“Buzzword” is the flashier, snappier version of technical jargon. It can help anyone sound relevant and demonstrate expert knowledge when used correctly. Misuse it, however, and you’ll lose credibility.
The digital marketing industry is saturated with buzzwords—some worth mentioning more than others. If you’re not sure whether your use of “trend-jacking” or “thought leader” sounds insightful or is probably raising eyebrows, then this article is for you!
Below are some of these often-used buzzwords, what they mean, and if they’re still worth using or ready for retirement.
Position Zero refers to the Featured Snippet, which is the result located above the top 10 organic search results. With the way Google’s going about displaying results, it may not actually be exempt from the number of search results on the page.
Verdict: Better stick to “featured snippet” instead or risk confusion later on.
An algorithm functions like a formula or set of rules. Search engines, social media platforms, and just about any streaming service utilizes algorithms to determine what content appears and which ones are most relevant to their users.
Verdict: It’ll take a lot before algorithms go out of style.
Retargeting refers to the practice of serving ads to users who previously viewed a business’ website or offers. Retargeting gives them the chance to reach out to prospects who may not have been ready to buy the first time around. When done well, it can make all the difference in conversion rates.
Verdict: Definitely stays, but don’t get it confused with “remarketing.”
User experience encompasses a target audience’s overall interactions with your business online. This phrase is used mainly to describe web design but it has found its way to almost every aspect of digital marketing. Without a positive experience, you could lose your audience to competitors that do.
Verdict: Still relevant. People ignore design that ignores people.
A combination of “advertisement” and “entertainment,” this type of ad tries to blur the line between promoting a product or service and providing media entertainment. Audiences want to be amused, and it may be easier to create an entertaining ad than use this word and keep your integrity intact.
Verdict: Still somewhat novel, but consumers quickly grow tired of gimmicks
Being short, quick, and easy-to-digest is what makes a piece of content “snackable.” Some think it’s the perfect term to describe Vines or tweets, while others believe that it’s unnecessary to use and annoying to hear.
Verdict: The jury’s still out on this one, so use it at your own risk.
This term is shorthand for “Social, Local, and Mobile,” three vital forces in digital marketing. There’s not much to say about this one…
Verdict: No self-respecting digital marketing agency would use this term unless the goal is to sound obnoxious or pretentious.
Influential, expert voices in any industry can count as “thought leaders.” Many aspiring marketers aim to be thought leaders in their own right. While it’s an admirable goal to work towards, the term itself has been worn out by the many, many people who’ve used it to describe themselves.
Verdict: Credibility of the term is diminishing every day. Don’t call yourself or anyone a thought leader unless you can substantiate it.
From ‘trend-jacking,’ to ‘newsjacking,’ to even ‘meme-jacking,’ the many iterations of this word simply describe taking topics or formats relevant to your audiences and using them for your marketing purposes.
Verdict: While the concepts are sound, these words are bordering on overused.
These refer to those instances when people instinctively turn to a device to accomplish something (learn something, discover something, watch something, or buy something). These micro-moments are incredibly important because they’re intent-rich and often where decisions/preferences are made.
Verdict: Although overused, this term still represents a very important concept that drives conversions.
Viral is what digital marketers’ dreams are made of: reaching an overwhelmingly rapid, massive-scale success with your content. Kind of like when a virus takes over a host, hence the term “viral.” Unfortunately, going viral relies on the unusual and unpredictable whims of the internet.
Verdict: Steer clear of anyone who claims to have the ‘secret formula’ for it and run for the hills if a client demands it.
“If you have nothing nice to say…”
You’re likely to find all kinds of digital marketing tips, ebooks, and blog posts that use these words. You may even be using some of these words in your content. While there are buzzwords that rightfully exist to describe many marketing concepts, many of them can sound horrible and will distract from what you’re trying to say.
If you need to flex your marketing knowledge, skip the buzzwords and show, not tell. Think of it this way: what’s more likely to stay with your readers—the buzzword word salad or ideas and analogies that create a clearer picture?
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