Digital definitions

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The advantage of being experienced in online and digital initiatives is that you find some key success factors that make a huge difference when implementing them early on. One of these is to have a shared understanding when it comes to the nomenclature used internally. 

You can use these definitions as the basis to build your own internal digital and online marketing definitions for common terms and expressions.

If you find this guide useful, you can download a PowerPoint version of it that you can easily share with colleagues.





A rule-based procedure for making calculations or solving problems. Algorithms are everywhere in computer science and are crucial for leading software. In social media, algorithms are those that determine which content you see. 

For example, your Facebook newsfeed doesn't show every status update and every photo from every one of your friends. Instead, it displays an algorithmically curated set of content that Facebook thinks is most worth seeing. 

Similarly, Twitter and Facebook use algorithms to define which topics and hashtags are currently trending. Like the algorithms that power search engines, the social media algorithms have a massive effect on your brand's online visibility.

Alt-Text (Alternative text)

Also known as an alt-description, alt-attribute or alt-tags. It describes an image on a website. This text allows search engines to optimally crawl and rank your website and helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers. ​


An author is the creator of any work, such as a blog article or a content offer. Broadly defined, an author is an individual who originated to anything and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.


Big data

Big data is large sets of unstructured data. Traditionally, the data ​
that we analyse has already been formatted into nice rows and columns. Think of a spreadsheet with a list of customer names and email addresses. The reason why big data is hard to analyse is that the data sets are massive and complex. They might contain the messy natural language we find in Tweets and Facebook updates, so the challenge involves sorting, analysing, and processing. But as the data sets are so large and layered with information, good analysis can reveal surprising insights.​


Short for biography, is a small portion of your online profile that explains who you are. All social media accounts feature a bio as they are valuable in attracting followers with similar interests.


Blockchain is an online ledger that uses an open, distributed record to keep track of transactions. Transactions include actions like sending cryptocurrencies or sharing medical information.​


Branding is a practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. ​

Brand loyalty

In a qualitative definition brand loyalty is customers who repeatedly make purchases from your company, build trust in you and your company and consistently choose you and your company over competitors. Brand loyalty always involves emotional attachment and overall positive affinity. ​

Brand awareness

Brand awareness usually refers to how familiar your target audience and the general public are with your brand. High brand awareness sometimes leads to brands referred to as trending or popular. Brand awareness is quite essential because generally, customers appreciate purchasing from well-known and familiar brands. 

Brand extension

Brand extension happens when companies extend their brand to develop new offerings in new industries and markets. And brand extensions allows companies to leverage brand awareness and brand equity to create more revenue streams and diversify its offering. 

Brand identity

Brand identity is your company's personality and the brand promise that you make to your potential and existing customers. The brand promise is what you want your customers to walk away with after they touch or interact with you and your brand. Your brand identity is comprised of your values, how you communicate your offering, and what you want people to feel when they touch or interact with it.

Brand management

Brand management refers to the process used by creating and maintaining your brand. Brand management includes managing the tangible elements of your brand, e.g. style guide, packaging, colour palette and the intangible brand elements, i.e., how your target groups and customer base perceive it. Your brand is a breathing asset, and should always be managed as such.

Brand recognition

Brand recognition is how well a customer recognises and can identify your brand without seeing your company name. Brand recognition goes hand-in-hand with brand recall, the ability to think of a brand without any visual or auditory identifiers.

Brand trust

Brand trust refers to how strongly customers believe in your brand. Do you deliver on your promises? Does your sales service fulfil the customer's expectations, or do they go above and beyond? Brand trust creates trust among your customers, which is essential in a world where few customers feel confident in large companies. 

Brand valuation

Brand valuation is a commercial valuation of your brand derived from customer perception, recognition, and trust. Brand valuation goes hand-in-hand with brand equity. A compelling brand can be invaluable to investors, shareholders, and potential buyers.

Brand voice

Brand voice is the selection of words, values and the attitude of your company brand, used when addressing the target audience or other stakeholders. Brand voice is how a brand conveys its brand personality to the external audience.​

Business blog

A business blog is a content area filled with knowledge content. The content should be objective, relevant, and convincing. It consists of articles and (gated) content offers and should be created by credible authors. The focus should be on the needs of the targeted personas, so this is not the place for advertising or bragging about having the best product in the world. You want to solve the experienced problems or answer the questions people have. Do that, and they will come back searching for more.

Business strategy

A business strategy can be defined as the combination of all the decisions taken and actions performed by the business to accomplish business goals and to secure a competitive position in the market.



Identified email addresses in your database.​

Contact data

Information about an individual contact, e.g. name, title, company, and a timeline of interactions. ​

Content creation

Content creation is the process of building a content strategy, producing content in different formats and providing it to your ​targeted audience.​

Content management system (CMS)

Sometimes referred to as web content management system (WCMS). Whether you’re running a blog, website, or a social media presence, a content management system (CMS) is the backbone of your content. A CMS is an online application that will allow you to draft, share, edit, schedule, and index your content. ​Some CMS's make use of simple editors that allow you to create and publish content without demanding any knowledge of code. ​

Content marketing ​

Aimed to attract and retain customers through the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content, e.g. articles, videos, white papers, guides, and infographics. Content created needs to be useful, answer questions and solve problems, entertain, and educate. Content marketing is a vital technique for companies of all sizes. ​

Content offer

Valuable, relevant, and consistent content that the persona ​will exchange their contact information for (by filling out a form ​on your website).​

Content planning

The planning process for content creation. From idea, ​through production to publishing.​

Content specification

The specification of content offers for each phase of the ​personas decision journey.​


According to the EU Internet Handbook, a cookie is 'a small piece of data that a website asks your browser to store on your computer or mobile device. The cookie allows the website to "remember" your actions or preferences over time. Most browsers support cookies, but users can set their browsers to decline them and can delete them whenever they like.' ​


Your actual, paying customers.​

Customer satisfaction

A measure of how a company, its products and services meet or surpass customers' expectations. Customer satisfaction is defined as the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a company, its products, or its services exceeds specified satisfaction goals.​



A digitalised format or a process. It describes electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data. Digital can thus be both online and offline—for example; a digital audio file can both be streamed online and stored on a disc or hard drive. ​


Digitalisation is the reimagination of business models, industries and societies. Based on new capabilities that digital technology makes available to us. Digitalisation is a fertile ground for innovation and growth; the impact of which can be disruptive. Examples of companies at the forefront of digitalisation are Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Google, and more.​

​Digital design

Any kind of design that appears in a digital format (e.g. on an app or website), rather than in print (on a physical page), is considered digital design.​

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is the process of building the capability to explore, experiment and exploit new opportunities made available by advancements in digital technology. Many companies have started their digital transformation programmes, usually focusing on helping them to adopt digital practices, processes, technologies, culture and business models. These programmes are typically spurred on by the ambition to enable companies to increase efficiencies and profit through digitisation of their existing business. And additionally, to identify new opportunities for growth and competitive advantage through digitalisation. ​​


Digitisation means the conversion of existing products, services, processes or any other analogue format into a digital format. ​The benefits of digitisation are significant: efficiency, operational excellence, predictability and cost-cutting. Digitisation doesn't affect the underlying business model; it merely creates a near-perfect copy of its analogue counterpart that can be stored, processed, and transmitted at near-zero marginal costs.​


DRI stands for directly responsible individual. It’s a title given to the person who is ultimately accountable for a decision or making sure a project or tasks are completed.​


Editorial calendar

A document used to define and control the editorial process of scheduling and publishing content.​

Embedded media

Digital media displayed within another piece of content, outside of its native setting. ​


Engagement refers to the acts of messaging, interacting with or talking to, other people mainly on social media. This term encompasses different types of actions on social media, from commenting on posts to participating in chats. At its simplest, online and digital engagement is any interaction you have with other accounts and users. ​Engagement is a core part of online and digital; your followers expect you to interact with them. ​

Engagement rate

Engagement rate is the percentage of people that actively engage with your content or functionality; e.g. clicked the link, shared, replied, liked, favourited, and shared. ​Engagement rate can be a valuable metric to help determine the quality and success of your social media messaging, as it provides an indicator as to how interesting or useful people found the message. ​


First response time

A measurement of how long it takes for a company to give a first response to a customer’s comment or inquiry. This can be a KPI for customer service because even if the issue is not resolved immediately, a quick first response demonstrates that the company is listening and willing to help. ​


An online message board, where people can hold discussions.​


Geolocation, geotagging

The practice of tagging content, e.g. a photo, video, or message with a specific location. GPS-enabled smartphones have made geotagging a core aspect online. ​


An online feature that allows users to share their content with geographically defined audiences. Instead of sending generic messages and content, you can refine the messaging and language of your content to be more relevant for people in specific countries, regions and cities. You can also filter your audience by language.​




An octothorpe. The hashtag is a word and phrase preceded by the '#'-sign. Hashtags are a simple way to mark social media content topics and make them discoverable to people with shared interests.​

On most social networks, clicking a hashtag will reveal all the public and recently published messages containing that hashtag. Hashtags first emerged on Twitter as a user-created phenomenon and are now used on almost every social media platform.​​



The number of times an ad, sponsored update, or promoted post is displayed.​


An influencer is someone who can reach a significant audience and drive awareness about a trend, topic, company, or product. From a marketing perspective, the influencer must also be a credible and passionate brand advocate. However, influencers often try to remain impartial toward brands to maintain credibility with their earned audiences. Influencer strategies should involve the alignment of marketing, sales, customer service, and PR teams.




Short for key behaviour indicators. Tracking of behavioural data on how people act and behave, e.g., the time spent at a touchpoint.​


Short for key performance indicators. Measurement of the progress towards the achievement of the objectives, e.g., 4,000 MQL.​


Last touch

The last thing a contact did before converting to a new lifecycle stage, e.g., downloaded a content offer or clicked on a SoMe campaign. ​


The total aggregated number of Leads, MQLs, and SQLs in the database. ​

Lifecycle stages

Contacts based on the stage they are at in their decision journey, e.g., Subscriber, Lead, MQL, SQL, Customer and, Promoter.​


To like something on social media. Along with shares, comments, and favourites, likes can be tracked as proof of engagement. Social media algorithms adjust individual content feeds based on like patterns, making for interesting results when consciously meddled with. ​

LinkedIn company page

A company page allows you to describe your company, for the interested to learn more about your company.​


Machine Learning

Machine learning is a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that provides computers and software with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.​

Marketing automation

A technology that enables companies to deliver personalised content to users. Marketing automation is done through various online channels, such as social media, email, and websites. Basically, it gives people the information they need, when they need it, and doing it consistently at scale. That’s why the 'automation' part is so important. In an ideal system, marketers set up clever logic for categorising and scoring potential customers, and the processes for nurturing them with timely content. ​

Then they put their feet up while the technology takes over, moving leads down the marketing funnel towards a purchase.​ Much more complicated in practice, so focus on how social media fits into the equation. A marketing automation system always needs new leads at the top of the funnel—otherwise, there’s nobody to nurture. Social media marketing and content marketing strategies can attract new inbound leads, providing essential fuel for the marketing automation engine. Marketers can also make that engine more efficient by using social media data to score their leads more accurately.​


The act of tagging other user’s handle or account name in a social media message. Mentions trigger notifications and are a vital part of what makes social media 'social'. When properly formatted, a mention also allows your audience to click through to the mentioned user’s bio or profile. ​


A modal, sometimes called a lightbox or a modal window, is a web page element that displays in front of all other page content. To return to the main content, the users must engage with the modal by either completing an action or closing it. Modals are mostly used to direct users’ attention to a significant action or piece of information on a website or application.


The total number of marketing qualified leads, i.e., potential customer contacts in our database that have downloaded one or more content offers or has submitted the 'Tell me more' form. ​


The share of total MQLs that becomes SQLs.​



Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from +100 to -100 that measures a person's willingness to recommend a company's products or services to others.

NPS graphic

New sales

Sales to a first-time customer or a customer that has not purchased anything from you in the last five years. ​


A message or an update sharing a social media activity, e.g., if somebody likes one of your Instagram photos, you can receive a notification on your phone that lets you know. ​



Someone or something connected to the internet.​

Online ROI

A measurement of the effectiveness of an organisation’s or company’s investment online. Like any metric for 'return on investment', online ROI is calculated by dividing the total benefits of an investment by the sum of its costs. Therefore, it is entirely dependent on what costs and benefits are factored into the calculation. The metric should be fully aligned with the business objectives behind an online activity to get relevant value from an ROI calculation. ​ ​

Organic reach

The number of people recorded as sessions who view your content without paid promotion. The distinction between paid and organic reach is that the latter one is free. People come across content through search, feeds, streams, posts, pages of their contacts—usually friends, family, colleagues, and trusted brands. ​

Original source

The channel marked in our database as the origin of a contact, e.g., organic search, SoMe, direct traffic, or paid search.​


Paid reach

Refers to the number of individuals that viewed your published paid content, e.g., ads, sponsored stories, promotional material. Paid reach has a much more extensive network than organic reach, so people usually consume the content outside of specific contact lists. You can target specific messaging to groups based on commonalities like location and shared interests. ​

Paid social media

The use of social media for ad placements. The most common types are native advertisements such as Ads, Promoted Tweets, Sponsored Updates, and sponsored videos. ​


Your actual partners. ​


The URL address of an individual piece of content. Permalinks are useful because they allow you to reference a specific tweet, update, or blog post instead of the feed or timeline in which you found it. You can quickly find an item’s permalink by clicking on its timestamp. ​


Realistic representations of your ideal target groups, with data about demographics, needs, expectations and behaviour.​


A software extension that adds a specific feature to an existing software application. A good example is the Grammarly plugin; this checks not only your spelling but also the grammar. It can be added to your browser (Chrome and Safari) to help you write better when you are online and can also be installed in, for instance, Microsoft Word.​


The name originates from iPod and broadcasts and dates back to the 1980s. It was at the time known as audio blogging. Today, podcasts are generally audio files and videos distributed online, subscribed to, streamed or downloaded through RSS. ​

Podcast listeners

The total number of listeners to your podcasts. ​


A status update, or an item on a blog or forum. ​


Contacts that are advocates for you and/or have given your company a 9 or 10 score on your latest NPS.​




Reach is the metric that determines the potential audience size any given message could reach. It tells you the maximum amount of people your content potentially could reach. Reach is determined by a complex calculation that includes the number of followers, impressions, and shares as well as the net follower increase over time. Do not confuse with Impressions or Engagement. ​


A response to someone. Unlike messaging, replies are public or semi-public. When you click the reply button next to a Tweet, you’re ensuring the conversation will be viewable in the public area of your profile. ​

Responsive design

The goal of responsive (web) design is to have web pages automatically change the layout accordingly and appear in an optimised form on all devices.​

Response rate

An engagement metric to assess how much you interact with your audience. To calculate the response rate, take the number of replies to mentions in a given time period, and divide it by the number of mentions you have received.


Retargeting is an advertising technique that involves targeting online visitors who expressed an interest in your products or services. When visitors come to your website, you can target them as they visit other websites, including Facebook, news sites, blogs, or other online media. The rationale is that proven visitors are your best chance to do business, so instead of advertising to strangers, you use your budget on prospects who have shown interest. Other advanced uses include;

  • targeting custom audience segments (using data you’ve collected from other sources such as a CRM system or Facebook)
  • offering shoppers who abandoned your check-out a special deal to come back
  • building lists of valuable prospects to target (such as visitors who viewed 25+ blog posts and visited specific product pages)

​Return on relationship (ROR)

A measurement of the value gained by a person or business from developing a relationship. Measuring ROR is difficult; it involves not only analysing connection’s growth but also understanding the impact your customers’ voices have on your company, brand, and reputation. This includes sentiment analysis, as well as engagement metrics for your content, like organic sharing rates. ROR is a complementary metric to online and digital ROI.​


A tweet that is re-shared to the followers of another user’s Twitter account. ​



It is a software-testing environment that isolates untested code changes and experimentation. This isolation protects live servers and their data from changes that could be damaging.​


Planning content updates and content ahead of time, using a publishing tool. Scheduling allows practitioners to save time in their daily workflow by scheduling several messages at once, sometimes as part of a publishing approval process. It also enables them to reach audiences in different time zones and organise extended marketing campaigns. ​


When a photo is taken of screen activity. ​


Search engine optimisation is the practice of increasing the 'organic' visibility of a web page in a search engine, such as Google. Although companies can pay to promote their websites on search engine results pages (Search Engine Marketing or SEM), SEO refers to 'free' tactics that enhance the search ranking of a page. ​


A session is a measurement of visitor engagement that groups together analytics activities taken by a visitor to your website. It expires after thirty minutes of inactivity. ​


When content is reposted on a social media site through another user’s account. ​

Share of voice

Share of voice is a metric for understanding how much social media mentions a particular brand is receiving in relation to its competition–usually measured as a percentage of total mentions within an industry or among a defined group of competitors. ​

Social customer service

The practice of identifying and resolving customer service issues on social media. Social customer service should be coordinated internally across departments so that an organisation can respond rapidly to any customer inquiry on any channel. The most effective social customer service is proactive: also, when fielding inbound messages, the organisation monitors social media for keywords that could indicate customer service issues. The organisation then reaches out to resolve the potential problems before they escalate, creating higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.​


Short for social media.​

Social media listening

Finding and assessing what is said about a company, topic, brand, or person on social media channels. ​

Social media management

Business and technology processes for securely managing social media accounts, engaging audiences, and measuring the business results of social media activities. Effective social media management is vital to conducting business on social media. It enables an organisation to keep track of all of its social media accounts and provide various teams and individuals with the appropriate levels of access to these assets. When implemented at scale across departments and regions, coordinated social media management practices allow everyone within the organisation to collaborate and achieve measurable outcomes on social media.​

Social media marketing

Social media use to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build meaningful relationships with prospects and customers. Social media marketing must be well-coordinated with customer service, management, and social selling activities to create a seamless relationship with prospects and customers across their buying process. Social media is just one channel in the overall mix, and social media marketing programs must be fully integrated into multi-channel strategies. ​

Social media monitoring

Listening and responding to brand and keyword mentions on social media. Social media monitoring is crucial to social customer service, social selling, social media marketing, and community management. ​

SoMe reach

The total number of followers on our social media touchpoints. ​


The share of visits onsite that originate from SoMe.​​

​Social selling

The use of social media to increase relations, productivity and generate revenue. Sellers can effectively leverage social media to enhance their reputations, expand their interpersonal networks, and attract new prospects. They can also identify buyers by listening and engaging in the online spaces where potentials customers are conducting research and asking for advice. ​


The total number of sales qualified leads, contacts which shall become real sales opportunities in your CRM. ​

SQL-to-customer rate

The share of total SQLs that becomes customers. ​


Contacts who have opted to subscribe to a blog / hub, or to a newsletter, or any other alert where they need to provide an email address.​



A keyword added to an online or social media post to categorise related content. Tags can also refer to tagging someone in, which creates a link to their profile and associates them with the content. ​

Target groups

The group of prospects, customers, and other stakeholders we aim towards with marketing and communication efforts. ​


A strand of messages representing a conversation or parts of it. Threads are essential to most online communication, e.g., social media, forums, and emails. Without threads, it is challenging to put messages into context or keep track of ongoing conversations. ​


A topic or a hashtag that is popular on social media at a given moment. Trends are highlighted by social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to encourage discussion and engagement among their users. The concept was first popularised by Twitter and has since been adopted by Facebook and other networks. The trends that you see on Twitter and Facebook are personalised for you, based on your location as well as whom you follow or what pages you like.



The online location of a page or other resource on the internet/the World Wide Web. This acronym stands for Uniform Resource Locator.​

User-generated content

UGC is created and published online by the users of a social media community or a collaboration platform, often produced in collaboration and in real-time by multiple users. ​Many companies embrace and encourage user-generated content to increase brand awareness and brand loyalty. Instagram contests, video contests, and other UGC-based campaigns allow companies to tap into their prospects' and customers' creative energies and use their contributions to fuel marketing strategies. ​


Short for user experience. It is the experience that a user has with a company, its website, products, and services.



Vlogs (short for video log) are video blogs. Instead of text and images, a video (or a video link) is embedded on a website or uploaded on a video platform, such as YouTube or Vidyard.​


The total number of visits to a .com /.xx.​


The share of total visits that become contacts.​


The share of total visits that becomes MQLs.​


Web analytics

Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for purposes of understanding and optimising web usage.​


XML (eXtensible Markup Language) sitemap

A term for a file that lists all the URLs on your site. This file works like a map that helps search engines crawl your .com/.xx more intelligently. Some plugins can help create an XML sitemap.



In all of your messages, you need to say ‘you’ and talk directly to your audience, your users, and your customers. The message needs to be about them.



To zoom in Swedish! Also, the onlinification and digitalisation agency!​

Want to know more? Through our digitalisation guide: what, why, when and how to use it you'll find much more to read!

In this In this Power Point, you can find a simple digital nomenclature. You can use it as the basis to build your internal nomenclature for digital terms and expressions.

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