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No More Red Pen: Why Written Content Has Gone Downhill in the Digital Age, and What it Means for Your Business

Hand with Pen Proofreading a ManuscriptWith the onslaught of digital content flooding our inboxes and news feeds 24/7, it seems the bar for quality keeps dropping lower and lower. With all of the digital tools and social media sites available for posting content online, our culture of multi-tasking and over-scheduling, and our drive to do more with less, the creation of digital content doesn’t get the attention it should.

But aside from the grammar geeks and middle school English teachers, does anyone really notice?

The answer is no. Most of us have become so used to the fast and furious pace at which articles, blog posts, and emails are sent our way, we hardly have time to read them, let alone critique how they are written. As a culture, we have become so used to content that hasn’t been properly structured, written or edited, organizations think it’s more important to get their message out than to make sure it is written in a clear, concise and effective way (and, gasp! without typos).

Unfortunately, this phenomenon impacts a business’s bottom line more than most marketing directors and business owners realize.

Whether your readers pick up on a poorly placed comma or a run-on sentence that goes on for miles, poorly written content may fail to speak to your audience in a way that establishes trust in your brand. Without an effective story, the reader may lose interest or misunderstand what you want them to do. No matter how fast or how often you post new content, your message, and your potential customer, will be lost.

On the other hand, a well-crafted message speaks to your reader and makes a connection. An educational blog post helps your reader solve a problem, and they will remember your brand when they need help in the future. A well-written email includes an attention-grabbing subject line, and your message is opened rather than deleted. A project description or employee biography describes your organization’s mission and expertise in a way that encourages the reader to consider doing business with you.

If your organization is doing their own content marketing, writing, or social media, or taking other shortcuts to save a buck or generate more content in a shorter period of time, consider the impact these practices are having on your overall marketing program. Hiring a professional to advise and support your digital strategy, as well as craft and create your messaging, will put your business ahead, because you will go beyond reaching your potential customers — you will connect with them.