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Not long ago, marketers were limited to a handful of channels to market a product or service. Print and email were the primary channels used, but now there’s social media, blogs, landing pages and other various platforms for creating awareness. While these options are great for marketing, they can lead to messy messaging as well.
Every marketer’s worst nightmare is finding a spelling or grammar error in a multichannel campaign after it’s been presented to the public. And it’s always a damn shame, too, because so much work went into the messaging, design and concept, only to have them tainted by an erroneous comma or extra “s.”
Quality content creation is a must for marketing success. Think of it this way: Marketing an offer that is full of errors is akin to selling a product with a dent or stain. A customer might question the quality of a service if the description of it is unreadable.
What follows are suggestions on how to produce quality content that not only captures recipients with its offer but also engages them with clear, high-quality messaging no matter what channel you use.
Yes, quality content creation is possible through social media
Social media has given users the opportunity to flood the market with content. Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, reddit and so many more. If there’s a comments section, it’s social.
Each of these channels operate under different rules. For example, most people know that Twitter limits messaging to 140 characters (or about 20-25 words). By limiting characters, Twitter encourages users to focus on crafting a succinct message, which can be much more powerful than a full-length feature on your brand. Twitter is a great way to garner interest with just enough information to hook users, especially when there’s a link embedded in the content. However, marketers should use other channels to round out the campaign. Blog articles, newsletters and direct mail are perfect for educational, long-form messaging.
No matter what social media outlet you use for content creation, treat these channels the same way you would a direct mail letter. Social media might appear to be more relaxed in its setup and function, but it still deserves a proper quality control process. This small step can ensure your social media efforts are as robust as those given to more traditional forms of marketing.
Brand tone should lead the way in content creation
Quality content creation relies on thorough proofreading to be successful, but it also needs to be guided by the right tone to ensure complete readability. Imagine a marketing campaign for the health care industry that employs a tone associated with the pyrotechnics industry. Chances are, consumers will be too put off by the playful, bombastic tone to give the communication any serious consideration. Who can blame them?
Consumers expect different things of different companies. This is hardly surprising. But some marketers make the mistake of jumping on the latest marketing trend (think emojis and clickbait) to communicate their message. If you use an awkward or misleading tone, it won’t escape the notice of your audience and could actually backfire. If you’re working with a new client, my advice would be to review the brand’s guidelines to reach a better understanding of the target audience.
If you don’t have an in-house proofreader, please refer to your nearest style guide
Some agencies shrug off the need of a proofreader. As a writer with a background in proofreading, I’ve never understood why. Spell check can be helpful, but its grammar feature often suggests questionable “corrections.” And I’m sure I’m not the only person who thinks that autocorrect is the bane of every proofreader’s existence. No, I did not mean to write “above and Beyoncé,” I meant to write “above and beyond.”
The mistake might be funny in a text message to a friend, but when something goofy like this escapes the notice of an entire agency, it quickly loses its appeal. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 40% of respondents admitted that poor spelling and grammar reduced their favorable impression of a brand.
My advice is to keep a style guide handy, like the Chicago Manual of Style or the Associated Press Stylebook. These references provide answers to all your burning questions about grammar and punctuation, including hyphenation, capitalization, comma use and more. For dictionaries, I recommend referring to an online source for the most up-to-date information.
Marketers should always conduct a thorough, manual examination of their written work if they want to guarantee that it’ll reach the public error-free. After all, a spelling error is sometimes much more obvious to a recipient than a logo missing its registration mark or an image that cuts off at the corner.
Topics: Inbound Marketing