16 Digital Marketing Acronyms You Need to Know

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Digital marketing is full of acronyms, some of which are remarkably similar, leading to widespread confusion. Today, we’re going to examine the most common acronyms in digital marketing and explain their meaning.

CTA – Call to Action

A button, link, or image that encourages a website visitor to take action. That action can be anything, from visiting a landing page to downloading a piece of content. To learn more about CTA’s, check out our article: 6 Tips for Creating Better Calls-to-Action.

CTR – Clickthrough Rate

The percentage of your audience that responds to the CTA, taking the next step in your marketing campaign. One can calculate CTR by dividing the number of clicks that a page (or CTA) receives by the number of total opportunities for clicks.

CPC – Cost-Per-Click

The amount of money spent to get one click from digital advertising. CPC is a metric used to measure the cost effectiveness of your campaign. To calculate CPC, divide the total cost of your marketing campaign by the number of clicks you received.

CPM – Cost-Per-Thousand

CPM is a pricing model for digital advertisements where ad space is purchased 1000 impressions at a time. Publishers only need to show the ads to consumers to get paid. CPM is most effective when trying to increase brand awareness.

CPL – Cost-Per-Lead

CPL is a term used in digital advertising. It shows how much one lead costs from a digital ad. CPL is very similar to cost-Per-click (or cost-Per-action) but is more specific. For an action to qualify as a lead, they need to sign up for something on the advertiser’s website.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click

Pay-Per-Click is a model of digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee every time somebody clicks one of their ads. It’s a method of paying for visitors to your site, one that is very different from SEO and earning traffic through organic methods.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

A mixture of strategy, techniques, and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to your website. The goal of SEO is to rank higher on a search engine’s results page (SERP) for a particular keyword. The higher your website ranks, the more traffic is (typically) generated.

SERP – Search Engine Results Page

The results page on a search engine (such as Google or Bing), generated after a keyword search. The goal of SEO is for your website to place as high as possible on the SERP.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is a form of internet marketing that involves using search engines to increase the visibility of your website. SEM primarily involves paid advertisements, but can also include elements of organic SEO.

SMM – Social Media Marketing

SMM is a form of marketing that uses social networking platforms as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to create content that users will share with their networks. SMM helps brands increase exposure and broaden the reach of their marketing. Social media marketing is a core component of any inbound marketing strategy.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

Metrics that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. KPIs vary between organizations based on; objectives, marketing channels, and the overall level of marketing maturity. For more information on KPIs, check out our article: 6 KPIs of Customer Experience in Financial Services.

RT – Retweet

A retweet is a Twitter-specific method of sharing posts. If somebody RTs you, it means they are sharing your posts with their followers. Counting retweets is a simple (and not very accurate) method of measuring engagement on Twitter. Other simple social media specific metrics you can measure include likes, shares, and comments.

SaaS – Software as a Service

SaaS is a software licensing and delivery model where buyers pay on a subscription basis. Most enterprise software is sold using this model because buyers get lower up-front costs, ongoing support with the product, and do not have to manage physical copies of the product. Purveyors of software enjoy this model because it makes it easier for them to update software for their clients. The SaaS model gives them the ability to update their product continually. 

CMS – Content Management System

A CMS is a system used to manage an organization’s digital content. Using a CMS to power your website could be one of the best investments you make for your business. While a CMS can be a significant investment, it can be a great asset for your business in the long run. To learn more about CMS’s check out our article: 7 Reasons it Might be Time to Upgrade Your Content Management System.

UX – User Experience

UX refers to the overall experience a person has when using a product or service, especially when it concerns how fun and easy it is to use. A positive user experience will help you build trust, and increase the likelihood of a user returning to your website. This guide by Fast Company can help you turn a good UX into something great.

CX – Customer Experience

CX is the product of many interactions between an organization and a customer over the course of their relationship. Every touchpoint throughout the buyer’s journey impacts CX, including digital and more traditional touchpoints (such as a billboard). Customer experience is one of the most discussed concepts in organizations undergoing digital transformation.

For more information on CX, check out our articles:

Are Banks Failing at Customer Experience?

How do Customer Experience Improvements Impact Revenue?

Customer Experience Vs. Digital Experience

Sometimes, digital marketing acronyms are confusing. However, these 16 acronyms are important for anybody undergoing a digital transformation and need attention paid to them. If you understand the importance of each of these acronyms, it means you are well on your way to becoming a digital master. If you want to discuss any facet of digital transformation, let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ!

Content Marketing Vs. Public Relations (PR) [Infographic]

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Communicating information to your audience is a very important element of gaining their attention for your brand. Marketers are always looking to new mediums to send their messaging out to the audience.  Advertising was very popular in the days before the internet, but today’s digital age has lead to two main strategies dominating marketing departments across multiple industries: content marketing and public relations (PR).

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:

“a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience. Ultimate goal is to drive profitable customer action.”

The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as:

“a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

As you can see, both of these definitions are quite similar. This infographic from CJG Digital Marketing examines the differences between the two practices.  

At Veriday, we believe content marketing is an effective strategy for regularly communicating relevant information to your audience. If done correctly, you will increase customer engagement and therefore increase the size of your client base. While public relations has its merits, we believe that content marketing is the more effective of the two marketing strategies. We believe it is more effective because PR is usually used during special events or crises, while content marketing is a regular occurrence.  
Content Marketing Vs. Public Relations

6 Tips for Creating Better Calls-to-Action for Financial Advisors

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Getting prospective customers to make the next step in the buyer’s journey is a difficult task. An effective, creative call-to-action (CTA) can help motivate prospective customers to take that next step. A CTA is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action (Hubspot). The ideal call-to-action is engaging, converting a potential client’s interest into action.

A CTA can come in many forms: a contact information form, a button, a link to another page. The CTA provides readers the option to get some other piece of exclusive content, something suited to help move them closer towards a sale. Most CTAs will ask for contact information, as sort of a “price” for that next piece of information. A few examples of call-to-actions for financial advisors might be.

“Book Your No Charge Consultation Now”

“Free Portfolio Risk Analysis”

“Learn More”

“Subscribe Now”

Calls-to-action are essential in content marketing. Without them, the prospects would not be able to take the next step in the buyer’s journey. There are several key things to remember when designing a CTA. The following 6 tips will help you make more effective calls-to-action:

1) Keep It Short

The message you send in your call-to-action, both in the copy and on the button itself, should be short, clear, and to the point. It should explain the benefit the audience will get for clicking on the CTA. Only relevant information should be provided. Focus on the message at hand. Emails with a single call-to-action increased the number of clicks by 371% and sales 1617%.

2) Precise Messaging

Your call-to-action should have a very clear message. It should be very specific and related in some way to the content the CTA is attached to. Do not offer more than one benefit. The copy should be impossible to get confused about, using clear wording and getting right to the message.

Design-wise, the CTA itself should be very clear, standing out from the rest of the page and making it enticing to click on. By reducing clutter around the CTA, Open Mile, a logistics management company, increased their conversion rate by 232%. Your goal is to motivate action. It will take a thoroughly researched, well designed effort to do that. Don’t rush through the effort of creating the perfect message.

Selling financial advice is a sensitive task and your CTA should reflect that. Spend a little extra time to determine what will take someone to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. When crafting your call-to-action you should constantly be considering your market. Why might they need your offer? Are they looking to buy a home and need advice for drawing a loan? Are they seeking to diversify their investment portfolio? You should understand what they want, and craft the messaging of your CTA around that.

3) Landing Pages

When the reader clicks on the CTA, they should be taken to a dedicated landing page for that call-to-action. Don’t take them to your homepage. With no messaging on how to follow up on the CTA they will be confused. They will probably leave your website and find their information elsewhere.

By creating a dedicated landing page for each call-to-action on your website, you will be able to send a more precise message, crafted specifically for that audience. The landing page should be simple, with very few outbound links, except one to navigate back to your homepage. Don’t over clutter the page. It has a very specific purpose, let the page be as specific as possible.

Landing pages work. A study by Hubspot found that companies with 40+ landing pages get 12 times the number of leads than those with less than 5. By offering a landing page for every CTA, you ensure that the offer is right for that person. Create one for people looking to save for a home, create one for people looking to retire, create one for every product you offer. Every campaign you run should also have its own landing page. It will be worth the effort.

4) Don’t Try To “Sell”

Your CTA should not be the final step to making a sale. It should not feel like a sales pitch at all. The reader should feel as if though clicking on the button will benefit them, not benefit you. Depending on which stage of the buyer’s journey the customer is in, you might not even want to ask for contact information. Your goal should be to educate, not to sell. Sell them when they are ready.

Your industry and services are a complex transactions. Inbound marketing efforts for financial advisors should be focused on educating them on their interests, challenges and why they may need your services. The absolute end goal of digital inbound marketing (and any other form of marketing) for financial advisors getting prospects in your office. Sell your clients in person by letting them come to you.

5) Design Aesthetics

There are many design choices to make in regards to CTAs. You can choose a simplistic design, utilize distinctive colours, or use whatever design concepts you wish. In reality, as long as the call-to-action is clear and easy to see, the design of the page is up to you. The important thing about designing a CTA is choosing an attention grabbing button, with a message that engages the audience. You want to tempt them to find out the new information, or to take the next step in the buyer’s journey.

One piece of advice though: placing the call-to-action below the fold will increase conversion rates 20%. People prefer to click on things that have been explained already. A CTA at the very top of the page can be intimidating and not make much sense yet to the visitor. The design of your CTA and landing page should reflect the overall stylistic choices of your website.

6) Additional Resources For The Next Step

After the reader has given you their contact information and gotten their hands on that next juicy piece of content, you might be celebrating. But unfortunately, your job is not done.

There will need to be more calls-to-action, to motivate that customer to take the next step. Your goal should be to create resources, planned out to walk people through the buying journey from visitors to clients. If you help guide them through the buyer’s journey, you will know who is interested in your particular services.

It is important to have content for every stage of the buyer’s journey. No matter where on the buyer’s journey a particular visitor is, you need to have content that can walk them to the next stage. Always be educating, moving people towards a sale.

What did you think of our list? Would you add anything? Do you have any fantastic tips to make better calls-to-action? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ.

“Our review process for advisor websites takes too much time and effort.”

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Our review process for advisor websites takes too much time and effortThe creation and use of online content is becoming an increasing trend both within the advisor industry as well as the general digital marketing world today. When this happens in a regulated industry you begin to see increasing work loads for your compliance officers who need to review content to ensure content is inline with regulatory requirements before it gets publish (or goes live). Insurance and wealth management marketing departments also need to ensure that the changes advisors make do not fragment or negatively impact their brand.

Many wealth and insurance dealers have challenges keeping up with volume of content reviews coming at them from their advisors. Slower than average review cycles not only directly affects advisor satisfaction but also impacts an advisor’s ability to do business. It’s quite the dilemma when you consider the fact that the primary goal of the dealers is, in fact, to support advisor businesses. While there is no silver bullet to this solution, it’s important that your enterprise compliance team have the best possible review tools and business processes to keep review times at a minimum.

If online content review times are a concern to you, there are some key questions to think about as you assess your situation to determine how best to approach and improve the review process:

  • Is your compliance team approving content through email or through an automated tool?
  • Is your audit trail automatically captured or do you need to record information in a separate tool or possibly even in an Excel or other electronic spreadsheet?
  • Is the process used to review content a manual process? Are you receiving website links through an email from your advisors?
  • How are you notified that your content has been submitted? Is this information being transmitted to you from a third party tool or directly from the advisor in an email/telephone?
  • Are you constantly struggling with identifying changes between versions of the same content?
  • Does your organization have a service level agreement for content review times?
  • Do the tools you are using have the ability to track your average review times? Does your technology provider help you monitor and improve these times?

Content review times are typically drawn out due to manual business processes, a lack of awareness or inability to communicate the status of the content review process or just a shortfall in terms of the technologies compliance officers are using to perform content reviews. As such, your compliance officers have countless hours of reviews to perform beyond what they are currently resourced to do.

We understand these issues and have experience speaking with compliance teams. Moreover, we’re always interested to learn more about the complexity of a compliance officer’s workflow. As mentioned earlier, there’s no silver bullet but there are a number of key changes that can be made to improve your content review times. If you’re in the process of re-thinking your current review processes or looking for a second opinion, get in touch with us.

“I need to show auditors that all published content on our websites has been vetted and approved.”

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Show auditors that all published content on our websites have been vetted and approvedIDC predicts that financial services IT spending pertaining to risk functions will reach more than $80 billion by 2017. In the world of a regulated industry, this should not come as a big surprise. This effectively indicates that due to significant investments in business processes and tools, that compliance departments will need to be very diligent of tracking and storing all data and information pertaining to everything from trades, to email communication to web and social media content. It also indicates an increase in the complexity of these organizations derived from more people, more processes and more complex workflows and access rules.

With every compliance group or individual we speak to, it’s clear that audits are a very time consuming aspect of their work. Making it easy for auditors to find information and effectively do their job, in turn makes it easier for compliance to focus on the more important day to day tasks. When it comes to website content, the reality is that it should not be hard to work with the auditors on this aspect of their review. If you’re having challenges in this space, here are a few key elements to consider especially if you’re looking for a way to reduce the amount of time your compliance departments spend with auditors:

  • Does your current platform automate and monitor the auditing and archiving of all web content being submitted by advisors and subsequently reviewed, approved or rejected by compliance?
  • Can you assign granular workflow permissions to specific individuals or groups of advisors?
  • Can you comment on specific workflows and content versions?
  • How do your marketing and compliance teams communicate with your advisors during the review process? Is that communication logged and tracked?
  • Are your pre-approved content libraries access controlled? Can you set permissions on specific pages or digital assets like documents, images and video?

In the world of compliance, you can never have enough governance around your content and the questions above are just a snapshot of what you need to consider if you’re looking to improve your audit times. If you’ve answered no to any of the above questions, we can help steer you in a direction that makes sense for your organization. Start a conversation with us and we can help you some of the initial thinking around your current processes by filling out the form below.

“I need better web analytics reporting for my advisor websites.”

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I need better web analytics across my advisor websitesYou’re a marketer and as a marketer you love analyzing data. Traditional enterprise marketing strategies involves repetitive and cyclical testing which leads to minor or major changes in marketing tactics. As you already know, the same rules apply with digital marketing. Your results are not just revenue based but also advisor support based. This means that while you are looking for information that can help your advisors generate more leads and revenue, you are also looking for data that can help you take steps to improve your advisor businesses.

The requirement for a more global view of advisor web performance becomes increasingly more important as you consider adding more technologies to the advisors toolkit. There are a number of common questions that are fundamental to help you make better decisions around changing and adjusting the way you support your advisors businesses:

  • How active are my advisors on our tool?
  • What is the average visitor time on site across all of my advisor sites?
  • What is the most popular or least popular piece of pre-approved content being used by advisors?
  • What is the most clicked on piece of pre-approved content by visitors?
  • What is the most downloaded document?
  • Are clients logging into their accounts through my advisor websites or through our corporate site?
  • Are we seeing any correlation between what advisors are doing on their sites and their individual practice results?
  • What are the most commonly used features of the platform we’ve provided to our advisors?

If you have some of the same questions or a different set of questions, or if you’d like some additional thinking around your web analytics strategy we’d love to connect with you. Successfully supporting advisor business is a critical component of the client value chain and it’s important to ensure you have all the right information to achieve that goal. To start a conversation with us just fill out the form below.

“My advisors don’t use the website management tools I’ve provided to them.”

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My advisors don't use my technologyYou’ve experienced this challenge before. The challenge of adoption. After investing a significant portion of your budget, time and effort, your advisors don’t end up using the tools you’ve provided to them. In a research study we performed in which we surveyed 25 financial institutions and broker-dealers, the unfortunate result of the lack of adoption came complacency and the simple acceptance that advisors simply would not take the time to use these tools. As a result, important questions weren’t being asked to evaluate why. Well, we did and our advisor population distilled it down into three key areas of improvement:

  1. “It’s hard to be productive with the current tool.” Many advisors gave up on the tools they were provided and cited reasons due to usability and the fact that the tools weren’t intuitive enough or sufficient enough for them to customize their websites. Moreover, content review times took too long if they used the tool.
  2. “The website designs provided by marketing are not modern and do not accurately reflect my practice.” Advisors felt that they wanted more choice with respect to the website templates. Additionally, many of them demanded mobile website functionality.
  3. “I don’t have enough time to maintain my website.” Advisors want to spend time in front of their customers, not in front of a phone or computer screen managing and maintaining their website. Many of them found it to be a time consuming task and many were looking to their enterprise marketing departments to manage their individual web properties for them. A challenge that would prove to be difficult to scale when we asked marketing departments if they take on that task.

Adoption of a technology relies on two key factors: risk and payoff. For example, advisors feel that spending time on their website will take away from time spent with clients and hence less revenue. This is their perceived risk measured against an unknown payoff. So their decision to give up on the tool is actually quite logical. You as a marketer believe that an investment in more modern tools can benefit advisors but as you implement those new technologies, you need to ensure you are solving these issues while balancing your corporate objectives:

  • Can I provide better design choices for advisors without fragmenting my brand?
  • What is the investment profile to provide mobile websites for my advisors?
  • How do I implement a content distribution strategy that adds value for my advisors in a scalable and cost effective way?
  • Am I stress testing the usability of the tools before I deploy them? Do I have the right advisor engagement strategy?

These are just some of the key questions that you should be asking yourself to help set you on a path to increased and improved advisor technology adoption. Ideally, this not only leads to better business results overall but also positively impacts advisor practices. If you’d like a more in-depth view of your advisor technology adoption strategy or would like to speak with us about improving technology adoption, simply fill out the form below.

“I need to upgrade my advisor marketing program and I need a business case.”

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I need to upgrade my advisor marketing program and I need a business caseMany wealth and insurance believe that their current advisor digital marketing program needs an upgrade starting with the website management tool they either built in-house or purchased within the last 5-8 years. Trends in digital marketing such as the increase in adoption of social media, email marketing and a better understanding of web analytics from advisors are demanding the need to modernize and integrate the digital marketing tools that advisors are using.

The need to upgrade older platforms are generally obvious to the marketing professional seeing as they are immersed into the world of the latest and greatest digital marketing technologies. The biggest challenge implementing an upgraded program initially begins with selling it to management, where knowledge of such trends are not as common and rightfully so. As such, justifying the increased investment profile requires a much more diligent business case process. After all, that’s the language of executives and to sell it effectively, you need to speak their language.

A typical framework that we use in collaboration with potential financial services organizations looks like the following (note: most of this should theoretically apply to you even if you are not in the financial services space but in a regulated industry like law):

  • Can upgrading our current platform increase revenue?
  • Will implementing this upgraded platform reduce my expenses?
  • Does the new platform increase customer satisfaction with our advisors and overall organization?
  • Does the new platform increase advisor satisfaction with our organization?
  • Will implementing this platform reduce our regulatory risk?

The key to solid business case framework is formulating a business case that is holistic. Yes, the almighty dollar is 100% the most weighted aspect of the business but other areas like customer and advisor satisfaction also play a role. More importantly, implementing a platform that increases regulatory risk will also never past the initial litmus test.

If you’re considering a project of this nature in your visible future, we’d love to help you develop a solid business case across all of the digital marketing tools you are considering. To start a conversation with us, simply fill out the form below!