The threat of reputational harm is ever-present. In today’s social and political climate, one seemingly minor incident can cause a ripple effect that erodes your brand’s entire reputation over time. This can lead to insurmountable financial losses, which Vision Critical estimates to reach $531 billion annually across the entire U.S. market.
But in a period marked by political divisiveness, social justice action, market volatility and worsening economic conditions, navigating today’s business landscape is fast becoming a challenge in itself.
With the success of modern businesses relying heavily on their online presence, how can businesses like yours survive in this climate? By investing in company online reputation management (ORM) to protect your brand image and maintain a positive online reputation.
“We are in a period where comments, posts, shares and even likes can be taken way out of context and create way more issues than they should for businesses and reputations,” said Loren Weisman, a music business consultant, speaker and author.
“It is not about managing your reputation online to please everybody, but taking the right steps to reinforce and manage your online reputation can make all the difference for today, tomorrow, next week, next month and next year,” Weisman said.
If you’re planning to invest in business online reputation management but wondering about the cost of ORM services, we’ve got you covered. This blog delves into online reputation management cost by answering the following questions:
- How much does reputation management cost?
- How is reputation management pricing determined?
- What services are typically included in online reputation management packages?
- Is there an ideal ORM budget allocation when tapping an online reputation service?
- Are business online reputation management services worth it?
Read on below to find out the answers to these questions and more.
How Much Does Reputation Management Cost on Average?
Online reputation management cost is often a point of contention when in the market for a reliable ORM company.
While considering their priorities, some businesses look for affordable reputation management options. Meanwhile, others focus on the ORM services they need the most as the basis for their decision instead of focusing on reputation management price.
All things considered, the average cost of online reputation management can range anywhere from $500 to $10,000 per month.
Generally, reputation management pricing can also be used as an indicator of the quality of service, with some of the best reputation management services often charging higher prices than their lower-quality counterparts.
However, price doesn’t always equate with quality and should not be used as the only quality indicator. As you will learn in the next section, other factors can also impact reputation management pricing and cost of service.
Let’s take a look at these factors next.
What Factors Drive Reputation Management Price and Cost?
While reputation management price varies depending on the ORM company offering the service, other factors can also impact the price and cost of their ORM services. These factors depend on the size and scale of the project itself, which in turn depends on the client you’re working with.
Specifically, the price and cost of an ORM project depend on the size of the client’s reputation. Clients with more renown face more external threats and may require extra help:
- Suppressing news coming from top news sources
- Removing multiple negative links from a variety of publishers
- Getting media companies to take down a damaging post
- Showcasing positive reviews while eliminating negative ones
With significantly more channels and online properties to work with, it’s easy to see why ORM services for a multi-location enterprise business tend to be more expensive than that of a local brick-and-mortar business.
What’s Included in Online Reputation Management Packages?
Similarly, the entire cost of corporate reputation management will depend on the different services offered by the ORM company. These services may be provided separately or as part of comprehensive online reputation management packages.
For some of the best reputation management services, their ORM packages will typically include the following essential services:
- Brand management
- Reputation management software
- Public relations
- Review management
- Reputation repair
- Listings management
- Review monitoring
- Review generation
- Review response
In a nutshell, the more services you need and the more services are included in a service package, the higher the cost will be.
Determining the Cost and Value of Company Online Reputation Management
The average cost of online reputation management can vary significantly, depending on which industry you belong to and the factors given above. Within this spectrum, the best reputation management services will often come with a heftier price tag than others, although affordable reputation management doesn’t always equate to being low quality.
But do the results justify the cost of these services? Is your ORM budget allocation worth it? To answer these questions, let’s discuss the impact of having a negative online reputation.
Quantifying the Cost of a Bad Reputation
Your reputation is all about perception. A glowing review of your company and its products or services will likely affect how customers perceive your brand. While it’s hard to put a number on brand perception, it’s much easier to quantify the results of a negative reputation on your business.
The simplest way is to measure the direct financial impact of a bad reputation, with the best example being stock price. Research by Weber Shandwick reveals that 63% of a company’s market value is determined by its reputation. This is why stock prices drop when negative news about a company spreads through the media.
But it’s not just about stock prices. The financial impact of a negative reputation can impact other facets of the business as well. Take a look at the following examples:
- More than 60% of people were less likely to donate to the international aid organization Oxfam after news of sexual misconduct, bullying and harassment hit the media. In addition, more than 4% of its long-term donators canceled their subscriptions, which is a big deal considering its previous retention rate was 99.6%.
- Airline ticket sales for United Airlines dropped by as much as 69% after a clip that featured staff members dragging a customer off an overbooked plane spread online.
It’s clear that a bad reputation does come at a price. But there is a silver lining. Through effective business online reputation management, you can fix your damaged reputation and improve brand perception.
The Value of Reputation Management
On the other hand, an effective company online reputation management strategy can positively impact brand perception. But more than that, it can also have positive financial implications.
Data shared by Apex Global Learning revealed that every additional star on an online review for small businesses leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue. Additionally, the data further shows that a five-star-reviewed business enjoys 18% higher revenue than a business with mostly three-star reviews.
So, the answer to whether your ORM budget allocation justifies online reputation management cost will depend on how much value your strategy creates for your business, no matter how expensive or affordable reputation management services can be.
Building a stellar reputation takes time and effort. However, your hard work can easily be undone in a single snap. In today’s business climate where brand credibility and trustworthiness are the main currencies for establishing meaningful customer relationships, your business can’t afford to lose a single customer to a negative reputation.
This is what makes corporate reputation management an essential element of your online strategy.
Should You Hire an Online Reputation Service?
Reputation management does come at a cost. However, the returns for having an ORM strategy in place can directly impact business profitability and performance. Putting your best digital footprint forward can inspire trust in your brand and create meaningful relationships with your customers.
So, should you hire an online reputation service provider? If you want to drive growth to your business while building a positive online reputation, then yes — and Rize can help.
Rize Reviews is an online reputation management company that helps businesses leverage the power of reputation management to elevate their digital marketing strategies. We help you build a positive online presence to help clients create a favorable impression of your brand. Schedule a consultation with us today to get started.