How to Avoid Producing Misleading Content that Could Hurt Your Brand

We live in the age of fake news. The internet is rife with content that is intended to mislead web users. As a result, the most powerful forces of the internet, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, are pursuing separate policies to ensure that the tools are only distributing trustworthy content. Don’t get caught spreading fake news on social media channels. The effects can be devastating in more ways than one. Here are several ways to avoid producing content rife with errors:

Mind Your Sources

Be very careful when choosing original sources for your articles. Do not base your content on just whatever’s floating around on the internet. For any given topic, find information based on credible sources like established newspapers or government websites. If your content requires data, use government or a similarly authoritative body for statistics.  Also, do cite original sources whenever necessary. Producing content these days is much like writing essays back at college. The work has to be your own, and it has to be based on credible sources.

 

See What the Professionals Can Do

Not sure how your content will turn out to be? Then consult with a professional branding agency for advice. If your company or organization is limited in its capacity to proofread content, then let the pros handle it. Some very important types of content, such as sponsored articles or op-eds for newspapers, have to be thoroughly fact checked. If you cannot do this, get the pros to do it for you.

Have Someone Double Check Important Content

There should always be someone on the content production team to double check the final product. Typically marketing teams check the final product for quality. During that process, fact check the content piece as well. It’s more important than making sure the graphics are correctly sized and that all the “i”s are dotted. Always, always have a marketing employee proofread all content for factual errors.

Maintain Guidelines

Sometimes it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. What if a source is wrong, and it is not the fault of the marketing team that wrote it? Exactly how should articles be written? Is Wikipedia an actually good source? These type of questions will be prominent when creating accurate content. To best make sure that all employees follow your advice as given, maintain guidelines the team can follow. Your company can have a guidebook for creating content that shows content producers what to steer clear from. These guidelines would be similar to what the company seeks in departments like research.

 

Aim for Quality, Not Clickbait

Inaccuracies and factual errors are most common in content that try to generate viral fever with click bait headlines. Clickbait misleads web users and lures them in with empty promises. Content for clickbait is hardly ever accurate. While clickbait did once have its own unique uses, this tactic is largely outdated now. Write unique content to attract new readers. Don’t use cheap clickbait headlines just to entice. Seek to make content factually accurate and interesting at the same time to drive the best traffic.

Being vigilant is a good step towards eliminating factual errors from your company’s content. Follow the above steps to make the best content suited for your brand.