Creating engaging content is a priority for any content marketer — but it doesn't end there: Accuracy is key to building trust and respect among your consumers, physicians, and other constituents.
Even after you’ve read, edited and re-read a piece of marketing content, there’s still an important piece of the editorial process that you should adopt if you want to make sure your audience trusts your work.
“Fact-checking is an important fail-safe to ensure quality content,” says Jennifer Oncay, Editorial Assistant at True North Custom and our dedicated fact-checker. “It helps us establish a position of authority when it comes to our work and reflects the level of care we take with every piece of content.”
More Than Facts
Fact-checking is important not only for ensuring that medical statistics or spellings are correct, but also for ensuring that content is directing readers to the right place. Checking phone numbers, physical and web addresses, dates, and days of the week can be the deciding factor in whether or not a reader attends a scheduled event or visits the correct website.
For example, if your newsletter states that a rehabilitation information session will be held on Friday, May 12, but May 12 falls on a Saturday, your reader will likely be confused about when the event takes place—and even more confused if the information hotline leads them to a restaurant instead of the hospital (true story).
In some cases, fact-checking can improve the online visibility of your digital content. For example, fact-checking can help you make sure you’re showing up in web searches when readers are looking for relevant information. Whether it’s for an upcoming seminar or the latest screening guidelines, it's critical to deliver sound, timely information.
A Standard of Excellence
“Fact-checking is an important part of the service we provide to our clients,” says Sandee Curry, Editorial Director at True North Custom. “It can definitely differentiate your healthcare services from your competitors.”
While everyone on the editorial staff at True North is trained in fact-checking and can pitch in when needed, Oncay oversees all of the fact-checking work that goes out of the department.
“Jennifer is in a unique position to notice trends in terms of minor mistakes or errors,” Curry says. “This often provides insight into coaching moments for the writing and editing staff."
Eyes and Checklists
No matter how many articles Oncay has fact-checked, she and the rest of the True North Custom writing staff utilize a fact-checking checklist that takes into account client preferences and identifies the most reliable sources for confirming healthcare data.
In addition to fact-checking, multiple True North Custom editors proofread every piece of content before it is delivered to our clients.
“We’re not robots—mistakes are bound to happen,” Oncay says. “The more eyes that look at a publication, the less chance there is of a mistake getting through. Even if clients have their own form of quality assurance, we are happy to back them up and give them peace of mind that the content—whether we wrote it or not—relays information correctly and effectively.”
The bottom line: Make sure fact-checking is part of your content marketing efforts to keep your content reliable, relevant and accurate.
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