Creating an online footprint is necessary for a business owner or service provider in this digital age. Customers today are highly digital, doing the bulk of their browsing and purchasing online. Having a website or social media account ensures that your target market can still find you when they go online.
Unfortunately, being online also risks your brand reputation because it creates opportunities for unhappy customers to give your business terrible reviews and low ratings.
It’s impossible to please everyone; some would air their grievances online rather than contact you directly about their concerns. Worse, their low ratings and bad reviews can damage your reputation and negatively impact your bottom line.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can save and improve your reputation through online reputation management (ORM). You cannot control what people say about you on the internet, but through ORM, you can:
• Be proactive in managing your online reputation.
• Own your narrative.
• Address negative reviews professionally.
• Give more attention to your business’ good qualities.
• To succeed at managing online reputation through ORM, you need good content.
Content is crucial for creating a narrative and establishing an online reputation. However, if you devote time and resources to content creation for ORM, consider taking a step further into content marketing to get better and lasting results.
Content Marketing and ORM: Partners in Building Brand Reputation
Content marketing can amplify and support brand reputation management strategies. Tim Clarke, Senior Reputation Manager at Rize Reviews, said that writing positive articles about a brand, business or any entity can help maintain a positive online reputation.
But content comes in many forms, not just articles. Reviews with detailed descriptions, videos, pictures and ratings can all be used to support branded, self-created content pieces that wax poetic about your brand or company.
“Show off good reviews, video testimonials from real customers, and publish flattering blog posts on third-party websites,” said Clarke.
It’s all about perception. Displaying reviews and testimonials on your website through widgets puts you in a positive light, becoming beneficial for brand reputation management. On the other hand, it is a passive approach: audiences must visit your website first to know what’s good about your brand.
This is why content marketing helps in ORM: It provides the tools to establish your reputation as an industry expert, philanthropist, pioneer in your field, luxury brand, etc.
Take Control of Your Story
Reputation is the widespread belief that a person or entity possesses particular characteristics and upholds specific values. One’s reputation turns sour when first-person accounts reveal that the person or entity does the opposite of the ethics and values they espouse. For example, people will look negatively at a business that promotes luxury products but whose customer reviews are filled with complaints about cheap, substandard items.
A well-planned content marketing strategy can give you control over how people perceive your brand or business. A large chunk of content strategy is producing your own content – articles, videos, infographics, blogs, press releases and other forms of shareable media. As the source and content creator, you’ll be in control of the story that will be presented to the public.
So how can businesses take control of their story and reputation? By having a content strategy geared toward reputation management. ORM-oriented content is one of the most important reputation management tools. The right content will make managing an online reputation easier and more effective.
How a Content Marketing Strategy Supports Reputation Management
Reputation management is the practice of influencing public perception about an entity, which can be a person, brand, or company. It mainly focuses on establishing credibility and building respect and trust between a company and its stakeholders (customers, employees and the general public).
Reputation management can take many forms:
• Brand management – shaping one’s persona or public image.
• Crisis management – getting ahead of a crisis to prevent irreparable damage to one’s reputation.
• Reputation repair – strategically driving attention to someone’s positive qualities to overshadow negative ones.
• Customer review management – improving ratings, obtaining positive reviews, and addressing negative customer feedback.
Content marketing is creating and publishing valuable, relevant, attractive content for a targeted audience. The goals can be anything: generating online buzz, increasing website traffic, promoting a new product, increasing sales qualified leads, etc.
The types of content that you can use for content marketing are blogs, review articles, videos, infographics, custom graphics or art, white papers, ebooks, case studies and more. Depending on your content marketing strategy, you can publish content on their official website, social media, industry-related third-party websites, news aggregator sites and other platforms where users can post and share content.
In the hands of experienced online marketers, content marketing can produce the following benefits:
• Increased brand awareness
• Increased user engagement
• Improved lead generation results
• Higher conversions and sales
• Long-term cost savings for marketing
• Stronger customer relationships and customer loyalty
Content marketing gives you the tools to create content and refine your message. You can use them to control the story and nudge your audience towards a particular way of thinking about your brand or company. This is how content marketing can become one of your reputation management tools.
Content Marketing Strategies for Online Brand Reputation Management
To get you started, here are examples of how you can leverage your content marketing strategy for online reputation management:
1. Publish Blogs on Your Website
Launching a blog on your domain is the easiest and fastest way to publish content and make it available online. Well-written, informative, value-rich blogs help establish authority and credibility in your field or industry. The best part is you’ll have complete control over each blog post’s topic, content and layout. You can also edit the content anytime after publishing.
Publishing blogs also benefits other areas of digital marketing that are beneficial for online brand reputation management:
• Search engine optimization (SEO) – Each new blog post is one more indexed page that can help attract visitors to your website. Blogging is also an opportunity to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Landing on Page 1 of the SERPs is the goal of SEO. A study by Backlinko and Semrush reveals that the first 10 organic search results on Page 1 get 86.3% of all clicks. Page 2 gets only 0.63% of clicks, and the click-through rate is even lower for Page 3 onwards.
• Social media marketing (SMM) – You can add social sharing widgets on each blog post to make it easy for readers to share your content on social media. Conversely, you can share blog posts on your official social media accounts and drive traffic from your socials to your website.
2. Engage in SEO
Now that we’re on the topic, SEO and ORM-oriented content marketing can boost your online visibility and positive reputation simultaneously. Content is crucial to SEO; if you invest in content marketing, you might as well maximize its potential and optimize each blog or article you publish.
3. Sync Your SEO and SMM
Social media management is a big help in managing online reputation. But if you’re also doing SEO, you can get better results if your social media posts support the keywords your website is trying to rank.
For example, if a restaurant wants to rank first for “Italian restaurant in Denver,” they should also post pictures and videos of their best-selling dishes and relevant keywords in the captions. Syncing social media management with search engine optimization helps drive user engagement and brand recognition, both of which help in long-term reputation management.
4. Publish Articles on LinkedIn
If your website is not the best place for your blogs, LinkedIn is a good alternative. It’s a free platform that combines the perks of social media and news syndication. LinkedIn is known as the platform for professionals and industry experts, so establishing a presence here and gaining followers will be very good for brand reputation management.
5. Diversify Your Content Strategy
Consider the following alternatives when leveraging content marketing for online reputation management:
• Releasing press releases on news syndication sites
• Publishing research or white papers and offering them for free on your website
• Creating infographics
• Email marketing
• Producing videos
• Podcasting on Spotify, Twitch, or Discord
Diversifying content formats and publishing content on various platforms can help you reach a wider audience and increase user engagement. The important thing is to maintain consistency in your content. Maintain your brand’s tone and flavor, and avoid publishing contradictory statements on different platforms.
6. Consider Influencer Marketing
What do Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the Kardashian Family have in common? They are famous people who exemplify the saying, “You are your brand.” They developed personas and gained massive followers and their audience’s loyalty. So even if they have controversies, their reputations can weather the crisis, and their businesses continue to thrive.
Personal branding is vital in online brand reputation management, even for companies. Some brands rise and fall along with the reputations of their founders and endorsers. Case in point: Marchesa, the fashion brand co-founded by Georgina Chapman, suffered huge losses at the height of the Me Too movement. Chapman was the then-wife of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who’d been convicted of numerous sexual harassment cases in 2021.
However, becoming a public persona for your company is a bold step only some people want to take. In this case, working with a trusted influencer whose values align with your brand can help build or improve your reputation. Through influencer marketing, influencers and companies share each other’s brand equity in a mutually beneficial agreement.
7. Monitor and Manage Your Online Reviews
Tracking and managing online reviews is a crucial part of reputation management. Customer feedback is powerful: low ratings and negative reviews can impact a business long-term, discouraging would-be customers from buying or hiring a company for fear of receiving low-quality products or services. Likewise, positive feedback and consistent five-star ratings attract more customers to your business because they imply quality and credibility.
Managing reviews and general online chatter about your brand is crucial for online reputation management. Address negative reviews professionally: take constructive criticism gracefully with the promise of improving products and services and firmly but politely address unfair complaints. This way, you can soften the blow to your brand reputation and regain control of the narrative even though you cannot dictate what customers write about your brand or business.
Online Reputation Management Tools That Complement Content Marketing
Tracking reviews and general sentiment toward your brand can be challenging when you engage with customers on multiple online platforms. You’d have to log into all social media accounts, business listings and forums and check for new customer reviews and rating submissions about your business.
All this work is time-consuming. Fortunately, we have tools that can simplify things for you.
Rize Reviews offers a suite of ORM tools that helps brands track online chatter and overall sentiment about their products, services and public image. One primary feature is the review site integration. Rize Reviews has access to over 150 customer review websites. It can detect and collect all new reviews submitted under your company or brand. So instead of logging in and out of multiple accounts, your ORM team can view them in one go on the Rize Reviews dashboard.
We also provide other features for more efficient ORM management:
• Website widget – Show off the most flattering customer reviews you received on your website.
• Text messaging – Send mass texts to customers encouraging them to leave a review about your business.
• Email – Automate professional emails to your customers to encourage them to write reviews.
You can apply content marketing principles (i.e., focus on the positive aspects of your brand) and even SEO (i.e., highlight relevant keywords in customer reviews and email copy) when deploying content using these online reputation management tools.
Manage Your Brand Reputation More Effectively With Rize Reviews
Curated content that puts your brand in a positive light and glowing reviews from happy customers are invaluable for managing online reputation. If you can supplement your branded content with customer feedback, your audience will have more reason to believe your story and trust your brand despite the blows to your reputation.
Positive customer reviews will support your ORM efforts when leveraging content marketing to build or repair your brand reputation. Contact Rize Reviews today and find out how to obtain and manage customer testimonials effortlessly.