When clients read an article or website, they usually don’t pay attention to the grammatical correctness of the text – until they encounter a poorly placed comma or incorrect spelling. Then all the credibility the writer has built up is lost, and the client may be convinced that your business isn’t worth their time or money.
Good writing matters. It’s one of the easiest ways to establish trust with potential and current clients, and it can have a big impact on the bottom line. However, if your writing team produces a large volume of content at scale, it can be difficult to maintain the level of quality you’d like to achieve due to factors like budget and time constraints.
Fortunately, there are more cost-efficient ways to produce high-quality content at scale. And considering the current digital climate is saturated with content, it’s more important than ever to use the tools at your disposal to stand out.
Is perfecting your grammar and style really worth the time and money you spend on it? Let’s examine this a little more closely.
The Marginal Gains Mentality
When considering whether to invest in the quality of your business’ writing, remember that even small improvements can result in big benefits further down the track.
This philosophy isn’t new, but it has been proven time and again in various fields. The origin of the Marginal Gains theory is attributed to Sir Dave Brailsford, the performance director of British Cycling.
Brailsford applied this theory to cycling with great success. In the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the British cycling team set the goal of winning at least one gold medal. But they didn’t set a goal of just one gold medal; they broke the goal down into a series of smaller goals and worked to improve each one by one percent.
The result? The British Cycling team won 14 gold medals in Beijing.
This is just one example of how marginal gains can be applied to achieve success. But how does this apply to the grammatical quality of your business’ writing?
The Marginal Power of Good Writing
The grammatical and syntactic correctness of content is one of the more forgettable parts of business, and so many companies are tempted to let grammar fall by the wayside to focus on more important tasks.
However, good grammar isn’t only essential for a polished and professional appearance but also has a marginal impact on the effectiveness of your content. In other words, if you make small improvements to the quality of your writing, you’ll also see an improvement in the results your content achieves.
Take social media copy, for example. This could entail Facebook posts, articles shared on social platforms, or even tweets. Research shows that poor grammar and spelling in these media is the number one reason consumers develop a low opinion of a brand.
It’s been proven that grammatical errors in website text increase bounce rates by 85 percent and decrease conversion rates by eight percent. In other words, if you don’t take the time to ensure your grammar is correct, you’ll scare away potential customers and damage your brand’s reputation.
This is a fear that’s been expressed by several business owners and entrepreneurs who have experienced a drop in profits due to poor grammar on their websites.
According to Charles Duncombe, an entrepreneur who spoke to the BBC, grammar and spelling can cost businesses millions of dollars in lost customer attention and revenue.
But it’s not just about avoiding negative consequences. Good grammar can also help improve the effectiveness of your content.
Why Grammar Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought
Let’s talk about the power that quality writing can have on your business. Considering that 74 percent of consumers pay attention to the quality of a company’s writing, it’s no stretch to say that good grammar can be the difference between a one-time customer and a lifetime client.
Consistent good writing also helps to maintain trustworthiness and professionalism among your current clients – and, as extensive research will confirm, trust is one of the key determinants in whether you make a sale.
When it comes to calculating the specific ROI on improved content quality, the metrics are difficult to determine. However, according to surveys conducted by Curata on a sample of businesses, quality content marketing has a 70 to 85 percent impact on awareness building and buyer/customer engagement.
Clearly, quality writing is an investment that pays off. So, how can you make sure that your business is putting its best foot forward?
How to Write Well, Consistently, and At Scale
As mentioned, a concern that many business owners have – perhaps yourself included – is the investment of time and energy required to write well, consistently, and at scale. Even if the facts outlined above demonstrate a need for quality writing in your business, budgets, and time constraints can make it seem impossible to achieve.
Let’s briefly cover the strategies businesses are using to maintain quality:
Making Use of Technical Advancements
Fortunately, the current age of information offers some solutions for writing teams. Services now exist that use artificial intelligence and natural language processing algorithms to analyze your data and create original, relevant articles based on your keywords and topics.
Up-Skilling the Writing Team
Nothing quite beats the touch of writers who are passionate about their work. If you have the budget and time to invest in-house, training talented writers will pay off dividends in terms of both the quality and quantity of content produced. You could put writers through a skills development program or implement a heavier vetting process when onboarding writers.
Create Quality Standards for Content
No matter which route you choose, whether it be automation or human writers, you should always be sure to set and enforce quality standards for your content. This includes using editing and proofreading tools as well as establishing editorial guidelines and a style guide for your writers.
By implementing the above, you can be sure that your content is not only high quality but also consistent across all channels and platforms. Keep in mind, however, that these methods can be time-consuming and complicated. So, what’s the alternative?
Take It a Step Further
Editing tools are helpful, and many are free. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a software program that can perfectly emulate the tone, style, and feel of your business. This is where a human touch can make all the difference. In that case, how can you maintain cost-effectiveness without losing purchasing power?
One of the best methods you can invest in as a business is a hybrid of both in-house and outsourced quality assurance. What we mean by this is an editorial process: Your writing team develops content to the best of their ability, the work is outsourced to an external editing team, and the polished content is fed back to your team for publication.
The main benefits of operating in this fashion include:
- You can make use of content generation tools, knowing that the final product will still be polished by human hands
- Your writing team will spend less time fiddling with grammar and syntax, saving you time and money in the long run
- The double-vetting process leaves little room for errors to slip through the cracks
Remember that feedback is a critical part of this process, no matter what. If you can arrange to have a looping feedback system in which editors provide a steady stream of revisions to your writing team, you’ll be in a better position to increase the quality of your work over time.
Of course, feedback can be costly when you have a high volume of content, so it’s best to partner with an editorial team who will include feedback as part of their process, regardless of the volume of content you’re producing.
Optimal quality doesn’t need to be complicated, and it doesn’t need to break the budget. Making use of editing and proofreading services ensures that final products are polished every time.
The need for quality and consistency in writing is a must for any business, but it’s not always considered necessary or financially viable. This leaves businesses missing out on opportunities to create a happy clientele, which, in turn, can lead to more sales and conversions.
Good writing at scale doesn’t have to be an expensive or time-consuming process. In fact, it can often be the opposite. By taking the time to develop a style guide and editorial process, businesses can create a system that allows them to produce quality content quickly and efficiently.
Gaining Quality Assurance with Proofed
We understand that quality writing is essential for any business looking to succeed online, and we’re here to help. Get in touch today to learn more about our fully managed editing and proofreading services and how we can support your team to scale your content.