Just a casual glance at any Facebook feed is often enough to make one wonder whether the rules of grammar have become obsolete. In a world where a picture is worth a thousand words, but a Tweet can only be 140 characters, shortcuts in the form of abbreviations and hashtags have become more the rule than the exception. Oftentimes careful attention to detail is sacrificed in the name of expediency or the rush to post as quickly as possible, particularly in those new to the business world. However, even though the convenience and immediacy of social media and e-mail have done a great deal to make business communication much more casual, the need for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation is very much a part of the modern business world. Good, old-fashioned proofreading is still an incredibly important part of any successful marketing strategy for three fundamental reasons.
Careful attention to details like grammar and spelling is an indication that you take pride in your work while publishing work full of errors may give the impression that you may be lazy and prone to taking shortcuts. In content marketing, where setting yourself up as an authority in your field is so important, that reputation for precision makes a difference. Moreover, a study conducted by Disruptive Communications showed that the brand behavior that annoys people the most on social media is bad spelling and grammar. Taking a little extra time to make sure your content is error free can go a long way towards getting your ideas the attention and respect they deserve.
Clarity: Be Understood
Simply put, when your writing has too many mistakes, it can become difficult to read and understand. People decided to develop a universal system of grammar and punctuation precisely in order to reduce ambiguities and misunderstandings. While you certainly know what you mean, and when you read your own writing you hear it the way it was intended, mistakes in punctuation can make even the most meticulously crafted statement mean something very different to a fresh reader. This can be particularly true in technical fields, like healthcare marketing, where even small inaccuracies can have very serious ramifications. The rules of grammar are like the rules of any game: when you start to ignore them, no one else will be able to understand exactly what you’re doing any more.
Credibility: Get Shared
Often the impact of a particular piece of writing is directly proportional to the number of people willing to share it on social media, but producers of marketing content may not have the time to revise every outside post before forwarding it along. Since poor grammar and spelling or inarticulate content on any website they manage can reflect poorly on both them and their clients, they will generally learn to avoid sources that have a reputation for making too many obvious errors, even if the underlying material is valid. Sloppy editing can be like bad hygiene: it can make other people avoid you like the plague. If no one shares or comments on your content, then your marketing strategy will never get off the ground.
Although it may seem like an inconvenience in the midst of the rush to meet daily deadlines, taking the time to proofread can often make the difference between success and failure. Don’t just rely on spell and grammar check functions to catch errors either. Instead, read the document aloud, at different times, or get the input of another person to make sure that everything looks and sounds the way you intended. Being proactive now can save you time and money later on. If you would like to explore how the McCauley Marketing services team can make a difference for your business, schedule a meeting today. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to share your tips and recommendations.