Have you ever thought what “cliche” really means? Earlier when printers had to physically arrange letters together to form words, paragraphs, and pages, they would occasionally arrange common strings of letters or words on a single plate to make printing those sequences more efficient. This was called a “cliche”. A “stereotype block” was another name for this. Many parts of the way we think about branded content marketing have changed with the times. Cliche message, on the other hand, still carries the same risk: old clichés can push audiences away with every attempt to bring them closer.

It’s easy to see how “cliché” and “stereotype” became metaphors. Cliches make things easier for authors in the same way that they make things easier for printers. Using a famous, well-known phrase is a quick way to say something that is near to what you mean. It’s more difficult and time-consuming to convey yourself in new and understandable language.

Your business is one of millions that are navigating the same waters. You may think the sentiments and vocabulary you’re using for the first time are new, but they’re already making their way into content campaigns throughout the world, and customers are becoming bored of the same broad platitudes about tough times. Your branded content marketing endeavours may land with a thud when you expected a boom from overused, meaningless message. Being aware of these stereotypes and avoiding them will help you get back into the business of striking out with meaningful campaigns. Watch out for these fresh phrases that have become weary cliches while writing content for improved assets, social media posts, video copy, or email newsletters. I believe that as marketers, we should try to be almost as cliché-free as brilliant poets. Here’s a list of marketing cliches you should avoid using in your material.

  • Don’t make your readers feel silly

Have you ever left a medical appointment feeling more puzzled than when you arrived? The doctors employed jargon, acronyms, and short explanations that they were well-versed in. You may not have had the time or desire to inquire further about what they were saying.

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Do you interact with your readers in a similar way? Probably. We all believe that our target audience is as well-versed in industry jargon as we are. We don’t want to put anyone’s intelligence at jeopardy. We also don’t want readers to have the impression that we’re supplying definitions because we had to look them up.

However, you should write as if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Whether it’s personal protective equipment (PPE) or key performance indicators (KPIs), write out acronyms on the first reference. You set a standard that your readers will silently thank you for if you constantly spell out acronyms, even if the majority of your readership is familiar with them.

Provide an explanation when employing industry jargon. Create a glossary at the end if your content is so complex that explanations will disturb the flow (and link to each term in the copy).

  • “We’re here for you”

The concept of a brand being “present” is just too vague to be taken seriously. Unless your audience is in desperate need of salvation, this term is about to perish. It’s just noise for general brand communication; every brand, just like we always have, is attempting to stay in the thoughts of their consumers.

Instead, here’s what I came up with…

Reduce your focus on your own existence. Focus your branded content on your audience’s pain areas rather than outright declaring what you’re there to do.

“We understand—Zoom fatigue is a genuine thing. We’re here to keep your team members inspired to achieve greatness.”

  • Avoid using superlatives that aren’t accurate

You already know that fact-checking is an important part of your content creation process. Do you, on the other hand, double-check your facts? I’m not just talking about punctuation and spelling. I’m referring to whether or not you’re using your words correctly.

“State of the art,” “industry leading,” and “customer focused” are a few terms that are easily overused.

Interestingly, brands frequently use those three statements to emphasise their value. Readers, on the other hand, are aware of the inaccuracies and may, in rare cases, call brands out on them. “Largest,” “biggest,” and “greatest” are some more words on the checklist. The phrase “one of the largest, biggest, best” in the region is one of the most overused by marketers.

Make sure your words are correct before publishing them.

  • “We’re all in this together” 

The one is well-intentioned, but now that COVID-19 has passed, this message has lost its impact. With no clear end date in sight, the idea of “getting through” the epidemic is more a sign of alienation from the COVID-19 reality than anything else.

Instead, here’s what I came up with…

Try omitting the sentiment entirely. Concentrate on providing insights and ideas on how your product or service can assist customers as they adjust to the “new” normal.

“In-person meetings seem like a distant memory, but our technology makes collaboration as simple as passing a dry-erase marker from a coworker.”

  • Word crutches

Each writer has a distinct voice, which is characterised by the use of comparable vocabulary and phrase structures. Without looking at the byline, someone who reads and writes frequently can determine who authored it. Some commonly overused terms include: actually, in fact, just, now, and so on.

Are you aware of your peculiar words and phrases? There are a few ways to spot them. If you have editors who revise your work on a regular basis, ask them. Even if they can’t recall it off the top of their heads, they can pay close attention the next time they look at your work and take notes to share with you.

Set aside an hour or so to read five to ten of the pieces you’ve written. The ideal method is to scan or read quickly. Make a list of terms and phrases you use too often with a pen and paper (or simply highlight them).

  • “We’ve been here for you for more than [x] years…”

We understand; you’ve been around for a while. When the epidemic first broke out, several businesses rapidly shifted their focus to their own history. To help your business stand out, rely on creativity and consumer-focused marketing.

Instead, here’s what I came up with…

Don’t date yourself when spreading a word of support. Keep the majority of your attention on the present moment.

“It’s what we’ve always done: we help people help others. See how our platform makes it simple for healthcare personnel to stay in touch while working from afar.”

  • Don’t be a couch potato

Since clichés are defined as “a term or opinion that is overused and indicates a lack of creative thought,” you should use them sparingly, if at all, in your writing.

They do, however, become clichés for a cause. They’re popular among content providers. Why? They’re easy to remember (because they’re regularly used), they can readily convey a notion (since they were previously unique), and they’re popular with the intended audience (because they’re frequently used).

What are some of your go-to phrases? Carefully examine your text for any clichés. Then go back and reconsider your choices. Do you have any favourite phrases that you use frequently in your writing? It shouldn’t be difficult to locate your writers and editors if you have more than one.

Many COVID-19 clichés, in my opinion, can be discarded rather than substituted. Everyone is aware that we are in the midst of a pandemic. It adds context to practically everything your audience reads. You probably don’t need to use the phrase “living in unprecedented times” in your essay. Simply get to the point.


If a phrase sounds generic, including it in your branded content marketing will only serve to mask your brand’s message. The lifeblood of good content marketing is still high-quality content. Staying true to your brand’s messaging will always provide more genuine content than merely jumping on the latest trend. The best way to avoid overusing words is to recognise them and then take actions to use them less frequently. If people could make a drinking game out of the buzzwords… it might be time to try something new.


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