Fact-checking, how can it help in a marketing strategy?




Leading journalists and media have long valued fact-checking and content integrity. Now with the content marketing as the core of marketing strategies , this practice has been extended to the digital realm. The immediacy of the sector, promoted, above all, by social networks, often causes erroneous or false information to be shared.
Such data or an advertisement with the wrong image can call into question the reputation of your brand. Lack of truth is an easy way to prevent readers from returning to your website or acquiring your services .
Fact-checking is much more than doing a Google search to verify that something is correct. Throughout the following sections you will learn the essentials to correctly verify the elements of your strategies.
The importance of fact-checking in digital marketing
Many of the reputation crises of digital brands arise from spreading and sharing false or misleading topics. Checking each piece of a campaign before launching it is essential to avoid problems. The loyalty of your community and the credibility of your brand are at stake.
A step that, at first glance, seems basic, and that is done less than desired, is to verify the information. You have to compare the sources and collect data from websites that are completely reliable. 
Also, be aware that you do not have to create erroneous information or images that can cause confusion. Once published on your social networks or platforms, the impact can be irreversible. You should not get carried away by immediacy and publish information to be the first without first ensuring that it is correct.
Reasons to implement fact-checking in your company
Popular belief says that this technique is typical of the journalistic sector. The truth is that its use is just as important in the field of digital marketing. This statement is supported by the following four reasons:
·         A blunder can sink a brand image. People remember an oversight better than a long history of good deeds. 
·         There are certain users who enjoy looking through publications with a magnifying glass, especially those made by brands that are not to their liking. They tend to focus on the bad instead of the good, and don't hesitate to viralize grammatical and spelling errors. A compelling reason to pass all your texts and messages through a proofreader before publishing them. 
·         You owe it to your audience, therefore, you have an ethical commitment to verify all your information . Just as they make decisions based on information provided by the media, they do the same with digital marketing campaign posts.
·         While some readers may catch your mistake, others won't and will share the wrong information with their contacts. In this way, unconsciously they are sharing false data that can harm your reputation. 
What to consider when doing fact-checking
Here are nine basic components you should check to make sure your content is credible, accurate, and reliable:

1.- Names and titles

Not using the correct spelling and punctuation is unprofessional and damages your credibility. Check the wording of brands, personal names, institutions and job titles. Also, make sure they are written consistently throughout the content. And keep it consistent: if a term is spelled one way at the beginning of the campaign, never change it again.

2.- Data and numbers

If you are going to work with statistics, check all the facts, percentages, transactions and other related aspects. It is important to use updated data. Consult your personal files, or carry out a search on the Internet, if you have doubts with an ephemeris or economic data. Even if you are reusing content from another website, check everything correctly before using it for your interests.

3.- Places

Check the correct wording of the names of cities, capitals, countries, regions and other geographic areas. To check this data be sure to use the correct sources. And don't forget that they must be updated.

4.- Contact information

It is common to put the company's email address and phone number on the web and in newsletters. Therefore, before making them public, check that they are operational and that they work correctly. In the same way, try to ensure that the phone you offer is not specially priced.

5.- Definitions of little known terms

If you don't know the meaning of a word or phrase, make sure you look it up properly in the newspaper archive and in the dictionary. Also, if it's a complex compression term, try to make clear what it means. A misinterpretation, or a confusing message, can lead to a counterproductive situation for your brand.

6.- Statistical or information sources

Finding the main source is the way to know if the information at hand is true or not. Certify that the primary sources you consult are considered accredited within your sector. Although it looks like a reputable page, Wikipedia, being able to be edited by the public, is an option that is not entirely recommended.

7.- Statistics and figures

Presenting false or miscalculated data is deadly to your credibility. Always offer the latest information and check that all your calculations and percentages are correct. Verify that the entities or websites that provide statistics have authority and reputation.

8.- Superlatives

Beware of expressions like "the best", "guaranteed success", "the most" "first that", etc. If this statement cannot be supported by evidence, it provides a clear attribution. If nothing can be done, delete the claim. Honesty reinforces the community's commitment to your brand.

9.- Beware of plagiarism

Fact-checking is one of the great threats for those who like to appropriate other people's texts. The duplicate content is a bad idea if your goal is to strengthen your authority . Search engines value accurate, fact-based information for their users. So if your content strategy involves copying / pasting, you're likely to have a hard time generating traffic.

Double check, even if you think everything is already OK

Although it is good to trust your instincts, you should not trust them completely. You may think you know how to spell the name of a product, but you should check it in case you are wrong. 
Spending a few minutes searching for something is going to be easier than dealing with calls and emails when you're wrong. And, remember, the strategy manager is responsible for everything that a marketing campaign reports and displays.  Even if you did not write anything, if something is wrong, you are still responsible for the error.
Recheck to see if all the dates, names, facts, and numbers listed match on all sources. If this doesn't happen, you should find out which version is correct. However, it is not easy to find information or images on websites. If no original data is found, it is best to contact the owner directly.
When you work with external content providers or agencies, fact checking is often just part of the campaign creation process. Even if you delegate the work to others, make sure that everything they say on your behalf is correct and truthful . Remember that this campaign, and all its elements, are shown under the protection of your brand name.

Essential tools for fact-checking

Before posting on social media, or launching a major campaign, it is vital to ensure that all content is truthful. Having to wait a day to post because you need confirmation is better than dealing with angry readers or losing sales.
For this, there are currently several tools that will help you verify images and texts.
·  Image Verification Assistant . It allows you to check if the images have been manipulated through different tools. It also provides you with a large amount of image information and metadata.
·         Fact Check Explorer . Google has been committed to the fight against hoaxes and false information for several years. With this tool you will be able to check the hoaxes that circulate on the net about a specific topic or character.
·         Snopes.com . The oldest and largest data verification space that you will currently find on the Net. In the journalistic field, its use is established, but in digital marketing it is still not as common.
·         Image Verification Assistant: Faker Fact . Interesting application to determine if you are in front of a fake text. You enter the url where the text is hosted and, depending on its wording, it tells you if it is a formal text or not.
·         WhoWhatWhy . To verify something as essential as who did what and when. This website provides an extensive database of events and ephemeris that is easy to use. Its catalog begins in 1000 AD and continues to this day.
You already know the characteristics of fact-checking. Do you still have doubts about what marketing strategy you should apply in your organization? At Antevenio we can help you create a digital marketing strategy that allows you to capture the right leads in those channels that interest your users.


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