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How to prevent your digital marketing campaigns from spreading misinformation

Given how ‘fake news’ and deepfakes have proliferated in the last few years, it’s arguably never been more important for people to be careful which online sources they trust.

Your company can instil trust by conveying reliable information, but ensuring its accuracy can be much easier said than done. If any of your digital marketing channels are found to have posted misinformation (however much you originally believed in good faith that it was truthful), your brand’s reputation could suffer lasting damage.

So, how can you act to prevent mistruths from slipping into your web content?

Be selective about where you do your research

The Alan Turing Institute recently conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK residents and found 86% to be concerned about misinformation on social media.

This revelation should not actually be that, well, revelatory — as social media is a place where rumours and hearsay can spread notoriously quickly.

This situation also underlines why any data, facts or quotes you use in your digital marketing should be fetched strictly from sources that have the specialist pedigree to provide the right information.

For example, when discussing medical subjects, refer back to sites like those of the NHS (National Health Service) and the British Heart Foundation. In the interest of clarity and transparency, link to specific webpages where you unearthed the data you are citing.

Resist attacking your company’s competitors

You might be tempted to go on the attack, but this strategy can backfire disastrously. Your target customers won’t respect you for resorting to such openly unprofessional tactics, and there is the risk that you inadvertently spout false information about rival companies.

This misstep, in turn, could see you sued for libel, potentially lumbering your brand with a torrent of negative publicity lasting for weeks or months. All in all, it’s best to just avoid ‘attack campaigns’ altogether — and paint a positive picture of your own business rather than besmirch a competing one.

Periodically review (and, if necessary, revise) existing content

Of course, some online pieces (like news articles) are time-sensitive in their relevancy and so won’t necessarily need to be updated more than a few days after being published.

Conversely, other types of content — like tutorials — are intended to attract a steady stream of visits over weeks, months and potentially even years. You should occasionally look back over those pieces to check that all of the information they contain is still accurate and up to date.

Yes, your heart could already be sinking at the thought of you having to spend hours hunched over your laptop while painstakingly going through old online content with a fine comb in search of inexactitudes. However, you could just ask us to check that content on your behalf.

We have SEO copywriters who would be happy to proofread and, when and where necessary, edit a wealth of long-forgotten text on your website. We can even largely rewrite content if we judge this move to be the most sensible option. To enquire with us, please send us a message.

How to prevent your digital marketing campaigns from spreading misinformation

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