PR and Reputation Management sound like terms that are relevant to big businesses or giant corporates in the real business world. Brand perception was a one-way street with customers having little scope for feedback. But social media has turned the tables and now brand image and reputation have become crucial assets for all types of businesses. It is globally reported that on average about 71% of customers start their buying journey with a simple Google search, therefore appearing trustworthy and credible in the virtual world has become pivotal.
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management is a mix of marketing, search engine optimization [SEO], and public relations strategies to promote and protect a brand’s online image. In essence, it’s the process of monitoring, addressing, analyzing, and shaping how the brand is perceived by customers and leads. Online reputation management [ORM] has become an essential tool for businesses to monitor and identify a brand’s perception among the public.
Why You Should Start ORM For Your Business Right Now!
Online Reputation Management is not just a trending concept that will fade away with time. As long as social networks exist, ORM is going to play an important role in shaping opinions about your business.
Improve Brand Credibility
Just one bad brand experience leads to 32% of shoppers leaving a brand, according to PwC. This is a big chunk of your business at stake!
How you respond to a bad brand reference when it occurs is a crucial step in deciding the fate of your brand in that customer’s mind. Building trust requires maintaining your social reputation and responding to both favorable and negative comments, reviews, and mentions. There is no better way to demonstrate your concern for your consumers than by politely responding to criticism and, where necessary, offering an apology.
Optimize Marketing Campaigns
Tracking your ORM is a great way to get insights on your marketing campaigns. Social listening, engagement tracking, and monitoring mentions will give you highly accurate stats on what messaging works and which ones do not. Understand what messaging connects with your leads and consumers, and what kinds of behaviors elicit unfavorable responses. You can then choose campaigns that give better ROI on your marketing dollars.
Increase Traffic to Your Website
Positive and relatable news has the ability to spread quickly, especially when they originate from reliable sources. Through a well-managed ORM strategy, you can track mentions about your brand shared by domains with high authority which can be leveraged by your team and gain more momentum on the traffic. Such virality has the potential to enhance conversion if done correctly.
Increased engagement, leads, and conversions may be important outcomes of a well-executed ORM strategy, but the benefits do not stop there. ORM can also spark a lot of interest from prospective candidates eager to work for organizations with a strong reputation. Given the tough competition for talent, it can help businesses attract the finest resources.
How Does ORM Work?
Your Paid Media is all channels where you spend your marketing dollars like your Google Ads, Social Media Ads, Sponsored Posts, Influencer Campaigns etc. Here you have full control over the campaigns, messaging, and channels. What you have to track here is that your partners, competitors or any stakeholders are not running ads that tarnish the name of your brand or specifically goes against your brand values.
However, most paid media platforms have tight policies against such behavior, and one complaint can eliminate this unfavorable sentiment implication.
Earned Media is essentially the coverage that your brand received for free from other external sources. This can include articles, press releases, media coverage, blogs, and online forums like Reddit, Quora etc. Reviews left by customers on Google My Business also count in earned media as the brand has no control over the mentions.
Brands should concentrate on earned media since it fosters a favourable outlook and builds users’ trust.
Your brand’s social media pages are like your virtual storefront. Your visitors get a sense of your service, culture, and values from them. Unresolved grievances, critical remarks, and poor star ratings can drastically damage your reputation and repel future clients. In the same way, you would respect the walls of your physical business, you should pay attention to what is occurring on your social media wall. It’s crucial that you keep tabs on any brand references that appear within other accounts and respond to those that give a bad impression of your company.
Owned Media is mostly your website and the channels on which you have full control over. This is the base where you can start and build up your story. SEO will be an important part of your ORM initiative as it decides how your brand shows up on the search engine results page. Your website and blog should take the leash and play an active role in leading the campaign.
Your social media and website need not be passive channels where you just distribute content occasionally. Let’s talk about how we can get them geared up for engagement, ORM, and more conversions!