To write compelling sales or marketing copy, you need to shout about what makes you different. Why should someone choose you over the competition? The words that sum up your USP need to be powerful, specific and clear. They need to have gumption.
The English language holds a treasure trove of synonyms. Some are better than others, but they are there to be celebrated and used. The next time you write the word ‘unique’ in your content – which has been so relentlessly overused it’s lost all meaning – try replacing it with another.
Of course, you can go overboard. If you start snuffling through a thesaurus every time you write a sentence and littering your content with flamboyant words like some kind of linguistic racoon, you’re going to turn people off. What you say needs to sound human and conversational. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, a colleague or a client, don’t put it in your content.
The one that really gets me is ‘passionate’. As in: ‘We’re passionate about email/customer satisfaction/badgers’. I’ve seen it on CVs, websites, and TV ads. Are you really passionate about CRM systems? I can see how they have their place, but wow… If they’re getting you emotional or downright horny, you might need to take some time off.
We’re all guilty of it. I’ve popped a ‘unique’ or an ‘innovative’ into my writing because it’s too damn easy, isn’t it? But in reality, is the product or service the first of its kind? And if not, what do you use instead?
Here’s my rundown of the eight most overused words in content today and some handy, standout alternatives.