Content marketing terminology you need to know

Content marketing terminology can be confusing,especially if you’re new to the jargon. Here’s a glossary to help you navigate the content marketing landscape.

Content marketing terminology can be confusing - especially if you’re new to agency jargon. Here’s a list of key terms to help you navigate your way through the content marketing landscape.

If crowdsourcing and newsjacking sound like gibberish right now, don’t despair!

We know how confusing marketing jargon can be - especially in the digital landscape. That’s why we’ve compiled a glossary of common content marketing terminology to help you navigate the ins and outs of creating, scheduling, publishing and distributing your content online.

Here’s 32 content marketing terms that every inbound marketer needs to know:


The term “blog” is short for “weblog”, and was first coined by Jorn Barger in 1997.

Blogs were originally designed to be online diaries, however they’ve matured to become news-like, and are the dominant method of publishing online content. Most business websites use blogs to boost their search engine optimisation (SEO) and add value for customers, with helpful, informative and educational content.


A content offer is a piece of content which is gated behind a form on your website. 

The information gathered from the form is considered “payment” for the content offer - so your content offer needs to be packed full of value, so users feel that the exchange of information is worth it. Content offers are an excellent way to gather data and get a feel for who your audience is.

Content offers come in all shapes and forms including:

  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Toolkits
  • Webinars
  • Videos


Content pillars are the core topics that you’ll be speaking about on your blog. Content pillars help you to focus your content creation on specific areas, helping you to plan content strategically.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative commons licenses are used to identify the usage rights of your content (for commercial or non-commercial use).

If you were a photographer, for instance, you could permit users to redistribute your photographs non-commercially, but may withhold the rights to use the photographs commercially, without payment for your work. Make sure that you’ve checked the usage rights of any third party content that you plan to use, and credit their original sources.


Crowdsourcing is a technique used to generate ideas or content from a large pool of people. Crowdsourcing online can be done via social media platforms, online communities or forums.


Content curation is the act of sourcing and publishing  quality content from other content creators around the web.

It’s not as simple as clicking copy and paste - that’s plagiarism. Curated content must be reorganised to reflect your key takeaways and thoughts on the subject, creating a fresh piece of content that adds additional information to the original.

Read our blog post, How to curate content, for tips on how to successfully curate content online.


An eBook is a popular type of content offer. They’re generally focused on one of your content pillars - and give casual, overall insights into a topic, in punchy, scannable chunks (similar to a magazine).

eBooks are very visual, and should contain callouts, images and infographics.

Editorial Calendar

An editorial (or content) calendar is your publishing schedule.

In order to get the best results from your content marketing efforts, you need to have a solid strategy in place - which means consistently creating and publishing good quality content. In order to keep track of these timelines, from briefing your copywriter through to uploading and scheduling posts, you’ll need a well structured editorial calendar.

Engagement Rate

Your engagement rate is your ability to attract and retain the attention of your audience.

You can measure your audience’s engagement by monitoring metrics like:

  • Social sharing
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Click through rates (CTRs)
  • Form submissions

Exit Rate

Your exit rate is similar to your bounce rate, but instead of showing you only one session (where a visitor landed on a page and immediately left), your exit rate shows you how many visitors left on a specific page, after visiting multiple other pages on your website.

Eye Tracking

Eye tracking is the measurement of eye movements. What do people look at first on a page? What information do they ignore? Knowing where your audience is looking will help you plan what content needs to be given above the fold preference on your page.


A forum (or message board) is an online site that’s dedicated to a specific subject (MyBroadband is a good example of a forum). Don’t confuse a forum with a chat room - communication in a forum doesn’t necessarily happen in real-time.

Forums are a great place for like-minded individuals to share ideas, discuss interests and engage with a community. These conversations form a thread - which is basically an archived record of the discussion for future users to refer to.


A hashtag is a word or phrase which is preceded by the # symbol (e.g. #thisisahashtag - no spaces between words).

A hashtag is used as a form of indexing your content by topic or keyword on social media. Using hashtags allows your audience to find search and discover your content.


The term impression refers to how many times your content has been served (via paid advertising) to people browsing the internet. You may pay for ads per impression (regardless of whether it was clicked or not) or per click. Impressions are sold by the thousand and are best for brand awareness campaigns.


An infographic combines short, puchy text and images in order to tell a story, explain a concept or share data in a way that’s easy to consume and fun for readers to share. Using infographics can boost your website traffic up to 12%, according to Copy Blogger (content marketing information platform).

Interactive content

Interactive content is content that users are able to click on and engage with.

Interactive content brings your content to life - making it more appealing, easier to digest and more shareable. Examples of interactive content include:

  • Data visualisations
  • Calculators
  • Quizzes
  • Polls/surveys

Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is a form of a content offer, in that it’s a piece of content which sits behind a form on a landing page.

Lead magnets are created retrospectively by bundling together a series of blog posts or articles. Therefore, your form should contain no more than one or two fields. A lead magnet is valuable enough that customers would be willing to exchange their name and email address to access the content, but it’s not substantial enough to be gated behind a long, comprehensive form.

Lead magnets include content like:

  • Infographics
  • Checklists
  • Templates and cheat sheets
  • Printable calendars/planners

Lead magnets (as their name suggests), are a quick win for lead generation.


A listicle is a piece of content which is written in the form of a numbered list (e.g. 26 Compelling inbound social media call to actions).

Long-form Content

Long -form content is any blog post 1200 words and above in length.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is paid advertising on third party websites, which is designed to look and feel like organic content.


Newsjacking is the concept of creating content which responds to breaking news, current events or trends as they happen, thereby “hijacking” the news with a related story by your brand. Successful newsjacking needs to be fast, clever and creative, in order for journalists to discover your content and incorporate it in their news stories.

Owned Media

Owned media are platforms (like your website and blog) where you are in full control over the distribution of your content.

Paid Media

Paid media is used to promote content to a wider audience by buying advertising space online. Paid media include things like:

  • Pay per click (PPC) advertising
  • Paid social media advertising
  • Display advertising
  • Influencer marketing

Pillar Pages

Pillar pages are used to link blog posts together in one place, so that readers can easily find everything they need.

A pillar page groups information by topic. It speaks to your customers’ pain points, answers frequently asked questions (FAQs), solves problems, educates and entertains your readers - allowing you to highlight older content. A pillar page also helps increase your page ranking with search engines, as it allows you to use keywords that you’re hoping to rank for, both frequently and naturally throughout the page.


A quiz is an example of interactive content. Quizzes are a great tool for gathering data on your audience and can be used as a lead magnet (with the result gated behind a form).

You get various types of quizzes - from list challenges (e.g. a bucket list to tick off how many countries you’ve visited), to personality tests and general knowledge quizzes.

Sharing triggers

Sharing triggers are the reasons why your audience choose to engage with and share content.


A toolkit is a popular form of content offer that includes things like templates, planners and cheat sheets.


Viral content is the phenomenon of a piece of content which rapidly gains popularity through social sharing.

There’s no set formula for creating viral content, but certain sharing triggers can cause people to share content more rapidly on social media networks. These triggers include:

  • Content that is shocking
  • Content that is emotionally charged (either positively or negatively)
  • Zeitgeist (current/trending) content
  • Humorous content

Vox Pops

The term vox pop is derived from the Latin phrase vox populis (the voice of the people).

Vox pop content is content that you produce based on the opinions of your audience - this type of content goes hand in hand with crowdsourcing.


A webinar is a seminar that you conduct online. Webinars are a popular form of content offer.


A white paper is similar to an eBook, but is far more academic in nature.

Whitepapers focus more specifically on one subject, giving deeply researched and data-driven insights. They are less visual in nature (textually dense), and use a more formal, academic tone.


A wireframe is a brief outline of what your piece of content is about. Your wireframe is extremely important when planning your content, as it helps you visualise the direction you want your content to take - the angle of the piece.

Evergreen content

Evergreen content is a piece of content which covers a topic which is always relevant to readers and isn't seasonal or ad-hoc. 

For a glossary of digital marketing terms, read our blog post,
Do you know your inbound marketing terminology?

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