Thursday, October 17th, 2013
When you hear that term, you probably think of words that were meant to grab your attention and be the topic or focus of a discussion. You might also think of them as clever new euphemisms for dated phrases.
In either case, you would be correct.
Buzzwords are just words that have become popular due to an increase in their usage, either by the news media, online media, discussion groups or some kind of other public forum.
Some guy decides to use some fancy wordage to describe something mundane. People in his social circle think it sounds cool and adopt the phrase as their own. Pretty soon the word has spread between circles, creating a ‘buzz’, and before you know it – a ‘buzzword’ is born.
The popularity of buzzwords waxes and wanes over time. What’s hot today might be forgotten by next week or as soon as the next ‘buzz’ is created.
However, there are some buzzwords that have proven to be a bit more evergreen than the rest. What that means is that there are some buzzwords that have stuck around for longer than the typical passing fads.
Of course, the likelihood that you will be familiar with them completely depends on your Internet social circle and what kinds of information is shared within that circle. For example, buzzwords that are hot for the B2B crowd might not mean anything to bloggers while on the other hand, the current buzz among writers might not interest marketers at all.
In this article, we’re going out outline 31 of the most commonly used buzzwords that you’re most likely to hear and see online, what they mean and give you some examples of what they look like when used in proper context. So here they are – in no particular order.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is just what the name implies – using content to marketing a business or brand. Blogs, images, articles and social media are just a few types of content that can be used for marketing purposes.
Content marketing has increased our business by 89% over the last six months.
2. Real Time
Real time is another one of those buzzwords that is self-explanatory. It means currently happening; taking place right now.
Twitter is a great way to keep up with real time marketing trends in any industry.
No, atomization has nothing to do with atoms. It actually means to take a single piece of content (blog entry, article, etc.) and distribute it across various different channels.
Atomization is one of the best ways to ensure that your content gets maximum exposure.
Optimize is one of those words you will encounter to the point of overkill. It means to tweak content for a specific purpose, usually for keywords and search engine rankings.
If you want to ensure the highest possible search engine placement, you must optimize your website with relevant keywords.
Engage means to involve your audience in some way like following up on comments and questions in a timely fashion, asking for their input and opinions or sharing content that is good enough to urge them to pass on to others.
Asking for feedback or opinions on your blog posts is one of the best ways to engage your audience.
An infographic is a chart, drawing or graph used to illustrate data.
Infographics help your readers understand the information you’re giving them by presenting it in a visual way that plain text can’t accomplish.
Influencer is another self-explanatory word. It means someone who has influence in a certain industry or niche.
Speaking with authority on topics and subjects that you know well is just one of the ways you can become a top influencer in your niche.
8. Big Data
Big data refers to large or extensive sets of data and information compiled for mass consumption.
Big data shows that online marketing trends have seen a sharp increase in effectiveness over the past few years.
ROI stands for Return On Investment. It refers to any profit (or lack thereof) gained from having invested something.
Even though some types of marketing may be expensive, the ROI that you can expect from attracting new business should more than offset the cost.
10. Social Media Optimization (SMO)
Social Media Optimization means optimizing your social media posts for greater searchability.
Using hashtags on Twitter is one of the best methods of SMO because they increase the visibility of your posts within the search functions on the site.
Hashtags go hand and hand with SMO because when you include them in keywords, the keywords turn into clickable text. When clicked on, that keyword brings up every post associated and tagged with that keyword and hashtag.
If you want to get your social media posts noticed, don’t forget to include hashtags and keywords within the posts.
Crowdsourcing is where you put out a call for feedback from your audience or “crowd” and they help brainstorm a new product or project by offering their suggestions.
The recent success of our latest products can be attributed to the crowdsourcing we did with our clients prior to their release.
Crowdfunding is the same concept as crowdsourcing, except you ask for small contributions of money, which will go toward funding a start up company or project that’s in the works.
We set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds needed for our brand expansion.
You will hear this one a lot when people urge you to make your content ‘scannable’. That means making an article, blog entry or other written content easier to skim and scan by using numbered lists, bullet points and other formatting techniques.
When writing an article, be sure that the content is scannable so that readers can easily find the information they are looking for.
15. Data mining
Data mining is relatively new, but it’s creating quite a buzz because people see it as an invasion of privacy. What data mining refers to is the practice of tracking people’s various habits like spending, Internet usage and social media usage via their cell phones, tablets or other portable devices. The information gleaned from data mining is then used in creating graphs, charts or infographics to illustrate some kind of point that someone (usually big companies) is trying to make.
In the future, product manufacturers should include safeguards in portable electronic devices to protect the privacy of consumers and make them less susceptible to data mining practices.
16. Social Commerce
Social commerce is the practice of combining social media and commerce by using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to sell products or services.
B2B stands for Business-To-Business and refers to the practice of one business marketing their products and services to another.
A wholesaler supplying a grocery store with produce would be an example of a B2B practice.
Analytics is the occurrence of events in a particular pattern or at a particular frequency. This buzzword is most commonly used to describe website traffic, page views and similar user data for gauging the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
Our website analytics showed a marked increase of traffic on each consecutive day of our Facebook contest promotion.
Viral is used to describe content that is spread rapidly among Internet users – kind of like a ‘virus’ spreads through a crowd.
Our company’s last video was so impressive that it went viral – generating more than 500,000 views in just under one week.
Leverage is used to describe something that has a clear advantage over something else.
Well-written content can provide a certain degree of leverage within search engine rankings that poorly written content cannot achieve.
Seamless is generally used to describe the successful merger of one service or practice with another.
We were very happy with the seamless integration of voice services that our hosting provider was able to provide on our website.
Visibility is self-explanatory, too. It means the ability to be seen.
Promoting content on a variety of different websites and platforms can greatly enhance your brand’s visibility within Internet search engines.
Algorithms are a series of scientific steps taken in order to calculate data. Algorithms vary by the kind of calculations that are desired. This word is most often used when talking about the criteria used by search engines when deciding a website’s placement in their search results.
Recent updates to Google’s algorithms made having well-written content imperative to landing a first page ranking in their search results.
24. User-Generated Content
User-generated content refers to apps, databases, web pages and other forms of data that were created by users just like yourself instead of large companies and corporations. User-generated content is usually free and open-source as well.
Consumers are turning away from paid apps and paying more attention to user-generated content because of their flexibility ease of use.
You already know what a cloud is, but we’re not talking about a white fluffy thing in the sky. When used as a buzzword, “cloud” means a way of storing information and data somewhere online where it can be accessed remotely rather than keeping it on your hard drive.
Even if our corporate hard drives were to crash, the information we stored in the cloud would still be readily accessible from any Internet connection in the world.
26. Cloud Sharing
Cloud sharing refers to the practice of sharing clouds of information with other users in order to collaborate on projects. (See ‘cloud’ definition above.)
Cloud sharing enabled our company to successfully complete the project we had been working on by joining forces with employees from three separate offices.
Clickability, like visibility above, refers to the likelihood that a specific piece of content will generate enough buzz that people will want to share it with their peers. In other words, it refers to how irresistible (or not) a link will be to its readers, based on the contextual information given.
It’s the clickability of content that has gone viral that made it so appealing.
Curate, as it applies to content, means to draw material from a variety of sources and put it together in a nice presentation for public consumption.
When you’re struggling to find content for a newsletter, you can curate articles from your website or blog to fill in the blanks.
29. Digital Native
A digital native is a person who has been exposed to technology all their lives or one who has grown up in the Computer Age. Think the 18-25 year old demographic.
All of these fancy buzzwords are easy to understand for a digital native.
30. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a method of marketing that makes it easier for prospective clients to find you, instead of you going out to find them. It’s a type of marketing that sends people in search of you and your brand.
It the end, our inbound marketing methods paid off in the form of a 41% increase in new client walk-ins over the course of just two weeks.
31. Growth Hacking
Growth hacking sounds like some underhanded way of achieving growth through shady means. It’s not that at all. What growth hacking actually refers to usually a small business start up with limited resources that finds creative ways of using their limited means so that they create the biggest impact.
Instead of investing in a press release distribution service, John found other ways of putting his press releases into circulation, which caused his company to experience a short, but profitable period of growth hacking.
Of course, buzzwords are fluid things. What’s hot today may not be hot next week – or even tomorrow. The best way to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not in buzzwords is to follow social media and blogging trends closely. When you see a word that’s creating a ‘buzz’ – one that is being used consistently across a number of platforms, keep your eye on it. You may be witnessing the birth of a brand new buzzword!