Words to ban and avoid in corporate content

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I know some people just don’t like certain words. Let’s ban them. I don’t know that I feel that strongly about any run-of-the mill word. And, of course, with the First Amendment in the United States, we do have freedom of speech from government interference. But that doesn’t apply to companies anyway and for corporate content to be successful, it needs to be clear and drive action. And that can mean that some words are worth banning or at least avoiding.

For example…

Filler words

We should always look at what words and phrases are slowing communication and understanding down. This can include words that don’t add much description. Filler words is another way to think about them:

  • This product is really good.
  • I was so tired.

The product is either good or not. I’m tired or not. Cut, cut, cut them – more often than not. At times, these words can make content more conversational, however.

Tools like Grammarly, can help flag those filler words for you and help tighten content.

Vague words

Words that don’t really get the point across just need to go. You know phrasing like “we help you be successful.” It’s so common on corporate websites but it’s so vague!

What does that even mean? And how? Be specific explaining what you do. For example, here’s how I attempted to do that on my LinkedIn profile.

I help companies like yours share impactful stories that set them apart from the competition.

Words that AI overuses

In the age of AI content creation, there are some words and phrases that people don’t use much but AI has injected into content. Those words include:

  • Unleashed
  • Unlocked
  • Transformed

Before the emergence of AI content creation, I hardly ever and maybe never saw those words in routine corporate blogs or other thought leadership or marketing content.

Another AI-birthed phrase includes:

  • In today’s fast-moving landscape/economy/whatever

It’s an easy way to start of content but it’s not super unique, descriptive and now it’s a sign of AI use.

Using AI in your content strategy isn’t bad on its own, but it can be when sentences like that get published.

Deciding what words to avoid

At the end of the day, what words to use and which ones to ban or avoid depends on your company’s goals and brand identify. For example, I’m not a fan of swearing in my content but some brands bank on it to work for them.

So it’s a personal decision. For me, I try not to swear and avoid filler words as well as the obvious AI phrasings that are out there at an increasing rate.

Don’t treat words that need to be avoided as annoying pet peeves. Treat them as words that don’t get the job done or drive content performance, and that should be avoided.

This is part of the daily blogging prompts suggested by the Jetpack WordPress plugin.

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