The way of doing business witnesses a major transformation over the past few years with the marketing landscape adopting digital practices. Your online reputation becomes crucial if you wish to survive in the long run.
A lot of information exchange takes place over social media, and you can’t always control the customer’s feedback. A quick Google survey also displays poor reviews or bad PR that can damage the bottom-line.
Reports state that around 85% of consumers trust online reviews to seek more information about the company before purchasing anything. Conversely, a positive review is beneficial for ensuring higher sales.
For successfully managing the digital presence, hiring online reputation management will manage the status and damage control for the business.
How to Select an Online Reputation Management
Now before you think about hiring online reputation management, you must be aware of specific parameters. Not all reputation managers fit every other business like a glove. Each company has its specified requirements and preferences, so different ORM cater to different needs.
You have to analyze your online reputation strategy before starting the ORM journey. It can be online review management, crisis management, SEO-orientated branded content, social media monitoring, etc. When you know the prerequisites, you can narrow down the search.
- Business Size and Type
There is a correlation between the size of the company and the size of its reputation. With the expansion of your business and sales channels, it becomes important to manage the online reputation.
The investment in ORM depends upon the size and structure of your business. There are specific questions that are relevant in determining the ORM for you. How many distribution channels do you rely on to publish your content? What is the estimated reach of your business? Are you an e-commerce store or a service-based company?
If your business is more complex and widespread, you will require an expensive ORM to operate your business.
- Audit your Current Reputation
Do an audit of your online reputation management before implementing the ORM process in your business. Getting a bird’s eye view will help to identify the bottlenecks existing in your system.
With what Google My Business-related features, know about your prevailing review, user-uploaded photos, comments, ratings, and other features. It will give a hint of the general sentiment in mapping your online reputation strategy. It can focus on various factors like reputation building, online monitoring, or repairing a negative reputation.
- Marketing Strategy
Assess the process involved in your marketing strategy as it is vital for the type of strategy your company requires. This varies across the different organizations.
A good marketing strategy with online reputation management can bring a 5% annual increase with online reviews from customers. Content creation and SEO practices give an organic reach to some companies. In contrast, other companies focus on developing their social media through Yelp or third-party websites.
Refining your marketing policy helps to implement the best ORM practices that drive results.
- Crisis Management Approach
Reputation helps in sustaining the foundation of a brand value. However, inevitable casualties can put out a reputation fire that catches your business off-guard. It may be a short-term approach to have a positive light to generate more sales.
But if you are a long-term player, managing a crisis will inevitably resurface in the future. Depending upon a business’s short-term and long-term needs, you can select an ORM that fits your goals.
- Technology Implementation
Today, experts credit digital transformation for enhanced operational efficiency (40%), speedy marketing (36%), and better customer experience (35%). You can take leverage by asking more questions about the latest technology they are implementing in the ORM practices.
For instance, some companies provide an in-depth view of your online reputation from initiative dashboards and mobile apps. Others use proprietary algorithms to evaluate the brand’s reputation score. You can also learn about the different technologies by doing online research related to ORM.
Your specification on technology implementation will help to filter the appropriate company.
- Other Agency Services
Many online reputation management firms offer multifaceted services in the digital field. For example, it can be web development, SEO campaigns, content marketing, and many such. At the same time, some have their primary focus only on reputation management.
It seems pretty enticing to hire service providers with all-in-one features. They can assist in managing several parts of your business. But, most of the time, their services are marginal. So, many companies are not interested in working with such firms. Get a thorough detail regarding the ORM firm before giving a green signal.
The Different Types of Online Reputation Management
A report established the 86% of customers paid more for a company with positive reviews and higher ratings. So, online reputation holds prime importance for every business willing to generate better revenues. Reputation management takes a holistic approach to establish, evaluating, shielding, and restoring a company’s online image.
- Crisis Management
There are usually more than one-off approaches to crisis management when it comes to a brand’s reputation. It requires more than repairing images, burying the negative with positive ones, and generating value-added content.
It will be interesting to note how the ORM firm handles crisis management as it decides the course of business and its survival. The firms examine the company’s website through reviews and other web content related to the brand. Then it usually deploys a long-term approach having a 360-degree strategy for crisis management.
- Online Review Management
An ORM firm helps to obtain and manage online reviews for a company. Significantly, the horrible reviews posted on the first page can have a damaging effect on your brand. This is proven through a survey report, where 60% of the customers feel that negative reviews change their minds about the business.
The online reputation management implements the right tools that off-set the reviews or bury them with positive reviews over time. Initially, you can opt for review removal, but it requires a broader strategy with varied ORM practices over the period.
- Content Management
Content creation with an online reputation marketing plays a crucial role in making a positive branding strategy. Necessarily, it doesn’t mean taking down the negative reviews and replacing them with the positive ones.
It can include other practices focusing on microsites, videos, articles, press releases, and much more. This is to create an overall positive light for business all over the internet. Daily many users in Google search for products and services. So if your business is focused on the best content, it will naturally attract many users.
- Social Media Management
Social media has taken a stride with the transformation of digital practices. With ORM strategies, a business can ensure the best online presence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and others. It can help your business expand through social media by keeping constant vigilance.
ORM services look after the profile updates and fill them with engaging content. It uses social listening techniques to monitor the brand’s presence. 73% of marketers believe that the use of social media has been somewhat effective for their business.
- Public Relationship Management
Public Relationship is another crucial factor that is considered essential to gain online visibility. It takes several approaches, like putting out press releases, booking interviews, writing social media statements, and others.
ORM helps in creating an effective PR strategy that takes your brand out of the crisis. With the implementation of correct approaches, it stops the negativity from spreading out. It further works on the brand positioning that makes it more trustworthy and accountable.
A sudden blow of a mishap can bring a bad reputation for a business that seems entirely out of control. Online reputation management works internally to improve its reputation. You can reach several agencies that take off your additional burden by uplifting your reputation in such situations.
So, ORM is an essential marketing strategy as it works by navigating the online conversations, providing fixes to the problems, and generating positive sentiments.