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Using Online Reputation Management Strategy to Improve your Brand Image Online

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by James Helliwell
November 08, 2017


James Helliwell
James Helliwell has written 6 articles for PromotionWorld.
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When online reputation issues occur, they often take entrepreneurs by surprise. They wonder, ‘why are people saying bad things about our company on the internet?’ Sadly, negative search results can happen to anyone or any brand. You could spend years building a powerful brand and still wake up to defamatory remarks and outrageous accusations that cross the line from constructive criticisms to be slanderous and libellous remarks. Usually, such image-destroying remarks appear in high ranking positions on search engine results and, whether such comments are true or not, harm your company’s reputation online. When it comes to marketing and creating a reliable image for a business, online reputation management is not often mentioned. However, this area of marketing has a big impact on branding and holds a lot of benefits for entrepreneurs looking to expand their reach online.

Preventing Problems from Becoming a Reputation Issue

A lot of businesses have lost their hold over their customers as a result of negative speculation, rumours and gossip. It can take mere minutes to damage a brand that took years of hard work and sheer determination to build. An increase in negative information online leads to companies suddenly disappearing because their names have been tarnished. With advancement in technology, the internet and the real-time nature of social media, it doesn’t take too long for any crisis to become an online reputation crisis.  Expert online reputation management strategists would do everything to prevent that from happening including planning the best way to make use of your online platforms, provide constant monitoring of mentions and sentiments about your brand online, and take steps to detect threats and protect your company from them.

Is In-House Reputation Management Worth It?

In business, trust is a major ingredient for success. Your customers will naturally talk about their experiences with other people (potential customers), and if they have a problem, they would talk about that too. Businesses, therefore, have to worry about negative content spreading online. A company that suffers a loss of confidence in the public may find it difficult to regain trust from customers. In addition, it is also more expensive to fix the effects of negative publicity than it is to prevent it in the first place. As a result, it is definitely worth it to develop an in-house department to handle online reputation management issues.

From public relations campaigns to social media updates and content development, and development of blogs, support forums and other company-related websites, it is possible to handle some of the top-level online reputation management activities within a company. However, beyond these tasks, a lot of companies lack the experience or resources that experienced reputation management firms have. Given the chance, such companies benefit from the leveraged knowledge acquired from working with many companies and different online reputation scenarios.

When Is The Best Time To Start Working On Your Online Reputation?

Some companies only begin to consider the effect of online reputation on their business when sales start to drop, only to discontinue the product or service when they find that regaining momentum is not economically ideal. However, online reputation management should be part of the early stages of any business’s product and services because there would be a better chance of making a difference in how marketing campaigns are received. With valuable insights into what clients are looking for online, you can really change the game for your business.

In choosing a company to handle your online reputation strategy, look for one that shows a successful track record with former clients. A reputable professional should be able to display baseline Google rankings of the client before they began to work with them to improve online reputation and the results after the work was completed. Key pointers to look out for include negative web pages that have been either been moved down in the search engine results, or replaced with positive or neutral information about the company. Country-specific search engine results should also be requested for customers with branches in different countries. In addition, the company should be able to provide the kinds of tactics which will be used to improve your online reputation. Such tactics could include off-site search engine optimisation, public relations campaigns, and the development of an improved social media presence.

It is important to have a handle on your business’ reputation online even before there is an emergency situation. The best online reputation management strategies are comprehensive and focus on different aspects of your company image to improve it.

         


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