Market Responsibly: Your Content Needs an Editor

March 19th, 2018

by Becky McKendry, Senior Editor, Public Sector Consultants

You eat, sleep, and breathe your brand; you can recite your elevator pitch backwards; and no one knows your customers like you do—not even your customers themselves. From defining personas to mapping journeys, you and your team have painstakingly crafted a strong strategy and the perfect content to inspire your audience to engage with your company. But guess what? You’re still not done.

You need an editor.

To some, editing may seem like a luxury or, at a minimum, a relic reserved for scholarly and literary applications. But in an increasingly digital world, speed and quantity don’t set your content apart anymore. Everyone’s got something to say, and they’re saying it quickly.

In this race to produce more content faster, quality is falling by the wayside. Thankfully, this means your message can easily rise above the noise, if you’ve given as much credence to the review stage as you have to the development stage.

Developing a Content Strategy That Will Get You Noticed

If you need help convincing your client, your boss, or yourself that professional editing is worth the investment, here are some reasons too compelling to ignore:

  • A good editor gives you the insight of a fellow marketing professional and a member of your target audience. An adept editor can analyze, critique, and improve your content from multiple viewpoints. They will have the marketing acumen to tweak your content for maximum SEO performance and the technical chops to explain why a particular phrase doesn’t fit your target audience’s lexicon.

Better still, editors don’t just refine a single piece of content or enforce your brand standards; they are there to teach. Sure, part of their job is to catch the name misspellings on a press release (phew!), but it’s also to illustrate how certain writing techniques earn you more media. When content creators learn to write more sophisticated advertorials or strategists deepen their understanding of their buyers, the investment in editorial services pays for itself ten times over.

  • Even the best content performs better when it’s polished. A recent study on the value of copyediting showed that readers consistently rated copyedited content as better written, more organized, and of higher value than unedited copy. Most significantly, the study showed that audiences found edited copy to be more professional.

When the reputation of your company is on the line, don’t jeopardize your position as the ultimate authority of your product or service. Find an editor to uphold your brand and ensure your content shines.

  • Input garnered throughout a project is great, but it’s no replacement for a proper editing stage. From ideation to execution, you may have dozens of people adding their two cents to a project. Copywriters, designers, specialists, analysts, directors, clients, senior leadership—the list never ends. Amusingly, the more approval stages a project goes through, the more chances there are for mistakes to creep in.

While any copywriter would love to skip the myriad steps of getting a quote approved, axing these checks and balances is often unreasonable, as you have clients and higher-ups to appease. And you don’t want to lose the valuable input you get from subject-matter experts or the head of your company!

The solution is to make certain that, as close to its final iteration as possible, all content/collateral receives an editor’s eagle-eyed review.

  • You’ve invested too much money and time to skip the quality control process. Good strategy and content aren’t cheap or fast, and neither is high-quality collateral. But if you think it’s hard justifying your marketing budget now, imagine trying to convince your client or boss to jump on board (and open up their wallet) for your next big idea when your last campaign went off the rails.

Mistakes aren’t always the hallmark of carelessness or sloppiness. They just happen—and they happen to everyone. So insure your hard work and great ideas by hiring an editor.

After all, marketing goes viral in the blink of an eye these days—so make sure you’re being talked about for the right reasons.

Becky McKendry is the senior editor of the public policy research firm Public Sector Consultants, and a freelance writer, editor, and marketing/communications consultant.