Updated: Nov 17
Slurping your way through alphabet soup wondering WTF all these content marketing acronyms mean?
Kiss confusion goodbye and pucker up for complete confidence. I've explained 40+ acronyms all content marketers NEED to know. So you can confidently pepper them all over your next content convo. You're welcome.
Marketing acronyms starting with A
AIDA – Attention, Desire, Interest, Action
AIDA is the journey you want to take your audience on. From grabbing their attention with an irresistible opener, to stimulating their desire with juicy benefits, then piquing their interest in purchasing with all kinds of USPs, to finally giving them a way to act on their desire with a clickworthy call-to-action.
It's one of many copywriting frameworks and techniques used by professional writers.
Marketing acronyms starting with B
B2B – Business-To-Business
If a business sells to another business, it is B2B. Think about the businesses that make brake pads and sell them to car manufacturers. Or bakers that supply supermarkets with beautiful baps.
In marketing terms, B2B requires a different approach to B2C (which stands for Business-to-Consumer). B2B audiences can be more considered and detail-driven. Often because the price tag of their purchases is HUUUUGE.
Check out my blog post that answers the question What is the difference between B2B and B2C for copywriters?
B2C – Business-To-Consumer
The sometimes-reckless sibling of B2B, this means Business-to-Consumer. If a business sells direct to the public, they’re B2C.
B2C products span everything from a pack of biscuits to a university degree, so it's hard to generalise. But lower price tags than B2B products can mean B2C audiences are more impulsive and emotion-driven. This means you write for B2C audiences in a different way to B2B.
Check out my blog post that answers the question What is the difference between B2B and B2C for copywriters?
BoFu – Bottom-of-funnel
BoFu stands for ‘bottom of the funnel’ and correlates to the ‘decision’ stage of the customer journey. In content marketing, it refers to content that’s designed for people who are close to buying from you but need an extra push over the finish line.
It’s about giving prospects everything they need to confidently choose you over the competition. That might be glowing customer testimonials and reviews, comparisons between your product and others, special offers, product demos, ROI calculators etc.
BoFu blog content typically has a stronger brand and product focus than ToFu (top-of-funnel) content, as it is designed to support customer decision-making and point them to your product.
Learn more about BoFu content in marketing.
BR – Bounce rate
Nope, not how long it takes me to stop jiggling after I’ve jumped, but the rate at which visitors leave your website. You can find your BR in Google Analytics. If you’ve got a high bounce rate, you’ve got a problem. Because a high BR means you’re not meeting your website visitors’ needs.
Maybe your website is boring, has a terrible user experience, or doesn’t fulfil the promise of your adverts. High BR is bad because Google will take it into account when delivering up websites in their search results. If they know visitors don’t stay on your site, they won’t prioritise you in the SERPs.
Marketing acronyms starting with C
CM – Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the fastest-growing branches of marketing. Why? Because it costs less, lasts longer and is trusted more than advertising. Happy days.
It involves the creation of content that will appeal to your ideal audience, to attract them to your website. It doesn’t explicitly promote your brand but it does raise awareness and build brand trust.
Here’s a simple example. A plumber might post videos about how to fix common plumbing problems at home.
That's likely to attract her ideal customer because people who need a plumber might try to fix it themselves first. So they might Google ‘how to fix a leak’ before giving up and calling in a professional.
And who will they call? A random person from Yell or the person who posted the professional and helpful video that showcased their expertise?
CMS – Content Management System
A Content Management System is used to design and manage websites. WordPress is a common CMS. Why does this matter for copywriters and content marketers? Because understanding how your content will be used and published can help you create more useful material.
CO – Content Orchestration
Content orchestration is about finding the most efficient and productive way to create content, particularly in multi- or omnichannel environments. Put more simply, it’s about creating a slick and streamlined content production line, spanning every channel you publish to.
Content Orchestration is typically achieved by reviewing processes, putting the right people in place, then harnessing and integrating relevant software – such as DAM, editorial workflow software, CMS and more.
CTA – Call-To-Action
A call-to-action is the nudge you give your reader to take the next step on your site. The most obvious CTA is to complete a purchase or booking.
But every page on your site should have a CTA, even if it’s just a blog post. Otherwise, you leave your reader in a content cul-de-sac with no obvious onward path. Which means higher bounce rate and lost opportunities. Check out my article on how to craft a killer CTA.
CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation
Conversion Rate Optimisation is about getting website visitors to convert into customers. It’s about optimizing everything you can to encourage them to checkout.
That might be by creating compelling calls-to-action, implementing an excellent user experience, removing barriers to purchase, and providing incentives.
CRO might not just happen on your website either. It can also include other touchpoints in the customer journey. Such as retargeting ads on social media and targeted email messaging with vouchers etc.
CTR – Click-Through Rate
Click-through rate shows how many people have clicked on a particular ad (or article in your email or call-to-action on your website). You can compare the CTR for different ads to work out which are more effective at generating action.
In PPC terms, the higher the CTR, the better your ad is performing. And that can mean a higher quality score – and better rates - with advertising platforms.
CPC – Cost-Per-Click
Cost-per-click is a measurement of how much it costs to get clicks through to your website. It’s often used to calculate the performance of paid ads.
It’s an easy formula. Simply divide the total cost of the ad by the number of clicks you received.
For example, if you paid £50 for your ads and received 200 clicks, your CPC is 25p. If you paid £200 for your ads and received 50 clicks, your CPC is £4.
Marketing acronyms starting with D
DA – Domain Authority
Moz’s Domain Authority predicts how likely your domain is to appear in search results. It is based on the number and quality of links to your site. Google takes this into account when deciding how to rank search results. However, they don’t take Moz’s DA score directly into account, so your DA score is only indicative.
Scored out of 100, a higher DA means higher authority. That means – all other factors being equal – you should rank above lower DA sites. However, many other factors influence rankings. See Topical Authority for one example.
DAM – Digital Asset Management
Okay. This isn't strictly a content marketing acronym. But I am The DAM Copywriter, so humour me here!
Digital Asset Management is software that is used to store and make digital assets available online. For a business, it is a great way to ensure brand consistency and improve marketing efficiency. It gives users instant access to the same high-quality curated content - like photos, videos and audio.
If you’re a marketing manager who is pulling their hair out because colleagues keep using out-of-date images or off-brand video, you need to investigate DAM. Take a listen to my interview on DAM for marketers on The Big Bright Podcast.
D2C – Direct-To-Customer
A direct-to-customer business is one that sells direct to the customer, obviously. Often, businesses sell through an intermediary - a retail store or an online platform like Amazon. A DTC model means the business bypasses the middleman and sells straight to the customer. Dyson is a good example of a brand that's successfully introduced a DTC platform.
They need a platform to do this – like a DTC e-commerce site - plus distribution processes and an in-house customer service team. Marketers in DTC businesses need to work closely with customer service to ensure a positive all-round customer experience and positive word-of-mouth.
Marketing acronyms starting with E
EEAT – Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust
Google is the seemingly unassailable giant of search. Chances are, if someone is going to find your website, it’ll be through Google search. So it makes sense to pay attention to how they decide which websites to deliver up first.
EEAT are four indicators Google looks for to determine the quality of your website content. They’re looking for content written by experts, with direct personal experience, that readers can trust.
That’s why cheap copy from crappy content mills isn’t the right way to try to get your website to rank. Commission quality content if you want to boost your Google ranking.
Marketing acronyms starting with F
FAB – Features, Advantages, Benefits
So many marketers and novice copywriters make a mistake when it comes to promoting products and services. They get all caught up in the detail and miss the bigger picture.
The FAB framework in copywriting reminds us to sell the benefits to the customer, not just the features.
Imagine a walking sock manufacturer. Yes, the water-wicking material and anti-rub seams are really important. But what the customer really wants is comfy dry feet. Don’t forget to ‘sell the sizzle’ when you sell the steak.
Marketing acronyms starting with G
GA – Google Analytics
Google Analytics works behind the scenes of your website, collecting and analysing data about site visitors. It provides website owners with insights into their number of visitors, where they come from, how they interact with the site, and what they do there.
From the information provided in Google Analytics, you can identify issues with your site performance and opportunities to make improvements. For example, bounce rate shows how quickly people leave your site. High bounce rate indicates something’s not working…
GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation
A quick nod to GDPR, the daddy of all data protection laws. If you’re working with the data of an EU resident, you need to comply with GDPR. This has implications for businesses of all sizes, especially content marketers trying to attract customers into their funnel with downloadables and freebies.
Marketing acronyms starting with I
ICP - Ideal Customer Profile
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a short description of the characteristics that make a prospect an ideal fit for your business. In B2B, it includes information such as industry, company size, location, and specific challenges.
Creating an ICP helps you focus your marketing and sales efforts on prospects that are most likely to be interested in your products or services. Because there's no point in marketing an enterprise resource management solution to a microbusiness, or office cleaning services to all all-remote organization.
ICYMI – In Case You Missed It
This is a useful little acronym that you can use to promote evergreen content on social media. Evergreen content is web content that is always relevant to your readers. It’s great value because you commission it once but can use it over and over again.
Adding #ICYMI flags that you’ve shared it already but want to give people a second chance to catch it. This flags that the content is important AND that you care about your busy readers. Win-win.
Marketing acronyms starting with J
JTBD - Jobs To Be Done
JTBD is a framework developed by Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, to explain customer needs and motivations in marketing (and beyond). Instead of looking at just features and benefits, it asks what jobs or tasks is the customer trying to accomplish.
Understanding the underlying job that customers are trying to accomplish can help businesses design better products and market them more efrective. For example, someone buying a tin of paint isn't doing it for the pleasure of owning it. They want to decorate something.
Knowing this helps a marketer craft copy to show how their paint product achieves this goal - and does so better than competitors, or alternative decorating methods, such as wallpapering.
Marketing acronyms starting with L
LTV – Lifetime Value
Lifetime Value is the full value of a customer to your business, once you’ve acquired them. It differs from business to business, according to the likelihood of repeat custom, and it determines how much you should invest in attracting and retaining customers.
For example, a house builder might only sell one of their products to a customer but turn a large profit on that single sale, whereas an ice cream manufacturer might only sell a £1 product but over the course of 50 years, that adds up to a whole lot of lolly. Geddit? Lolly...
Marketing acronyms starting with M
MAP – Marketing Automation Platform
If you want to wave goodbye to the guesswork and grunt work of marketing, you need to explore marketing automation platforms. These clever software systems can automate, analyse and improve your marketing activity. CRM systems, analytics and workflow automation are all examples of MAP.
MoFu – Middle-of-funnel
MoFu stands for ‘middle of the funnel’ and correlates to the ‘consideration’ stage of the customer journey. In content marketing, it refers to content that’s designed for people who are aware of the product or service you offer, and are working out if it’s right for them.
It should demonstrate that you understand their pain points and position your product as the ideal solution. But not in a sales-y way. The reader wants to feel supported and guided but never strong-armed.
MoFu content might include checklists, side-by-side product comparisons and blog posts, case studies, videos and case studies explaining how you’ve solved the same problems for other people.
Learn more about the buyers' journey in content marketing.
MQL – Marketing Qualified Lead
A Marketing Qualified Lead is someone who has done things to suggest they’re ready to become a customer. They’re at the next stage of the sales funnel, compared to a random website visitor. For example, maybe they’ve downloaded a brochure or requested a callback.
A useful way to think of an MQL is as a ‘hand raiser’. They’ve put their hand up and said’ I’m interested’.
Different businesses will use different criteria to decide who is an MQL. But once they’re identified, they move down the sales funnel and receive a little bit more time and energy to convert them into a customer. The next stage is SQL, Sales Qualified Lead.
Marketing acronyms starting with P
PAS - Pain point, Agitation, Solution
PAS stands for pain, agitation, and solution. It’s a copywriting framework that helps you structure your copy. You start with the readers’ pain point, agitate it to really stir the emotions, and then present your product as the solution. It's a way to make your reader REALLY feel their emotions and needs, so they're in a receptive state to hear your marketing message.
P2P – People-to-people
P2P represents an alternative way of thinking about B2B and B2C marketing. It posits that we’re all human and therefore all marketing is essentially people-to-people marketing.
It puts me in mind of Julia Roberts in Notting Hill. But instead of asking Hugh Grant to love her, she’s asking Pat from procurement to buy a new photocopier.
It’s a lovely idea that champions human connection and clear communication. But does it miss the subtle – and not so subtle – differences between the B2B and B2C buyer’s journey?
PPC – Pay-Per-Click
Pay-per-click is an advertising model where an advertiser pays a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Advertisers bid on a particular search term and (based on a whole load of algorithmic shenanigans) get shown at the top of the SERPs or in a column to the side.
Advertisers usually set a budget for the day and their ad is shown until their budget runs out. It means you only pay when someone visits your site. But it can be a blunt tool and subject to ‘click fraud’, which is when competitors click your ad to run down your budget and disable it.
Marketing acronyms starting with R
RFP – Request for proposal
An RFP is an invitation for you to submit a proposal (or bid) to complete a piece of work. Companies use RFPs to help them select the right vendor for an outsourced project. They’ll compare multiple RFPs to find the best fit, so consider it a competitive process.
(An RFP is different to an RFQ - Request For Quote - which is mostly about cost. An RFP is about you, your approach and how you propose to complete the work too.)
ROAS - Return on Advertising Spend
Return on advertising spend is an important KPI in digital marketing. It simply means how many £ or $ you earn back for each one you spent. The ROAS calculation is easy: (Revenue attributable to ads / cost of ads) x 100.
It's useful because it lets you compare different ad campaigns like-for-like and work out which has been most successful for you. So you can do the same again.
ROI – Return on Investment
Return on investment is a metric that compares what something cost you and how much it makes you. It’s essential to measure marketing ROI because it gives you an indication of what’s worth investing in and what’s not.
But it's not always so easy to work out. For example, calculating ROI from a paid ad campaign is fairly straightforward thanks to end-to-end analytics. But for a blog post or an individual photoshoot… not so easy.
Marketing acronyms starting with S
SQL – Sales Qualified Lead
A Sales Qualified Lead is someone who has met the criteria to suggest they’re ready to become a customer, they just need a little nudge. An MQL turns into an SQL, and moves from being the responsibility of the marketing team to the sales team. Good work, marketers!
SEM – Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing describes activity to boost the visibility of a website in the SERPs. It can include paid efforts (like PPC) or organic efforts (via SEO). It all comes down to keywords - knowing what your target audience are searching for, the terms they use, and showing up when they do.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation is about optimising your website to maximise your chance of showing up in the SERPs. There are three types of SEO: on-page, off-page and technical.
On-page SEO is about what you do with your webpage content. For example, including relevant keywords in the content title and header, providing metadata, creating high-quality content, and matching content to search intent.
Technical SEO is about behind the scenes stuff that makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site, and gives a great user experience. Things like page speed, site navigation, site maps, URL structure and more.
Off-page SEO is stuff that signals to the search engines that you have a site worth ranking. You don’t have complete control of this but can influence it. For example, Google looks for links to your site from other quality sites. You can optimise for this with a backlink strategy.
SERP – Search Engine Results Page
You might not know it’s called a SERP but you probably see it several times a day. Whenever you search for something online, the results page is the SERP.
For content marketers, getting a piece of content on the first page of the SERPs is a big deal because it maximises your chance of getting clicked on.
SGE - Search Generative Experience
Google's Search Generative Experience is a new experimental feature from the search giant (written Nov 2023). It aims to incorporate AI-generated answers into search results, to provide users with answers to their questions directly within the SERPs. And incorporates gen-AI functionality to create text too, much like ChatGPT.
It also uses generative AI to create unique visual results too, not just surfacing images you might want, but creating them for you. It isn't fully released yet. But when it is, it promises huge impact on the way we search - and how we create content.
SMM – Social Media Marketing
SMM harnesses the power of social media to build your brand, connect with your ideal audience and – ultimately – generate demand for your business.
Social media marketing can include anything from promoting your brand on the channels where your customers hang out, to running paid ads that pop up in users’ feeds.
Customers expect cracking content and immediate interactions with their brands on social media, so bring your A-game.
Marketing acronyms starting with T
TA – Topical Authority
Topical authority is an approach to SEO that can help lower domain authority sites rank above higher domain authority sites in the search results.
This increases organic visibility, boosts high-intent website traffic, and reinforces brand reputation as topic experts. All of which are strong tactics to support demand and lead generation.
To achieve topical authority, a site needs to have a bulk of interlinked content, clustered around a specific topic. It involves publishing a high volume of high-quality, highly relevant content on a particular topic.
Check out my article on how to build topical authority for beginners.
ToFu – Top of funnel
ToFu stands for ‘top of the funnel’ and correlates to the ‘awareness’ stage of the customer journey. In content marketing, it’s for people who know they have a problem to solve but aren’t necessarily aware of your product, service or brand as a potential solution.
ToFu blog content doesn’t focus on your brand, product or service. It’s a strictly no-sales zone. The aim is to anticipate what your target customer could be Googling, and provide helpful information in response.
Learn more about the buyers' journey in content marketing
TOMA - Top of Mind Awareness
Top of Mind Awareness is a marketing concept that refers to the brand or product that consumers think of first when thinking about a particular product category. What comes to the top of your mind when I saw 'supermarket' or 'soft drink'. That's TOMA.
High TOMA means you're more likely to be selected by customers if they're given free choice of the market. This is because you have high brand awareness and positive brand sentiment.
Marketing acronyms starting with U
UGC – User-Generated Content
UGC is content your customers create - like reviews they post on Amazon or photos they tag on Instagram.
It’s a powerful and authentic way to communicate your brand because it harnesses word-of-mouth. And people are far more likely to trust what OTHER people say about you, than what you say about yourself.
Savvy marketers will include UGC in their strategy – whether that’s simply finding and using UGC in campaigns, or actively encouraging content creation in their customer communities.
USP – Unique Selling Point/Proposition
Your USP is the one big thing that makes you stand out in the market. It’s the thing that makes you better than the competition and a no-brainer for your ideal customer.
To find your USP, think about what you do differently and what your customers care about. Where they overlap, you’ll find your USP - a point of differentiation that will resonate with your target audience and boost your brand.
UV – Unique Visitor
Unique Visitor is a term used in website analytics to describe an individual that has visited your website. A unique visitor is counted only once in the data, regardless of how many pages they visit on their site. This means UV count is an effective way to gauge the popularity of your site.
UX – User Experience
If you’ve ever abandoned your online shopping out of raw frustration, you’ll understand the importance of UX. UX is about optimising digital interactions to improve the experience for users.
For example, making a website enjoyable to use, or an online process easy to navigate. The aim is to increase positive outcomes - like completing a purchase – and make customers more likely to come back in the future.
Not sure where to start with UX? Here are some first steps to improving the UX of your web content with simple formatting.
Marketing acronyms starting with Y
YMYL – Your Money or Your Life
Stick ‘em up, pardner. If you’re writing YMYL content, expect to be held to higher quality standards than a blog post about poodle shoes.
YMYL content is anything that could influence the reader to make a major life decision, particularly in relation to their health or finances. YMYL content requires more quality signifiers than other content in order to rank well.
For example, using an expert author and demonstrating this with an author bio, citing high-quality sources, and even peer review.
About the author
Libby Marks is an award-winning copywriter and content marketer. After 15+ years in marketing and communications, she escaped the 9-to-5 and started Write on Tyne.
Write on Tyne is a small content and copywriting agency dedicated to making marketing managers' lives easier.
We provide top-notch copy for campaigns, content marketing, and websites - underpinned by expertise in marketing strategy and SEO.