Content Marketing Blog mint

Content Marketing Blog

So, You Think You Can Write, Eh?

The Importance of Using the Right ‘ism’s’ in Your Content

For Canadians, summer has kicked off to a great start. Between NBA Championships and Canada Day, it seems like us Canucks have our Canadianisms on full HD colour display for the world to see. For our neighbours south of the border, even this post might be too Canadian. After all, is it colour or color?

When it comes to local or national “isms,” there’s no right or wrong answer. In fact, North Americans can take solace in the fact that many of our continental ‘isms’ differ from other continents in the world. However, for marketers speaking to American and Canadian audiences, it’s important to know the similarities and differences in language that will help you appeal to both sides of the dollar.

From Pop to Soda

Old school wisdom says one should stay away from using colloquialisms and region-specific words. Writer Robyn Saunders argues, that’s not always the case. According to Saunders, “using more casual language that resembles a personal exchange often has more of an impact (on readers).” Resorting to formal language to convey a simple thought can backfire, making the content seem too high-brow or unrelatable to its audiences.1

There are certain Canadian words and phrases that are difficult for Americans to understand. Canadians call their carbonated sweet beverages ‘pop,’ use ‘taps’ in their ‘washrooms,’ and sip on ‘double-doubles.’ Do you own a beanie or a toque? If it’s the latter, you’re probably a Canadian. On a grammatical note, Canadians usually follow British English by writing col-our, fla-vour or hon-our.

Americans have their own share of unique ‘isms’ that can be funny to hear and tricky to decipher. Americans end sentences with ‘periods,’ pronounce the letter Z as ‘zee,’ and ‘turn off’ lights instead of switching them off. You might get a shocked look if you say the word ‘fanny pack’ to an unsuspecting Brit. Or maybe that's another thing for an American to “check off” their list.

From “Isms” to “Uh-Oh”

“It's always a good idea to check whether your brand name, logo, or tag line means something different in the regions where you're expanding.”2 While this might sound like a no-brainer, more than a few brands have faced this problem over the years. A recent example is Kraft Heinz, who released a ketchup-mayonnaise hybrid sauce in Canada under the name “Mayochup.” In Cree, the widest spoken indigenous language in Canada, the word “mayochup” roughly translates to “feces face.”3 In a similar situation, Clairol launched a curling iron called the “mist stick” in Germany. Germans use the term “mist” to talk about manure. That caused a bit of stink for Clairol.

What’s the lesson here? If you’re looking to talk to a new audience, make sure you learn about the nuances in their language that make them unique.

Happy Canada Day! Happy Fourth of July!

This week is an important week for Canadians and Americans alike, who are celebrating their independence days. To all our readers from the Great White North, we wish you a happy belated Canada Day! May your week be filled with Timbits and good news from Kawhi (please stay in Toronto!)

To our American readers, have a happy Fourth of July filled with family and friends! We hope your celebrations are red, white and blue, and cups are filled with Bloody Mary’s! Cheers!

When it comes to content marketing, we write Canadian, American, European, and many other cultural forms of digital content. At MintCopy, our trained copywriters produce quality content for clients across the world. Our content agency in Toronto, Canada has a team of writers specializing in SEO content and digital marketing for a range of industries. We can help you create and publish content that works for you and your audience.

Contact us online or call 1.888.646.8003 today.

Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to stay updated on the latest content marketing trends.

Share


Recent Posts

Sheetal Pinto - 8/4/2022 06:00

And Why It's Important!

Featured snippets on Google are valuable digital real estate for your content marketing assets. These snippets are quick answers to search questions. Although snippets are designed to provide answers for the user without having to clickthrough to the page, Hubspot found that content with a snippet had a higher click-through rate of 2x or more, making this search feature important to your SEO strategy. If you can get your copywriting featured as a snippet, it builds your authority and visibility.

Sheetal Pinto - 7/21/2022 06:00

But Your Audience is Looking for Value!

Events can be a great way to promote your brand but getting people’s attention in the current landscape can be difficult. Start with an extensive content marketing plan that entices your audience to attend your event because they see VALUE in it. Here are useful content tips for event marketing.

Sheetal Pinto - 7/7/2022 06:00

Move Over 'Engine'; It's Time for 'Experience'

Work smarter, not harder can be applied to many different situations. Content marketing relies on artificial intelligence, but even so, your content can work smarter for your employees and customers. The key is using best practices and the right technology for SEO and copywriting.

Sheetal Pinto - 6/16/2022 06:00

Use the Right Content Nails!

‘Cinderella' is the classic rags to riches story. Her sisters wanted to marry the prince, but just dressing up as princesses wasn't enough. Nothing the sisters did could make the prince choose them. The glass slipper had to fit. The real match happened when the slipper fit perfectly. Content marketing is much like that fairytale perfect fit. Personalized content can be that perfect fit. Here's how to use the data you have about your customers to make the content fit.

Sheetal Pinto - 6/2/2022 06:00

Don't Rely on Endless Spreadsheets for Keyword Optimization

Phil Frost, Founder and COO of Main Street ROI, says, “Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” Google indexes information to provide relevant search results, not to make marketing easier. When you keep that in your mind as part of your content marketing strategy, you can use keywords to support your SEO strategy to provide engaging content that delivers value to your audience.

Sheetal Pinto - 5/19/2022 06:00

What You Need to Know

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that Google is going to update its search algorithm. Some experts estimate that Google makes 500 to 600 updates annually, or once or twice each day. Most of these changes don’t have a significant impact on your SEO strategy, but every now and then, one comes along that can have serious repercussions. Learn more about two new features of Google search that help users verify and evaluate search results.

Sheetal Pinto - 5/5/2022 06:00

Google, one of the largest companies in the world, relies on artificial intelligence for hundreds of it projects. It can seem a little hypocritical for Google to tell businesses that they can’t use AI-generated content on their website. Back in 2010, Google’s John Mueller said that using automated translation tools to create content for your website “could be viewed as being against our Webmaster guidelines.” Here we are, over 10 years later, and Mueller just tweeted that “content generators have been around since the start of the web…Most sites…don’t need help creating low-quality content.” There’s a big discussion in the SEO industry about AI-generated content.

Sheetal Pinto - 4/21/2022 06:00

One of the toughest things about creating content is coming up with ideas. You can research keywords all day long, but if you can’t come up with topics around those keywords, your content may fall flat. If your in-house copywriter is struggling to keep up with a content calendar, you might be thinking about working with a content agency. Use these questions to prepare for a meeting with the project manager or as starting points to create your own content. 

Sheetal Pinto - 4/7/2022 05:54

There just isn't a 'softer' way to say this; it's bad. Duplicate content, as defined by Google, “refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content in the same language or are appreciably similar.” Google highly recommends avoiding duplicate content. The key reason is that the ranking of the page on search engine results may suffer. This means, your audiences will not find your content, and when they do, they are unlikely to consider it useful. Understanding how Google handles duplicate content can help you elevate user experience and create a better content marketing plan.

Sheetal Pinto - 3/24/2022 06:00

Modern customer expectations have dramatically changed over the past few years. Although the pandemic certainly influenced customer behaviour in many ways, customers were already trending towards transparency and social responsibility from the companies they patronized. Creating content that shares your values and mission can bring your audience together to support your brand. Here are some ways to create connections to your audience through content marketing.