Businesses and their marketing agencies have a responsibility for the material they put out. To this end, they must ensure what they produce is on par with what the company expects and its core values and message. This includes making sure there are no glaring errors in the content that goes out, be it text, images or video ads.
Giving things a once-over right before pushing content live is one of the best ways to find last-minute issues that could explode once you publish. To narrow down the elements that you need to pay extreme attention to, 12 experts from Forbes Agency Council advise agencies on the areas where errors could be hiding so they can double-check their content before sending it out into the world.
1. Spelling And Grammar
Always double-check spelling and grammar. Nothing loses trust more than a business that can’t spell something correctly. The consumer will assume you’re ignorant, unintelligent or just plain lazy. No spellcheck in the program you’re using? Copy into something like Google Docs so you can see the suggested spelling and/or grammar tweaks. – Dave Pavlu, Conversion Logix
So often, we draft a headline first, and then get laser-focused on the body copy of our marketing campaign. Through the editing process, that original headline often gets overlooked, yet it’s the first thing our readers see. Make sure your headlines and subheads pack a punch and make the reader want more. They are the first impression of our copy. Don’t “set it and forget it.” – Starr Million Baker, INK
Before hitting send, I check all the links one last time. I also do another quick proofread from the bottom of the email to the top so you aren’t reading what “should” be there but what is actually there! – Durée Ross, Durée & Company, Inc.
4. Numbers And Statistics
Before we send any piece of material that involves stats or numbers we double- and triple-check that they are right and correct. If your numbers are off or wrong, you lose immediate trust with a potential or existing customer. – Jim Huffman, Growthhit
5. How It Appears In Different Browsers Or Devices
One of the biggest mistakes is not checking how the content appears in different browsers or on different devices. If you are only formatting for one platform, say Outlook, your content may not appear correctly in Gmail. This can also change for a Mac or PC, tablet or mobile phone, or even a TV screen. Often, companies design for one format, and functionality is not universal. – Sandra Fathi, Affect, Inc.
6. Email Personalization And Subject Fields
For marketing email campaigns, you always want to pay extra attention if you’ve built email templates or drafts from existing campaigns. Common misses are email subject lines, preheadings and image links. Also, anytime you have a campaign with personalization included, always make sure your mail merge fields are property set up. You never want to send an email to “Dear Admin” or “Dear Info.” – Alex Membrillo, Cardinal Digital Marketing
7. Design And Visuals
With the short attention spans of today, a visual can draw in a reader immediately. It’s always good to do one final review on your design elements within a campaign. Never miss the opportunity to ensure the image is reinforcing the messaging you’re trying to communicate and can be translated across multiple channels and devices. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®
It’s so small, but the presentation personifies your attention to detail that clients and colleagues notice. Make sure the headers are lined up, the font is consistent and the images are clear. All of them are easy to check and more important than most people realize. – Brian Salzman, RQ
9. Tone Of The Content
Make sure the content projects your desired tone. An effective tone should portray your business’s personality while appealing to the target audience with the appropriate emotion. Imagine you are a prospective customer reading the content — do you find the material persuasive? Look closely at diction and punctuation to see how these details contribute to (or take away from) the overall voice. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions
10. The Offer
So many times we tend to make sure the technical details are important and although they are, the offer in any marketing campaign is truly the most important piece. Facebook ads have been published with misspellings because they get better engagement. These are done on purpose with local businesses. Regardless, you need to make sure the offer is set on the campaign in order to get the desired result. – Daniel Veiga, Rapid Fire Media
11. The ‘Little Things’
Institute a “second pair of eyes” policy that requires every piece of content be read by someone else who can review everything — stressing “everything!” Ideally, that should be a team member with fresh eyes who was not part of the development, to avoid version fatigue. Pay special attention to calls-to-action and the little things that are so easy to overlook like footers, signature lines, addresses, etc. – Patricia Rioux, Team ODEA
12. The Initial Brief
Always review the brief one last time. Ask yourself, have you addressed the client’s needs/the campaign objectives? Have you crossed every “t” and dotted every “i?” Imagine being back in school writing essays and double-checking to make sure you’ve properly “answered the prompt.” – Matt Doud, Planit