Words and phrases to avoid in your marketing

A - bland

Everyone wants to find a way to promote their business as cheaply and effectively as possible. You probably want to make your website, social media, mailings more effective without spending anything? 

The answer is to stand out, or stand for something. Staying neutral and being vanilla might not create enemies but it will make people yawn. I'm not talking about your decorating style here, but the words you use. Words are the cheapest form of promotion you have so it's worth getting them right. There are some words that are so over-used and vague your potential visitors will barely notice them. They definitely won't seize on them and think, 'that sounds brilliant - let's go there'. 

You might be worried about perhaps putting someone off if you are too specific or focus on particular strengths or markets, but in fact the opposite is true. It will make your business much more memorable. 

Let's start by looking at some of the words and phrases to avoid

If you're using any of these in your marketing, you might like to think about how you can replace them: 

Something for everyone: what does this even mean? What is something? Who thinks of themselves as everyone? A pointless phrase with zero impact

So much to see and do: really? How much? What can you see and do? If there's such a lot, then why not give some specific examples instead? 

... and so much more: when I read these words I imagine a whiny voice, running out of energy, bored with itself. It's too vague to mean anything

We have it all: I bet you don't!

Unique: really? Genuinely? How? If you offer something truly unique, excite visitors - describe and be clear why it's unique. 

Diverse: this just doesn't sound very exciting. Could you explain why your area or your business offers something 'diverse'? 

Great location: every business thinks/wants a great location. Make your location count by saying exactly where it is and why the location is 'good'.

Good: not a bad word in itself but perhaps you can spice it up and be more explicit? 

The perfect getaway: explain how and why

Simple ways to spice up the words you use in your marketing: 

  • Think about the power of the words you use. Can you find stronger words or more precise phrases? 
  • Is there a way you can make some of the words more emotive? 
  • Help people imagine what you offer by using sight, sounds, tastes in your descriptions.

2 comments

This couldn't have come at a more appropriate time as we're just setting up a website for our studio!  This focused me on what we're trying to achieve and made me aware of the opportunity to think about the power of words.  Thank you.

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Amanda McCarthy

I seem to spend ages trying to find different ways of saying a very similar thing. Especially on social mwdie at this time when we can only serve outside. 

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