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How to Fact Check Your Content to Avoid Costly Mistakes

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As a former newspaper reporter, it was my responsibility to fact check and ensure the accuracy of my articles. Today, as a content marketer, it is also my responsibility to fact check content and ensure the accuracy of my articles. By following a simple checklist, you can help your business to maintain credibility and customer loyalty.

Keep reading to learn how to make your content air tight, and protect your business from costly mistakes.

Be known as a trusted resource

In our current age of misinformation, it is becoming increasingly important to be known as a brand that can be trusted to share only the most reputable information.

However, according to Content Marketing Institute’s 11th Annual B2B Content Marketing Report, “Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends,” only 22% of marketers said they used fact-checking procedures before distributing their content.

This is an important step that marketers should be on board with. After all, one of the main roles of content marketing is to build credibility for your business and gain the trust of consumers.

Mistakes like these might be funny, but they definitely call the reputation of these brands into question.

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Use a fact checking list

Fortunately, protecting your business’s credibility is as simple as ticking items off a checklist, so there’s no excuse to not do it. You can use simple checklist tools like pen and paper, or use project management software to refer to when editing.

The 5 W’s: The 5 W’s of journalism apply to content marketing. They include who, what, when, where and why. In this section of your checklist, everything except “why” should be your editing focus. To start, double check the accuracy and spelling of the following:

  • Names
  • Titles
  • Locations
  • Dates
  • Times

 

Links and Sources: Next, you want to check that all of your links go to the correct source, and be sure the ones you use are the original sources. Ideally, you’ll want to use only the most reputable sources in your industry, and double check that any statistical data you share is accurate and up to date.

Quotes, Context and Accuracy: It’s easy to misinterpret when quoting sources, so double check the statements are accurate, and that you’re not taking anything out of context. Outside of quotes, if something you find in your research seems far fetched, look for a secondary reputable source to double check its authenticity.

Things to do now

And there you have it. As you can see, fact checking your content isn’t as intimidating as it might seem. If this article was helpful, be sure to share it with someone you know who could benefit from it. And if you want more helpful online marketing tips to grow your small business, check back here every Tuesday, when we post fresh new content every week.

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Thanks for stopping by! I write about online customer attraction methods to help your small business to grow and thrive.
Monica Valentine

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