Updated: Oct 14
One overused word can bury 100 hours of work.
Your marketing message has about 3 seconds to grab readers' attention. We live in a social media society — if your ad copy isn't specific and sincere, it will be ignored.
That doesn't mean copywriting is “old hat”. It means that hat better be the sexiest one in the room.
Writing is still the key to strong marketing on any platform. MrBeast is the hottest YouTube creator on the planet, and he's admitted to spending hours sweating over the perfect tagline. His viral videos have strategic text splashed across the images within them.
(TL;DR version? You can't replace the power words have in a marketing campaign.)
If you haven't sharpened your content and web copy for 2023, this is your friendly invitation to get on that. Immediately.
There are 3 categories of overused copywriting words that are destroying your content — jargon, intensifiers, and buzzword-filled cliches. By the end of this article, you'll have the power to eliminate them all.
Tip #1: Simple words yes, jargon no.
I define jargon as “the words people use when they want to sound smarter than they are.” Industry insider slang doesn't help your marketing copy at all.
Don't believe me? Think about the 2 kinds of people who are going to read your content.
The first person knows nothing about your industry. All that jargon looks like a foreign language to them. They instantly feel “othered”, excluded from your content. No one wants to Google what you're talking about. These reader interactions are dead in the water from the beginning.
The second person is entrenched in the industry and knows more than you ever will. These potential customers are going to see right through your jargon and know you're padding content to sound smart. The chances are also good that in their office culture, a term like “CRM” means something entirely different.
Get to your point in simple words. Less knowledgeable readers will feel included, and you'll prove to industry leaders you can “cut the slang” and deliver a confident message.
Tip #2: Intensifiers don't create ‘power words’.
Intensifiers are unnecessary adjectives used to prop up lackluster content. You've seen them before.
“We provide the best industry-leading solutions!” “Eye-popping press releases!” “Our super-creative team…”
These adjectives made you cringe. Why wouldn't they do the same to average readers?
Intensifiers are a plague of headline copy, and they get peoples attention for the wrong reason. Every average shop in town claims to be the “#1 best rated ultra successful” blah-blah-blah.
Intensifiers don't help you stand out from those people — they make you blend in.
Many marketers believe they make words seem more powerful. The truth is, true power words don't need help.
Good copy is about finding the right word, not the right adjective. If you're in public relations, talk about your love for people.
Show readers your passion for creating a diverse and respectful office culture. Offer genuine emotion in your writing, and people will follow you down the page.
Tip #3: That buzzword is going to sting you.
Full transparency: we're going to drill down to the bottom line and talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Let's peel back the onion and give 110% towards a paradigm shift on buzzwords. They're low-hanging fruit and, at the end of the day, we have to get rid of them. Let's put it in the pipeline, call in the SWAT team and run it up the flagpole and see what sticks.
That paragraph was full of the worst kind of overused copywriting words — buzzwords. Trust me, writing that hurt me more than it hurt you.
A buzzword is never an original thought. Wasting priceless copy space on one signals to readers that you didn't care about your sales copy.
And if you don't care about your own copy, how can they trust you'll care about them?
Screen your words carefully for buzzwords and cliches. Get rid of all of them. You can do better!
Fancy words always lose to heartfelt content.
You don't need that overused word and phrase to get attention. You don't even need to be the most talented writer.
You just need to be yourself.
There are a million brands and businesses out there fighting to sound exactly like one another. With so many words in the English language to choose, it's insane to watch people choose the same ones over and over.
Let's eliminate overused copywriting words together
Nobody knows your business better than you. No one can express your best attributes better than you. Why try to write like anyone but yourself?
Stop looking for the next copywriting “power word”. The great word that will change your company's marketing message is inside you, not on the Internet.
We can't wait to help you find it.
Perk Copywriting believes a great brand story starts with the person behind it. Reach out for a free conversation. Let's write your next chapter.