Just one wrong letter is all it takes.  

The job ad for a ‘pubic relations officer’. The sign claiming that ‘illegally parked cars will be fine’. And we all remember the hilarious Pringles ‘multigran’ typo that made it onto billboards… 

You may be forgiven for a rogue apostrophe, stray comma or questionable spelling when texting your friends or messaging colleagues internally. In fact, depending on what you’ve inadvertently said, it’ll probably give you all something to giggle about.  

However, it won’t be so funny when you’ve just picked up 500 copies of your beautifully designed brochure, only to notice a glaring error on the cover.  

That’s why conducting a thorough proofread of all your marketing content is essential to protecting your brand — and your bottom line. 

Not yet sold on the whole proofreading thing? Here are some more reasons why you need to ensure there’s someone on hand to go through all your copy with a fine-tooth comb… 

The pitfalls of poor proofreading

By not getting your marketing content properly proofread, you run a high risk of publishing something that’s inconsistent and difficult to comprehend at best — and, at worst, damages your company’s reputation. Here’s why… 

Copy mistakes look sloppy 

In business, details matter — and typos and punctuation mistakes just look careless. 

Even if an error gets past most of your customers, an eagle-eyed investor, buyer or even a potential employee might spot it and question the integrity of your brand — not what you want in the competitive business marketing landscape. 

And if you think dodgy proofreading only affects the large global companies — think again! Thanks to the rise of social media, no business is immune. Your mistake could quickly end up on the internet for all to see, and you could find yourself the butt of a fair few jokes (or ‘memes’). 

…And can cost you a pretty penny 

We meant it when we said it pays to proofread.  

By failing to spot a mistake the first time around, you’ll waste a LOT of money recommissioning all the assets that carry it. So, if you don’t want to have to reprint thousands of posters, flyers or whatever else it may be, take the extra time to proofread your work (or ask an expert to do it for you). 

The same goes for your digital marketing. Say you accidentally misspell your contact information, miss a number from your offer or use the wrong product name in a social media ad you’re running. In that case, you’ll have wasted all the time and money you put into the campaign — and probably lost out on some leads, too. 

You might contradict grammar rules — and your tone of voice 

Whenever you create content for your digital and print marketing activities, you should adhere to grammar best practices and follow a tone of voice guideline to ensure consistency in your messaging, brand voice, and style.   

However, if no one’s done a thorough proofread, you’ll likely miss some of these finer details. 

Of course, there’s always room for a little creative licence. Some of the most famous straplines technically aren’t grammatically correct — but ‘Do You Have Any Milk?’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as ‘Got Milk?’. Rules are made to be broken, right? 

Still, whilst intentional play on words is acceptable, an accidental typo or punctuation mistake just looks unprofessional.  

So, before you start playing around with copy rules, you must have a good grasp of them first — that way, you’ll know how far you can bend them. And if you’re deliberately changing stuff around, at least ensure it’s consistent across all your materials and in line with your company’s tone of voice. 

Errors can undermine your authority  

As with any other mistakes, typos can sow seeds of doubt about your business in the minds of your customers and partners. After all, if you can’t get basic spelling and punctuation correct, what else might you be getting wrong? Just think of Rachel Green’s dodgy resumes in Friends. They didn’t exactly fill anyone with confidence…  

That’s why it’s so important to take the quality of your copy seriously. By letting things slide, the overall standard of the material you put into the world will appear rushed and fail to demonstrate the attention to detail clients look for. 

The key steps to error-free marketing copy  

Wondering how to improve your proofreading skills to produce more consistent and compelling copy? 

There are five things you need to work on… 

1. Make it part of your process 

If you want to avoid mistakes and be taken seriously as a business, don’t let anything leave the building without a thorough copy check. That means checking everything two, three or even five times if needed. 

Every piece of content you produce should be a reflection of your organisation and the care you put into your work. So, don’t let the final proofread be an afterthought; build it into your processes to ensure you’re always putting your best foot forward. 

2. Slow things down 

By nature, we all read our own text too quickly, which means our eyes see what we think they should see rather than what it actually says on the page. This is why it’s so difficult to pick up our own mistakes. 

To combat this, you could try checking for one error at a time, focusing on punctuation and then spelling — or even read your copy out loud to see if there’s anything you stumble over. 

Alternatively, it can help to ask someone else in your team to give your work a read-through to check for anything you’ve overlooked. 

3. Make a note of your frequent mistakes

We all make mistakes sometimes. Why not learn from them? 

If you find that you’re constantly using the noun ‘practice’ when you need the verb ‘practise’ or you keep capitalising the wrong words, make a note of it and keep it in mind whenever you’re checking your work. 

By identifying the weaknesses in your copy, you can ensure you keep a beady eye out for them — and, eventually, avoid errors altogether! 

4. Don’t rely on spelling and grammar checkers

Hey, we’re Grammarly’s biggest fan — and Word’s spell checker has saved us from a fair few silly mistakes.  

However, don’t think you can just rely on these tools to create error-free copy. They’re good, but they’re not that good… 

These apps are far from foolproof and often lack the nuance of a human writer. So, don’t be misled — take their advice with a pinch of salt and use them only as a top-level check to identify typos you didn’t spot during your initial read-through. 

5. Call for backup 

Proofreading is an acquired skill, and there’s a big difference between a thoroughly proofread or edited piece of copy and one that’s only had a quick ‘skim’.  

You need to know exactly what you’re looking for to find the errors in the text — which is where a good copywriter comes in handy. It’s not just about spelling, grammar or punctuation; copywriters will also fact-check and look for consistency, tone of voice and messaging. 

So, if you’re not 100% confident in your writing or don’t have the time to proofread your work carefully, it’s well worth leaving it to the experts to save yourself a headache later. 

At Hyped Marketing, we’re meticulous about good copy — whether we’re creating it from scratch or checking your existing content and materials. Contact our digital marketing agency at 01252 717373 or hi@hypedmarketing.co.uk to find out how we can help your business avoid any costly (and embarrassing!) mistakes.