In our zeal to be noticed, we are killing our most important words.
I saw an e-book recently called “The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing.” So being a content marketing strategist, I downloaded it and I found it to be far short of the ultimate anything. It was an okay guide to content marketing. It was an average guide. It was a somewhat mediocre, perhaps even lackluster guide to content marketing.
But we use that term “ultimate” all the time because we’re trying to merchandise thought leadership. We’re trying to get clicks. We’re trying to stay on somebody’s radar.
We also overuse the term “awesome” all the time. I’m guilty of that. That’s one of my pet phrases. Let’s remember that awesome actually means “something that causes awe.” How many times do you say the word awesome, and the thing that you mean actually causes awe? Either rarely, or never.
Another word that we have completely wrung the power out of in our zeal to get noticed is “remarkable.” We say the word “remarkable” all the time, but we completely forget that what remarkable really means is “worthy of remark.” Remarkable is important. Remarkable is a critical factor in business. Every interchange, every intersection that you have with a customer or prospective customer, anybody that you care about, should in fact be remarkable. That interaction should be worthy of remark. But we toss that word out just like it’s nothing.
Now that we’ve completely overused words like “ultimate” and “awesome” and “remarkable,” where do we go from there? When those words are used to describe things that are absolutely average, what words do we use when we find something that truly is worthy of remark, that causes awe, that is the ultimate? Do we go with the “Super-Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing”? It’s a race to the linguistic bottom.
Sprout Social Shoutout
Today’s Sprout Social Shoutout is for my friend Nadine Dietz. She’s at The CMO Club. Fantastic organization that works with CMOs to really help them stay on top of their game and all things marketing. I’m working on a new e-book with Nadine and The CMO Club. I’ll tell you more about that as we get it rounded into shape here in the next month or so.
About Jay Today
This video is from Jay Today is my near-daily 3-minute video where I talk about social media, content marketing, business and life. JayToday is available on Youtube, iTunes (as a video podcast, and now as an audio podcast too), and at JayToday.tv. The show is sponsored by Sprout Social (which I use for my social media), and Candidio (a great video editing service).