Every industry has its own set of jargon and acronyms, and marketing is certainly no exception. When it comes to content marketing, KISS doesn’t mean locking lips with your other half, and AIDA has nothing to do with a love of the opera.


I personally love acronyms, which as you can imagine drives my friends and colleagues a little crazy – I’m working on it. For today, I thought I’d shed some light on five of my favorites:


1. KISS: Keep It Sweet and Simple

You may be familiar with “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” but I’ll use a more polite version. KISS should be applied to every aspect of your content and here are a few ways you can do just that:

  • Use images – they speak a thousand words and work especially well on social. When ascribing text to an image, make it compelling and brief.
  • Keep emails short – concise and simple are best practice if you want results.
  • Make content scannable – unless you’re at a deeper level of the site with more engaged users, detailed technical specifications are not your friend. People on average only read 28% of the words on a page, so keeping things simple is critical. That does not mean you have to have short copy. Rather, it means you need to make your key points clear as a bell.


When you think content, especially in the early stages of your consumer decision making journey (CJD), aim for a minimum viable experience to attract and engage.


If we think about marketing resources and keeping things simple from a scalability and operational point of view, social provides a great example. Do you really need to have a presence on every single social network? Probably not. It’s far better to have a strong presence and engaged followers on a couple of social platforms where you know your users are engaged, than to spread yourself too thin and neglect your accounts.


2. FAB: Features, Advantages, Benefits (or RTB: Reasons To Believe)


Customers don’t necessarily care what your business does – they care about what it can do for them.


Information about your brand’s products or services isn’t useful unless you can connect it to your customers’ needs. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many marketers fail to relate their products to the specific pain points of their customers. That’s where FAB statements can help. These statements have three components that let customers know why they should buy your product or service:

  • Features: Identify differentiating product-specific details.
  • Advantages:Clearly describe what sets you above and apart from the competition with respect to solving for your customer’s need.
  • Benefits: Identify the additional benefits that come from choosing your product.


Another great way to convey the same powerful message is to switch up your FAB statements: Name a benefit first, then explain how this benefit is brought about by your product or service’s features.


Steve Jobs captured the essence of FAB and RTB in a nutshell:


Your customers don’t care about you. They don’t care about your product or service. They care about themselves, their dreams, their goals. Now, they will care much more if you help them reach their goals, and to do that, you must understand their goals, as well as their needs and deepest desires.”


3. AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action


If you’ve ever bought something after seeing a commercial or advertisement, you were probably influenced by the AIDA technique. This four-step process is a start-to-finish formula for creating powerful content – it hooks the reader right from the start and keeps them interested until they take action. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Attention: Grabs readers’ attention, makes them want to learn more.Interest:Build interest by clearly explaining your understanding of their painpoints.
  • Desire:Create an emotional connection with your audience and move them from liking your product to wanting your product.
  • Action:Motivate the customer to take action with your call to action.


4. BANT:  Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline


This is less about your content and more about your prospective customers. BANT stands for set of criteria used to qualify leads. When assessing a prospect, you need to keep the following questions in mind:

  • Budget:Can they afford us?
  • Authority:Are they the decision-maker?
  • Need: How deep is their need for our product or service?
  • Timeline:Where are they in their decision making journey?


5. SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound


Our final acronym comes in handy when you’re setting goals or refining your content marketing strategy. Ask yourself the following questions to decide whether a goal is SMART:

  • Specific:Are the desired outcomes clear, and are they tied to specific strategies and tactics?
  • Measurable: Are outcomes measurable?
  • Achievable: Is this a reasonable goal given any applicable constraints?
  • Relevant: Does this content marketing goal align with bigger business objectives?
  • Time-bound: What’s the endpoint for this goal?


This list only scratches the surface – if I attempted to list them all, this article would be venturing into TL;DR territory. 😉


What are your favorite marketing acronyms? Add them to the comments below!