In today’s hyper-connected world, where most people have a mobile device on them at all times, reputations are no longer defined exclusively by brands. Public feedback (such as reviews found on Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau) now plays a major role in how B2B brands are perceived.
The image of your brand must be carefully considered on every channel and at every touchpoint—or you risk pushing your target audience away.
Safe to say, online reputation management (ORM) has never been more important. In addition to protecting your reputation, ORM revolves around promoting your brand to increase brand awareness and grow your audience.
But you have to do it right. That’s why we’re here to help!
Here are our top tips for getting started with your online reputation management strategy.
What Is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management combines digital marketing, public relations, social media management, and SEO to manage the public perception of a brand or business.
Why Is Online Reputation Management Important?
Let’s take a look at the facts:
- 71% of consumers start the buyer’s journey with a Google search, so no brand can afford to show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) appearing untrustworthy and unreliable.
- 88% of consumers read reviews online, so you want them to be favorable!
- 85% of consumers treat reviews as personal recommendations and trust them like a friend.
Buyers, especially those in the B2B space, care about the reputations of companies they’re considering, so it’s critical to portray a positive reputation if you want to win them over.
What Is an Online Reputation Management Strategy?
An online reputation management strategy typically focuses on four major digital marketing channels, referred to as PESO:
- Paid media
- Earned media
- Shared media
- Owned media
Here’s a closer look at each channel:
1. Paid Media
Paid media refers to any online content that requires payment for a feature. Channels include ads, sponsored posts, influencer marketing, and more. Paid media is one of the most straightforward areas of ORM because you decide what to invest in
2. Earned Media
Earned media, on the other hand, comprises press that you receive free of charge.
This may include:
- Blog posts
- Industry-specific publications
- Reviews on third-party websites like Yelp
- Google reviews
You should always focus on and encourage the creation of earned media. Opportunities for earned media can help you build trust with your target audience and build a foundation of positive mentions for your brand.
3. Shared Media
Content that is shared across various platforms, such as social media, is shared media. Any complaints, negative mentions, or bad reviews can turn potential customers away, so it’s important to pay attention and address any complaints, questions, or comments you receive in a timely manner.
4. Owned Media
Your website, blog, and any other self-produced assets are owned media, as you have complete control over them. While managing the reputation that results from your owned media may be easier than other types of media, it’s important to establish an online reputation management strategy that encompasses all of the PESO components. Producing valuable, high-quality content for your blog, website, and social channels can help position your brand as a reliable source for information and insight.
Tips for Online Reputation Management
Monitor Brand Mentions
When you pay attention to your brand mentions, you get real-time insight into your online reputation and can respond right away. The best place to start is on Google because that’s where the majority of consumers begin their journey.
But monitoring brand mentions isn’t just about paying attention to what shows up on Google. There are other tools you can use to monitor the web for mentions of your brand outside of the SERPs too.
Setting up Google Alerts for your company name, relevant keywords, and any trademarked taglines can help you stay on top of mentions and enable you to respond to praise, criticism, and feedback as it comes in.
Tools like HubSpot’s social media management software help you stay on top of social mentions, so you can resolve any negative mentions or complaints and address criticism immediately.
Listen to Your Customers
Positive reviews can have a direct impact on future business. Before making a decision, buyers want to validate their decision, and positive reviews can help. Favorable reviews can also help generate traffic to your website, so it’s wise to encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews whenever possible.
With outstanding customer service, you can reduce the chance of receiving negative reviews, but you may still encounter them. Ensure that you promptly respond to any unfavorable reviews you do receive. Often, people just want to be heard, and a prompt response may turn their negative experience into a positive one.
Utilize Content Marketing
Content marketing can help educate prospects and buyers in the consideration stage of their journey. Creating on-brand content and blogs fortifies your online presence, improves visibility, and pushes any existing negative or unfavorable content further down on SERPs.
Combined with a thorough content marketing strategy, custom website development also helps highlight your brand as an authoritative and respected resource in the industry.
Focus on Transparency
Being transparent demonstrates to buyers and prospects that you care about what they have to say, and you’re willing to change if something goes awry. If you’re not sure what being transparent looks like in action, here are a few examples:
- Asking new customers for feedback
- Addressing criticism openly
- Resolving complaints publicly
It may not come easy at first, but transparency is vital for building trust, so it’s not a tip to take lightly.
Achieve Online Reputation Management Success
Customers, prospects, and passers-by will always have something to say. But when you have an online reputation management strategy in place, navigating these conversations and staying ahead of the curve is simple.
We hope this exploration of online reputation management serves as a helpful starting point for your reputation management initiatives.
If you still need help getting started with your online reputation management strategy, let’s chat!