Like them or not, buzzwords have their place in every industry. In 2016, search marketers will need to know a handful of buzzwords in order to remain relevant. Some of them you may already know, while others will be completely brand new. Time to start studying!
The Value of Buzzwords
There's debate in the business community regarding the usefulness and value of buzzwords. Do they make you look stuffy and cliché? Or do they allow you to connect with people on an even playing field?
According to marketer Lindsey Davis
, the following statement is an example of bad buzzword usage: "To show our client that we are thought leaders, let's think out of the box and bring some gamifacation into the mix by creating an immersive and edgy experience for our consumer."
What does this statement actually say? It's merely a conglomeration of buzzwords that provides little utility to a conversation. "Conversation is meant to be a collaborative process," Davis reminds readers. "When it is ambiguous, it fails."
But Davis also admits buzzwords can be used effectively in certain situations. She provides an example of good buzzword usage through the following statement: "Our client has expressed interest in ROI measurement. Here is an example of how I envision this coming to life and providing value to our client."
"Good buzzword use occurs when affording ground for action," she writes. In other words, if you can use a buzzword in a way that contributes to the conversation and allows you to eliminate superfluous words, then your decision to use the buzzword is sound.
Another business expert, Steele Champion, calls buzzwords "conformity at its finest
." He claims that buzzwords are used to silently tell people you understand them. It's like being part of an inside joke. You want others to know that you know, and you feel a connection to those who understand you (and vice versa).
6 Search Marketing Buzzwords
It's important to understand the utility of buzzwords as a whole before delving into specific terms that are popular in today's business environment. As you can see, there are times when buzzwords are effective, as well as times when they aren't. It's worthwhile to learn how to use buzzwords effectively in order to put yourself in the right position.
In the world of search marketing, buzzwords are popular. The troubling issue is that many are meaningless, while some have real value. The key is to determine which fall into the former category and which are found in the latter. With that being said, let's take a look at some of the search marketing buzzwords you need to be familiar with in 2016.
1. Actionable Analytics
This year, look for "actionable analytics" to be one of the common tech buzzwords. It will rise to prominence as a result of the increased importance of business analytics and big data in both small and large businesses. You'll begin to see more software and tools developed with the sole purpose of offering actionable analytics, which crunch and correlate all types of structured and unstructured data in order to make real time action and response feasible.
According to this blog post
, a leader in business intelligence software, 2016 will be the year that business intelligence software finally becomes intuitive and, well, intelligent. "As opposed to older systems that primarily aggregated and computed structured data, actionable analytics tools will be able to reason, learn and deliver prescriptive advice," the post reads.
2. Social reach
While the buzzword has been around for a while, the term "social reach" is finally gaining some steam in the search marketing world. Social reach simply refers to the number of times social media content has been viewed by a unique person.
3. Device Mesh
Internet of Things
was a buzzword of the past that's now considered common language. Could the new buzzword "device mesh" experience a similar path? Device mesh refers to the connective tissue between different devices - including mobile, home, wearable, and auto devices. Device mesh is what's expected to propel the Internet of Things forward.
4. Influencer Marketing
Another popular buzzword that's been around for a while but will increase in popularity this calendar year is "influencer marketing." This buzzword refers to influential people who support and vouch for your brand
. Big brands such as Coca-Cola and Under Armor have been doing this for years, but look for smaller brands to jump on the trend in 2016.
The goal of influencer marketing is to focus the advertisements and marketing messages on the influencer, as opposed to the product or brand. The hope is that, by leveraging the influencer's power, viewers will automatically associate the individual with the brand.
As you know, there's a big difference between authentic marketing messages and obviously-endorsed marketing messages. Authenticity is the buzzword that refers to the former. In other words, it's how you appear to your audience. While authenticity is a big deal in social media marketing, look for brands to begin focusing on authenticity in search marketing in 2016 as they look for higher returns.
6. Biased Algorithms
Are algorithms actually computer-based, or do humans insert their own biases into these complicated equations? For example, why does Google show more ads for top-earning jobs to men than to women? (This is something Carnegie Mellon University researchers actually discovered
While Google and other search engines would probably tell you there are no biases in their algorithms, the data would tell a different story. Look for biased algorithms to get more discussed in 2016 as binary code becomes more politicized.
Use Buzzwords Sparingly
If you were to boil down the advice regarding proper usage of buzzwords in today's business environment, it would come down to three words: Use them sparingly. There are certainly times when buzzwords are inappropriate and eye-roll inducing, but there are also a number of situations where buzzwords can be used to clarify meaning and convey actionable advice.
As you consider the use of buzzwords in 2016 and how they fit into your vocabulary, keep the aforementioned buzzwords in mind and do your best to use them in appropriate situations, while avoiding overusing them in the wrong ones. Your ability to do so won't be lost on your peers.