There are many things a digital marketer must do to ensure their strategy is successful. Set goals. Document your strategy. Grow genuine relationships with customers. Get on social media. Track campaign performance. All of these steps are crucial.
However, you must also market with integrity. Aside from the tasks above, digital marketers that put honesty, authenticity, and strong moral principles at the forefront of everything they do have the best chance at generating real results with their campaigns.
We suggest grabbing ahold of these responsibilities to ensure integrity is at the core of your digital marketing.
Fight the Spread of Misinformation
Unfortunately, many digital marketers embrace fake news,, clickbait headlines, and other techniques that lack integrity just to generate engagement.
An excellent example of this is the misinformation about healthcare that’s spreading rapidly. Many people are not health literate, meaning they aren’t adept in health-related literature or how to manage their health. They have a hard time understanding topics like:
● Treatment options
● Health insurance
● Different providers
● Financial obligations
● Aftercare plans
Malicious marketers who understand how much health literacy lacks among people may use this to their advantage, sharing misinformed health-related content they know people will react to and possibly absorb — sacrificing integrity for engagement.
One of the first things you must focus on is your content and messaging. Make sure everything you’re saying, sharing, and representing is true. Rely solely on credible sources. Fact-check everything. And dig into research before putting anything out.
Be active in the fight against spreading misinformation.
Provide a Secure Experience on Every Channel
Providing a secure experience on every digital marketing channel you use is top of the list of responsibilities when marketing with integrity.
Your customer relationships will hopefully grow to a point where they’re willing to provide you with personal information, like their email address or phone number, to take their experience to the next level.
The last thing you want to do is fail to protect their personal information and lose it to a cyberthief. They’ve been nice enough to hand over their private information, so care enough to ensure it’s never compromised.
Understand the ins and outs of the cybersecurity tools installed on your digital marketing channels. If you need to add a layer of protection, research the best tools to help you with that.
Also, adopt good cybersecurity habits. For example, ensure all the marketing software you use is secure and keep it updated. Familiarize yourself with various cyberattacks, like phishing emails and malware. And create strong passwords, never share them, and memorize them or use a password manager to store them.
Embrace Various Cultures and Experiences
Integrity demands you have such a strong set of moral principles that it doesn’t allow you to judge, discriminate, hate, or otherwise harm another individual because they’re different than you. This sentiment and commitment must be on full display in your marketing.
Embrace various races, ethnicities, cultures, abilities, and experiences in your marketing campaigns and messages.
Build relationships with as many different individuals in your target audience as possible so that you can authentically represent them and attract them to your marketing. Better yet, let them tell their own stories about their experiences with your brand.
Most importantly, be genuine in honoring various cultures and experiences. Understand and avoid things like tokenism and “washing.” And truly adopt diversity and inclusion in your team.
Learn Your Digital Marketing Channels
It’s easy to just jump on a digital marketing channel and wing it. But that’s not marketing with integrity at its foundation. Learning about each digital marketing channel you employ, the rules on them, what is and isn’t appropriate, and how to best use them is the foundation on which to build your digital marketing strategy.
Good for you if you eventually become an expert on your digital marketing channels. However, you don’t have to obtain expert-level knowledge. Instead, educate yourself on the following:
● Privacy policies
● Community guidelines for social media platforms
● Cybersecurity measures on each channel
● Language and messaging rules
● Terms and conditions for use on each platform
● How to report inappropriate behavior
Lean Into Negative Feedback
Dropping promotional messages all the time and nothing else shows your audience you’re in it for profit over genuinely helping people. So, authentic engagements with your audience are a must if you want to market with integrity.
We want them to all be positive, but they won’t be. Negative interactions and feedback will come at some point. Many marketers ignore negative feedback or delete it, and that’s a good way to show a lack of integrity.
Conversely, humbling yourself enough to welcome negative feedback, reply to it, and see the interaction through to a resolution shows a lot of integrity. You’re willing to acknowledge and admit when your marketing misses, showing your audience they’re more important than anything.
Always respond to legitimate negative feedback from your target audience about your digital marketing, whether it be about a social media post, email they received, or website banner. If something is offensive or insensitive to your audience, you need to know about it to improve it.
Final Thoughts Regarding Marketing With Integrity
Of all the responsibilities a digital marketer takes on, marketing with integrity is one of the most critical. There isn’t a task, technique, tip, or trick you implement that shouldn’t align with your company’s core values and moral principles.
In addition, marketing with integrity requires you to actively fight the spread of misinformation and provide a secure experience on every digital marketing channel. Learn your digital marketing channels to ensure you’re using them appropriately. Always address negative feedback.
And finally, embrace various cultures and experiences to authentically connect with as many people as possible.