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 - 7/22/2021 06:00

According to eMarketer, Google Home is the most popular smart speaker in Canada, with Amazon Echo right behind. It’s estimated that almost 20% of the population used smart speakers in 2020. Even more important, voice technology is on the rise, as Media in Canada reports. Over 88% of Canadians are using voice search. If your business isn’t addressing voice search in your SEO content, you could be missing out.

Sheetal Pinto - 7/15/2021 06:00

Imagine yourself in a real-life social situation. Will you stand around and talk to others in the room even if they aren’t listening or seem bored and disinterested? Umm, awkward. It’s no different in the online world, but many of us don’t realize it. If your Facebook posts are talking but nobody is listening, your social content is not doing a very good job.

Sheetal Pinto - 7/8/2021 06:00

What if there was a way to position your brand as authoritative? What if your content could provide social proof? What if you could show your customers how successful you are at helping other customers? The winning solution in your content strategy is case studies. You can accomplish 3 key content marketing goals with case studies—build credibility, generate interest, and encourage conversion.
Case studies capture stories of how your brand solved a problem for a real person or business. A case study lets you paint a picture through words to make your business shine. Your customers’ success stories are just waiting to be told. A case study is a valuable content piece in which readers can see themselves getting results.   

Sheetal Pinto - 6/24/2021 06:00

Recognizing the value and importance of content marketing, you’ve decided you need help. Professional copywriting delivers the results you want. So, you’re now looking for a content agency. There’s no shortage of options. Sifting through the different agencies in a simple online search can be time consuming. You need a plan to find the one that fits your needs and is up to speed on the latest content best practices.
Here are four questions you can ask to help you sort through the field to find a content agency that will drive results.

Sheetal Pinto - 6/17/2021 06:00

Small business owners wear a lot of hats. As an expert multitasker, you’ve probably learned that there are times when you can manage two or three things at once. Then, there are those jobs that need your full focus. We are thinking, bookkeeping, inventory, and content editing and proofreading. If you’re involved in both creating and posting content, wearing both hats at the same time can cause confusion in the final output. With years of experience creating content for a range of industries, here are proven tips from our SEO copywriters for editing content and then proofreading content; because they aren’t the same thing.  

Sheetal Pinto - 6/10/2021 00:00

In the lean, mean structure of smaller businesses, in-house copywriters often don’t specialize in copywriting. It’s just one of many hats they wear as part of their overall duties. Creating high quality digital content isn’t easy. Consumer behaviours change, Google’s algorithms change, search trends change, and all of this means content must adapt. Copywriters who work on their writing skills and keep up with the user experience will be more effective. Here are four tips from great novelists that can take your content writing to the next level.

Sheetal Pinto - 6/3/2021 13:19

Thirty years ago, we were using desktop-based PCs with dial up connections. Today, smartphones fit in the palm of our hands, allowing us to be connected from literally anywhere in the world. Wearables go a step further; you just strap a smartwatch on to your wrist and it packs a punch. People consume content differently, too. Instead of reading long documents, most people skim content for quick answers. Your content strategy must keep up with your audience. Using pillar pages and cluster posts to organize content is an efficient approach that benefits your readers and your SEO rankings. And oh, your writers will thank you profusely, too!

Sheetal Pinto - 5/27/2021 06:00

You are an expert in your field, which gives you a lot of credibility and authority when creating content for your business. You don’t have to be a copywriter to share your story. You simply have to know how to tell it to your reader. Here are some of our best tips to help you create high-quality website content.

Sheetal Pinto - 5/20/2021 06:00

Search engines organize content to help users find information easily. As people get increasingly adept at using online search, the rules for indexing and ranking content keep adapting to accommodate user trends consumer behavior. It’s no longer enough to have backlinks and keywords, two of the main elements in SEO. Your content must stand out by being relevant and engaging to the reader. As the top search engines change their algorithm to reward high-quality content, it’s your chance to set your site up as one that people love.

Sheetal Pinto - 5/13/2021 06:00

For a long time, it seemed as if SEO favoured large, nationwide brands with huge websites and massive online presence. Small businesses were finding it difficult to compete against these deep-pocketed digital brand marketers. Enter Local Search, which helped level the playing field a little. Now, if the user was looking for a local business, it became easier to find one. Today, users use search not just to find brands, but to find information. Search engines are constantly changing to give users relevant information, at whatever stage they are in their journey. We’re seeing another trend in search, that of search equity to give more businesses a chance to show off their expertise.