At some point, we’ve probably all seen websites filled with grammatical errors and uninformative content. When you notice a company has clearly forgotten to proofread their content, it can change how you feel about the website or even the company as a whole.
People often think of proofreading as catching simple mechanical errors in writing, but it can serve a much larger purpose. Whether you’re creating blogs, social media posts, technical manuals, or any other type of customer-facing content, your words influence how your reader perceives that content. Proofreading allows you to catch errors that could otherwise damage the relationship that you’re building or have already built with your prospects and customers through your inbound marketing efforts.
Here’s why it’s essential to proofread everything you write.
Inaccuracy can cost you
Inbound marketing focuses on developing trust and building authority to attract prospects and convert them into customers. Thanks to the internet, consumers can conduct extensive research before deciding what product or service they will buy. Once they trust a brand, they’re more likely to purchase it. However, offering inaccurate content to your audience can quickly break that trust. And if people don’t trust your company, they won’t buy from you.
But errors in your content can have other huge impacts, especially in technical content, like manuals, spec sheets, and legal documents. Aside from looking unprofessional, inaccurate content can put your customers and your brand at risk. It can take just one seemingly insignificant number to damage equipment or even put your customers’ safety at risk. Incorrect or obscure information can confuse readers and lead to other serious consequences, including litigation.
When proofreading customer-facing content, be sure to double-check the facts. Back up information with citations from credible sources, and ensure your hyperlinks take visitors to the right web pages. Accuracy is key to maintaining the relationship between your customers and your brand and avoiding potential risks.
You might be sacrificing quality for quantity
Lots of content marketers feel compelled to stick to a strict schedule for posting content to their websites. But rushing to create content to fill your calendar can lead to writing that’s unclear and excessively wordy. Especially when a writer is struggling to come up with enough content to meet a certain word count or to fit nicely on a page, they often fluff up the content with information that isn’t helpful or doesn’t contribute any additional insight on the topic.
Quality inbound marketing content offers value to consumers. If your website content is wordy for the sake of additional length, it’s not valuable to your audience. In fact, verbose writing can distract readers and cause confusion.
While technology has become really good at recognizing context, it’s not always correct. It might catch some glaring mistakes in your writing, but it won’t tell you when your content is inflated or confusing. Keep your content focused around the needs of your target audience. Read your writing aloud to help identify areas that sound wordy, awkward, or unclear. And ask another person to proof your content to get a different perspective.
It’ll keep you aligned with your brand standards
You’ve likely put a lot of thought into developing your brand. From colors to logos to messaging, everything you publish on your website is a reflection of your brand identity. As customers develop loyalty to your company, they get to know your brand on a personal level. So, it’s important that your content achieves your marketing goals while also fulfilling your company’s brand standards.
If the purpose of creating content for your site is to educate visitors and motivate them to buy from you, content that doesn’t highlight the brand you’re presenting to the world is ineffective. At Cain & Company, we work with our clients to get a deeper understanding of the brand and to create engaging content that represents the company’s mission, values, and standards. Continuously revising new content to mirror those standards is fundamental for any content marketing team.
Proofread new content with your style guide in hand and consider how your writing can better reflect your brand. Is it consistent with your other marketing materials? Does the style and tone match the other content you’ve published? If not, consider how you can edit the content so that it creates a cohesive representation of your brand.
Remember, it can be difficult to change or let go of ideas that you’ve dedicated time and effort to creating. After all, your writing is your brainchild. However, proofreading is an essential part of producing successful content. By keeping an open mind, you can step up your content marketing game and attract more potential customers to your site rather than pushing them away with sloppy, inconsistent writing.