The Cost of Inefficient Content
  • 7-minute read
  • 8th April 2022

The Cost of Inefficient Content

Yes, creating content is costly. But creating inefficient content is even costlier. Poor writing and communications add up to a jaw-dropping annual productivity loss of $400 billion for American companies, according to one estimate.

This is before we even touch on the missed opportunities for connecting with your customers. Crafting quality content is how your brand gets noticed in the digital world. And with consumers having spent 14.2% more of their money online through US businesses in 2021 compared to 2020, it’s becoming increasingly worthwhile to get a slice of the pie.

It goes without saying that if your company’s bread and butter is creating content for others, ignoring quality issues is even costlier.


Why Invest in Higher-Quality Content?

Developing insightful and highly shareable content builds your business’ credibility and trust while strengthening its reputation. Your customers are looking for accuracy and authenticity, so you can encourage brand loyalty by ensuring all your copy is specific, error-free, and allows people to identify with your products or services.

Crafting engaging and effective content also generates new leads and impacts decision making from would-be clients, further boosting your sales and revenue. Clear copy and communications prime people far before they reach the point of sale—during most of the time that users spend on the Internet, they’re engaging with custom content.



However, while focusing on the customer experience is key to securing better business outcomes right now and in the future, there are certain challenges to circumvent when crafting quality content.

The Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating Content

Humans have a worse attention span than goldfish—just eight seconds, according to research by Microsoft. This means that your company needs to hook consumers immediately while continuing to provide value with every sentence. 

Here’s what to avoid:

1. Bland, Filler Content

Customers have a low tolerance for poor-quality content because exceptional content is now the norm. The most successful companies have already set the bar high by investing in the best writing and editing possible. They’re fully aware that audiences can seek more informative, authoritative, and useful content elsewhere when they’re dissatisfied.

2. Attention-to-Detail Errors

Mistakes in your copy—even minor typos—can affect your credibility as a company. And it’s even more problematic when factual mistakes creep into your work. 

To meet customers’ higher demands, you need access to professional content creators, whether permanent staff or freelancers, with high-level experience in writing and editing. 

To solve the problem of inexperienced staff, try these solutions:

3. Risk of Reputational Damage

As well as avoiding basic grammar and punctuation errors, companies should evade negative criticism. Take OVO as an example. When the UK announced exponential gas and electricity price rises, the company published a tongue-in-cheek blog post on how to limit energy usage. The article, which suggested hugging pets and hula-hooping to keep warm, was highly inappropriate during a time when households were in a genuine panic about skyrocketing bills. The social media backlash was enormous, and the company eventually apologized.

This type of scenario demonstrates why businesses need editors with sophisticated judgment skills to cast their expert eyes over content before it’s signed off.

4. Bottlenecks in the Creation Process

A surge in remote work has posed challenges for developing consistent and efficient communications. Employees are increasingly working asynchronously via emails, online forums, and/or collaborative documents, which can overcomplicate processes. When staff can’t access the right information at the right time, it hinders productivity and reduces profits.

Your editorial system should work like a well-oiled machine. Keep all communications to a single channel—perhaps a messaging system like Slack—and all resources in a single location, such as Notion, Google Drive, or Trello. 

The world moves fast—and so should you. Having a squeaky-clean editorial process and an efficient content team at your fingertips is vital.


Is Focusing on High-Quality Content Truly Worth it For Your Business?

All businesses use writing in one form or another, whether internally or externally. Yet, churning out masses of content without a logical strategy isn’t advised. Publishing vague pieces that don’t drive business outcomes, traffic, or engagement metrics is detrimental to your brand.

If you’re wondering whether better quality content will bring your business a higher ROI, ask yourself these questions:

Are you seeing a lag in client acquisition?

Creating content should help with customer growth rates. If your company predominantly uses publishing as a marketing tool, consider the formats that may suit it. While long, informational articles might be necessary for a business whose services are more complex—perhaps an energy firm or cybersecurity startup—other firms need short blogs and snappy social media posts to sell their products.

Does your sales team struggle to bring in buyers?

If so, you may need to create content that helps transform prospects into paying customers. White papers and case studies can underline your company’s authority in its field, while also explaining your key products or services in a more incisive way.

Are you regularly losing a large number of clients?

If you create content for external customers, check whether quality issues are to blame. Request feedback when clients fail to renew their contracts. You might need to ramp up attention to detail in the editorial process––a reasonably simple fix.


How to Create Quality Content (Without High Costs)

Market Muse estimates the price of producing content at $1,224 per piece for a mid-size company with a small editorial department. That’s no paltry sum––but there are ways to save on these outgoings: 

  • Focus on content intent. Instead of simply optimizing your writing with snappy headlines, the “ideal” word count, or SEO tweaks, craft substantial pieces that are genuinely useful for the target audience. Think about adding infographics, new research, and fresh insights into the copy.

  • Investigate AI systems. You can use platforms like to help generate content and ProWritingAid to assist with proofreading. However, even when using these machine learning tools, it’s still necessary to supplement with a human touch. Keep in mind that “80% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after reading a human translation,” according to the e-commerce content agency Jellyfish, so writers and editors are still needed.

  • Consider outsourcing to a relevant editing and proofreading service. This way, you can leave the editing to the experts while eliminating the time you need to spend on hiring, training, and managing staff and freelancers.

How Partnering With Proofed Will Help

Free your in-house team from grappling with grammar by outsourcing to an external provider for editing and proofreading. Removing this time-consuming portion of the production process allows your staff to focus on higher-value tasks. 

No matter your industry or volume of work, we can help scale your content creation. We’ll build and manage a team of specialist editors trained with your style guide while ensuring every piece you publish is error-free. We also rapidly develop systems to incorporate your team’s feedback and continuously train our editors, improving your content further over time.

Thousands of businesses, from award-winning startups to Fortune 500 companies, have benefited from partnering with us. Learn more about how we can help you avoid making costly content mistakes by scheduling a call with us today.

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