Why you should beware of buzzwords 

One of the foundations of good content creation is the skilful use of keywords. Whether it’s media content aimed at securing coverage or marketing collateral designed to attract prospects, using the right keywords will make a big difference in the copy’s ability to gain and hold attention.   

Publications, for example, naturally aim to feature popular topics that will resonate with their audiences. From short rapid response comments to full opinion articles, ensuring that media copy contains references to relevant and current terms and topics such as machine learning, ransomware and the GDPR can greatly improve its chances of catching a journalist’s attention and getting published.  

Keywords are also very important for establishing a brand, and a company needs to ensure that all of its collateral uses the same words and phrases to reinforce its identify. Combining important brand words with popular talking points will also help to boost the company’s SEO results. 

However, this must be done organically. Google is continually refining its search algorithms to try and crack down on anyone trying to game the system with repetition, a technique sometimes called keyword stuffing. Sites which try to inorganically boost their SEO by cramming in as many keywords as possible can actually find their ranking being penalised instead. 

Buzzword bingo 

It isn’t just search algorithms that are put off by this practice, as overusing keywords will also quickly see human readers turning away too. The line between a keyword and buzzword is a thin one, and too many in one place will lead to copy that is awkward at best and downright worthless at worst.  

It’s common to find companies simply threading clichés together until you end up saying nothing at all:  

“ClapTrap is a real game-changer, disrupting the paradigm and generating powerful deliverables. Our market-leading strategy combines blue-sky thinking with a deep dive approach to create a powerful synergy for our blue-chip clients.” 

This is common in all areas of business, but the technology sector in particular has a long love affair with zeitgeists and paradigms. Even when they are accurate, terms like “next-gen” and “market leading” can become clichéd when overused. Fields like cyber security also tend to fall prey to acronym soup due to the inherent number of technical terms, which can lead to even more impenetrable copy when mixed with too many buzzwords.  

Most importantly though, attractive keywords are only useful if the company itself can live up to the expectations they create. There is no point in a company creating a media and web presence skilfully laced with popular keywords if they don’t match the company’s actual capabilities.   

While it can be easy to overdo it and start playing buzzword bingo, a judicious combination of brand keywords and references to important industry trends used throughout a company’s content can make a huge difference in its ability to gain media coverage and attract new prospects.  

Cyber Beat – the éclat Marketing podcast

When in Rome – the value of localised PR in the UK