Proofreading and copyediting aren’t the sexiest parts of the marketing process—but they’re essential to delivering a great reader experience and building trust with your audience. Investing in the services of a copy editor can help you improve delivery along multiple fronts.
From establishing a brand style guide to providing a professional polish to everything you publish, strong copyediting can be the difference between something you’re proud of and a mess. Here’s a closer look at why marketers should invest in this often overlooked element of the marketing process—and how to find the right copy editor for your team.
In a sea of publications and content marketing efforts, it’s critical that everything from your company brochures to your blog posts reflect your brand voice. One of the first things a copy editor can do is help you determine what your brand’s style is, and then ensure that it’s consistently reflected through your materials. For example, he or she can help you look at:
- What general style guide your company writing will follow: Some options include the Chicago Manual and Associated Press style.
- Your brand’s voice: Are you aiming for quirky and fresh, for example, or conservative and authoritative?
- Streamlining word choice and writing style: Does the writing reflect what you’re trying to communicate, or is there a better way to manage that conversation?
Companies need to be sure that the claims they make are accurate. For example, does a survey or research study exist with which you can back up your key assertions? Have you cited those statistics correctly and gotten facts and quotes right? As part of the review process, a copy editor will often complete fact-checking, which can help you deliver a better experience overall and ensure that you’re honoring your audience’s trust. In today’s environment, where there’s mistrust of media and other sources, making sure that your information is accurate and up to date will help your brand stand apart.
Signals of Quality
Often, marketers will spend thousands of dollars on a campaign—copywriting, designing, printing, and distributing. When you’re making that investment, it’s important not to let a typo or inconsistency across your content signal a lack of professionalism. A strong copyedit can add a polish to your work that helps capture consumers’ attention. A brand that delivers quality in its content, marketing, and sales materials is more likely to apply that same attention to detail in its interactions with customers.
Hiring a Copy Editor
What should you look for in a copy editor? Here are three things to consider:
- Previous experience: Does the copy editor have previous experience? Look for strong references, experience in your field, and a strong portfolio.
- Attention to detail: Consider giving copy editors a paid test. Does their style align with your expectations? In some cases, you’ll simply want someone who can do a thorough proofread. In others, you’re looking for more in-depth editing.
- Working style match: Copyediting can be an intensive role, and writers can be sensitive about their work. Look for someone whose work style matches your team. For example, does the copy editor have a sense of humor that helps soften the blows? Or can he or she back up grammar suggestions for nitpicky writers? Think about what you need, and choose someone who can succeed in your working environment.
When you’re planning your budget for marketing, don’t overlook a copy editor. Having one on your team is often the difference between polished, professional copy and something that’s too sloppy to bring to market. Investing in a copy editor helps deliver clear writing, strong fact-checking, and a consistent brand experience across your marketing materials.