10 phrases you need to blacklist from your marketing content

Choosing the right copy is essential. This is especially true when trying to retain the attention of an online audience that’s likely to disengage if you don’t get the content right.

Terms such as ‘synergy’, ‘phygital’ and ‘core competency’ are examples of phrases which are likely to leave potential clients confused and looking elsewhere for information, only serving to boost your bounce rate.

Navigating modern marketing can be somewhat of a minefield – how do you create a unique tone of voice, without sounding forced or cliched? How do you write copy that is engaging enough to make a client stop and absorb info, without beating them over the head with loud corporate slogans? And how do you ensure that your copy stands out from the rest of the pack? The answer lies in sidestepping outdated and ineffective terminology and opting for engaging alternatives instead.

Take a look at our pick for the top 10 phrases you need to blacklist from your marketing content:

1. Synergy

As mentioned above, synergy is a term renowned for turning off potential clients and consumers. Bringing with it an overly corporate connotation, this is a word more suited to a scene from The Office than an advert designed to engage your target audience. Useful alternatives? Why not opt for interaction or collaboration? Something that feels distinctly less sci-fi and a bit more human.

2. Growth Hacking

A phrase designed to give edge to your marketing, that in reality makes you sound a bit like an uncool uncle. Opting for something less tech-heavy and ambiguous is likely to keep your target audience engaged. Instead use a term like ‘marketing audit’, which is much more concrete.

3. Think outside the box

With an ever-increasing focus on minimising packaging, perhaps we could do the environment another favour by recycling this tired old trope? Overused and slightly patronising, this is the sort of phrase that will get your content lost among a sea of imitators. It’s better to get straight to the point, rather than relying on platitudes – lucid and clear language backed up by facts, will do all the work for you.

4. Fail Forward

A slogan fresh from the Silicon Valley, this is a phrase with a strong concept at its core – it basically means learning from your mistakes – but one that can quickly spin your content in to negativity. You’re likely to have a limited timeframe with your audience, so it’s important to keep your content punchy, upbeat and optimistic. Focus on your company’s growth and evolution, rather than the failure which prompted it.

5. Content is king

Well implemented alliteration has been paramount to the success of many leading marketing campaigns. However, ‘Content is king’ is an outdated and increasingly glib turn of phrase, that would feel more at home in a used car dealership than a piece of modern copy. Avoid at all costs. Instead, describe how important content is in boosting a company’s profile.

6. Low hanging fruit

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, however using this metaphor will probably have the same effect on potential business. Keep your content clutter free and avoid overused phrases such as this. Opt for clarity when writing copy and talk about ‘easily achievable targets’ instead of trees.

7. Edutainment

This is one of (sadly) many examples of merging two words in to one ‘catchy’ new entry for the marketing dictionary. An educated guesstimate would suggest that this phrase will set eyes rolling in no time. Leave the word merging to supercouples like Kimye instead.

8. Seamless integration

Another example of content well past its expiry date. This phrase has been used to describe everything from tech to travel for the past decade and needs to be put to bed to ensure your marketing stands out from the crowd.

9. Blue Sky Thinking

Storm clouds may well gather over any digital marketing campaign that relies on this vague idiom. Keep precision at the forefront of your writing and talk about creative ideas, rather than meteorological metaphors.

10. Moving the goalposts

Marketing used to be littered with locker-room analogies, but thankfully the trend seems to be waning. Sports-themed metaphors can make your copy seem brash and overly corporate. As is the case with many of these entries, clarity is key, be specific about change, without relying on unnecessary clichés.


Our diverse team of multi-lingual copywriters and editors, know how to crafting industry-specific content that dodges the aforementioned pitfalls. So, if you’re looking for clear and concise copy that grabs attention from the word go, WooContent has got you covered.

If you want to know more about how WooContent can help you, get in touch today.

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