Dec 16 2019

Fake News vs Digital Marketing: Where content marketers stand amidst the confusion

Posted by Lou Valenzuela ,

Information is power. Since history, we have seen how information has been weaponised and manipulated. Once information has been linked to the truth, be it the real objective and scientific truth or not, it can lead to friction and to a group of people who lack understanding for each other. Since the birth of the digital age in the 21st century, we have been witnesses on how fast information spreads. Many of the people who receive news no longer do fact-checking. This is why the concept of truth has become more blurred for the longest time. People who have apparently read fake news just read without knowing its credibility and if it ever falls into any logical explanation. More often than not, they tend to also spread fake news like wildfire.

Here in Singapore, the issue of fake news is still a trending topic with the recent anti-fake news law. On the one hand, it’s great to be watchful about the facts that the media releases; on the other, it may also be grounds to suppress free speech, according to critics. Information these days could truly be difficult to attest, especially when there are very few instances when even mainstream media outlets, themselves, publish fake news. How can us readers tell right from wrong? More than this, where does digital marketing stand in the midst of raging fake news?

How do marketers respond to fake news?

Marketers may not spread news, but they are also responsible for the information that they publish about their brand. This is why for marketers, it is necessary to build your brand identity and launch credible advertising—one that would really represent who and what we truly are. More than affect, raging fake news actually hurt digital marketing campaigns. For one, your PPC campaigns might end up on websites that are sprawling with ad-heavy fake news and with misleading content with no genuine engagement from users.

For example, JP Morgan was said to conduct a manual audit of the 400,000 websites where their ads are launched. After this, they have found that 5,000 websites offer no returns on their campaign.

If you think you are safe from fake news, you are wrong. This is because it can actually affect your search visibility and rankings. You can even be penalized by Google since your link is being involved in suspicious content.

You must also be wary about the content you are posting. If you are trying to build your online brand image, sharing fake news, even without knowing it, can severely impact your reputation. Having a fake news story posted on your main social media platform might be shared by others, making it seem true. Therefore, you also contribute to the problem of spreading fake news.

How can marketers avoid fake news?

Here are the things content marketers should do in order to avoid fake news and establish their own truth: their brand identity.

Establish your branded and editorial content

You must be able to clarify if you are publishing a branded or sponsored content for your publishers or if you are launching an editorial content. Not doing this will be bad for the authenticity you are trying to establish. It runs short on the trustworthiness you are trying to get from your audiences especially when they are now more careful about where they look for information. These days, more have been reading the news online rather than from social media.

Build your authority

There are a lot of things that you will consider when creating content: relevance, impact, and usefulness. You might also consider authority as one of your priorities since the digital space now calls for more credibility and authenticity. Putting out credible content will ensure you a credible reputation. Trust and connections today are built on trust and authenticity. Avoid cheap tricks and flashy clickbait that your audiences will hate.

Know your audience

We are talking more about demographics here. By knowing your audiences, we mean that you also need to know their behaviour and what they need which you can fulfil. To beat all the raging fake news, marketers need to have their brand identity stand out. This will beat your audiences’ distrust and scepticism. 

Here are just some of the things you as a marketer should know about fake news and digital marketing. There certainly is a grey area between fake news and fake advertising and you as a content marketer must tell how to avoid those two. When boosting your brand online, it is best to seek a professional to know the right things to post. If you are looking for an SEO company or an SEM agency, try inquiring at OOm.


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