10 phrases to avoid in marketing copy
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You’re moving forward on a marketing video. Fantastic idea. Video is your strongest marketing content by leaps and bounds. But what should that video look like? From my perspective as a video producer, here are some things to keep in mind.
I can write a script and record voice-over of the script to produce a video showing how great your company is. But it works much better if YOU and your team tell everyone how great you are.
And I don’t want you and your colleagues to do that reading from a script. Like about 99 percent of us, you are not a trained actor, and reciting pre-set lines on camera will give your video the same professional gravitas as a grade school play.
But what you do have that no one else has is a genuine passion for your company. YOU know what makes your business better than your competitor’s. YOU know your differentiators. YOU know why you love doing what you do. Let’s get you saying all of that on camera. You won’t have to rehearse any lines. This is who YOU are, every day.
While I discourage rehearsing, which can kill the sense of spontaneity and genuine-ness, you should have a clear game plan for your video. Along those lines, here is a list of some words NOT to say when your promoting your company.
You never “try” to do anything. You never “try” to provide superior customer service, you PROVIDE superior customer service.
“I think we have the highest quality software.” No, you HAVE the highest quality software.
A very weak word in marketing. This is the difference between “should” and “will.” “We usually go from CAD design to final product in a week.” If I hear that sentence on a promotional video, I’ll think your business “should” have my stuff ready in a week. I’m going to look for a company that “will” have it ready.
I’ve stopped a couple of clients in mid-interview when they’ve said something along the lines of “We kind of look to hire the best people.” “Kind of” and its evil twin “sort of” have no place in a marketing video.
Again, extremely conditional. “We are probably the most passionate group of healthcare professionals in southeast Wisconsin.”
I realize there are some claims that cannot be made without statistical back-up (you either are or are not the largest insurance provider in Wisconsin), but when it comes to a quality that is non-quantifiable, like passion, dedication, or empathy (and it’s always a great idea to include those qualities in your video), get rid of the “probably” and swing for the fences.
“Our customers are among the most satisfied customers out there.” And where exactly do those customers fall on the “satisfied” scale? “We have tons of happy customers” is a more direct and genuine way of expressing that positive selling point.
“We’re usually among the better companies when it comes to on-time delivery.” Huh? So on a good day, maybe you’re right up there with C-plus or B-minus outfits? Again, swing for the fences. You don’t want viewers to think your goal is “better.” They want to do business with the “best.” “We work hard every day to be the best at on-time delivery.”
“Some of the”
“Our employees are some of the best in the business.” Okay, can you tell me which ones aren’t some of the best? I don’t want them working on my project. Be definitive. “Our employees are the best in the business.”
“We provide the best service to Fortune 500 clients, medium-sized businesses, and even small businesses.” “We have the best people, from our managers, supervisors, even our people on the shop floor.”
“Even” can be a marginalizer. Don’t minimize the importance of any potential client or anyone on your team.
“We’ll often have a list of candidates ready for our clients within 24 hours.” Webster defines “Often” as “in many cases.” I need a little bit more than “in many cases” to choose your company for my project. “Our team is prepared to have a list of candidates ready for our clients within 24 hours.”
Your video can reach tens of thousands of viewers on multiple platforms. This is your chance to tell that mass audience how great your company is.
Be direct. Be precise. Don’t qualify. Amplify.
Mark Concannon is the four-time Emmy-Award-winning President and Executive Video Producer at Concannon Communications. We help businesses and individuals tell their stories with high quality, affordable video.