Our Inbound Marketing Glossary: Part 1

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: inbound marketing (or really all of online marketing) comes with a ton of jargon. There are a lot of new words and terms to understand when you are launching a new approach to your marketing, or even just trying to understand if this is the right marketing strategy for your business

We’ve introduced a lot of these terms along the way, but we wanted to have one point of reference for you as you continue to learn about the various aspects of inbound.

Well, actually three–there are a lot of terms, so we broke them up into three separate blog posts to make them more digestible.

So without further ado, Part 1 of our Inbound Marketing Glossary. These are words that will guide you in understanding the broader strokes of inbound marketing, as well terms used most frequently when discussing inbound marketing.

Interruption Marketing: This is how we refer to the traditional methods of marketing that involve interrupting a prospect’s day with continued advertising, promotion, and sales. These are pop ups that follow you around, phone calls that are impossible to hang up on, commercials that feel endless–any type of marketing that gets a prospects attention by interrupting their day in an annoying way. It’s also known as ‘outbound marketing,’ as well as ‘not being very effective anymore.’

Attraction Marketing: Welcome to the new standard of online marketing. Gone are the days of trying to convince customers to trust your company and product before they know who you are. Online marketing efforts are focused on attracting quality leads to your business through free, relevant, valuable content that answers questions they may be searching for. In this way, you are building trust with them by demonstrating your authority and value in this space in a non-intrusive manner, which will be quite an attractive factor to them when they consider who to work with or where to purchase a given product.

Buyer Persona: You want to be able to put faces to the huge audience out there for your business, and understand the people you’re trying to reach actionably, not just conceptually. Buyer personas, which are generalized representations of your ideal customers, allow you to do that. They will be the foundation of all your marketing efforts, dictating what kind of content you create, where you promote that content, how you design your website, and so much more, so understanding your buyer personas need to be the first step you take in your inbound marketing efforts.

Lead: Anyone who’s shown actionable interest in your business is considered a lead. In exchange of something for value, they’ve given you their contact information, essentially raising their hand virtually to indicate that they’re interested in engaging with your company. Acquiring quality leads is one of the primary goals of a successful inbound campaign, because people who are interested in what you’re saying are likely also interested in what you’re selling, making them your ideal customers.

Moment of Discovery: This is the moment when inbound meets your prospect exactly where they are. This is the time and place when a new prospect becomes aware of your company for the first time. You want a stranger to encounter you even though they didn’t know they were looking for you. This moment ultimately comes about by looking for ways to serve your ideal customers. In more actionable terms it can come by way of keyword optimization, writing specific, targeted content that answers specific, targeted questions, or posting articles on sites where your prospects are already hanging out.

Keywords: These are search terms that are both relevant to your company’s website and products, and also reflect what your customer is searching for. They should fit as a description of what the page is all about, but should also be determined by how your audience speaks and what they might be looking for. You’ll need to consider keywords in nearly everything you do–building it into components of your webpage to allow for optimization, building blog posts around answering questions voiced by certain keywords, etc.

Marketing and Sales Funnel: Also known as the purchase funnel, sometimes the conversion funnel, sometimes the customer funnel. It’s how marketers illustrate the buyer’s journey and process as they work from first encountering a company to ultimately purchasing from that company. The stages of the funnel include:

Contact : The generic term for anyone in the funnel, no matter which stage.

Prospect : Website visitors who you have minimal information on.

Lead: See above for more detailed definition; this is a contact who’s submitted a form in exchange for premium content

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): Contacts who have identified themselves as more deeply engaged, more ready for sales. This can be determined based on which offers they download, what information they submit, etc.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) : MQLs that your sales team has determined worthy of direct follow up

Opportunity : SQL that a sales rep has spoken to and marked as a potential, legitimate customer.

Customer: Victory!!

Ambassador: Your sales process doesn’t end when someone purchases. The best advocates for your company are those who have been happily served by you, so don’t forget about them. Engage past customers through targeted content, surveys, and dynamic nurturing to turn them into promoters of your business.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of our Inbound Marketing Glossary!