Online brand reputation management is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. A positive brand reputation establishes authority, builds trust and loyalty with potential customers. Ultimately, it also drives sales and growth.
In today’s digital world, with conversations happening online 24/7, it is essential to have a consistent presence on social media, blogs, online review sites, and search engines to establish your brand as a knowledgeable source in your industry.
What is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Online Reputation Management combines public relations, marketing, and search engine optimization to create a positive image of a business or brand. This includes monitoring reputation, addressing harmful content that could damage a brand’s perception, and developing a strategy that helps people find the right materials when looking for your brand online.
The purpose of reputation management is to create balance, address misleading information, and leave customers with a positive impression of who you are and what you do.
Many channels fall under online business reputation management but understanding the four main pillars will provide you a solid foundation.
- Paid Media — allows you direct control of placement on paid channels such as Google Ads, social media ads, and sponsored posts.
- Earned Media — should be a priority focus for all businesses. Free online earned media is trusted most and can significantly impact growth and brand perception.
- Shared Media — allows you to engage customers and prospects directly. One negative Facebook review can seriously harm your brand reputation, but a quick, transparent response can help mitigate a negative windfall.
- Owned Media — is fully under your control. Creating a quality website and blog content can improve the pages’ ranking that are most important to your brand’s perception.
How is Online Reputation Management Beneficial?
The internet has evolved over the past decade, creating a connected, digital society. With the growth of social media and easy access to the internet, businesses have adapted how they market their brand and products across websites, social media, and online advertising.
While it would be great to address all your customers’ wants and needs fully, that isn’t possible. Of course, products can have imperfections, employees may not respond appropriately, and at some point, there will be a negative Tweet or Facebook post.
Let’s look at a few ways an efficient online reputation management strategy can benefit your business:
Impact Buying Decisions
Managing or the lack of managing your online reputation and content influences a buyer’s decision significantly. Over 60% of consumers begin the buyer journey with a web search. In this highly competitive environment, your online perception can, without a doubt, make-or-break a potential customer’s final decision.
Build Trust & Credibility
People are going to write negative reviews and comments; it’s inevitable. Ignoring the situation can have long-term effects on your business. Taking accountability and quickly addressing negative feedback will make it easier to regain trust and restore confidence in your business.
Get Valuable Feedback
Monitoring reviews and social media comments can provide insights into what people love and don’t love about your products or services. When you refine your business for the most common complaints, you show customers their thoughts matter, and you are willing to adapt. This will help build brand loyalty.
How to Improve Your Online Reputation Management Strategy?
Having a solid strategy in place is key to successful business reputation management. It involves improving SEO strategy, consistently monitoring social media, and creating quality, branded content. The process will vary for each business, but the key components remain the same.
Perform an Audit
Before you can put an ORM plan into place, you need to conduct a full reputation audit. Start with a Google search and see what audiences find when they search for your business. One negative article can put your business at risk of losing potential clients.
Negative search results aren’t your only risk factors. You want to look at your website for inconsistencies, confusing calls-to-action, and outdated content. Additionally, look at old social media posts and images that could be taken out of context.
Develop an SEO Reputation Management Strategy
When people enter your business name in search engines, what they see will mostly be their first impression of your brand. Google and other search engines can’t decipher what is true or false, so they rank what’s most popular. Developing a lasting, effective SEO and search engine reputation management strategy that leverages keywords and useful content will help establish a positive brand perception and drive traffic to your website.
Monitor Social Media Channels
Social media is an integral part of brand reputation management. Well-managed social media profiles allow you to show the best of what your company has to offer through company content and industry news and updates. You also get to shape your brand or business’s perception by interacting directly with current and potential customers who have chosen to follow your brand.
Create High-Quality, On-Brand Content
Buyers across all industries are using digital content to research and influence their purchasing decisions. Quality content drives SEO by pushing websites to the top of search engine results pages. It can suppress negative perceptions as well as showcase your best qualities. Make sure customers find content with consistent brand messaging in tone and voice across branded search, social media channels, and online review platforms.
At New Path, we put people first when it comes to marketing. Growing your business starts with mastering your customer’s experience to understand the complete path to purchase.
It is critically important to communicate with your customers consistently and authentically in the spaces they already operate, especially in online business listings and review platforms. Sometimes this means you need to outsource your marketing and ORM to an online reputation management service or marketing agency.
Online reputation monitoring and management is a core component of our people-first marketing service pillar. We help clients develop a strategy model that learns, adapts, and builds equity long-term.