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10+ Buzzwords to Banish From Your Content Marketing Vocabulary

My Post (10).pngLike nails on a chalkboard, they elicit a bad reaction every time you read and hear them.

Unfortunately, you see and hear them a lot – that’s one of the reasons you cringe. (Me? I get so irritated that I mentally edit to get rid of the utterances.)

They are the buzzwords used by content marketers. They are overused, misused, poorly used, and just generally irritating.

“Buzzwords are like weeds: They’re just flowers that are in the wrong place,” says Doug Kessler, co-founder, Velocity.

Buzzwords are like weeds: They’re flowers in the wrong place, says @dougkessler via @CMIContent. #CMWorld

To kill the weeds and promote flowery growth (not flowery words), we asked Content Marketing World 2020 speakers for their top candidates for buzzword banishment – and their replacements, if necessary. (To learn what words and phrases they do like to use, check out their sessions for the online October event.)

And in honor of CMWorld’s 10th anniversary, we’re sharing 10 (well, sorta) nominees. (Don’t see the ones you want to ship out? Add them in the comments.)

1. Unprecedented

Yes, it is true, but we are all so tired of reading it. Write that sentence if you must, then delete it and use the next sentence as your lead. – Adele Revella, CEO, Buyer Persona Institute 

2. Smarketing

Go on and take the extra second to say “sales and marketing.” Smarketing is just smarmy. – Viveka von Rosen, chief visibility officer, Vengreso

3. Low-hanging fruit (and snackable content)

Just say easy, quick.  And really, shouldn’t all content – regardless of its length, be easy (snackable) to consume?  – Cathy McKnight, vice president strategy and consulting, The Content Advisory

Get rid of the food jargon: low-hanging fruit and snackable #content, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. #CMWorld

4. Leveraging

Just use a different verb like “help” that’s more human. – Adam Morgan, executive creative director, Adobe

5. Growth hacking

It is a buzzword for marketing that implies temporary, false growth. It’s just marketing. – Rachel Mann, digital engagement supervisor, American Fidelity Assurance Company

“Growth hacking” is a buzzword for marketing that implies temporary, false growth. It’s just #marketing, says @rachelizmann via @CMIContent. #CMWorld

6. Going viral

I’ve long advocated banishing “going viral” from our marketing vocabulary and our business goals. And if RIGHT NOW isn’t the time to stop using the phrase, I really don’t know when will be. – Erika Heald, founder, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

7. Empathy

I’m so glad we’ve acknowledged our audiences are humans with feelings, but let’s collectively pledge to move past this using this word as shorthand for manipulating emotions to get clicks. I think “useful,” “meaningful,” and “enjoyable” are all better guiding words for brands. – Jennifer Jordan, vice president and head of content (US), Babbel

Replace “empathy” with useful, meaningful or enjoyable, says @jenastelli via @CMIContent. #CMWorld

8. Digital transformation

Digital is always transforming. Even for an organization that thinks they have it all figured out, something may come along tomorrow and disrupt their whole process. Digital transformation has too many variables and ways to be defined. Instead, let’s talk about our ongoing journey. This connotes an ongoing process, not just a one-off point in time that will happen and then be over. – Andi Robinson, global digital content leader, Corteva Agriscience

I still don’t know what it is. And I’m sure that those who talk about it have different definitions from others. Or, they just say the buzzword to sound like they’re on the leading edge. Instead of an alternative, I propose we stop using the term entirely and simply refer to more specific things that make up digital transformation today. – Dennis Shiao, marketing consultant, Attention Retention LLCRead more