Table of Contents
- What is online reputation management?
- How is online reputation management different from SEO?
- Importance of Online reputation management
- Impact of online reputation management
- 8 online reputation management techniques for brands
- How do I implement an online reputation management strategy?
- About Konnect Insights
Building a robust online presence is one of the most important aspects of a business’s marketing strategy these days. As consumers trust brands that are seen as authentic and reliable, it is critical for a business to go the extra mile to build a positive reputation for a brand on the internet.
For instance, an average consumer mentions a brand online 90 times per week, and 71% of customers are likely to recommend a brand to friends and family after a positive experience on social media. At the same time, online reputation is critical for managing relationships with investors and employees.
In a scenario where all stakeholders are relying on the internet for authentic information about various aspects of daily life, brands need to invest in building a positive reputation online. However, it is equally critical to be aware of the roadmap to building a successful brand online.
Here is all we need to know about online reputation management and how we can get started with the ORM journey today:
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is a marketing technique through which a brand can build and manage a positive reputation on the internet. Online reputation management, or ORM, mainly involves handling misleading content about a brand, pushing trending content, and increasing its visibility.
It is critical for a user that a brand provide correct and updated information about their queries. If a brand is not able to consistently solve user queries or provide misleading answers, it will impact its online reputation in the long run. At the same time, users who go through a negative brand experience are more likely to share their negative experiences with a particular brand. Such experiences can impact the brand reputation of a business and can also affect search results negatively.
Online reputation management provides structure to the task of building a digital structure and uploading correct information to provide a positive customer experience. ORM also acts against misleading information and helps put a brand’s best foot forward in front of the consumer. As the internet has enabled an interconnected world, it has become easier for competitors and consumers to impact the positive reputation of a brand through a variety of actions. ORM helps fight against these actions by putting together a proactive strategy that can build a positive brand reputation and increase online exposure for a brand.
How is Online Reputation Management Different From SEO?
ORM is a technique that is mainly useful in tracking, tracing, and repairing a brand’s image on the internet. However, some consider it part of the SEO efforts of a business. In reality, ORM and SEO are two distinct parts of the digital marketing strategy for a business.
Here are the key differences between ORM and SEO:
|End-result||The SEO strategy of a business is designed to increase its visibility on leading search engines like Google and Bing. The ORM strategy of a business is designed to push positive content to the user to improve the overall reputation of the brand.|
|Strategy||The SEO strategy follows a roadmap to help the websites rank at the top of the search results. An ORM strategy works in association with SEO to remove misleading content from the internet and push positive content to the users.|
|Target||The target of an SEO strategy is to dominate the search results for as many keywords and related search terms as possible. The target of an ORM strategy is to dominate the search results with specific content for a particular keyword or query.|
Importance of Online reputation management
Building a positive reputation is critical for business success. Here are some of the reasons why building an online reputation is important:
1. Brand Value
If there is anything that can grow multi-fold or evaporate overnight, it is brand value. Online reputation management helps provide a structure for managing brand value. In the current era of social media, a negative experience or incident can impact brand value overnight.
For instance, when the United Airlines crew dragged a passenger off the plane in 2017 and a fellow passenger recorded and uploaded the incident on social media, it resulted in the video going viral with over 100 million views in a matter of a few hours. It did not stop there. The airline ended up with over a billion dollars in market cap and generated a lot of negative press for the brand.
2. Impact on Sales
More than anything, ORM helps minimize the negative impact on the sales of a brand. Rather, it helps push positive content for a brand on the internet. Around 91% of customers are more likely to choose businesses with five-star ratings. At the same time, 85% of customers give online reviews the same weight as word-of-mouth.
According to a study by Google, 53% of buyers research a search engine before making a purchase. As a result, it is in the interest of the brand to generate positive reviews about it on the internet. If the customer sees that the competitor brand is more popular on the internet while our brand is not able to generate positive word of mouth from the users, it is likely that the customer will buy from the competition.
3. Customer Feedback
Managing an online reputation allows a brand to collect valuable feedback from customers. This feedback can be in the form of surveys, polls, group discussions, or any other such medium. At the end of the day, all businesses are striving to understand what the consumer wants and figure out how the next winning product can be launched in the fastest way possible in the market.
As a result, collecting customer feedback is not only critical for building a positive online reputation but also for other critical business functions like product development, customer service, and sales.
Online reputation management allows us to follow a structured approach to collect this valuable feedback from customers and decode it efficiently to generate actionable business insights. The feedback can focus on an aspect of a business or provide an overview of the business. Depending on the end objective, the customer feedback cycle can be customized to provide relevant information to adapt the business strategy for success.
Impact of online reputation management
Building an online reputation can mean different things to different people. For instance, the online reputation of a business will be very different from the online reputation of an individual. Similarly, an executive will have to follow a different path to achieve an online reputation as compared to an enterprise.
1. Online Reputation for Executives and Founders
Many founders and executives tend to find themselves closely related to the brands they represent. Any impact on the brand value of the founder or the top executive will also impact the brand value of the business. Steve Jobs for Apple, Elon Musk for Tesla or SpaceX, or Mark Zuckerberg for Meta are examples where the founder is part of the story of the brand. At the same time, the founder or executive has also emerged as a strong brand.
While not all founders or CEOs are looking to get famous, it is part of the job when one is running a famous brand. With the increasing user base on social media, any controversial statements or missteps can backfire on a brand fairly quickly. Therefore, businesses must look at establishing frameworks for managing the online reputation of the top management in case it has a considerable impact on the brand value of the company.
2. Online Reputation for Businesses
Online reputation management for businesses or enterprises casts a wider net as compared to individuals. The scale of activities involved in managing the online reputation of a business changes the game as compared to individuals. As one mistake can impact millions of customers, it is more critical to manage the track of brand messaging, both in the offline and online channels.
For instance, if the website of an individual blog owner goes down for a day, not many users will notice. However, if it is a small or medium-sized business, some customers may call us to check if everything is all right. However, if it is a major e-commerce platform, the loss would run into the millions. It will be in the news by the end of the day. Similarly, if it is a giant social media platform like Twitter or Facebook, it will trigger a meme flood and even impact the market cap of these firms.
8 Online Reputation Management Techniques for Brands
Online reputation management is essential for brands that are planning to expand their customer base. Here are some techniques that can help brands with online reputation management:
1. Start With a Brand Audit
Conducting a brand audit is the first and one of the most essential techniques in the journey to improving online reputation. A brand audit helps in checking all the brand assets and even the third-party results for the brand. An audit of the brand would start with checking out the website, blog, social media, and third-party business profiles.
As we move forward, it will include checking out the Google results for the brand and the related keywords. What kind of search results are being triggered with the brand and industry keywords related to the business? How many news articles are appearing for the brand? Are they negative or positive?
A brand audit helps get answers to all these queries and understand the tonality of the content that exists for the brand on the internet.
2. Monitoring Brand Mentions
One of the most effective ways to manage the online reputation of a business is by monitoring the brand mentions on the internet. A business can get started by setting up alerts for the brand and business-related keywords.
The idea here is to get the news fast – good or bad. As we monitor the brand mentions on major online platforms, it is possible to react to the conversation going on about the brand. Without monitoring brand mentions, it is impossible for a business to consistently respond to all the brand mentions on the internet. It can include mentions on social media, blogs, forums, videos, etc.
Not monitoring brand mentions can also increase the possibility of ending up in a crisis. The faster a business can identify a critical situation and handle it with an honest approach, the more likely it is that consumers will forgive and forget.
3. Handling Negative Reviews
The worst mistake a business can make is to ignore the negative reviews on the internet and just hope they will go away one fine day. Negative reviews are a great opportunity for a brand to put its viewpoint in front of consumers and address the problems straight-on. With a sincere effort, responding to negative reviews can result in building a more authentic connection with the target audience.
A business needs to respond to all reviews, positive or negative. Even critical feedback needs to be thanked, and a brand should make a serious effort to provide customers with real solutions to the issues they are facing. For instance, if a customer has had a recent bad experience, we don’t start a conversation by offering a 25% discount on the next purchase. With such an approach, there would be no next purchase. It is better to focus on showing the customers that we can stand behind the values that we promise and that they can trust us to make things right.
4. Include SEO in the mix
While SEO and online reputation management are two distinct parts of the digital marketing strategy, they can be combined to achieve impressive results for the business. For instance, SEO is mainly used to rank as many pages as possible in major search engines like Google to increase website visitors. The approach in ORM is slightly different. In this case, SEO is used to rank as many pages as possible for a few brand-focused keywords so that misleading or negative content can be pushed down or buried in the pages that attract a very low visitor volume.
The branded SEO strategy includes creating assets on the website, the brand, and even other reliable and high-authority third-party websites. The strategy also includes gaining backlinks, generating positive brand mentions, and maintaining an active profile on major social media platforms. Another critical part of the strategy is to manage and optimize relevant third-party profiles like Google My Business, Yelp, Trustpilot, and other similar platforms that enjoy customer trust and have certain control over the content.
5. Leverage Public Relations
Gone are the days when public relations and online marketing strategies were two pieces of the marketing puzzle. It is time to increase coordination and correlation between the public relations and online reputation management efforts of a business.
The public relations function can be effectively used to generate positive press for the business in the form of guest posts on high-authority third-party websites, conducting interviews with top management, hosting events, and issuing press releases. The idea of any public relations activity is to highlight the values of the business to consumers and build trust for the brand.
These goals are aligned with the objectives of online reputation management. As a result, it is a good idea to leverage public relations to improve the online reputation of the business.
6. Encourage Customer Reviews
Apart from handling negative reviews effectively, we can also focus on encouraging customers to leave reviews of the company’s website, social media profiles, and third-party platforms like Google, Yelp, and Trustpilot.
Generating positive reviews for the business can result in pushing down negative comments about the brand and highlighting its positive features. We can start by emailing customers to leave reviews about their experience with the brand and incentivizing them by offering a deal or discount in exchange for the same.
Again, the brand has to be proactive in responding to all the feedback it gets. Customer reviews are among the most valuable assets a brand can generate on online platforms. Therefore, it is better to follow a structured approach and generate positive reviews for the brand.
7. Promote Positive Content
In addition to the positive reviews, it is also a good idea to promote all the positive content that a brand can generate. It can be third-party endorsements, any awards that the brand or management may have gotten, a popular mention on online media, or any other similar content that shows the brand in a positive light.
All such content can be pushed on the company website, social media, and other third-party websites, as it will help improve the overall reputation of the business.
8. Use ORM Tools
As we can see, managing an online reputation requires a structured approach. It involves tracking the brand mentions and ensuring that they are responded to promptly. At the same time, it requires a proactive strategy for handling any objections or queries customers may have about the brand. Handling all this can put a lot of burden on the team. Therefore, it is better to opt for an ORM tool or software that can help us manage our business reputation with ease.
For instance, a tool like Konnect Insights helps businesses manage their brand reputation and provides a consistent omnichannel brand experience. The use of a tool in an ORM strategy has the potential to boost results, achieve much more for a business, and build a sustainable brand in the long run.
How to Implement an Online Reputation Management Strategy?
Implementing an online reputation management strategy for a business can yield fruitful results. Here are the steps that we can follow to implement an online reputation management strategy for our business:
- Create the right presence: Push our brand in the right spaces and showcase the business in the best possible light in front of the consumer. It can be with industry-specific content, press coverage, backlinks, or continuous improvements in the online presence.
- Ensure visibility for the business: ORM strategy is expected to ensure that the right pages are ranking for the right search queries and brand keywords. Therefore, it is important to come up with relevant content and then push it relentlessly to achieve the set goals for the business.
- Build a content pipeline: The ORM strategy needs to ensure that there is a content pipeline in place that has updated and relevant content on the target pages. In the absence of updated and relevant content, a business will not be able to sustain user interest in the long run.
- Customer interaction: Interacting with customers is one of the key points in the ORM mix. The business must ensure those customer complaints are resolved on time and with the right results.
- Establish values: A business can only be trusted if it stands for values that it can deliver consistently. Even if it is advertising on social media or traditional platforms, this approach should be extended to ensure that the business can stand true to its word.
- Build and expand social media presence: Building and expanding social media presence is critical for success in the modern world. Apart from reaching more customers, the social media presence of a business can also help decode the various trends, challenges, and issues in the market.
Most importantly, a brand should maintain an authentic self on the internet. A company that is ethical and stays true to its customers is much better placed to handle any threat to its online reputation. However, with increased competition and the race to stay ahead of the curve to maintain a pole position in front of the consumer, a business should follow a structured ORM approach.
Learn about: 7 Essential Elements of Online Reputation Management
About Konnect Insights
Konnect Insight is an integrated tool for customer experience management. Using modern technologies, Konnect Insights can be used for social listening, online reputation management, social analytics, business intelligence, and more. To learn more, click here.