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Our Digital Media Glossary

Digital Media Slang Blog Image

Have you ever heard a group of co-workers talking and it almost seems as if they’re speaking a different language? “Did you see the ABC that was posted during the CC21 today?!” “OMG I can’t believe that R2T proposal hasn’t come in yet…”

We realize, as a marketing company, that some of our conversations may sound like that to outsiders. So, we’d like to provide you with a glossary of digital media terms we use on a daily basis.

Welcome to the Club.

  • CTR (Click-Through Rate) - Just like what it sounds like, CTR refers to the number of clicks on an ad or an eblast.
  • Open Rate - Open rate refers to the number of people who actually open the marketing emails we send out. You get extra points if you’re one of those people.
  • Reach - This number is the unique number of people to whom an ad is shown in a given period of time.
  • Impression - Similar to reach, an impression refers to the total number of times an ad is shown, regardless of if someone has already seen it. This number will always be higher because it’s probable that a segment of your audience will see an ad more than once.
  • Bounce - In email marketing, this term refers to an email that is undeliverable for a number of reasons ranging from a full inbox to an invalid email address. A bounce in website analytics means that someone landed on your page and left without viewing other pages within the same website.
  • CTA (Call To Action) - CTA refers to the desired action that we want someone to take, whether it’s on a website, eblast, ad, etc. It’s often underlined, bold or a button!
  • Customer Persona - Also sometimes called buyer personas, this term refers to segments or “buckets” of your target audience (people you want to buy your product or take advantage of your service). We’ll establish these with clients to make sure we’re all on the same page and that we know who we’re trying to reach and why.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - SEO is the act of increasing traffic to your website via organic search engine results like Google through a number of tactics including specific keywords throughout your site, naming your pages relevant things and linking to a number of internal and external pages.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) - SEM, just like SEO, is another strategy to get more users to your website via search engines. However, these are paid ads as opposed to organic results.
  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click) - PPC is a type of ad where we pay an amount each time an ad is clicked on. Typically, these come in the form of Google search ads.
  • Display Ads - These are similar to PPC ads, except they are visual ads displayed across the Google Display Network of websites as a banner ad on websites your target audience frequents.
  • CMS (Content Management System) - A CMS is the back-end interface we use to upload and manage a website’s content.
  • HEX (Hexadecimal Color) - You’ve probably heard of CMYK, Pantone and RGB. They’re all different color-matching systems. HEX is the one we use specifically for websites. It’s a six-digit code made up of numbers and letters to define the perfect mix of red, green and blue (RGB).
  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) - We still fight over the correct way to pronounce this term, but nevertheless, it’s a short, animated graphic that quickly goes through a number of frames before repeating itself on a loop.


Social Media Terms

  • AMA (Ask Me Anything) - This originated on Reddit, but has spread to other forms of social media. It’s basically a live Q&A session where users can submit questions to a public figure, brand ambassador, etc to learn more about them and their background.
  • DM (Direct Message) - While it originated on Twitter, it has also spread to other social media platforms like Instagram. It refers to sending a private message as opposed to a public post where more personal information may be divulged.
  • Hashtag - Previously referred to as the “pound sign,” a hashtag is used across many social media platforms to identify the post or comment with specific tags. It can be used as a comical addition to a caption or status, or it can be used by brands and influencers to categorize their posts so that people with the same interests can find their posts.
  • IRL (In Real Life) - Everything done online is considered virtual, whereas things that physically happen can be considered “IRL.” A lot of times, people will make funny memes of the difference between how they look on Instagram vs. IRL.
  • Meme - You may have just said, “What’s a meme?" It’s usually a photo or video that quickly spreads across multiple people via different social media outlets. They’re typically comical and unite people with common ideas, styles or interests.
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) - This refers to being jealous or anxious about missing out on events your friends and loved ones are experiencing without you. It’s usually triggered by seeing fun photos or videos on social media.
  • Shade - Often used as “throwing shade,” this refers to slinging insults at someone in a way that is subtle, passive-aggressive or only obvious to the person toward whom it is directed.
  • Clapback - This can often be a response to shade that was thrown at you; it’s responding to a negative comment about you with something that’s just as insulting. Synonym: comeback.
  • Salty - Someone can be described as salty when he or she is upset or making a big deal about something petty or little. Synonym: bitter.
  • Squad Goals - This term is used to describe a group of friends who seem to be cool or have their lives together; it can be used as inspiration, to make others jealous or ironically when you and your friends are clearly the opposite of #squadgoals.
  • TL;DR - Too Long; Didn’t Read - This is often used at the top or bottom of a very lengthy article, blog post or comment. It basically sums up all of the content into a brief couple of sentences so that readers can get the gist even if they don’t want all of the gory details.

TL;DR - We use a lot of weird acronyms and industry-specific terms in our office.

Have you heard us say something that’s not on this list? Tweet us @xdesigninc, and we’ll define it!

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