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 - 1/21/2021 06:00

Who’s your favorite Superman? Is it Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, or Henry Cavill? If you’re like many Superman aficionados, you may not have a favorite. You enjoy them all on their own merits. Each rendition of Superman brought a new facet to the character. Content is much like those favorite characters who we keep bringing back.

Sheetal Pinto - 1/14/2021 14:27

Most businesses don’t have an infinite marketing budget, so it’s important to focus on smart content marketing. In creating a strategy, you can put your marketing dollars toward the most effective methods to increase your audience and boost sales. Here are five more content marketing ideas that you can use on a budget to see how your customers respond.

Sheetal Pinto - 1/7/2021 06:00

As we enter 2021 with innovative ideas and new opportunities in entrepreneurship, let’s take a look at how content marketing can lead to new customers, even if you don’t have a huge budget. The key is to get a content strategy and build your content vault as you grow your business. Here are five ideas you can build into your marketing plan to reach out to your audience.

Sheetal Pinto - 12/22/2020 13:24

As you look forward to your 2021 content strategy, look back at the roller coaster of 2020. This year—make no mistake—it was a pandemic that altered consumer behavior, forcing marketing teams to pivot their content plans. #BlackLivesMatter put the focus on minority businesses and diversity. Our focus was on helping businesses stay relevant while maximizing their online presence.

Sheetal Pinto - 12/17/2020 06:00

With everything going on in the world, you may be wondering if people care about grammar and spelling on your website and social media channels. Here’s the thing—people now have more time to notice errors in online content. Smashed Media estimates that “grammatical mistakes on websites can reduce sales by up to 50%.” Quality Logo Products reports that 42.5% of over 1,000 social media users who were surveyed about spelling mistakes would not purchase goods on websites that had misspellings. It’s not as though your audience comprises of language experts and schoolteachers, but consumers want to see that your brand cares about the details, even the seemingly unimportant details like grammar and spelling in digital content. To support your busy team of in-house writers, consider hiring an experienced SEO copywriter who can play the role of a content editor.   

Sheetal Pinto - 12/10/2020 06:00

Even if you can’t afford to hire a bunch of people to manage online content, you can support your team with a strategic plan to produce high quality content. Here are the best ways to develop the potential of your content marketing team, regardless of size.

Sheetal Pinto - 12/3/2020 06:00

Content is vital to your marketing strategy. The quality and volume of your content help drive your SEO rankings. The thing to remember is that SEO is just a skeleton without content. Content without SEO is just pretty fabric without a purpose. Many businesses produce content for SEO purposes. After all, you want your website to rank in search to gain customers. But if you forget about the human audience, your content won’t get consumed, shared and re-consumed. When you focus on your user first, making your content relevant and useful, your audience wants more, leading to better SEO rankings.

Sheetal Pinto - 11/26/2020 06:00

Modern consumers shop 24 hours a day. Most businesses don’t have the capability to be available every hour of every day to answer questions and provide information. Chatbots are a popular method of responding to your audience. Although chatbots have been around since 1966, today’s chatbots are becoming incredibly more useful and responsive. They’ve gone way beyond the telephone message system of the 1980s and 1990s. With a rise in Artificial Intelligence (AI), you can utilize this technology to benefit your own business. May content marketing work for you – in real-time!

Sheetal Pinto - 11/19/2020 06:00

An article in the Harvard Business Review estimated that the average professional received about 120 emails per day. To stand out in a sea of words, your emails must use language that gets noticed. Many people don't read more than the subject line or the preview text. Here are some tips for creating emails that catch a reader's attention.

Sheetal Pinto - 11/12/2020 06:00

If you’ve done a Google search recently, you’ve come across some of the newer features of search. For some searches, videos are getting more notice for more interactive and informative information for users. Another addition to search is the rich FAQ snippets or “people also ask” boxes. Google’s “mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Understanding that Google and other search engines aren’t created for your online marketing efforts can help you provide the right content to maximize your SEO strategy. FAQs were once an afterthought. Today, FAQs can boost your organic search efforts in multiple ways. Almost every page has the potential to function like an FAQ page.