The Short Answer: Yes
Fact-checking content should be a part of your content creation process. In this article, we will explain why it is so important, the repercussions of not fact-checking, and how you can fact check your future content.
How well do you fact check your content? If you're being honest, probably not all that well. Time restrictions and budgetary limitations can make fact-checking a bottom of the pile task that nobody ever gets around to.
But it's important for several reasons. The first being that a small mistake in publishing unfounded claims or inaccurate information can have huge impacts on your brand's reputation.
If you have taken the time to establish your brand as trustworthy and knowledgeable, you don’t want all of that effort undone by one piece of unchecked content.
Online audiences like to focus on the bad rather than the good. One mistake can undo years of good deeds and strategic PR campaigns.
Beyond reputation, your audience trusts you to provide them with quality content – and quality content is fact-checked.
Your audience can make decisions based on the content that you share with them. You, therefore, have a responsibility to ensure that the content you share is accurate.
If the reasons for fact-checking your content haven't convinced you to do it, perhaps the blowback you may receive from not fact-checking will.
Over the years, we have seen a lot of misinformation spread by both media outlets and brands. Many of them, when found out, even if the spreading of misinformation was unintentional, experience a serious blow to their reputation, that they often do not recover from.
Beyond damage to reputation and relationships with clients, it is even possible that you may experience larger consequences such as lawsuits or boycotts.
For example, in one content marketing campaign by Coca-Cola, the brand shared a map of Russia. This map included the disputed territory of Crimea and resulted in a boycott from the Ukrainian people.
You need to be careful about the information that you share. Checking that it is completely accurate and steering away from creating content around information that could cause potential backlash with your audiences – such as political topics and hardline opinions that are not relevant to your brand.
Fact-checking can be time-consuming, but it's well worth doing. It also becomes a lot quicker when you have a set list of things to look for and you begin integrating it into your creative process. To help you speed up your fact-checking, here is a list of essential information to verify before you hit publish:
Names and Dates
Fact-checking is important. It might seem like a tedious and time-consuming task but it could save your reputation one day. The damage caused by the spreading of misinformation in your content could take years to clean up, and divert a lot of time and resources from your marketing team. Because of this, it is better to be proactive and ensure your content is accurate before publishing. Follow our checklist and you will be able to quickly ensure that the content you share is correct.
See inspirations here:
It is not only your own content that you should fact check but also content you share from sources outside of your business. Having a tool to help you find the highest quality content to share, makes fact checking a lot easier. Streams is a powerful marketing tool that can help you find trending content in your niche and see what sources are publishing that content. Try it out today by signing up for a 14 day free trial!