WTF Is Up With These Marketing and Web Development Acronyms!?

In the digital marketing business (and many other businesses), acronyms get thrown around. A lot of acronyms. While I may be a writer, I work in a room with a bunch of web developers. At first, I thought my brain bailed on me and I was getting hit with alphabet soup, hearing terms like SQL, UI/UX, PHP, etc. Either that or these developers were just screwing with me. Programmers have their own language; I know they’re speaking some form of English, but I just can’t keep up. I’m catching every other word. It was the same way listening to rock climbers’ jargon when I worked at REI. I had to start asking questions. Almost a year into the job now, things are making a bit more sense than they did in the beginning.

I decided it might be helpful to make a short list. Consider this… a brain snack. A morsel of information for the precious three pounds of meat between your ears. We could go totally overboard and dump 149 acronyms in your lap, but we’ll keep the list manageable. Bite-sized. We’ll dive into ten common acronyms found in both the digital marketing and web development fields, plus some bonus items!

Marketing Acronyms

marketing web development acronyms - PPC

PPC is a great way to take up some real estate on the front page of your customers’ search results.

Return On Investment (ROI)

  • B2B / B2C – Business to Business/Consumer. These two differ on whether they’re selling products and services to other companies or customers.

Web Development Acronyms

  • HTML – Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the standard markup language for creating web pages and apps.
  • CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. It’s a mechanism for adding elements such as font, colors, spacing, etc. to Web documents.
  • URL – Uniform Resource Locator. You’ve heard this one before – it’s a reference (address) to a resource online.
  • UX  User Experience design. From Career Foundry’s article titled “The Difference Between UX and UI Design – A Layman’s Guide“: “If you imagine a product as the human body, the bones represent the code which give it structure. The organs represent the UX design: measuring and optimizing against input for supporting life functions.
  • UI – User Interface design. “…UI design represents the cosmetics of the body–its presentation, its senses and reactions.
  • CAPTCHA  Completely Automatic Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. According to the GIF below, it can be fooled…
marketing web development acronyms - CAPTCHA

And so begins the rise of the machines.

  • XML – Extensible Markup Language. XML is a set of rules for encoding documents that both people and machines can read.
  • PHP – PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, but it now stands for the recursive acronym PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It’s a programming language for generating websites. 80{2869b4d23c008b413905409cba06ef793120d76f1e6c5c92f0f4cb5a7ec0d5a3} of all websites run on PHP – primarily due to WordPress.
  • SQL Structured query language. It’s a standardized query language for requesting information from a database.
  • WYSIWYG – (pronounced “wizzy-wig”) – What You See Is What You Get. Used when editing content for a document, web page, presentation, etc. Wikipedia’s got some literature on this if you’re absolutely enthralled.

Bonus Round

These are just a couple personal favorites that have absolutely nothing to do with marketing or web development, but they’re pretty cool. How many of these did you already know?

  • SCUBA – Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.
  • LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
  • TASER – Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle. From a young adult novel published in 1911 by Victor Appleton, oddly enough. Has nothing to do with the actual taser, other than inspiring the name.
  • SONAR – SOund Navigation And Ranging.
  • RADAR – RAdio Detection And Ranging.
  • ZIP – Zone Improvement Plan.
  • SIM – (as in SIM chip) – Subscriber Identity Module. Sounds a little creepy when you word it like that.
  • WD-40 – Water Displacement attempt #40. No joke.
  • YAHOO! – “Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle” or “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
  • Alcoa – Here’s a local one for you! ALuminum Company of America.
marketing web development acronyms - LASER

“Not another step, or I’ll roast you alive with my Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation gun!”


So, there. Now you’re just a little bit smarter. Apply what you’ve learned in your next trivia game. Or use it to fill the awkward silence in a conversation when you’re not sure what else to say. At Big Slate Media, we handle all of the items mentioned above. We manage PPC campaigns, bolster SEO ratings, and much, much more. If you’re interested in taking your success to the next level, let us know!


Big Slate Media Team

Conversion Marketing: Get ’em in the Funnel!

“Every aspect of marketing is entirely useless unless it produces conversions.” – Jeremy Smith

conversion marketing

If you can create compelling, original content… People will eat it up. (Image from the film Office Space, 1999.)

As we all know, conversion marketing is about luring a poor customer into your trap and convincing them to buy things they don’t need…right? We’re kidding! We’re just kidding. Conversion marketing is about providing quality content that will draw visitors to your website, where they will (ideally) find what they’re looking for (a service or product that you provide) and taking action (making a purchase). 


Scott Brinker of Search Engine Land gives content marketing this awesome definition:

Thriving at the intersection of SEO and social media, content marketing has become central to digital marketing strategy. Its objective is simple: create genuinely useful or entertaining content for many specific niches of your target audience—not to overtly promote your business, but to build rapport and brand equity—and give it away for free.

Keep the conversion funnel in mind. Awareness leads to interest. Interest leads to desire. Desire leads to action. Action leads to the light side of the marketing force.

A big part of the battle is getting folks to visit your website in the first place – and that requires quite a few foundational blocks before you can move on to the next phase. Let’s touch base on the basics:

  • Optimize your website for search engines (SEO). You won’t get any traffic if they can’t find you.
  • Provide compelling content. Quality ad copy and high-definition images (optimized images that won’t slow down the site!) We’ll dip into content a bit deeper later on.
  • Make sure your website doesn’t suck. Any well-oiled machine requires a toolbox for regular maintenance.

To pursue a successful conversion marketing goal is to play the long game. Like any successful and healthy relationship, it will take time to develop. This is an investment in the community and in time, and it will work to your advantage in the long run. You are planting a seed that one will eventually blossom into one awesome little tree. The coolest tree. Like, Baby Groot cool.


Note: Good content marketing leads to better conversion rates, and it totally pays off. (Image from the film Dodgeball, 2004.)

















Drew Hendricks breaks it down to 10 simple tactics that can increase conversions:

  1. Write quality copy. Strong and compelling content goes a long way. Make it worth the read.
  2. Make sure your headlines don’t suck. It’s one of the first things visitors see. Grab their attention and hold it.
  3. A/B split testing is a must. This will give you insight into what works. Good data leads to better business.
  4. Get the word out with social media. Facebook, Twitter, etc. Post frequently. Engage. Trust us – it works. 
  5. Know thy audience. Find your target audience. Narrow it down. Refine it. That’s how you get quality leads.
  6. Email marketing – give it a whirl. It can be informative or sales-oriented, but it keeps you fresh in their memory.
  7. Don’t remain static – change things up every now and then. Gradual shifts in content show you’re invested.
  8. Urgency works, sometimes. “Only two days left until the sale ends!” It works surprisingly well. 
  9. Be a traffic cop. Show your visitors where to go. Make the path from awareness to action as easy as possible.
  10. CTAs! Call to Action, yo! Whatever you put out there (blogs, posts, comments, etc.) – there should always be a clear call to action.


Do you know what else works exceptionally well for increasing your conversions? Being personable. Check out our blog post about building your personal brand.

Big Slate Media works with a wide and diversified client base. We know the conversion marketing funnel well, and we know what it takes to get that visitor from attention to action. Digital marketing is our bread and butter. So if you want to create or revitalize your marketing efforts, we’d love to sit down and talk with you. Give us a call at (865) 291-0005 or shoot us a contact request!

Big Slate Media Team

Make it Personal! (Tips for Building a Personal Brand)

From the movie ‘The Godfather’, (1972).

“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”

-Michael Corleone (The Godfather, 1972)

Tip #1: Don’t be Lame

The soon-to-be head of the Corleone family knew how to drive a strong message across. Think of creative initiative as a cannoli, and lame content as a gun (stay with me here) – Leave the gun, take the cannoli. In today’s digital world when you’re trying to build a brand, it’s the exact opposite: you want it to be personal. Personal is fun. It’s engaging. It’s not some cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill dry content that gets passed around social media channels without any flavor to it. Sometimes it’s refreshing for your audience to be reminded that your company is composed of interesting human beings with jobs, just like them. Just because you’re a business or an organization doesn’t mean you have to be as boring as watching paint dry. It’s not personal, it’s business…but make it personal. 

Heck, sometimes we’ll post a picture of everyone out at lunch together. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. When you have good chemistry with your team, it’s a fun environment. Share that. People dig that stuff.


Building a Personal Brand - Share it!

Oh, Nama – your sashimi is my soymate.

Creative content is what drives a successful business – and we often find ourselves having fun with projects – like flying World’s Fair Beer over Knoxville.



“What the Internet’s value is that you have access to information but you also have access to every lunatic that’s out there that wants to throw up a blog.”

-George A. Romero

Make that work in your favor! Crank out blogs about cool tips and tricks you’ve learned in your industry. Write listicles about anything – they’re fun, brief, and perfect for the “TL;DR” (too long, didn’t read) reader. Client spotlights and testimonials are great. How about a blog post in which you reflect on where you were a year ago and what you’ve learned since then?

Building a Personal Brand - Blog, Blog, Blog!

Good ideas, a strong cup of coffee and a blank word document… The ingredients for sweet, bloggy goodness.

Other ideas include:

  • Infographics and Videos
  • Tutorials
  • Checklists
  • Blog series

Tip #3: Get Engaged (with Social Media) and Establish Your Voice

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are prime platforms for establishing your organization’s ‘voice’ – that is, the tone you take with the content you put out there. You can be silly while still maintaining a professional tone. Find groups who are in your field or match your target audience.

Consistency is key, here – if you slack off, you lose followers and public interest. Be diligent in maintaining your marketing drumbeat.


Tip #4: Pay Attention to the Big Fish

This one might seem like a given, but it’s always a smart idea to pay attention to the big fish that are making waves. Keep an eye on the type of quality content they share, their engagement with readers, and so on. Look to the pros – they got to where they are because they’re consistent, creative and driven. And most importantly – their content doesn’t suck!

Building a Personal Brand Takes Time!

This is a process that will take a lot of time and effort, but it sets you apart from the competition by leagues. By creating and sharing personal content that people actually want to engage with, you’re building a personal brand that resonates authority and credibility – and making an offer your audience can’t refuse. At Big Slate Media, we do it all – photography, video production, blogging, social media management and more. If you’re ready to get your name out there and have fun doing it, give us a call at (865) 291-0005 or contact us online!

Big Slate Media Team

Dark Social: What Stats are Lurking in the Shadows?

Have you ever heard of ‘dark social‘? It sounds ominous, perhaps even malicious. But don’t worry – it’s not some evil machination of the internet conspiring against you or your business. Dark social, as first explained by Alexis Madrigal (a senior editor at The Atlantic), is the harder-to-measure data that shows how content is shared online.


Content Gets Around – But Can it All be Tracked?

Think of it this way – you find a cool article about Elon Musk calling for a moon base – whoa! That’s so cool! Gotta share that with the friends. You click the ‘share’ button and post it to Facebook. For (or any website), a Facebook share is easy to track. But then you remember you’ve got a friend who’s crazy about space travel – but they don’t have a Facebook. So you email them the link. When checks the analytics for their article, they’ll see a certain percentage attributed to social media shares. Then there’s this other category – an even larger percentage than social media – it’s vague, and it’s typically labeled ‘Direct.’ The email you just sent falls into that category. Same thing goes for instant messages, text messages, and native mobile apps like Facebook. Enter the world of dark social – web traffic without a known source/referrer.


According to Techopedia,

The prevalence of sharing through dark social suggests that social media marketing that fails to focus on the type and quality of content may be overlooking a huge portion of social sharing.


Content shared via dark social channels is pretty much one big lump of data as far as web analytics goes. Working with the web analytics firm Chartbeat, Alexis jumped in to get a breakdowofor The Atlantic’s sources of traffic. This is what they found:

Dark Social Stats

Image Source:

That’s HUGE! You might never have heard of dark social, but it’s super important to be aware of. Those stats are just for The Atlantic, too. For mobile sharing in general, it’s been reported that dark social is responsible for 84{2869b4d23c008b413905409cba06ef793120d76f1e6c5c92f0f4cb5a7ec0d5a3} of outbound sharing. The numbers are too big to ignore.

For a very in-depth exploration of dark social, check out RadiumOne’s white paper on “The Dark Side of Mobile Sharing.”


My Head is Spinning – Can I Track Dark Social?

So, can you accurately track this stuff? Well, not easily. It’s not a matter of poor analytics or anything – it’s just that referral data doesn’t always hop along for the ride when a link gets shared. Take email, for instance – your privacy rights dictate that referral data doesn’t come along. With secure browsing (HTTPS), referrer data doesn’t get transmitted if you shift to an HTTP site. Still, there are ways to customize your analytics to track parts of it for more accurate measurements.


So, What’s the Takeaway from All of This?

It really boils down to this – with great content brings comes great traffic. Sometimes you can’t always accurately gauge how your visitors got to your site, but you can control the quality of the content you’re putting out there. Good content is interesting. Great content is engaging, informative and fun – and that’s exactly what we do at Big Slate Media. If you’re ready to rock your next social media campaign, we would love to be a part of it. Give us a call at (865) 291-0005 or contact us online and we’ll get the ball rolling!

Big Slate Media Team

What’s Your Marketing Drumbeat?

Think about a drumbeat. In a band, it establishes a rhythm and keeps everyone on track. Up until the late 19th century, a battlefield drummer wasn’t just there to bolster morale – they were an important part of the communication system.  In the same sense, your marketing drumbeat keeps your business moving forward and lets the world know you’re there.

We’re talking about the basics of internet marketing. There’s a minimum level of action a business should engage in to maintain their marketing drumbeat. Let’s go through the essentials and how they’re beneficial (and necessary) for the growth of your business.

List Your Business

If you haven’t already done so, make sure you list your business with Google and Bing. If you want your business to show up in search results, this is an absolute must. It’s also incredibly beneficial for local businesses, as your business (and address) will appear in local search rankings.

If you would like assistance in getting your business verified, please let us know and we’ll get you started!


Social Media – Get Interactive!

Chances are, you probably use social media. In 2016, almost 70{2869b4d23c008b413905409cba06ef793120d76f1e6c5c92f0f4cb5a7ec0d5a3} of all Americans were using Facebook. Here are some other outlets you should look into, depending on your business:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube

These will not only help build links (super important for SEO) – but you’ll also establish your company’s persona and voice. Consistency is key here – post regularly! Maintain your digital presence. You might even want to consider having someone in your company take ownership of your social media campaign. Someone of the same mind who is invested in your brand can work miracles for getting your name out there. For more information on social media marketing, check out this guide from Search Engine Land.

Email Marketing

Keeping a list of email addresses from your clients/customers is crucial for communication. If you’ve got something to promote, plan your email marketing strategy.

  • Thank You Letters
  • Monthly Newsletters
  • Product / Event Promotion

You may also want to consider setting up a drip marketing campaign.

Things to keep in mind: (You want to convert a reader into a buyer.)

  1. Make sure your email list is built with permission marketing contacts.
  2. Always have a call to action.
  3. Write as if you’re writing a letter to one person. Be personable, not a robot.
  4. Make it fun. Throw in a quote or an interesting fact. Make the email offer up some kind of reward.
  5. Finally, make sure your email is worthwhile. If you don’t have something engaging and read-worthy, come up with a plan.

This list can go on and on. If you’re interested in sharpening your email marketing game, check out this great article from Copyblogger.

To Wrap Things Up…

Your marketing drumbeat should be loud and proud – and frequent! Once you’ve followed through with these items and practice them regularly, it’s not marketing. It’s protocol. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty, focus on targeted keywords and up your SEO game. Dive into social media – engage in conversations, share posts/tweets and interact with people.

Consistency and relevancy is key to maintaining your brand exposure and presence. With these things in mind, get out there and make some noise!

If you own a business and want to increase your exposure, we’d love to have a chat. Give us a call today at (865) 291-0005!


Big Slate Media Team