The psychology of typos and other reasons your brand needs an editor

Posted on Educational, Improve, Strategy

Exploring the psychology of typos is an ever-interesting study, with spelling and grammar mistakes plaguing human beings since we started writing things down hundreds of years ago. Have you ever wondered why you can spot a mistake in someone else’s Instagram caption, but never your own? Or why do typos even happen in the first place when you can be sure you know how to spell that word. We’ll be exploring how and why this happens, as well as why every brand needs an editor


Any brain activity that involves trying to convey meaning is a complicated process. Writing or typing isn’t as intrinsic to us as speaking when it comes to communication, making writing a higher-level task than talking. When our brains are faced with high-level complex tasks, it will chunk smaller pieces of information together into larger, easier-to-interpret parts. Instead of focusing on the letters in each word, it will focus more attention on the word itself, or even the sentence as a whole, leaving out or adding in small details that it doesn’t think are as important to convey overall meaning. 


The problem is, your brain uses the same process to extract meaning as it does in conveying it. When you’re reading your work back to yourself, your brain is in the same state it was in when you made the mistakes in the first place. This means that you currently have a blindspot in that area. That’s why many people pick up their mistakes long after they have published what they have written, after they have been doing and thinking about other things. 


But errors are only the first of five reasons every brand needs an editor. 


1. Typos, errors and inaccuracies


We have already discussed how typos happen, but grammatical errors are common as well. Most countries in the world have plenty of people who don’t speak English as a first language, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good marketers. If you market in English, but don’t have a fully English-speaking team, it’s always a good idea to have an editor on board to correct grammatical discrepancies, without changing the writer’s voice or steamrolling their creativity. 


Having an editor in this capacity is also important for another reason, especially if your marketing strategy includes blog posts. Editors are highly experienced fact checkers and, the internet being what it is, it’s easy to see why this is a service you need. 


2. Content gatekeeping


An editor has read excessive amounts of every kind of content. They will have a pretty good idea of what does and doesn’t do well with different kinds of audiences. Print readers, radio listeners and internet browsers are all unique and an editor will be able to help you curate the same piece of content for each audience. They will also make sure what’s going out into the world is readable, easy to interpret and doesn’t contain anything offensive or plagiarised. 


3. Solid leads


An editor’s audience-forward approach means they can both create and edit (depending on whether you have your own content creators or not) content that leads to social sharing and lead conversions. Did someone on your team write a blog post that now needs a searchable key phrase inserted 3-5 times seamlessly? An editor can get it done! They will also guide you in short-form copy creation, ensuring that just a few words are both punchy and informative. All of this works towards making your brand’s communication more palatable. 


4. Content optimisation


If there’s one thing an editor knows not to do, it’s waste. If you have a website loaded with blog posts, for example, they can work closely with your web dev team to go through your archive one post at a time. They will make corrections and amendments and SEO optimise the work so that it can enjoy a new lease on life online. They can do the same with all of your written content, including radio and print ads, and Instagram grid curation. They can also help you recycle this content for other channels. If your brand is changing things up, but you don’t want to lose what could still be useful to you, an editor’s your guy.


5. Brand alignment


An editor can also act as the first port of call for brand style and values. As soon as a blog, ad or social media post is drafted, you can send it to your editor where they will make sure it has been written with your brand in mind. This includes checking that the language, style and tone are all on brand.


For more information about our editorial overhaul and retainer services, get in touch with us today. 


Writing your own copy, but not seeing results? Discover our copywriting exercises for marketing success.