Evrybudy nose that conntent markating is reel importent, rite? You, wouldnt think of; turning out (copy) that was -- poorly -- edited and grammatically: Incorrect! Yer costumers wood think you were not vrey bright.
Okay. Enough of the excruciatingly bad grammar and spelling example. You get the point: the grammar gremlins can ruin your quality content in the blink of a comma or the drop of a syllable. Apps such as Plagtracker can help you avoid many major boo-boos, but there's really nothing that can take the place of a personal and thorough proofreading. Experts say that your content has less than one second to impress viewers that it's professional before they leave.
A misspelled word, bad grammar or pitiful punctuation can ruin that first impression quickly.
Here are five grammar and spelling content marketing lessons.
1. Beware the homonyms.
Warns Shirley Florence, a Professor of English at Dubuque Community College: "Words that sound the same but are spelled differently -- homonyms -- are a real stumbling block for writers in all areas, from student papers to blogs to marketing. It's amazing, and sad, how often you can use the wrong word that sounds right." Some prime examples are:
2. Spell check is NOT 100% perfect.
Amber Stanley, PR Manager of Bestessays.com warns: "We work with many college students who think that a Spell Check app guarantees no more spelling mistakes... but it doesn't. That's one of the reasons they have problems with the papers they submit, so they need to rely on our essay writing service sooner or later."
Some Stanley's favorite examples that speak to the fact that Spell Check is fallible include a motel that boasted of "free wife" instead of free WiFi. "Spell Check doesn't catch those kinds of things." says Stanley. "You've got to have intelligent human interaction."
Contrary to a common belief, proper grammar is not only important in paper writing. You can't make excuses for poor writing in content marketing, thinking that the online world is a liberal community that doesn't care.
"Teachers are trying to turn students into better essay writers for a reason; superb written expression is important in every single profession," she adds.
3. The comparison is incomplete.
Don't ever write "Our brand is bigger, faster, stronger." That begs the question bigger, faster, stronger than WHAT? Without a complete comparison your customers will never figure out what your copy means. And meaningless blather sends customers scampering to other, better-edited, landing pages quicker than you can say 'goodbye bonus'.
According to Peter Kowalkowski, CEO of SEO Advise, "We've seen many companies outsource their content development to some cheap writers who don't speak good English. Cheap copy that's riddled with grammatical flaws only attracts traffic that never engages or converts."
4. Keep your possessive nouns straight.
Professional blogger Stacey Kolowich writes, "Most possessive nouns will have an apostrophe -- but where you put that apostrophe can be confusing. Here are a few general rules to follow:
If the noun is plural, add the apostrophe after the s. For example: the dogs' bones.
If the noun is singular and ends in s, you should also put the apostrophe after the s. For example: the dress' blue color.
On the other hand, if the noun is singular and doesn't end in an s, you'll add the apostrophe before the s. For example: the lizard's tail."
5. Using i.e. and e.g.
The notation i.e. is Latin for 'id est' (it is). It is NOT used for giving examples, but for clarifying a statement, i.e., making a statement more understandable. If this is still confusing, just use the phrase 'in other words'.
The notation e.g. is Latin for 'exempli gratia' (for example). It's pretty straightforward; you would use it to list examples. But again, if you want to play it safe just write out 'for example' and be done with it. These two notations are quickly becoming fossilized in university-speak anyways. But there are plenty of pedants out there, lying in wait to pounce on the unwary marketer who thinks they are interchangeable.