Remember when your middle school English teacher would write “show, don’t tell” in the margins on your descriptive writing? Well, marketers, you could benefit from relearning this lesson. In a world that is becoming more disruptive by the minute, it can be difficult to keep your messaging exciting and authentic. See, I used THREE of the stalest buzzwords just in that last sentence. Below are five buzzwords to rid from your vocabulary, and suggestions for freshening up your messaging.
- Authentic: If you have to explain that your product or service is “authentic,” it’s probably not authentic enough. Let its features speak for themselves by demonstrating what makes you different.
- Disruptive: This goes with “authentic.” There is clearly a need for your product, otherwise your company would have never been born. Use your messaging to show how you’re changing the landscape. It’s important to remember that every other company is trying to “disrupt” as well, so find a way to display how you’re ahead of the curve.
- Exciting: People don’t appreciate being told how to feel; if you’re told a joke is funny or a movie is sad or a new product is exciting, they will try to find a way to disagree with you. Give them a tangible reason to be excited. Instead of describing your product as exciting, explain why with something like “This product will speed up your sales cycle by 51%.”
- Game changer: Nowadays, everything seems to be a game changer. The word is used so often that we forget what “changing the game” really means. Shawn Parot from Fortune Cookie Advertising cites the automobile, smartphone and personal computer as the few real game changers. Is your product as revolutionary as the iPhone? Even if the answer is yes (and good for you, by the way!), explaining exactly how you’re solving a problem or problems will carry more weight than this oversaturated buzzword.
- Impactful: This one was added to the dictionary in the past few years, mainly because of its recent (ab)use in the business and marketing world. While powerful, useful, and influential are some fresher alternatives, how about describing a measured way that your product (or person or feature you’re trying to describe) actually makes an impact?
Full disclosure: it was very difficult to write this without wanting to use the above buzzwords. When you see these words in everything you read all day every day, it’s easy to use them by default. You’ll differentiate yourself and your company just by consciously avoiding these buzzwords, let alone by changing your wording to show, not tell. Make your past English teachers proud by being more descriptive and quantitative in your messaging.