Last week, I received two flyers in the mail from two different pizza joints in town. Neither was new to the area, but one had recently changed its name and the other now had new ownership (and a new location). The first flyer listed the business’s “new” website which, when I went to look it up, had not actually been pushed live. Pizza joint #1, you lost me. I probably won’t try and search for your site again.
The second business also had a call for customers to check out its website (not to mention a very large paragraph of copy that even a seasoned marketer like myself wasn’t going to read). Problem there? Pizza joint #2 never even listed its website. Kind of poses a problem for me to check it out.
Editing. It can make or break the success of your marketing campaign.
The basic practice of editing is one that should not be taken lightly or ignored. Inconsistent editing and missed details creates missed customer opportunities, changed perceptions of your brand and wasted marketing dollars.
It’s not just about grammar anymore.
As Web content, social media, video, SMS and apps become mainstream marketing tactics, editing has come to take on a whole other meaning. Not only must you edit content for grammar and spelling, now you must also edit for broken links and correct URLs. In fact, as marketers move to more conversational brand voices, your grade school grammar may take a back seat to what’s working on a social media channel or postcard.
Editing doesn’t need to be as time-consuming as you think. Before you release your next marketing campaign, consider the editing tips listed below.
Four quick editing tips:
1. Check all URLs and links
If you are putting out a printed piece this means typing in each URL into your browser to make sure it goes to the correct page. If your material is electronic, click on every link you have listed to make sure it’s working.
2. Use a second (or third) set of eyes
Never be the only person looking over your marketing materials. Use someone outside of your department or far enough removed from the project that will bring a fresh set of eyes. It’s easy to gloss over mistakes when you’ve been the only one looking at a piece for any length of time.
3. Read it backward
Reading copy backward automatically slows us down. This is exactly my point. Starting from the back, the bottom, whatever…read your piece from a different vantage point and really see each word or phrase.
4. Confirm the call to action
Ultimately, whatever marketing piece you’re putting out should have a call to action. What is the end result? What do you want your customer or client to do? Is it obvious on the piece you’re producing? If you’re asking them to visit your website, is it clearly listed? If they need to fill something out online, is that form readily available?
Use an editing process for small-scale and large-scale marketing projects. Even if you’re posting an update on your business Facebook page, you still want to re-read for accuracy. And always keep tabs on the timing of items that tie in to other marketing pieces. Like the example above, if your new website isn’t complete, hold off on promoting it until it’s live.
As a customer, I’ll give you my attention if what you’re saying is interesting and accurate. The minute I have to search to find something or come up short on a link, you’ve lost me.