbreviations and initialisms that could mean anything.
Throughout the PR and comms industry, a new language has emerged to describe the work we do. This can be confusing and alienating if you’ve never set foot in the world of digital marketing. To help you navigate this, we’ve looked at some of the key words flying around our industry (as well as a few here at Eulogy) and offered our own common English translations, in our crash course to PR and marketing jargon.
Guide to PR and marketing Buzzwords
Humaning / Humanising
The process of making something more human, more relatable and more appealing to consumers.
Humaning refers to the process of removing marketing speak from your comms to engage with your audience, and using normal, everyday language that people can immediately understand and relate to.
A blend of real world and digital experiences.
Something we’ve all become far too accustomed to in the past year is technology bridging the physical and digital worlds. In the desire for physical and interactive experiences, we’ve developed a hybrid world that offers us even more touch points with our favourite brands. From digital in-store experiences to online physical experiences, the lines are blurred and there are less boundaries than ever before as to how we can interact with brands and products.
Short, bite-sized videos or articles that can be watched, read or digested, within seconds.
With the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms designed for snackable content, we’re now on a race to grab audience attention. Most content made for social audiences should be between 5 to 15 seconds long.
Shifting a marketing or comms strategy to a new approach.
A particular favourite during the pandemic, retailers pivoted to ecommerce or brands pivoted to purpose-led strategies. Loved and loathed by marketing experts in equal measure, the word ‘pivot’ is all about changing direction, usually quickly and with precision, in order to focus on something that will reduce losses, make more money or enhance the brand perception in comparison to a competitor.
As it says on the tin, multiexperience is a collection of experiences, sometimes in different formats or on different platforms.
This takes us back to phygital experiences where brands are bidding to keep consumers on the hook by hitting them with multiple experiences via multiple touchpoints. Audiences may see an ad from a brand online, then read a PR story in print, and then go to a pop up experience for a free sample.
Mass channel marketing that utilises a variety of platforms to offer a seamless experience for the user, relating to a single message.
While this phrase may sound ominous, it’s really referring to marketing across many different channels. Translating the brand experience from in-store to online, across social platforms, and sometimes even into customers’ DMs, inboxes or text messages. While it might sound tricky to pull off, it’s a genius way for marketers to engage with consumers on their preferred channel to grow a loyal and engaged audience.
We’re all guilty of dipping into the PR lingo from time to time. Here’s a few terms from our own pitch decks and impact reports – and what they really mean.
The potential number of people who saw a piece of coverage or activity.
We should call it ‘potential number of individuals who regularly visit this website or pick up this paper’, but it’s not as catchy. Sometimes referred to as ‘opportunities to be seen’, reach refers to a publication’s digital or print readership.
Reach doesn’t necessarily translate to mass-viewing. For example, the Mail Online has more than 300 million monthly visitors.
Monthly unique users – the number of individuals that visit a digital publication each month.
Again, this does not translate to how many people may have actually read one specific article, but instead gives an idea of how many potential views it may have generated.
Earned vs. owned
Earned reflects coverage generated by engaging journalists from media publications. It’s really the new word for media relations which generates ‘press’ coverage. It’s earned through your relationship (or your agency’s) relationship with journalists and media publications.
Owned content includes blogs, thought leadership, or report collateral, developed to sit on your own company’s website or social channels.
There is huge value in both types of content. A business promoting its own content is much more likely to have a social presence and customer awareness than one that doesn’t. Earned coverage provides a different credibility, putting your business’ voice to a key debate, a theme or subject that journalists are writing on, or generating wider awareness.
Organic vs. paid
Organic is any content that is performing without paid (money) support. Paid refers to any activity that relies on payment, such as digital ads or sponsored content. It’s called ‘organic’ because it – in theory – happens naturally without the need to pay for the attention is attracts.
Organic content is particularly prevalent within influencer marketing, referring to influencers that may have shared a brand or product without being paid to do so. This brings us onto paid partnerships, either with influencers or media publications. Often some investment is necessary to get your brand seen and heard, whether with sponsored articles or social content. However, organic content tends to drive higher brand engagement, as the recommendation or brand mention appears more authentic (genuine) to the viewer.
Organic content created by users.
This is typically social content developed by product or brand users. Acting as a client testimonial, brand fans developing their own content either with or featuring your product helps to convince others to invest. Retailers have excelled at this, adding ‘as seen on’ features to product listings to give prospective buyers the opportunity to see how others have styled a product. Similarly, brands have developed snapchat filters or their own TikTok challenges to drive consumer engagement and awareness of the brand.
Lead generation is the strategy and process of garnering potential leads for a business. These days, lead generation is usually run as a LinkedIn campaign, in the form of sponsoring content (paying for ads, or creative ideas) that are then served (shown) to a specified target group of people.
The result of this lead generation activity will be MQLs and then SQLs. A Marketing Qualified Lead translates to a person who is happy to receive your brand communications and a Sales Qualified Lead is a person who may be interested in becoming a paying client for your services. These campaigns are invaluable for building out your database of contacts, and fuelling that marketing funnel, driving new business and avenues of revenue.
CPL stands for cost per lead, which is how much each lead brought in from a lead gen campaign costs.
The benchmarks for CPLs vary from industry to industry, and from platform to platform, but provide a valuable foundation from which to start judging your lead gen campaigns.
The general level of recognition of a brand, business or product has amongst consumers.
We all want greater awareness of our services and products, but what does an awareness campaign look like and achieve? Typically, an awareness campaign is implemented to warm up an audience before hitting them with a follow up campaign, from which the goal is to drive an action later down the line. This may be downloading a report, providing their personal details for lead generation, or purchasing a product, but first you just need them to know who you are. You can’t have one without the other.
Whenever a post or ad appears on a screen for a user, that’s an impression.
Impressions are most useful when aiming for overall awareness, as they don’t track engagements or clicks, just views.
CPM stands for Cost per mile, and represents the cost of 1,000 impressions on a web page.
If a website charges £1 per CPM, that’s £1 per 1,000 impressions. Again, this metric is useful during awareness campaigns, if you want to get your brand seen by millions of people, you want to ads or sponsored content on platforms that can offer lots of impressions for a low CPM.
CTR stands for Click through rate, which is the ratio of clicks compared to the number of impressions a post or email gets.
If your post has 100 impressions, and 50 clicks on a link that leads to a website, it has a CTR of 50%. The higher your CTR, the better.
While some of these terms may sound confusing at first, the metrics and actions they refer to are important areas to measure, some of which can have a big impact on how your business is performing.
At Eulogy, we’re not big fans of jargon and buzzwords. But we are fans of making things as simple as possible, and helping our clients be known for what matters, and to understand what impact their marketing is having.