Marketing buzzwords cycle rapidly in and out of popularity (and usefulness), and few can stand the test of time. So, which buzzwords are actually work keeping in your marketing lexicon?

It isn’t uncommon for marketers to have a love-hate relationship with buzzwords. Marketing jargon can be useful for conveying ideas and generating excitement about new trends, but overusing buzzwords can cause them to lose their luster, and even make the marketers who keep employing them seem out of the loop.

There are some buzzwords, however, that are worth the hype. They may be ubiquitous, but they describe proven tactics with real staying power. If you’ve ever had the urge to ditch these words, consider keeping them around instead. When applied effectively, they can do wonders for your marketing campaigns and brand.


Authenticity

Many a content marketer will tell you the notion of authenticity in marketing has jumped the shark, but this buzzword deserves a closer look. According to PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey for 2018, a growing reliance on social media means brands and retailers must work harder “to be seen as authentic and trustworthy.” The solution? Rather than overtly touting their products with an obvious sales agenda, many are embracing the concept of delivering truth in the form of real-life customer stories.

Sharing genuine user experiences that reflect a brand’s values can develop long-term customer loyalty, which ultimately translates into sales. When you encounter a campaign like Heartwarming the World from Hershey’s, you can bet the brand is on a mission to appear relatable and real. In one of the campaign’s videos, 93-year-old Bob Williams is seen handing out Hershey’s bars to strangers in his Iowa community — something he’s been doing for years. Bob’s singular goal is to make his neighbors smile. By promoting his real-world acts of kindness, Hershey’s is able to absorb some of the positive emotions viewers feel about Bob’s story and gain their trust.


Curate

6 Marketing Buzzwords That Actually Live Up to the Hype — Curate

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The word “curate” may call to mind a dusty museum. But in the context of digital media, curating is actually about the thoughtful collection and care of visual content that matters to your target audience. This can mean anything from reposting user photos on Instagram, to tracking down industry-specific articles that are relevant to your followers.

Why keep this buzzword alive? Not only does curating content help you attract and retain followers by supplementing the digital content you’re producing in-house, but sharing user-generated content like Instagram posts and tweets demonstrates how much you appreciate your brand’s fans. Curating content that was published by a professional, like a journalist or a research firm, also shows a dedication to your business and knowledge of industry trends. That, in turn, can improve the public perception of your brand.


Snackable Content

Short-form content like Instagram Stories, Facebook videos, and inspirational quotes shared via Twitter are an ideal way to sustain a relationship with your customers on social media. It can also play a role in keeping your brand top of mind.

“The idea is to give a user a quick piece of content that ties in with your brand, but is still based on entertainment and not a straight-up sales pitch,” Tom Alexander, CEO of omnichannel media platform PK4Media, explains. “(Marketers) don’t have to worry about negative brand association, like when a customer has to sit through 30 seconds of pre-roll ads to get to the content they came for.” What’s more, snackable content is conducive to consumption on the go. This is is crucial, given that more than three-quarters of all video viewing worldwide now occurs on a mobile device.

For its clients, which include Popchips and KitchenAid, PK4 Media creates short video clips often ranging from 15 to 30 seconds and featuring products and recipes. Alexander notes it’s important to test video length on different sites to see what each unique audience prefers. “Use analytics to determine which content length performs best on which platform,” Alexander says. “Then you can make sure you’re delivering the right creative in the right place.”

Within the snackable content trend, 6-second videos are increasing in popularity. “It’s still so new that people are trying to wrap their heads around it,” says Alexander, “but with 6-second videos you can still have a storyline, or tell your story in segments using sequential targeting across a number of platforms. Just make sure each video also makes sense on its own.”


Influencers

6 Marketing Buzzwords That Actually Live Up to the Hype — Influencers

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a brand that hasn’t used influencer marketing in some way. What’s more, countless consumers now claim to be social media influencers worthy of a company’s investment. Still, research shows that influencer marketing is the fastest-growing method online customer-acquisition, and 84% of marketers consider it effective.

The ongoing appeal of this concept is easy to see. When an influencer promotes a product or service rather than a brand, consumers are more likely to listen. Survey data from GlobalWebIndex shows that influencers impact the purchasing decisions of 41 percent of Instagram users in the US and UK. What’s more, 40 percent of consumers believe influencers “make unbiased and trustworthy recommendations.”

Of course, when using influencers companies have to remain transparent. Make it clear that you’re sponsoring the post. Follow this golden rule, and influencers will continue to generate buzz for your brand.


Data Visualization

Infographics, timelines, graphs, and maps all fit under the umbrella of this well-known buzzword. Data may be the meat of a data visualization strategy, but design is the gravy without which the outcome would be bland and dry.

Research reveals that the best information graphics have a simple, minimalist design. But, in terms of subject matter virtually anything goes. The World Health Organization created an infographic to provide health tips to citizens in the wake of natural disasters, while market research firm YouGov designed one that explores the grooming habits of men and women based on their age.

It’s also helpful to incorporate interactivity, as demonstrated by this infographic on the value of infographics. Enabling users to click, drag, or swipe content can make your data visualization asset more engaging and memorable.


Empathy

6 Marketing Buzzwords That Actually Live Up to the Hype — Empathy

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Murray Nossel – former clinical psychologist, co-founder of business communications consultancy Narativ, and author of Powered by Storytelling: Excavate, Craft, and Present Stories to Transform Business Communication – has a theory for why empathy is trending. “We used to get a sense of connection and empathy from going to the neighborhood butcher, baker, and candlestick maker. Storekeepers knew us, but internet shopping has done away with that,” Nossel says. “Customers feel alone in a way these days, so words like empathy are creeping in. Digital interfaces are putting a distance between us and other people, and we’re looking to get that (human touch) back.”

For brands, empathy is an opportunity to ingratiate themselves with their customers by making an emotional connection. When it’s successful, Nossel says, the customer “feels how another person feels” and is “directly connected to that experience.” A brand might achieve this by sharing real-life customer stories, as Hershey’s did. Or, they may offer an empathetic mode of listening to understand their customers’ feelings and needs. “People crave something real to connect to,” says Nossel, adding that empathy-building storytelling is “…an inside-out approach. You have to start from within.”

Make no mistake. There are plenty of marketing buzzwords that should be retired. As for these six, they’ve earned the right to remain in both your vocabulary and your marketing plan.

Image via Dusit srisroy.