Mistakes do happen – that's a fact of life. And I've made plenty. There was the text meant for my other half which ended up being sent to my dad. The time I dyed my hair orange. And, most recently, I sent an email to a client with a rather embarrassing typo. I'm human, not perfect. But these sorts of mistakes are, on the whole, easily forgiven (and laughed about).
It’s not quite the same when it comes to your business, though. If the content you're publishing – whether it’s a landing page, product descriptions, or the evergreen content that sits on your website – has typos, incorrect facts, sloppy sentences, or god forbid, is plagiarised, then it’s far more difficult to excuse. After all, your content's a reflection of your brand. If you brand image suffers, customer trust can nosedive.
That's why having a simple, streamlined and super-efficient quality assurance process is a big fat must for us here at Content Media. Here's a few of our top tips to get it right.
Keep it simple
Don't over complicate the QA process. Let one individual own QA – passing it between different editors and proof-readers can sometimes inadvertently add errors. You also don't ever want to be in the situation when you've sent work over to a client that you assumed had gone through the QA process when it hadn't. Simple, clear procedures are a must.
You need to be upfront and honest about any limitations you may have. There's no point pretending to a client who wants an in-depth article on the oil industry or needs 20,000 words on mortgages that you're an expert on these topics if you're not. You're just setting yourself and your team up for a fall.
It might be tempting to skip this stage, but it’s crucial to be realistic about how quickly you can turn work around. Don't promise a client or a team member you can get a piece of content or project over to them if the deadline's just too tight. Communicate. If you don't, the deadline comes, you panic and quality suffers. The work you send won't be a true reflection of the brand.
Trust your instincts
You've got to really know your writers. Know their voice. Know how they write. Once you've got a good sense of this, spotting things like plagiarism is a lot easier. That's just one part of it, though. You also need to run content through various different copy checkers, too, just to be on the safe side. We have a strict one slip policy here at Content Media. If we find anyone turning in work that's not theirs, they're out the door. Our clients deserve better.