Fake news was probably the top cultural development of 2016. It played a strong role in the presidential election, much to the ire of legitimate news outlets and media experts, who are working to stop its spread.
As its name suggests, fake news relies on sources and articles that are inaccurate and intentionally misleading. It takes the form of professional journalism, but it’s anything but. And, researchers are discovering that many Americans find it challenging to identify fake news. To help combat its spread, Facebook and Google are working on ways weed it out.
The concept of fake news is not new — think about the National Enquirer and other celebrity-focused tabloids. But, its recent rapid spreading is what is causing concern. Some fake news has attracted impressive numbers of shares and likes.
Content marketing can actually borrow a few principles that fake news producers seem to be perfecting, particularly how people react to content. We should emphasize — content marketing is in NO WAY related fake news. Content marketing encompasses educational and entertaining messaging produced by experts.
So, what can content marketers actually learn from fake news?
Sharing information via social media is incredibly powerful. Within a short time frame, a piece of content can make its way around to literally millions of people all over the world. Fake news producers regularly illustrate the power of social sharing by producing content that often elicits a shock factor and encouraging people to share it without regard to its truthfulness or origin.
Social media audiences crave content that’s surprising or cutting-edge. They like to share content with their friends that makes them appear interesting or intelligent. Content that incites an emotional reaction will always be seen and shared.
Headlines are content’s first impression and what entice readers to click on the article. Many readers make judgments about the content based solely on the headline. Content marketing writers should use this quality of readers to their advantage by taking the time to craft powerful headlines that are shareable.
Great content is persuasive, but, unlike fake news, it should never be manipulative. Be responsible and use ethical skills of persuasion. Use credible sources, and be honest and transparent.
Understanding how fake news has permeated social media and garnered so much attention can help create successful and ethical content marketing strategies. To get the most out of your content, examine the fake news phenomenon.
At The Found Gen, we understand how and why stories are view and shared, so we can create the best content to spotlight your business. Let us help you create the best strategy possible. Get in touch today.