A New Era of Trust: Purposeful Content vs. Fake News

In this blog post I'll summarise how leading industry experts are aiming to achieve purposeful content in an era of fake news – taking learnings from Marketing Week Live, 2019.

The rise of fake news has led audiences to reconsider which media sources to trust. For content creators, one the main priorities is to demonstrate that the content being produced is trustworthy and engaging. However, how can content creators or brands achieve this when content is everywhere, and social platforms continue to facilitate the promotion of fake news?

Simple, by writing unique and trustworthy content that readers can engage with, allowing brands to stand out among competitors and most importantly, build a legacy with their audiences. 

This was one of the topics discussed on March 5th, the second day of Marketing Week Live, where my colleague Phillip Dyte, Managing Partner of Strategy at iProspect UK, was a panellist. The panel included:

  • Hayley Selby, Content Strategy Professional
  • Ryan Battles, Content and Brand Director at Dialogue
  • Simon Coley, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Karma Cola

Catherine Maskell, Manager Director at The CMA, was the moderator questioning the panel on their views in relation to the impact of fake news. The panel explored the role of brands writing purposeful content to portray its values and truths, whilst still resonating with an ever-increasing audience.

Here are my top five takeaways from the panel:

  1. How can brands combat fake news?
    The use of social media allows brands and their audiences to keep track of events that are happening in real-time. Phillip Dyte’s response focused on how advances in technology has allowed consumers to better understand the validity of content.

  2. How can you respond to current events?
    Hayley Selby highlighted that brands do not need to respond to every news story or trending topic. The main objective is to create content that has a strong point of view.

  3. What do brands have authority to talk about?
    Simon Coley stated that tone of voice is very important to show integrity about a certain topic and Hayley Selby agreed, she mentioned that it is important for a brand to understand what it has the authority to talk about. It is paramount that brands consider their position among different social topics such as, social issues and politics, otherwise this could have negative consequences.

  4. Being Transparent
    Phillip Dyte highlighted the importance of being transparent. He used the banking industry as an example to explain how customers' behaviour is changing the way brands build trust and credibility with their audiences. He referred to how the use of a bank app allows customers to monitor their accounts in real-time which help to build a close and trustworthy relationship between them and their banks.

  5. How do you measure the true engagement of content?
    Ryan Battles highlighted that purposeful content is long-term and can never be a fad! He supports the idea that through creating meaningful content customers will build a strong association with a brand.

A brands that reflects its ethical values through creating purposeful content will go a long way to achieving long-term relationships with its target audience.

As such, it is vital for a brand to understand its position when discussing a trending topic around social issues or events, for example, as a way to create content to connect with its consumers. As power shifts from brand to consumer, the content being created will need to feel authentic to allow for a better rate of engagement.