Marketers love buzzwords. A clear, concise term can assuage any fears that management might have about a particular strategy or tactic while giving the staff goals to work toward to achieve those buzzword goals. However, in some cases, these terms do more harm than good. Some marketers get so caught up in “vanity metrics” that they lose sight of what is important.
It’s time to cast off unnecessary marketing buzzwords and focus on creating effective strategies for brands that drive traffic and sales. With that in mind, here are seven terms that you should forget about in 2018 — and words you should replace them with instead.
The term “snackable content” arose the with the increased popularity of video content and memes. Snackable content is meant to engage users in short bursts, hold their attention for a few seconds, and encourage them to share. It can be contrasted with long-form, in-depth content, which is supposed to cover a topic thoroughly and provide a valuable resource to readers.
Rather than developing a strategy for “snackable content,” use the phrase “short-form content” instead. This allows you to break your content strategy into multiple levels with specific goals instead of chasing a viral wave.
Some marketers love data, while others fear it. The rise of “big data” has made this term everyone’s favorite buzzword. Whenever someone in the marketing department doesn’t know the answer or wants to disagree with a coworker, they suggest turning to big data.
Often, big data from an influencer marketing standpoint simply means data. It refers to the metrics and analytics used to better understand audiences and their behavior. This is hardly a new concept that requires an advanced data analysis degree.
Simply use the word “analytics” rather than “big data”; you can also use words like targeted goals, metrics, KPIs, or whatever makes your team feel comfortable in measuring success with numbers.
Is there anything worse than combining two ordinary words to create one confusing buzzword? “Advertainment” was created to define content that is a paid ad meant to be entertaining to users while still promoting the brand. There are already plenty of terms to describe this! “Promoted content” is one. In theory, all of your content should be engaging and useful to users, regardless of whether it is paid or not.
You can also use terms like “sponsored content” to describe advertainment. Either way, drop this term to prevent confusion within your marketing team so that everyone in your office can focus on creating pieces that are both effective and entertaining.
The main problem with this term is the redundancy, like using your PIN number to take money out of an automated teller (ATM) machine. A conversation, by nature, is two-way. Otherwise, it would just be a statement, lecture, or monologue. Simply refer to communication with your fans as “conversation” and approach talking with them as you would any other person.
Coining a buzzword like “two-way conversation” can distance you from your fans, and make you forget that they’re human beings just like you.
Like the concept of a “two-way conversation,” if you have to create a brand term to do something basic that most humans expect, you’re not doing marketing correctly. You shouldn’t have to change what you’re doing to be authentic. Everything you write, post, and share should authentically reflect your brand. Instead of using “authenticity” as a buzzword in creating your next campaign, strive to be authentic in everything you do, starting with your mission statement and working up.
The term “thought leader” is another one that is besieged by redundancy. There are plenty of other words you can use instead! Low-tech marketers might prefer the word “expert,” which has been part of our vernacular for decades. If you want to describe a leader in your field who affects the behavior of others, consider the term “influencer” instead. This is particularly useful if you don’t want to confuse the team managing your influencer marketing campaign.
Whatever terms you feel comfortable using, you can relax knowing “thought leader” doesn’t have to be one of them.
The term “growth hacker” arose with the popularity of “life hacks” and business professional titles like “Chief Fun Officer” or “Marketing Czar.” It was meant to give a fun, creative term to a position that has likely existed in your company for years.
“Growth hacker” describes someone who increases engagement and brand awareness around a small business or startup. He or she is basically a marketer. If marketers do their jobs well, they will increase awareness and sales around the business. There’s no need to rebrand marketing and confuse everyone with a new job title that seems too advanced for most people to apply for.
Don’t feel intimidated whenever someone starts throwing around various marketing buzzwords. Look up what they mean, see if there’s a common-sense alternative you can use instead, and then get back to work creating successful social media and influencer marketing campaigns.