There are plenty of very smart, talented people who, for whatever reason, just aren’t very good at writing. Maybe they struggle to write in a clear and engaging way. Or maybe they just aren’t a stickler when it comes to things like perfect grammar and punctuation. Fair enough, no one’s good at everything. The problem, however, is that in the age of content, just about everyone needs to be able to write.
That’s because, at most companies, lots of people are responsible for creating content. In fact, even when there are dedicated content teams, plenty of other people elsewhere in the organization are churning out content day in and day out.
In some cases, that might be part of a coordinated effort, like when you ask Linda on the product team to contribute a blog post or Mark in sales to provide some copy for a particular web page. The much more common scenario, however, is that lots of people have to create customer-facing content as part of their day-to-day responsibilities (sales decks, customer communications, presentations, etc.) even though they may not be particularly good at it. And, unless you’ve got a very effective process in place to review all of that content with an army of editors, chances are that the content goes out the door as written.
Not surprisingly, mistakes can slip through the cracks. Sure, everyone knows how to run spelling checker, but it’s not as though that’s going to catch the host of other issues the content might include, such as things like style, tone of voice, company terminology, and more. And, unfortunately, while issues like these may not seem like a big deal, over time they can in fact cause confusion and, worse yet, erode your brand.
The Quest for Better Content
If you worry about things like your brand voice and the quality and consistency of your company’s content (and you definitely should), then you’re really only left with a couple of choices:
- Hire an army of content professionals.
Although you’ll need an awful lot of writers and editors to do it, in theory, you could manage the creation of all your company’s content or, at the very least, ensure that every piece of content undergoes a rigorous review before it goes out. The problem with this approach is that it’s expensive and very difficult to scale. Plus, people will always find a way to subvert the system, pushing content out without the proper reviews and approvals. While using this line of attack can work at small organizations that don’t produce much content, and therefore don’t need many content creators, it’s just not realistic at the enterprise level.
- Turn on better content creation.
Your other option is to find ways to make it easier for everyone to write better. One way to do so is to use content optimization technology that reviews the content people are writing in whatever content authoring tool they happen to be using. Such platforms then typically provide immediate guidance on how to bring that content in line with your corporate standards. Beyond simply checking your grammar and spelling, they look at your use of terminology, how clear and engaging your writing is, your use of tone of voice and style, and more. By mandating the use of a platform like this, companies can make it easier for anyone to write better content that’s aligned to your organization’s unique corporate preferences.
The fact is that most of us have to do things in life that we’re not always very good at. For many of your colleagues, writing may be one of them. If that’s the case, you’d be wise to figure out what you can do to make the process easier for them. That won’t only make them happier and more willing to create the content your organization needs, it will also ensure that the content is of higher quality and aligns to your brand standards. Quite simply, everyone wins.
To learn more about Acrolinx’s content optimization technology, click here.