The Editing Process Is Critical to Gain Brand Loyalty
Editing, you say? How can editing be critical to customer relationships? Every communication that comes from your organization should go through the editing cycle—an iterative cycle. That means that there are rounds of revisions and versions that are reviewed by all interested parties and this cycle continues until the final is approved.
Editing is time consuming. But it is worth it. Because in the end, you have copywriting and content marketing that represents the high-quality of your brand. And that’s where the relationship with your customers comes front and center. If your customers and prospects are not impressed with the copywriting and content marketing that you publish, then they are not going to be impressed with your brand. And that translates into no sale.
Editing Step #1 – Consider the Audience and the Media
• Who will read the copy? Tailor the words and style to capture audience interest.
• What is the purpose? What do you want to accomplish with the copy? To get more info? Or sell? Identifying the goal helps to get copy on point.
• Is the copy written correctly for how it is going to be received: the message in an email, website, and content marketing copy are adjusted for the medium to get the desired reaction.
Editing Step #2 – Copy and Organization
• Think about what is being said, and structure it as simply as possible. Clear thinking is the key to clear editing.
• Use simple words and simple sentences. Vary sentence length and structure to create rhythm and keep your reader’s interest.
• Choose words carefully. Use as few words as possible to get your message across. Use precise words that create imagery in the reader’s mind, are engaging and compelling. If you can leave out a word without changing the meaning, leave it out.
• Use short paragraphs. Make the written page look as appealing as possible by using short paragraphs that will engage your reader.
• Use subheads to break up long text.
• Use the active voice—the passive voice tends to use more words and often communicates less strength than the active voice.
• Review the copy to ensure it flows in a logical and organized manner.
• Proofread the copy.
Editing Step #3 – Revision Cycle
• Editing on screen and hard copy are both important to the process. Seeing the words on paper helps find unnecessary words, spelling mistakes and, most important, determine if the text is organized and conveys its intended meaning. Reading on screen ensures line spacing is correct and copy is easy to read.
• It also helps to read aloud to make sure the copy follows a logical pattern and is on point with the brand messaging.
• Editing of each communication should be done a minimum of two times. Allow a bit of time in between editing rounds. When you come back to the copy later, you’ll have a clearer view and will probably find ways to improve it. Do this as many times as necessary.
• Editing should be completed by the author, subject matter experts and stakeholders to ensure the message being delivered is accurate and in line with the business goals.
• After editing is completed, once again proofread carefully for typographical errors that might have crept up during the editing cycle. Develop a habit of proofreading several times before declaring a document ready to publish. Have others proof it as well. Use the spell-checker one last time. Only then can you release it to the public.