According to a recent study by Global Lingo, 59 per cent of British customers revealed that they would not use a company that had grammatical or spelling mistakes on its website or marketing material.
When a business is looking for a writing service, two factors that play a crucial role in making the final decision are – the cost and the quality of writing. With millions of professional writers out there, selecting a good writer can be tricky business. Since the consequences of bad content are not discussed in business review meetings, business owners are often left unaware of the impact of one needless apostrophe on annual sales.
While companies allocate a substantial amount of funds to marketing, quite a few fail to realize that content – the final word that reaches a potential customer – plays a crucial role in shaping the perception of their brand in the customer’s mind. This could be because even the most exhaustive marketing plans do not talk about the significance of grammar in customer/ reader retention. As a result, companies willingly allocate a handsome portion of their funds to aggressive marketing plans, but no one is specifically instructed to hire ‘the best writers’.
Impact of Poor Grammar on Business
The best way to understand the damage that grammatically poor content causes to your business is perhaps by asking yourself a simple question – ‘How often would you go back to a website that publishes content wrought with grammatical mistakes?’ Most likely you would soon be lured away by a website which is more attentive to the sensibilities of aware and discerning readers such as yourself.
“Grammar is to writing what water is to chicken soup.” – Absolutely Essential
Quality. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about? Even in our personal lives, the products and services we use must measure up to our expectations and deliver value for our time and money. The same logic applies to content – the words that inform your customers how serious you are about fulfilling their expectations. When it comes to online content, discerning readers have no dearth of choice and as a result, they are less forgiving when forced to digest low quality content. An aware reader may ignore a minor grammatical error or an editing mistake a few times, but will have no qualms about moving on to a superior resource.
On online platforms, your brand has about 6 seconds to capture attention. Whether it’s a ten-word Facebook post announcing the launch of a product, a tweet or a full-length blog, grammatical errors can dim a customer’s enthusiasm even before they have had a chance to explore your service.
In the British study mentioned above, 59 per cent of those surveyed said that bad grammar or obvious spelling errors would stop them buying from the website, with the majority claiming that this indicated an obvious lack of care and professionalism on the company’s part.
Content is a powerful tool to establish dialogue with your audience. If a brand wants to be taken seriously, every communication that is put out there must be of the highest quality.
Can a few grammatical errors scare away a loyal reader/ customer? Most probably not.
While a customer may not desert your product or service simply because there was an extra apostrophe in your ad copy, it does diminish the respect they have for your company.
Good writing shows that you a classy brand with high benchmarks. It shows that you took as much care in selecting a writer of high caliber as you did in finalizing the color of your logo. Your audience would feel pride in recommending you to family and friends.
Finding a Good Writer
Many content managers go through moments of sheer exasperation and last minute panic caused by sloppy writing. There are also times when the content team inadvertently overlooks grammatical mistakes in a bid to adhere to publishing deadlines.
While hiring a bad writer is easy, hiring good writers requires a no-compromise policy in terms of content quality. It also requires social media managers/ content managers to actively and passionately seek out the best writers, take time to read through work samples and provide detailed guidelines in terms of expectations from the writer.
Hiring a writer with poor grammar is like giving a less-than-skilled driver the keys to your car – a risk worth taking only if you don’t love your car all that much. A good writer may cost more, but in the long run every word they write for your business would be well worth the price.
As a parting thought, would you have clicked on this post if it had a title spelt like this: ‘Why You Should’nt Hire Writers with Poor Grammer?’
Do the content writers you’re working with have sound grammar skills? Please share your thoughts in comments.