Common Content Errors Your Business Might Be Making
Whether content marketing is a new concept for you, or you’ve been handling content since you started your business, it’s possible you’re still making mistakes that could be costing you credibility. Here are a few common errors we’ve seen companies make time and again with their content:
**Remember, content marketing is the creation of any content that is used to promote your company, such as the words that make up your website, a blog you use to show your expertise, or even that new brochure.**
Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking? The first and biggest problem businesses make with their content is not knowing their audience. The more you can identify the audience you’re writing to, the more your content will resonate with them. For instance, saying things like “your business” and “content marketing” makes this post clearly aimed at businesspeople, as opposed to tween Instagrammers.
It’s funny, right? Another common misstep with creating content is attempting to create humor (like that Instagrammers comment, just now). Humor is bad, wit is good. The difference between humor and wit has everything to do with the subject. Humor is subjective, meaning it can be personal—which can lead to being offensive. Whereas, wit is universal, meaning it’s fundamentally funny, regardless of the audience. Whenever possible, use wit instead of humor to add personality to your content. Or, better yet, lose the act and just keep it professional.
Are you going my way? Whenever your business says anything, it should have a purpose or goal driving it. This means that any content your company creates should fit a clear-cut strategy. Too often, businesses come up with something to say around the conference table, and it hits the streets without anyone pausing to check whether it fits with the rest of what the company is doing. Or worse, you cram something in at the last minute to meet a deadline. This deviation from your strategy could cost your business customer loyalty or simply confuse people.
Who needs a profedder, anyway? Let’s preface this by saying that mistakes happen to even the beast of us (get it?), but mistakes that can be avoided only happen to the ill-prepared. Double- and triple-checking your content is a worthwhile step not to be overlooked. Rush copy out, and you could make your company look like it shouldn’t have passed third grade. Proofreading becomes exceptionally important with the urgency that often accompanies social media content.
ProTip: Delay posting any content until at least two sets of eyes have had a chance to review it.
I can speak English, so why can’t I write it? Fluency does not a writer make. Speaking and writing English are worlds apart—especially when it comes to content marketing. And, if you don’t understand that nuance, your writing will show it. Outsourcing your copy needs will return huge rewards not only with your time, but also with the quality of your content.
When it comes time to put words together for your business—whether a brochure, a sales letter, a training manual, or even a social media post—ask yourself if the time it would take to do it right is worth your rate. Dollars to donuts (yes, this spelling is acceptable, according to HuffPost), your time costs more than a professional writer’s. Make the investment in the most important part of your marketing; it’ll be worth it.
Our previous point acts as a perfect segue to the final error we cringe at seeing businesses make. An error with their content that, when you know what’s at stake with your company’s content (industry credibility, reputation, and the communication of your value proposition, for starters), you begin to see why this error is beyond foolish to allow to happen.
Does anyone here know Word? Skimping on copywriting, by either doing it internally or looking for the cheapest service, is likely the worst thing businesses can do for their content—mostly because at that point it’s understood there is a need to outsource the skill, but the company does not think it is important enough to pay for.
This is a dangerous place to find yourself because a good content provider delivers quality material that promotes your business the way you want without extra effort on your end. And while the alternative of not using a professional may save you some money in the short run, the time you’ll have to invest in editing and rewriting—not to mention missing the mark altogether—puts skimping on writing at the top of our list of errors (or the bottom, if you go by this post).
One last thing about the value of good business writing: This list isn’t just for content marketing. Any writing you do within your company should be under the lens for evaluation. Bad writing costs businesses lots of money, both in credibility with customers as well as internally with employee communication. The next time you have something you want to communicate through writing, call ProWrite for a quote and trust our competent staff with your writing needs.