Only a decade ago, things like PR and reputation management seemed like matters of concern for big businesses and celebrity personas. And it seemed like smaller brands had little to care about; their brand perception was a one-way alley with customers having little room for feedback.
After all, they could just choose to ignore the business’s products and services, but their perception had little impact. But we are now living in an era of an active audience, one where people express their opinions about brands and services on several platforms online all the time.
And, with 71% of consumers starting their customer journey with a Google search, no business can afford to show up on the SERPs appearing untrustworthy and disreputable.
To avoid any potential issues, here is an extensive guide on Online Reputation Management for businesses of any size and industry to help digital marketing professionals discover effective ways to manage their brand’s online reputation.
Here are the three main points we will cover:
What Is Online Reputation Management (ORM)?
Online Reputation Management, or ORM, is a multi-faceted concept that is aimed at creating a positive public perception of a brand, business, or person. Reputation management includes monitoring reputation, addressing any content or customer feedback that could damage the brand, and using strategies to prevent and solve problems that could damage an entity’s reputation.
How Online Reputation Management Works
In a nutshell, ORM is all about monitoring and managing your brand’s reputation across the web, about ensuring that your business is properly represented and that potential customers are left with a great impression on who you are and what you do.
That said, multiple channels fall within Online Reputation Management, and since it may seem overwhelming at first to embrace all these channels, let’s think about them in terms of the PESO model. Here is a pretty extensive post on this topic.
Paid Media for Online Reputation Management
Paid media implies all online content that requires payment to feature your brand (website, services, etc.). It involves channels like Google Ads, social media ads, sponsored posts, or promotions by influencers.
This aspect of ORM is fairly straightforward — you have full control over your own placements. You have to carefully check, though, if any of your competitors are advertising “against” your brand.
However, most paid media platforms have strict guidelines against such practices, and a single complaint can resolve this negative sentiment implication.
Earned media embraces the coverage that your brand receives from external platforms free of charge. They include:
- External articles,
- Press coverage
- Blogs and Vlogs
- Some industry-specific third-party listings (Glassdoor, Capterra, Trustpilot would all fall into this category).
Google My Business would also count as earned media as customers leave reviews for your business without you controlling it. Earned media should be a focus for all businesses; these sources help create a positive outlook and create trust with online visitors. – Read more