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192 Ten Advertising Terms

When you first start advertising your book, you might run into industry jargon or terminology that clouds your understanding. At Novel Marketing, we want to help translate advertising terminology so your advertising experiences can be more productive. 

We discussed Ten Marketing Terms Authors Need to Know in a previous episode.

In this article, we’ll name, define, and explain ten advertising terms authors need to know. 

What is advertising?

I often hear authors misuse the word advertising. Advertising is not a synonym for marketing. It is one aspect of your marketing.

Marketing is an umbrella term for your cumulative efforts to sell your book, which may include public relations, branding, and advertising. Advertising is just one piece of the marketing puzzle.

While all ham is pork, not all pork is ham. Likewise, all advertising is marketing, but not all marketing is advertising.

Advertising is typically a paid element of marketing. There’s no such thing as free advertising. 

Advertising is also characterized by marketing efforts that involve someone else’s platform. If you buy a television ad, you’re paying the station to display your product on their platform to their viewers. In radio, you are renting that audience’s ears for a short time. In both cases, you’re paying for access to their audience.

Ten Advertising Terms

1. Traditional Media

Traditional Media include the tried-and-true advertising methods Baby Boomers grew up with, including Radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, billboards, and direct mail.

2. Digital Media

Digital media is new to the advertising block. Internet, smartphones, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon ads are all aspects of digital media. 

Big data and microtargeting associated with digital media are changing advertising. 

With traditional media, you might buy a newspaper ad on page two, and a tiny fraction of readers would be interested in your ad. With digital media, you can target your ads to a specific audience so that the percentage of interested readers is exponentially higher. 

The data collection that causes us concern for our privacy also makes digital advertising effective and less expensive than traditional media.

3. Reach

Reach describes the total number of eyeballs your content or ad reaches.

Radio and TV use the word “Cume” to describe their total cumulative audience. Your reach or your “cume” is how many individual people are reached on a weekly basis by a radio station or TV show.

What’s your reach?

What is your reach as an author on a weekly basis? Google Analytics is a great tool for showing you how many people your website reaches on a weekly basis. If your web traffic spiked on the day your podcast interview was aired, you could see how your interview impacted your reach. 

The number of subscribers on your email list is also an indicator of how many people you reach. Reach is a broad-brush metric that shows how effective your efforts are.

Impressions or Reach?

Sometimes reach is confused with impressions. Impressions are the number of times your ad was shown to someone who may or may not have noticed it. Companies often measure impressions when they’re trying to increase their brand awareness. 

Most authors aren’t as concerned with impressions because they’re concerned with product advertising. They want to reach customers for the purpose of selling books.

4. Paid Reach

Paid reach refers to the people you are paying to reach. Facebook and Amazon ads are considered paid reach because you’re paying money for Amazon and Facebook to show your ad to their audiences. 

You might pay Facebook to show your ad to 1000 people. That’s paid reach. 

But some of your friends might share that ad with their friends, and that is called organic reach.

5. Organic Reach

Organic reach is effectively free. You could think of it as a reward for creating content that people like to engage with. If your ad is interesting or entertaining, people will engage with it. If it’s boring, they’ll scroll on by. 

With organic reach, other people react to your ad or content and promote it for you, so spreading the word doesn’t cost you any money. 

Consider the movie company that pays for a trailer to appear in your feed. That’s paid reach. But when you watch the trailer, love it, and forward it to a friend, that’s organic reach. 

Retweets, Facebook post shares, and forwarding emails are all examples of organic reach.

6. CPM / CPC / CPP

CPM, CPC, and CPP are three advertising metrics that will determine how and how much you pay for advertising.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

The acronym CPM is confusing because it stands for “Cost Per Thousand.” The “M” in the acronym is the Roman numeral for 1,000, thus the acronym CPM.

CPM is how most advertising is priced on TV, radio, and Facebook. With Facebook advertising, you can choose whether you want to pay by Cost Per Thousand (CPM) or Cost Per Click (CPC).

Cost Per Click (CPC)

When you buy advertising based on CPC, you will only pay for the people who click on your ad. You will not pay for the impressions or the people who are merely shown your ad. Because CPC ads are more targeted, they can also be more expensive.

Cost Per Point (CPP)

A point is a rating. A rating of 1.0 point denotes a percentage of a certain marketing area. CPP is used in television advertising.

7. Frequency

Reach and impressions measure how many people you’ve reached once. Frequency measures how many times you’ve reached the same person. The term is used most often in traditional media advertising to describe how often someone sees or hears your ad. 

There are two schools of thought on Frequency. One says you should run the ad until everyone, including your accountant, is sick of it. But I tend to think that approach contributes to a negative company image in the minds of viewers and listeners.

The other school of thought is to run it until the viewer or listener stops enjoying it. 

GEICO is a company that strikes this balance well. They’re continually running new ads. You don’t get irritated by the same ad because they only play them until people stop enjoying them. But you also don’t forget about them because they’re continually running ads. The fresh ad content causes you to have a higher opinion of the company.

Frequency for Authors

Authors might believe one ad will sell their book, but that’s not how it works. People need to see your or your name three to seven times before they will purchase your book. 

This is critical. 

The first time a reader hears about your book, they gain awareness. The second time, there’s a conviction that they should buy. The third time, people take action. However, most studies show a person needs seven contacts before they buy.

Frequency with Newsletters

If you’re launching a book, you need to email your list. But you can’t stop with one email. 

Depending on your open rate, only a percentage of people on your list even open your email. If you send only one email to your list, only a small percentage of people who opened will even know your book is available.

A typical open rate is usually less than 40%. This means if you have 100 email subscribers and you send one email with a fabulous open rate of 40%, most people on your list (60%) never saw or opened your email. 

The Spotlight Effect

Authors who suffer from the Spotlight Effect are afraid to send multiple emails.

The Spotlight Effect gives you a false sense of “all eyes on me.” For example, when you walk into a room, you tend to wonder what other people are thinking about you. You feel like you’re in the spotlight. In reality, other people are thinking about themselves and not about you. 

Because of the Spotlight Effect, many authors think that a single email will convince all their readers to buy their books. The author hesitates to send more than one email because they believe everyone is paying rapt attention, and the author doesn’t want to be annoying. But most of the time, most people are not paying attention to you. 

If you want to serve your readers, give them more than one reminder about your book. 

8. Retargeting or Remarketing

Retargeting is very effective, but it also creeps people out. 

Have you ever visited a website for a product you were interested in and then seen an ad for that very product in your Facebook feed? That’s retargeting. When advertisers retarget, they show a follow-up ad to someone who has expressed interest in that product.

Retargeting lets you show a relevant ad to a person who has already demonstrated interest by visiting a website or searching for a product. Your CPM on a retargeting ad will be very cost-effective. 

But you can only spend money on retargeting ads if you are tracking consumer behavior, and that’s the part that gets creepy.

Retargeting ads are highly effective and highly annoying. Plus, they are a reminder that Big Brother knows everything about you.

9. Automation

Any system that places your ads for you is using automation. For example, Amazon ads are automated. You don’t have to decide where to place your ad. You just bid on a certain keyword, and Amazon automatically places that ad for you.

Your newsletter may also be automated. If you set up an onboarding campaign or drip sequence, you set up an automation. 

Once you create an automation, your email service provider will send emails according to the triggers you set up. For example, you can tell your email service provider to send a “thank you” email whenever someone subscribes to your list. 

Automation can be complex or simple, but automating your systems will save you tons of time in the long run.

10. B2B and B2C


B2B stands for “business to business.” One business advertises to another business. For example, as an author, you are a small business. When you want a bookstore to sell your books, you may conduct B2B advertising.

For example, if you buy an ad in Publishers Weekly, you’re advertising to businesses (B2B). Readers don’t read Publisher’s weekly, so your ad copy must target businesses, not readers. Perhaps a few readers read Publishers Weekly, but not enough to justify the cost of an expensive ad. 

Librarians and bookstore owners read Publishers Weekly, and their attention is very valuable to authors. If 200 bookstore owners buy five copies of your book to sell, your B2B ad has moved 1,000 copies.


B2C stands for “business to customer.” When you advertise directly to your readers, you’re engaging in B2C advertising. Some authors focus on B2C advertising by selling to customers through Amazon.

Many authors have successful careers using only B2C advertising, but both B2B and B2C strategies can be successful. Your two advertising targets—businesses and consumers—require different advertising copy. Most authors have various B2B and B2C clients.

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