Is poor content to blame for your recent business debacles? Think again! This is one area which most business owners often end up neglecting at their own peril. Simply outsourcing your content needs to an agency is not enough; giving them a free hand a strict no-no!
You should exercise control over all marketing content that hits the web under your company’s name –
> Website Content
> Blog Content
> Press Release Content
> Product Descriptions
> Guides or Tutorials
> Case Studies & Research Reports
> Social Media Content
Cutting edge yet simplified content is key to highlighting and boosting a business. As a result, examining the quality of your content on a periodic basis is always a good idea and it should never be ignored. If you don’t, you’ll certainly put your business or brand at a great risk.
Here are the 4 disastrous content mistakes that can end up doing your business more harm than good!
#1. Poor Grammar
Though no one’s telling you to be a Grammar Nazi, chances are that common grammatical errors create a bad influence on your reader base. Poor grammar is a major indicator of lack of professionalism and care. That’s why it also does an excellent job of driving a lot of potential buyers away from your company website.
Common grammatical mistakes include –
> Improper punctuation
> Lack of appropriate conjunctions
> Misspelled or jumbled up words
> Poor use of tenses
> Over usage of negative words and past tenses, i.e. was, went and so on
> Improver use of verbs
> Errors that we commonly refer to as typos
Many a website has been plagued by grammatical errors. Ask yourself, would you really like to read a phrase that goes This year business cost fall downward with almost two ranks and Mr. Kevin he said he was disappointed or rather, one that is proper, i.e. This year, business costs fell by a margin of two ranks and Mr. Kevin expressed his disappointment likewise. Spelling and grammar influences reading pleasure quite directly online. Presentation matters immensely and can make or break a business website or blog.
If you’re working with a content writing agency, you should give them a clear call to be thoroughly careful in this aspect. If you work with individual freelance writers, on the other hand, make sure they don’t have poor grammar skills.
#2. Unwarranted Complexity
A business owner I met expressed his utter frustration at how he could not understand what a marketing doppelganger meant. He referred to how his associates and clients kept questioning him about the phrase and subsequent incoherent explanations from the writer. It was only later that he realized that the phrase was used to denote the exact similarity between two marketing strategies! As you can see, unnecessary complexity never works while writing business content. Even if you cater to a particular market niche and not the mass, you should be working on simple, easy to understand content.
Never go for phrases that are hard to grasp at one go as an average individual only spends approximately 3 minutes of their time on a single website as per multiple reports. Overtly flashy content with a barrage of adjectives, metaphors and fancy phrases can backfire with regard to retaining and hooking online audiences. Placing yourself in the shoes of your target reader will certainly help prior to posting content on your site.
#3. Flippancy and Horseplay
Horseplay in any form is often undesirable for average readers who constitute your major business market. No reader will ever want to feel ignorant or stupid while reading your content. Playing with the mental faculties of readers and confusing them can lead to a major disaster. Horseplay is often a big mistake committed by writers of online content pieces. Indulging in light-hearted fun at the reader’s expense or ridiculing a particular community, human habit, traits or other aspects can lead to the alienation of multiple sections of readers from your blog or website.
Shenanigans, larks, practical jokes, antics and other examples are to be avoided as much as possible. There is an ultra thin line crossing which takes you over to the crude insensitive camp while narrating an anecdote. Refrain from this even while you endeavour to make your writing as personal as possible. A focused approach always works when it comes to content.
#4. Non-Relatable Content
Another major mistake to avoid in content writing, non-relatable material also isolates readers in super quick time and writes your business off as a non starter from day one. Try using examples and anecdotes that help readers relate better to their daily lives and circumstances instead. This will infuse a spirit of shared solidarity and comradeship in them, thereby keeping them coming back for more, and more!
For instance, if your business primarily relates to the provision of investment plans or insurance, you can position your schemes by writing about a family of three relatable characters, their spending habits, earnings and other details. Thereafter, you can detail how putting aside particular sums of money as investments secure their future. Instead of simply announcing your insurance or investment propositions with great fanfare and a volley of adjectives, you can simply relate them to the needs of a regular family. This strategy is bound to pay off when it comes to winning the hearts of your readers or prospects.
These content writing mistakes are to be avoided at all costs if you are focused on tapping online markets for your business in a highly competitive environment at present. After all, in Kristina Halvorson’s words - Better Content Means Better Business!
Is your online content free from these mistakes? Please feel free to share what you think in comments below.