30 words and phrases to avoid in your content marketing
Every form of marketing is designed to make a particular business stand out from the pack. It’s not enough to simply be visible, especially not online, where anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection can push their presence out to the masses. To truly succeed, a brand needs to be viewed as separate from the pulsating mass of competition within its sector, and this is as true with content marketing as it is traditional advertising.
There are all sorts of ways that businesses can use content marketing to stand out, ranging from the use of exclusive information via interviews through to custom images and infographics. Unfortunately, not every business has the budget for these elements, and their only way to stand out is through the written words that are projected out into the ether of the internet.
High-quality content is a great start, but spending hours on blog posts or landing page copy doesn’t count for much if they are peppered with the same boring cliches that every other website is using to sell their product or service. To help you avoid these, we’ve compiled a list of 30 repeat offenders that aren’t just cliches, but bad writing as well. While there may be some occasions when they’re okay to use, eliminating them from your dictionary is a great first step on the road to original, high-quality content.
One stop shop
Arguably one of the most overused cliches out there, there are far more unique ways to describe your business’s broad service offering.
Another criminal cliche. Besides, not having a downside isn’t really a benefit, so stick with a more informative selling point.
This is a tricky one. Yes, it’s vital your content appears professional, but using the word as an adjective to describe your professional team or professional service isn’t necessary. You are a business, it should go without saying.
Like win-win, describing your product as an end-to-end solution is a cliche that doesn’t add any value. Nobody is going to describe their product as incomplete, so end-to-end simply isn’t necessary. The same goes for ‘full service.’
Best in class
A popular cliche with products, but one that doesn’t mean anything without a clear definition of what that class is.
There’s some debate as to whether this buzzword actually counts as a word at all. Either way, it’s a cliche.
On the topic of meaningless buzzwords, here’s another to avoid unless you’re prying a door open with a crowbar.
‘As such’ is one of those phrases people use to sound like experts, but there are only a few instances where it’s really necessary.
Think outside the box
Here’s one that almost every business is guilty of. Thinking outside the box must now be more common than thinking inside the box, so if you want your copy to stand out it’s a phrase to avoid.
Is there any other way to think?
It’s a scientific term. Don’t try and apply it to the roll-out of a new product.
We go the extra mile
It may be true, but ditch the vaguery and give specific examples. Otherwise, you’re just wasting words.
This is what people with nothing better to say use as an answer to the question “Describe yourself,” in job interviews.
Open the kimono
How is this still a thing? Ranked at #9 on Forbes’ list of most annoying business jargon, this one is falling out of favour quickly, but you can still do your part and never use it again.
If it’s your speciality or strength, call it that. You don’t have to make it boring to sound professional.
Our expert team
Like ‘professional,’ this is one that businesses insist on using to describe themselves, but that should go without saying.
USP, ROI, etc
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid jargon, especially in highly technical industries. However, they’re still cliches and you should try to limit them.
Open a dialogue
Do you mean… talk?
Tech companies love this one. It’s like cutting-edge, but sharper! And worse.
Travel & Lifestyle cliches
The list of Travel & Lifestyle cliches would be enough to fill its very own list, but the industry is one of the very worst offenders. From rolling hills and majestic mountains to panoramic views and quaint villages, the T&L writing waters are full of rocky cliches that are best steered clear of.
At the end of the day
We get it. This sounds better than, ‘to summarise,’ but it’s become such a cliche that it just looks like filler. Skip it and get to the point.
The Atlantic’s ‘Worst Word on the Planet’ is a content marketing cliche, especially if you’re trying to add words to a longer piece for SEO value. It’s an easy trap to slip into, but the word itself actually means nothing, and by actually removing it from your sentences, you’ll actually make your content more readable, professional and valuable.
Something for everyone
This is just lazy – whether you’re describing a holiday destination or the impact of new software on a business’s workforce.
X is the new Y
Great if you need a meaningless adjective to pad out a service description. Terrible everywhere else.
Read on to find out more
New and improved
If it’s new, it should be improved.
Get in touch with us to find out more
This is another one relatively unique to content marketing, and it’s an easy way to finish a blog post. However, every time you use it, just take a second to think of the hundreds of thousands of other blogs being published that day using the exact same call to action.
The bottom line
Well there you have it, 30 words and phrases to avoid in your content marketing. The point of this list isn’t to completely ban these components from your lexicon, but to think more carefully about how they’re used. One or two small cliches every article isn’t a big deal, but when your website is chock-full of them, there’s very little separating your content from the millions of other blogs and landing pages out there on the internet.