Is your marketing message causing confusion?

We all know how important it is to get our marketing messages across clearly, and some of you eagle eyed readers may have spotted this recent picture on my Facebook page

odd text

At a first glance, this suggests to me that presenting the voucher will get you one free child, and at a saving of £9.50, that’s a bargain for a completely new member of the family!

My mother has been picking me up on any and all misuse of the English language since I was a child, and that’s probably why I’m such a pedant now (I should point out she still tells me off for using the word ‘hopefully’ incorrectly in a sentence, so I’m very careful not to use it in her presence). One of her bugbears is the use of the phrase, ‘for free’, when it should be ‘free of charge’ or ‘for nothing’. The picture above commits a similar wording crime, so my suggestion is that it should be re-worded as ‘1 free child place’ or ‘1 child goes free’ – what do you think?

This is why it’s so important to get somebody else at least to glance over your copy and content before it goes out to the wider world. If there’s any chance that what you’re saying could be misconstrued in any way, you might have looked at it so many times that you’re no longer noticing the mistakes, and somebody else will be seeing things with a fresh pair of eyes. I know I will be reading this post several times over before hitting ‘publish’, and even then I will worry about the odd typo.

And if you’re at all unsure about your spelling, punctuation and grammar, regardless of what you’re writing, it goes without saying that you should be getting somebody to proofread your work.

I’ve still been busy looking out for misplaced apostrophes on my travels, and this one is a recent favourite.

apostrophe alert

They nearly made it! So near and yet so far….plus you only get one cappuccino.

I’d love to see some more #apostrophefails, so if you spot one when you’re out and about, please pop over to my Facebook page and share your findings!

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How can transcription help your content marketing?

It’s an inescapable fact these days that we’re constantly bombarded with information and it’s difficult to get noticed in a huge and sometimes bewildering marketplace. This is especially true if you’re a one person business and you’re often trying to do everything yourself!

How do you get your message across in a way that’s not constantly sell, sell, sell, and is actually helpful to your existing and prospective customers?

I attended the newly launched Content Marketing Workshop in Fife last week along with a good number of other business owners, keen to find out more about how blogging and podcasting can help businesses communicate better. Although most of those attending had no experience of podcasting, there were a fair few who were already blogging, so this got me thinking about the different stages of content marketing and how transcription can help content marketers from beginners to experts.

Let’s say you want to start a blog, but you struggle with writer’s block and you just can’t seem to get those words down on the page. If you find it easier to articulate what you have to say verbally, try picking up your smartphone to dictate your thoughts before getting them transcribed and edited into a readable format.

If you’re a seasoned content marketer and you’re already regularly recording podcasts or YouTube videos, you might want to think about re-purposing that content to use again. Once a piece of audio or video is intelligently transcribed (i.e. taking out all the ums, ers and repetitions), you’ve got yourself a blog post, a set of social media posts or a chapter for an ebook.

You could also try putting a transcript alongside your video posts – not only is this good for SEO, but it means your content will appeal to different learning styles. After all, not everyone wants to watch a video, some prefer to skim over a piece of text and pick out the bits that interest them most.

This thinking also works for audio learning tools such as webinars – how many times have you signed up for a webinar, only to find you never get round to listening to the recording? Providing a transcript solves that problem in one fell swoop.

I’d love to hear your ideas about how you might re-purpose your content, so please either leave me a comment or head over to my Facebook page and let me know how transcription might help you.