50 content marketing acronyms: A comprehensive guide

Acronyms are pretty confusing. Content marketing acronyms, even more so. And that’s even for the marketing pros whose job it is to understand them. For example, what does HIPPO content_marketing_acronymsstand for?

  1. Highest interest per person option
  2. Highest paid person’s opinion
  3. An amphibious mammal that has a predisposition to mud

If you’re a content marketer instead of a zoologist, it’s b, but don’t worry – we had to look it up too!

We’ve compiled this bumper guide to content marketing acronyms so you never need to nod along in another marketing meeting ever again!

[Disclaimer: Technically, to meet the definition of an acronym, the abbreviation should spell out a new word, but if we had been rigid on this point we’d have had to leave out lots of useful content marketing definitions!]

Here goes …

AI: Artificial Intelligence

We’re not talking robots and supercomputers. For content marketers, AI is a really useful technology that can be used in a variety of different ways. At the moment, it tends to be used to power software that auto-generates content, saving you time and effort in the process – although we don’t recommend trusting it with anything other than generic news pieces just yet!

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

This is a formula that everyone in your marketing team should know and use in their day to day work. Each piece of content should grab your audience’s ‘attention’, pique their ‘interest’, speak to their ‘desires’ and persuade them to take ‘action’. This age-old content marketing mantra is simple, but very effective.

AOV – Average Order Value

This is one of the top Key Performance Indicators (KPIs – see below!). By dividing your total revenue by the number of orders taken, you will work out your AOV. You can then use this to keep track of the total order value for your site, and compare each marketing campaign’s individual order value.

B2B: Business-to Business

Marketing aimed at other businesses

B2C: Business-to-Consumer

Marketing aimed at consumers

BoFu: Bottom of Funnel

If a user gets to the bottom of the marketing funnel, it means they have trickled through the enticing content, and the information filled content to get to the stage of purchase. In other words, they’re between the D and A of AIDA. At this stage, customers will be asking you to validate their choice – why use you and why now? Here they’re narrowing down the choice and are inches away from making a decision. BoFu content should build upon pieces aimed at higher points of the funnel, to make a strong argument in favour of the relevant solution.

BR: Bounce Rate

The main mediums affected by bounce rates are your website and email campaigns. For websites, your bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a page and leave without clicking on anything or navigating to another page. A high bounce rate usually means a poor conversion rate (more on that later).

Email bounce rate is calculated by identifying how many emails were unable to be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. A high email bounce rate generally means your contact list is out of date and you need to cleanse it.

CMS: Content Management System CMS_content_management_system

Your CMS is a vital tool in your content marketing arsenal. This is a web application, such as WordPress that offers a visual editor so that non-techies can easily create, edit and manage a website.

CPA: Cost Per Action/Acquisitions

This is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified acquisition, such as a click or form submission. This is a beneficial model, as it is a form of paying for results.

CPL: Cost Per Lead

Another online advertising pricing model, this time the advertiser only pays for explicit sign-ups from a consumer interested in an advert. This could be seen as a ‘pay-as-you-go’ lead generation system.

CR: Conversion Rate

This is the percentage of people who completed a desirable action on a single web page, such as filling out a form. A high conversion rate means that your page is performing well; a low one means you need to investigate the source of the problem. A poor CR is most likely a copy issue, but you should consider your design and navigation as well.

CRO: Conversion Rate Optimisation

A system for increasing the number of visitors who convert into a sale or complete another desirable action. Content marketers who focus on CRO will see a visible rise in the number of customers coming from their website.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

Content marketing’s main focus is building a relationship with your clients, whether they’re B2B or B2C, so they trust your expertise and feel comfortable entering into a business relationship with you. CRM software lets you keep track of all the information for your customers as well as tracking emails, phone calls, deals, schedule appointments and allows you to log every instance of customer service and support. Some can even use feeds from social media to help you too. This means that the sales team will have plenty of information to help them close the deal and content marketers can segment specific customer groups for more targeted campaigns.

CTA: Call-to-Action

This element encourages your audience to take action. It can be a text link, button, image or video, and it often takes your reader to a lead capture page of some description.

CTR: Click-through Rate

This is the percentage of your audience that goes (or clicks through) from one of your online elements to another. It could refer to the number of clicks on a paid Google ad that lead to your website, or you may be monitoring click-throughs from one part of the website to another. If you want the maths version, your CTR is:

The total number of clicks your page receives divided by number of opportunities that people had to click (pageviews, emails sent etc.)

CX: Customer Experience

The customer experience is a vital part of persuading them to take your desired action, especially in content marketing. They require a frictionless, fun and engaging experience to entice them; if you don’t deliver a good experience they will simply stop reading your copy.

DA: Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. It can be used to compare one site to another or track the “strength” of your own website over time. Adding plenty of high quality, engaging content is one of the best things you can do to boost your site’s DA.

DM: Direct Mail, or Direct Message (Twitter)

Direct mail is the old fashioned way of distributing content – the post! Not many businesses do it any more, and tend to invest in digital alternatives.

Direct messages on Twitter allow a user to get in touch with a follower in private.

ESP: Email Service Provider

An ESP is a company that offers email marketing or bulk emailing services. This helps marketers make sure that their email addresses don’t get blocked by customers and that the content itself isn’t considered spam.

FB: Facebook

Hopefully we don’t have to explain this one – it’s the biggest social media platform on earth!

GA: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great tool to help you analyse how your website/online presence is doing. It generates detailed stats about website traffic and measures conversions and sales.

HIPPO: Highest Paid Person’s OpinionHippo

Every company has a HIPPO, and generally their opinions are listened to because they have the most experience (and they usually hold the purse strings too!). But they’re not infallible so don’t be afraid to question their opinion, or offer alternatives. You’re all part of a marketing team, so your ideas for content are valuable too.

IP: Intellectual Property

Content marketers are creators of intellectual property. It’s described as intangible property that is the result of creativity. Every new piece of content is automatically the intellectual property of its creator, unless there is a contract in place to transfer the IP to someone else (e.g. a company or a client).

KPI: Key Performance Indicator

A metric by which you judge the success of your content. KPIs in content marketing can include website traffic, time on page, bounce rate, social media engagement and enquiry rate, amongst others. It should comprise a clear goal within a specific timeframe. For example, you might set a KPI to increase website traffic by 20% within 3 months. You can use Google Analytics and various social media analytics tools to track the progress of most content marketing KPIs.

LPO: Landing Page Optimisation

The same idea as CRO, above. Make the most out of your landing pages by optimising them to improve your conversion rate.

LTV: Lifetime Value

This is an estimate of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. You can use this figure to assign a proportionate content marketing budget: for example, 10% of the customer’s average LTV.

MoFu: Middle of Funnel

This is the research stage where your prospects will be looking at a variety of options and asking lots of questions. Use this stage to provide your prospects with plenty of educational content as they already in problem-solving mode, and you need to demonstrate your company’s superior expertise.

MT: Modified Tweet

Twitter is a powerful tool, and can be used to share quotes, pictures or phases that others might enjoy. A Modified Tweet is when a user manually retweets a message, but has to alter the original to fit the 140-character limit.

MVT: Multivariate Testing

This is a great way for content marketers to work out what their users prefer. Multivariate testing is where you can test different variables (usually on a landing page or email campaign) and asses which gives you the best outcome. This can be a helpful way to fine-tune your content before disseminating it to a wider audience.

OBL: Outbound Link

These links take you from one website to another. Usually they’re embedded within your copy, and will take the user to a relevant page on another website. It’s a great way of referencing your content, and it helps the CX too, because users can easily access supporting content and sources.

PPC: Pay-per-Clickpay_per_click

Quite simply, PPC is the amount of money you pay for each click on your digital ads. Most search engines and social media platforms offer PPC advertising opportunities, and it can be a very effective way to drive additional traffic to your content. Make sure you keep a careful eye on PPC’s cost-effectiveness though.

PV: Page View

This one’s simple: it’s how many views your page of content received in a specific period of time. It’s not the same as unique visitors (see below!) as one user is often responsible for multiple page views.

RFP: Request for Proposal

If you’re looking for an agency to help you with your content, you can issue an RFP that will outline your requirements, and enable prospective agencies to respond with tailor-made quotes. Do make your RFP as specific and detailed as possible, as this helps ensure an accurate quote.

ROI: Return on Investment

This is one for the maths bods in the room. The ROI is how much net profit your content campaign or agency/ department has contributed to the company.

RSS: Real Simple Syndication

Also known as ‘Rich Site Summary’, this uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information. This is usually for blog entries, news headlines, audio and video content.

RT: Retweet

If you particularly like someone-else’s tweet, you can share it to your followers so they can see it too. This is a handy tool for content marketers as it often builds relationships with customers and other companies, as well as starting a conversation with them.

This is a great way of promoting user generated content (see below!)

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation

Following SEO best practice gives your content the best chance of achieving a high ranking in the search results for relevant terms. Content writing and SEO should not be approached as separate disciplines; rather, you should write your content with SEO best practice at top of mind.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing

Similar to SEO, SEM is the practice of optimising your traffic from search engines. Unlike SEO, SEM includes generating paid traffic from Google Ads and other forms of online advertising.

SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages

SERPs are literally the pages of results generated by search engines in response to a query. The goal for your content, of course, is to position it on page 1 of the SERPs for relevant keywords.

SLA: Service Level Agreement

An agreement between a service provider and the end user that defines the level of service that is expected. These are created if you want to work with a content marketing agency and are useful for both parties.

SMO: Social Media Optimisation

Using social media to its full potential will help you amplify the reach of your content. SMO ensures that you are making the most out of your social media channels.

SMP: Social Media PlatformSEO_pulling_people

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are all social media platforms that can help you distribute your content. Don’t just focus on the big ones: There are plenty of smaller SMPs that may be more relevant to the audience you are trying to reach.

ToFu: Top of Funnel

This is the very first stage of the marketing funnel, so your content needs to cast the net wide. Go for top-level overviews of your industry and offerings, and make it obvious how to progress to your MoFu and then BoFu content.

UGC: User-Generated Content

The clue is in the name: your users generate content for you. Whether its blogs, chats, tweets, discussion forums or even podcasts, if they’re making content about you/your product you know you’re doing something right. Promote this content on social media to engage with your community and help them act as advocates for your brand.

UI: User Interface

A good user interface can make or break a website. This is how your users interact with your website content, and it shapes their whole experience. You need a fast, easy-to-navigate site with clearly signposted content in a readable font.

USP: Unique Selling Proposition

We’ve all heard the entrepreneurs on Dragon’s Den claiming to have a USP, and they’re right to bring it up. You need to cash in on the uniqueness of your product/business, and your content needs to explain clearly what makes your solution special.

UV: Unique Visitor

UV refers to the number of individual users that have visited your website during a given period – you can compare against your page views to see how much of your content people are exploring.

UX: User Experience

This focuses on the complete customer journey from the first interaction through to the point of sale/ enquiry. Content marketers must aim for an impeccable UX to maximise conversions and brand advocacy.

VM: Viral Marketing

VM refers to when content disseminates rapidly throughout a growing pool of users because the idea has caught on. This often happens with videos, images and memes – remember ‘Charlie Bit My Finger?’. Trying to get content to go viral is difficult, but once it does you’ll enjoy reaping the rewards.

WOMM: Word-of-Mouth Marketing

We don’t literally mean word-of-mouth – just the passing of information from person to person. It can be digitally, face-to-face or by any other method of communication. By creating content that is so good people everywhere are talking about it, you’re bolstering your reputation and benefitting from a free source of advertising – personal recommendations. VM and WOMM often go hand-in-hand.

We hope you have enjoyed this comprehensive guide to content marketing acronyms. Go ahead and dazzle your colleagues in your next marketing meeting by dropping in a few well-timed phrases!