May 29, 2017
While most talk of “fake news” and “alternative facts” seems to be isolated in political discussions, both these buzzwords have very real consequences for content marketing. This is because fake news is content — bad content. Even though bad content and inaccurate news are not new, social media allows this unreliable content to spread rapidly and reach a greater audience.
Why is this bad news for companies’ content marketing strategies? Content marketing is based on the trust of your audience. The proliferation of fake news has made readers lose trust in the content they consume. A Gallup poll found 32 percent of Americans have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the media, the lowest it has been in Gallup polling history. Therefore, it is now more challenging for content marketers and brands to earn trust and establish credibility.
Still, content marketing is not dead and it can still be used to connect businesses with their target audience and customers. Our Boca Raton full-service advertising agency has complied a list of tips to ensure your content marketing efforts thrive in this age of uncertainty.
Native advertising not clearly labeled as sponsored or content published on “unbranded” microsites that don’t clearly indicate their affiliation with the companies that created them, can both lead to mistrust from your audience. When creating and publishing your content, be transparent about your status as a for-profit company, do not try to come off as an unbiased observer or third-party influencer. Prominently feature your logo on all your content and direct readers to your company’s website.
Content marketing should take a page from journalism, because though these two fields have different end goals, they both share the need to establish credibility and earn readers’ trust. Content creators should emphasize accuracy over trying to maximize reach with spam-like, overly promotional, and click-bait content. Avoid hyperbole, logical fallacies, misinterpreting statistics, focusing exclusively on positive facts, equating correlation with causation, and using unreliable sources. Savvy consumers will recognize the weaknesses in your content and will not regard you as a trustworthy source of information for your industry and product.
Despite a number of similarities, one thing that differentiates content marketing from journalism is that content marketers do not have to be unbiased. In fact, it is better for you to acknowledge your bias in your content. Whether you create your brand’s content yourself or enlist a Boca Raton full-service advertising agency, be sure to identify your company’s name, goals, and values. By not hiding inherent biases, you avoid misleading consumers. Your target audience will read critically, they’ll feel more in control over their choice as customers, and therefore, form a genuine connection with your brand.
The rise of fake news presents a number of unique challenges, but content marketing can still be successful if content creators avoid being part of the problem. Instead of contributing to the increasing mass of low-quality, deceptive online content — create honest, high-quality content that provides value to consumers and customers.
If you are interested in how our Boca Raton full-service advertising agency can fulfill your brand’s content marketing and overall digital marketing needs, call us today.