If you’re a marketer, or a small business owner who does your own marketing, you’ve probably had to write copy for various communications at some point. You may have even written entire websites or blogs–but did you know that some words you use can actually detract from your message? Jargon and buzzwords are the death of effective marketing. In this article, we’ll examine what they are and how they can negatively affect your marketing efforts.
“Who is this guide for?”
This guide is for anyone who wants to improve their marketing and create copy that is clear and concise. If you have a solid understanding of your target audience, but are having difficulty writing copy that speaks directly to them, then this guide will help you eliminate the use of jargon and buzzwords from your work.
Some of you may wonder what the difference between jargon and buzzwords really is. Jargon and buzzwords are words or phrases used by marketers attempting to sound more knowledgeable than they actually are, or to try and increase a brand’s value. The problem is, they typically do neither of these things. What we’re aiming for here is content that uses clear language that anyone can understand!
“What is jargon?”
Jargon is a word or phrase that has a specific meaning in a particular context. It can be used to make yourself or your brand sound important and valuable, but it’s often used by people who are trying to impress potential customers.
Here are some examples:
- “most professional”
- “largest selection”
- “the lowest prices”
- “highest quality”
- “best service”
- “most convenient”
- “largest in the province/state”
- “more honest”
- “we’re the experts”
- “we specialize”
- “work harder”
- “gets the job done right the first time”
- “been in business for 4,000 years”
See, you simply can’t describe, demonstrate, exhibit, reveal, or display your company’s value over the competition using jargon. It’s impossible!
Clarity in word choice is your goal
Clarity in word choice is your goal.
Jargon and buzzwords are the enemy of clarity, because they make writing less effective, vague and even meaningless to some readers. In the end, it sets up the Apples to Apples comparison for your customers between you and your competition. In the end, this means you’re giving your clients NO other option than to make their buying decision based on price! Yikes!
When you use jargon and buzzwords when writing marketing copy or other documents, you risk losing your audience as they tune out what you’re saying because they don’t understand it. And if they do understand it, they may not like what they hear!
Are you using jargon and buzzwords without even knowing it?
BUT! I have good news.
When you make a claim in your marketing, run it through the “Well, I should hope so!” test. If your response to a claim is “Well, I should hope so,” then you are most likely using a lot of jargon, and need to go back to the drawing board.
For example: If an accountant placed an ad that stated that they are “more honest”, “the experts”, “specialize in…” and “work harder”… “Well, I should hope so!” Would anyone hire ANY accountant that wasn’t all of those things? Back to the drawing board!
If you’re looking for a way to improve your marketing, then the first step is to make sure that you’re using clear and concise words that reflect the benefits your company offers separating you from the competition.
Don’t use words that are meaningless to readers or customers. If someone doesn’t understand what your business does or how it can benefit them, then they will not become a customer.