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The Digital Dept. Influencer Marketing Dictionary

Rae Hersey Influencer Marketing Dictionary

We use a lot of lingo in the influencer marketing world, so let us, your digital and influence experts, let us break it down for you with The Digital Dept. Influencer Marketing Dictionary. If you’ve ever come across an industry term you’re unfamiliar with, or an acronym you can’t decipher, this is your secret weapon to knowing all the essential industry terms and sounding like a total pro.

Affiliate Marketing

A marketing model in which brand affiliates earn a commission on sales made through their promotion for a brand, usually tracked through personalized affiliate links or codes.


Putting ad spend behind social media content to extend the reach of the content beyond the poster’s pre-existing followers.


The numerical data available for social media posts and accounts. Also referred to as: metrics, insights

Learn more about Instagram Post Insights

Average Watch Time

The mean number of how long a piece of video content has been viewed divided by the total number of viewers.

Why it’s important: Average watch time is an important metric in determining if the majority of viewers are watching a piece of video content all the way through. An average watch time that is close to the total duration of the video indicates that the majority of viewers are watching the video all the way through, while a lower average watch time indicates that most viewers are not completing the video.


A common goal for influencer campaigns in which a brand seeks to extend the familiarity of the brand amongst consumers.


The hypothetical goal set ahead of time to gauge future campaign performance. Typically set using industry standards to present an approximate idea of how content will perform.


A type of amplification tactic that allows a social media account to put ad spend behind a pre-existing post and amplify it to a larger audience. With boosting, you can add in a call-to-action but you cannot make edits to the caption or visual components of the post. Boosted posts also have limited audience targeting capabilities.


A sentence, phrase, or button that encourages viewers to take a particular action. Common examples include “Shop Now” or “Learn More” with a link to the relevant product or website.

(Campaign) Brief

The set of guidelines that a brand or agency shares with an influencer that details the creative expectations for the campaign.

Learn more about what makes a strong campaign brief here.


A marketing program run by a brand or agency.

Celebrity Influencer

Influencers who are public figures and typically known for their profession outside of social media. Actors, musicians, athletes, authors, and television personalities can all be considered celebrity influencers. Like macro-influencers, celebrity influencers generally have large, general followings and are ideal brand partners for increasing brand awareness and securing press coverage.

Content Creator

Someone who creates photo and/or video content, typically shared to social media platforms or their own website. Often simply referred to as a “creator”. See also: influencer


The ability to turn consumer views into purchases.

Cost-Per-Mille (CPM)

The price an advertiser pays to achieve one thousand views on a piece of advertising content. Also known as: Cost-Per-Thousand (CPT)

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

The cost of advertising a piece of content compared to the number of clicks said piece of content earns.

CTR (click-through-rate)

The percentage of viewers that click through to a link on an ad or other piece of linked content compared to the total number of viewers.

Dark Posting

When a promoted social media post appears to come from an influencer or brand’s social media account but does not appear on their profile feed, or as an organic post in follower’s timeline feeds.


The assets that an influencer agrees to provide for a brand campaign. These can include social media posts, event appearances, photo or video assets for brand usage, etc.


The data behind an audience’s makeup. This can include statistical data on the locations, genders, ages, interests, and behaviors of social media followings.

(FTC) Disclosure

Identifying the relationship between the influencer and brand. This can be done by adding a “Paid Partnership” label, adding #ad, #advertisement, or #sponsored clearly in the caption of the post, or otherwise clearly indicating a paid business relationship between influencer and brand. NOTE: Gifted product does count as payment according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Earned Media

Additional publicity gained outside of branded or advertising content. This often includes press placements or mentions as well as shares, mentions, and/or reposts of either brand or ad content.


Most broadly, the number of interactions a social media post receives. Those interactions can be likes, comments, saves, or shares.

Engagement Rate

The rate at which a user’s followers interact with their content. This can be calculated by the following formula: the total amount of engagement a post receives / the poster’s total number of followers x 100 = Engagement Rate %. Engagement rate is an important metric to measure when assessing influencer partners because it tells you what percentage of their audience is likely to interact with their content, providing a more complete picture of a user’s audience than simply their follower total.


The terms that limit speaking on or working with competitor brands during a mutually agreed-upon period of time.

Experiential Marketing

Immersive brand campaigns that invite consumers to experience the brand and/or its products. Popular examples of this include brand pop-ups, branded speaker panels, classes, tutorials, and other branded events. Experiential marketing often refers to in-person activations but can refer to virtual events as well.


The action of opting into a social media account’s content. When a user is “following” a social media account, the user will be served that account’s content on their home feed.

For You Feed (FYF)

The tab on TikTok that displays videos from both creators a user follows and suggested videos based on a user’s engagement with similar content, as determined by TikTok’s algorithm. Commonly referred to as the “For You Page” or “FYP”.


When a brand sends free product to an influencer, typically in lieu of financial compensation. Can also be referred to as “seeding” or “product seeding”.

(Instagram) Guide

Guides are a way to share content, locations, and products as a collection. You can think of them as mini blogs or catalogs that are accessible directly on Instagram.

Idea Pin

A type of post on Pinterest that allows a user to share a collection of up to 20 photos, videos and/or text pieces as a single post that viewers can click through. These are somewhat similar to Stories on Instagram, except for the fact that Idea Pins live permanently and are visible on the Pinterest home feed.


The number of times a piece of content is viewed. This number includes people who have viewed a piece of content at least once, but will count each time they view the content; for example, if 1 person views a piece of content 2 times, that will count as 2 impressions.


A person, typically on social media, who uses their platform to provide advice, recommendations, and inspiration to their followers through the content they create and share. Ideally, an influencer has the ability to guide or have an impact on followers’ decisions. Also referred to as a content creator or creator.


A metric that adds up the total number of ways users have engaged with a piece of content on Instagram.

For a post, this will add up the total number of likes, comments, shares, and saves.

For a story, this will add up the total number of link clicks, shares, website clicks, sticker taps, and profile visits.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

The way to measure the success of the main objective(s) of your campaign.


An influencer with an extremely large following on social media, typically with a following of 500,000+. These influencers are great to work with when you want to reach a general audience and increase brand awareness.


A virtual world focused on social interaction.


An influencer with a small following on social media, typically between 10,000 and 100,000 followers.

Mid-tier Influencer

An influencer with a mid-size following on social media, typically between 100,000 and 500,000.

Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL)

Most popularly used when referring to the ability for college athletes to earn money for partnerships and endorsements utilizing their name, image, and likeness in content, essentially allowing college athletes to be able to work as influencers during their collegiate careers. Prior to a Supreme Court ruling in 2021, college athletes were unable to earn money for brand partnerships or endorsements.


An influencer with an extremely small following on social media, typically between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. These creators typically speak to a hyper-specific niche or demographic. Despite their small followings, they tend to achieve high levels of engagement and are ideal for when a brand wants to market to a hyper-specific audience.


The specified category or categories that an influencer speaks to in their content.


The goals for a social media campaign.


Can mean:

1) Content that is shared without any brand relationship or financial incentive

2) The data results of how a piece of content performs without any advertising budget set against it

Paid Media

Content that has an advertising budget set for it to increase the reach of said content.


The actual results of the campaign based on the final influencer cast and actual performance. A combination of influencer and paid results if amplification is included.


A photo or video post shared on Pinterest.


The number of users who see a piece of content. Unlike Impressions or Views, this metric does not account for multiple views, so even if a user views a piece of content 10 times, they will only count as 1 account reached.

Revenue Share

A payment model between brand and influencer where the influencer earns a mutually agreed-upon percentage of sales made through their promotions of the brand.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The ratio of the net income generated over a period of time compared to the cost of the marketing campaign.


Users can bookmark content for future reference using the save button. Examples of commonly-saved content pieces include recipes, tutorials, motivational quotes, and infographics.

Sentiment Analysis

The evaluation of audience or consumer attitude towards a brand product, or service being promoted, whether good, bad, or neutral.

Scope of Work (SOW)

The mutually agreed-upon list of deliverables and/or services a creator is expected to provide over the course of a brand partnership agreement.


Users can share a post by clicking the “paper plane” icon, either through direct messages with friends, or to their Instagram Story. A shareable post can be anything posted to Instagram, including your own, from a hilarious meme to a news update to a cute pair of boots that someone wants to share with their friend.

Social Listening

The process of tracking social media mentions and conversations around a particular brand, product, influencer, or another subject.


A photo or video post that only lives on a user’s profile for 24 hours. These are typically in-the-moment, less-curated content pieces. Stories can be posted on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Story Highlight

A collection of Story posts that live on a user’s Instagram profile permanently.


The approach a brand or company takes to achieve and execute their marketing objectives.

Total Watch Time

The sum of all hours (or minutes) all viewers have logged viewing a piece of video content.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

Social media content that features a brand and/or its products but is created independently by social media users. This could include a customer sharing an organic review, posting a photo featuring a brand, an influencer featuring a brand in a post organically, etc.


The mutually agreed-upon terms designating where, how, and for how long a piece of influencer-created content can be used for brand purposes. This can include utilizing the content in digital, print, advertisement, or out-of-home content, or even using the creator’s name, image, and/or likeness in brand content.

There are two types of usage: organic usage (meaning the brand uses the influencer content—with permission and/or payment to the influencer—on organic brand content to their own social channels) and paid usage (content that has an advertising budget put behind it to reach a larger audience).


The number of times a piece of content is seen. This number tracks multiple watches by a single viewer, meaning that if a single viewer watches a piece of content 10 times, that will count as 10 views.


Whitelisting is where an influencer gives a brand partner access to their account in order to modify and promote content directly from their account. Through whitelisting, brands can customize a post’s captions, images, and calls-to-action to target different KPIs and achieve various campaign objectives and can also create posts that appear to be shared from the influencer’s channel but do not appear on their feed. In addition to customization options, brands also have access to a vast number of performance insights such as reach, engagement, impressions, and clicks.