I'm a self-proclaimed grammar nerd, and I cringe whenever I read a blog that's full of errors. In fact, I freak out if I notice a spelling error in one of my tweets, and I immediately go back and delete it. Yes, even I'm prone to nasty spelling and grammatical errors from time to time.
The rise of the Internet has led to a more laid back attitude when it comes to grammar in content marketing, largely due to the informality of email, texting, and social media. Slang, abbreviations, and a lack of punctuation are all incredibly common on these channels. Lately, I started wondering whether spelling and grammar even matter anymore when you're writing online.
Re-read that first sentence again. If the answer is yes, it's safe to say that grammar still matters in content marketing. Here's why:
Too many typos are bad for your business
No one is immune to spelling and grammatical errors – not even the team over here at Impulse Creative. No matter how many times we proofread our work, sometimes an error slips through the cracks. However, having too many typos in your writing are bad for your business and can hurt your reputation over time.
A recent study by Disruptive Communications showed that the brand behavior that annoys people the most on social media is bad spelling and grammar. Surprised? If customers are annoyed by poor grammar on social media, just think about how they'll feel if they receive an email or eBook laced with these errors.
It's okay to be conversational in your writing, and you should always write for your audience. If using the phrase "OMG" will resonate with you audience, then by all means, use it. Just remember to use your best judgment, and avoid using abbreviations and slang when they're not necessary.
Too many typos make your writing hard to readYour audience should never have to guess what you're trying to say, and your writing should literally speak for itself. When your writing has too many typos, it can become difficult to read and understand. Just take a look at the image above, for example. Although it may seem silly, I think it's safe to say we've all seen a real-life example of this at one point or another.
One or two errors in your writing may slip by your audience, especially when they're reading fast. However, glaring grammatical errors can minimize the impact of your content. Too many mistakes can make your writing difficult to read and digest, which is never a good thing.
Don't rely on spellcheck to catch all of your mistakes. Instead, read over your writing after you're done and even consider reading it out loud. If you have a question about whether you should add a comma or if you're using the correct spelling of a word, don't be afraid to Google it. Additionally, find someone who knows their stuff and have them proofread your writing for you. If you don't have someone who can proofread for you, try apps like Grammarly and Hemingway App.
"You are what you write"Ever heard the phrase, "you are what you eat"? In a crazy, weird (okay, maybe I'm pushing it) way, I think this applies to your writing too. When you write clearly and publish content that's relatively free of spelling and grammatical mistakes, you show that you value great work, and you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. On the other hand, publishing work full of errors may give off the vibe that you're careless or that you don't take your work seriously.
The English language is complex. Although your content doesn't need to abide by all of the spelling and grammar rules your college English professor taught you, it's still important to double-check your work for errors. Being mindful of spelling and grammar isn't about being a "grammar snob;" it's about making your writing easy to read.
What do you think? Do spelling and grammar still matter in content marketing?