6 Phrases to Stop Using in Your Content Marketing in 2023
Like any other industry, marketing experiences trends. And like most trends, content marketing trends are fabulous at first–but can quickly become played out after being used repeatedly.
More importantly, trends of any kind aren’t for everyone (trust us, we don’t care if low-rise jeans are trending again–we’re never getting back together).
Using copywriting buzzwords that don’t fit your brand voice will have the opposite of the intended effect. Instead of making your brand look cutting-edge and modern, you will fade into the sea of brands all saying the same thing in the same ways.
As content marketing professionals who work with copy, we notice when trendy words and phrases become watered-down, overused, and often inaccurate. Here are six phrases we recommend you stop using in your content marketing in 2023:
Using the word “explosive” to describe the results you get for your clients used to be exciting. But now, it lands more like a wet firecracker than a stick of dynamite–disappointing and not much to see. Instead of describing your results as “explosive,” show rather than tell! Use client case studies and statistics to show your reader just how exponential your clients’ growth was.
This is the baby cousin of calling your company “The Uber of (your industry)”–another trend that thankfully left the building several years ago. Everyone wants to believe their company, product, or service is revolutionary and totally unprecedented. But truthfully, your company doesn’t have to be a pioneer in order to make a big impact; even small improvements on pre-existing products or systems can make a huge difference.
So instead of calling your offer a “game-changer,” show your audience how it’s an improvement over the competition.
This phrase was great when the world discovered it was cool to stop pretending to be cool. Adding references to video games was once a cute and quirky way to relate to an audience who loved games and was delighted to be represented in copy.
Now, “level up” has become so generic that it almost means nothing. Brands whose audiences aren’t gamers have used this phrase ad nauseam to represent amorphous promises of improvement. But without more detail about what those results are, it’s meaningless.
Instead of telling your audience that your offer will help them “level up,” tell them what exact improvements they can expect.
This one is rampant among personal brands whose clients are individuals. The phrase is often used in copy describing who they serve, i.e. “I help high-level women build businesses to 7 figures.”
The problem with describing your ideal client as “high level” is that nobody–and we mean nobody–is going to exclude themselves from that group. Nobody wants to describe themselves as the opposite: “low level.” Therefore, this phrase doesn’t serve its intended purpose of letting the audience know who your offers are for, and who they aren’t.
Plus, humans are complex creatures. People have different ideas of what “high level” means. Everyone is skilled in different areas. Calling someone “high level” simply isn’t descriptive enough to do the job. Instead, tell your audience exactly what skills, talents, and desires your ideal client has.
Another one for the tech-savvy audience turned watered-down, meaningless, and off-brand. Companies with tech-savvy audiences (or audiences who are into spy movies) could still get some mileage out of this one. But in general, calling your offer or tip a “hack” isn’t likely to make your audience want to take a deeper look.
The word has been overused, often in contexts where the supposed “hacks” were actually less effective or efficient than doing things the “normal” way. Remember those “Easy Life Hack” videos that show people using hot glue and popsicle sticks to construct a shoddy version of something that costs $7 at the store?
You don’t want your audience to conjure images of cheap workmanship and cutting corners when it comes to your offer. Your offer isn’t a hack. It’s a system, a product, a service package. Tell your audience how it gets them results.
Your team and your product are probably really great. But are they actually the Captain America of your industry? Or are you using these words as a shortcut instead of showing your audience how great they really are?
If everyone is a rock star or superhero, nobody is. Instead of crowning yourself or your team, show your audience why they’re so amazing.
We love seeing our clients use effective and on-brand copy. And most of the time, that means avoiding overused trending phases for the sake of keeping up with the crowd. Instead of worrying about what your competitors or content marketers at large are doing, focus on how you can show your audience why your offer is awesome–in your unique brand voice.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. These words may be perfect for your brand and audience–and that’s what’s most important.
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