annoying marketing jargon2 million pieces of blog content were published in the last 24 hours. 1.8 million of those included the same, tired phrases in the title. I just made up that statistic (so please don’t tweet it) but the truth is that it’s time to bury some marketing jargon.

Gary Vaynerchuk has famously expressed that marketers ruin everything. Watching sitcoms on your television was destroyed by commercials, email was abused by spammers, and the term “guru” was ruined by half the people on Twitter. Inspired by a combination of actual, real numbers from LinkedIn, and a healthy dose of crankiness, we’ve compiled the 7 most overused marketing terms:

1. Create Killer Content

Once upon a time, someone wrote a piece of blog content titled “Create Killer Content.” It had all the marks of truly exceptional blog titles – it’s descriptive enough that it doesn’t oversell and racy enough to inspire scores of clicks and thousands of social shares. Then, everyone started doing it. At the time of writing, there were over 55 million Google search results about how to create content that may or may not result in dead prospects. Create stellar content or write life-changing words, but the concept of “killer content” is long dead, believe us.

2. Branding

Investing money into associating your business with a positive concept is priceless. Branding is responsible for why most people think “luxury” when they hear “Rolex.” According to blogger Josh Kaufman, it’s actually the most overused word in marketing ever, and too few of us actually know what it means. Stop talking about branding so much and start working to improve your reputation.

3. Social Media Guru

Is everyone on social media calling themselves a guru? It really does seem that way, and it kind of makes us gag. We’ve covered the concept in-depth on the IMA blog previously, but here’s the gist: not everyone who uses Twitter can be a thought leader.

The world’s most effective social media managers can crunch some serious inbound marketing analytics, divert a PR crisis, provide innovative customer service and drive ROI – and that’s all in a day’s work. Really outstanding social media managers are few and far between, which is why we’re befuddled that there are over 43 million Google search results for the term “social media guru.”

4. Leader

Adam Sherk did an exhaustive search of the most overused words in PR press releases between 2006 and 2010. Leader came in first, followed closely by leading. The other 3 members of the top 5 are practically synonyms: best, top and unique. Could it really be true that over 311,000 PR agencies were that outstanding in such a short amount of time? We’ll let you be the judge.

5. At the End of the Day

Marketing Today conducted a major survey of 150 senior executives from the nation’s 1,000 largest companies. They were asked “What is the most annoying or overused phrase or buzzword in the workplace today?” Surprisingly, this came out on top. Why? My guess is that it was voted the worst because it’s usually a waste of breath or word count. Often, it’s nothing more than filler.

6. Free

Social media marketing, or really, any other kind of inbound marketing isn’t free. Doing it right isn’t easy, and it takes time to actively monitor channels, build relationships, and promote your content. Blogging isn’t free, either; quality content takes effort and expertise. Do these techniques have a better ROI than disruptive marketing efforts? Absolutely, but they’re not free.

For the record, we’re not the only ones with a strong distaste for the word “free.” Using it in your email marketing efforts is one of the most effective ways to make spam filters think you’re up to no good. The word has been abused by spammers to such an extent, it’s a major red flag for most email platforms.

7. Analytical

Turns out, analytical is the 9th most-common word on LinkedIn profiles – and the most commonly used word on Swiss profiles. We don’t actually think it’s overused, just underutilized. At last count, more than 50% of social media marketers aren’t tracking their success. 23% of social marketers aren’t using analytics correctly, which means about 1/4 can honestly call themselves “analytical.” And marketing without analytics just won’t work too well. Trust us – we’re gurus who create free, killer content.

What are your marketing jargon pet peeves?

image credit: Mom with Moxie