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Marketing 360® Blog

Death by Buzzword

Post By Scott Yoder | Content Marketing & SEO

Here we go:

Let me tell you about an industry leading product that is going to set the standard in our vertical.

This turnkey, user-friendly product is an enterprise-class, feature-rich design that’s a complete paradigm shift.

Our goal is to empower your staff with a cross-platform, solution-driven product so easy to use you’ll be amazed.  Use it out-of-the-box without even understanding its cutting-edge features!

We’ve always been an industry leader in innovation, creating world-class, dynamic products.

But this is more than a breakthrough.  This is a next-generation revolution.

The savvy features transform your best-practices with proactive scalability.  Never before seen mission-critical synergy creates the perfect storm for a next-gen ecosystem that empowers breakthroughs while targeting low hanging fruit.

Our award-winning team is in an exclusive partnership with itself.  Our exclusivity as a leading provider is so legendary we’re not just best in class, we’re in a class by ourselves.

The truth is we own the secret sauce and dominate mindshare in this product line.  We’re a top-down, bottom-up, in the cloud juggernaut.

But we’ll empower you even though our solution is so mind-blowing you’ll be too stunned to understand it.  In the end all that matters is ROI, and we always attain it with our best-of-breed synergy.

Rest assured we have a customer-centric exit strategy.  When you’re in a class by yourself, you can’t help but be the leader in win-win solutions.

Thanks to Adam Sherk for his buzzword list that inspired the above passage, which – we hope – you realize is not real business content.

Yet you’d be excused for not realizing this is fake.  Because there are still so many business websites that insist on using stilted, buzzword-laden language in their text.

The passage below, believe it or not, is from a marketing company:

(Business name) delivers an Award Winning, client-centric focus specializing custom strategies that target the categories of Celebrity Alignments, Distribution, Digital Marketing and Public Relations. (Business name) stands out from among other marketing agencies and traditional marketing solutions by delivering what the client’s needs are by becoming the disruption to their category in a big way.

This is, presumably, written by a marketing copywriter.  But think about it.  Do you have any idea what they’re talking about?  Award Winning, client-centric focus specializing custom strategies…what does that mean?  What is a disruption in their category?

IT is notorious for overuse of jargon and buzzwords, as this IT managed service provider demonstrates:

(Business name) is the leader in delivering managed IT services as well as cloud IT support services. Network management requires the allocation of several valuable resources, which may hinder your ability to grow and develop your business the way you want. Our IT consulting team takes a holistic approach to network support that provides our clients with strategic innovation within their organization, cost savings and higher end user productivity.

The allocation of several valuable resources…team takes a holistic approach…with strategic innovation.

What – specifically – do they do?  How do they make my life easier?

Here is another doozy:

buzzword content

…the industry’s hardest working, dedicated and creative professionals…eliminating waste…shortening the chain…streamline efforts…solidify your company’s bottom line.

Their goal is to help me reach mine.  But I don’t know what their goal is or what they think mine should be.


Words That Say Nothing

Buzzwords and jargon are fluff that’s trying to sound sophisticated but ends up being vague.

Businesses make the mistake of thinking they’ll create a professional impression by using fancy, trendy terms.  But in doing this, they sacrifice the clarity needed to actually explain what they do.

Website visitors enjoy concise writing that’s to the point.  Simple, precise word choice is more effective at reaching web audiences and also does better with SEO.

Yoast SEO, a commonly used WordPress plugin, uses the Flesch reading ease test to help web writers clean up their writing.  Your goal should be copy that’s understandable at about the 5th grade reading level.

Many professionals and business owners overestimate how intellectual or expert they need to sound.  They don’t realize that web visitors aren’t looking to be impressed by their brilliance.  They want to understand how the business can solve their problem, and they want that information fast.

Get to the point.  Be clear and specific in your value proposition.  And avoid buzzwords that don’t really mean anything.

Buzzwords don’t work.  They perplex readers, which leads to website exits that kill conversion rates.


Excerpts originally appeared on Madwire