Why Big Words are Bad for Business

Big, complicated words. They’ll make us sound fancy, won’t they? Using long, posh words, we’ll seem much more important and special. And they’ll make us look more intelligent too. Great! Let’s fill our website with them.

Wait. Hang on a second. When it comes to your business, big words spell bad news.

I’m not suggesting you write like a small child. But, when it comes to your brand, trying to sound too smart and fancy isn’t going to do you any favours.

Big words, jargon, Verat UK

Image c/o Quroa

‘Utilise The Force, Luke.’

Doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

Obi-Wan’s – original – line is iconic. Hear it, and you think of Star Wars. It’s been borrowed, parodied, and recalls an impressively-high number of results on YouTube. And, it’s really simple.

Pick a ‘fancier’ verb, however, and it just sounds stupid.

I can’t imagine that Obi-Wan’s words would’ve had the same impact if he’d popped a pompous substitute word in there instead to make The Force sound ‘better’.

‘Use The Force, Luke’. Strong and memorable. Surely that’s your brand’s aim too?

Star Wars - Force - Verat UK

Image c/o LinkedIn

‘Automobile Purchasing Pioneers’

It’s time for you to sell your car. You want to know where best to sell it, and where you can buy a new one. Naturally, you call upon Google. And into the search bar, you type…

Well, certainly not the phrase above. So why on earth would you write that on your website?

Think like your customer. What are they looking for? Chances are, they want to know how to ‘sell my car’. ‘Buy a new car’. ‘Trade-in my car’. And that’s why businesses, such as We Buy Any Car are doing pretty well. You know exactly what they do, and you’ve found them quickly.

You’re going to make things a lot harder for yourself, and give yourself a lot more work to do, if you’ve chosen fancy words and phrases that your customers would never use. So keep it simple.

‘A Strategy-Led, Implementation Solution’

A what?

Hands up if you actually know what this means. No? I don’t either. And guess what? Your audience haven’t got a clue.

You’ve probably got some brilliant ideas. You can create an impressive marketing plan. And you’ve got some great examples. But, let’s face it: is anyone going to understand what you do from that fancy phrase?

Apparently, the average time spent on a website is just three seconds. Yep. That’s not long to grab your customer’s attention. They want to quickly find out what you do, and how it’s going to help them. And if they can’t find the simple answer they’re looking for, they’re just one click away from your competitors.

Remember Richard from last year’s The Apprentice? His ideas were probably brilliant but, with a plan filled with nonsense jargon, no-one could understand what on earth he was on about. So it was ‘bye-bye, Richard’; Lord Sugar’s investment went to someone else.
(Remind yourself what Richard had to say here.)

See what I mean? No, I’m not suggesting we write like children. No-one wants to be patronised, either. But there’s a great balance to be struck that’ll give you accessible copy – that your customers understand – that still makes you look really good.

Pompous words - content: Verat UK

Image c/o Hubspot

Any questions?

You might have one. Are you worried that you’re not going to be taken as seriously if your content isn’t pompous?
You can write seriously, intelligently, and professionally, without being fancy.

That’s how a copywriter, like me, can help you out.

Let’s have a chat. I promise to keep things simple.

Featured image c/o Creative Devolution.