Tech marketing buzzwords that smother your brand

I hate the word “monetize.” In conversation, my hatred for this word burns at a temperature usually reserved for unpopular politicians or the New England Patriots. Why? It’s vague. It’s overcomplicated. And worst of all, it’s ubiquitous, particularly among tech companies and their VCs.

That’s probably why young companies are so quick to plaster “monetization,” “optimization,” and a host of other overused buzzwords all over their sites, content, and sales materials. These words give companies the sheen of legitimacy by helping them sound like part of the in-group.

It’s not just my opinion, it’s science. According to one study, people use jargon most often when they feel professionally insecure. For startups and other companies who want to be taken seriously by prospective buyers and their industry at large, this vocabulary feels like a quick fix. But, particularly when it comes to marketing copy and other content, they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

By trying to sound like everyone else… they sound like everyone else. And you don’t build a brand by blending into the background. Buzzwords are overused and often imprecise, failing to communicate any tangible specifics about what you do, who you are, or what benefit you deliver.

The word “monetization” has skyrocketed in popularity since 2000. Source: Merriam Webster

Do you help brand managers “utilize data to optimize monetization” or do you help them “use data to make better decisions and improve revenue?” Are you “amplifying insights that resonate” or are you “sharing valuable new ideas?”

I’m a journalist by trade, and before I turned my talents to content marketing, I learned that saying something simply isn’t always easy, but it is important. Writers do this primarily because we’re communicating to a broad audience with varying levels of education. Simple language is inclusive, but it can also be descriptive and moving.

To help free you from the crutch of overused buzzwords, we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet for you to reference any time. Download it, and show your customers who you really are.

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