In today’s business landscape, having an online presence is crucial for success. However, it’s not just about promoting your business and selling your products or services on various digital platforms. It also requires online reputation management not only to put your brand in the spotlight but also to bring it in a positive light.
So, how do you go about managing your online reputation?
This page covers what digital reputation is and why it matters. Read on to particularly learn how to manage and improve your online reputation.
What Is Digital Reputation?
Simply put, digital reputation is the audiences’ overall perception of your brand on the web. It’s how they see your business and the value you bring in terms of the products or services you offer. Have one negative remark about your brand, and you can drive customers away. That’s why the ultimate goal is to establish and maintain a good online reputation for the long term.
Note that you can manage your digital reputation via four main media channels:
- Paid Media: As the name suggests, this media type requires you to pay for getting your brand featured on various channels. For example, you can produce and display pay-per-click (PPC) ads on SERP, social media, and other online sites.
- Earned Media: Unlike paid media, this lets you feature your brand on other platforms without the need to pay. You can get your business and products or services featured on online publications, news sites, research papers, influencer content, niche blogs, and influencer content.
- Shared Media: This involves any content about your brand posted on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and LinkedIn. For example, you can post and share content about your products or services via your social media pages.
- Owned Media: This type of media entails producing and publishing content about your brand on your platforms that you have control over. These include your website and blogs, including case studies, infographics, and whitepapers you publish.
Why Does Online Reputation Management Matter?
Digital reputation matters because how people see your business will influence purchase decisions and impact business success. However, there is more to this benefit than meets the eye. Here are some interesting statistics:
- A whopping 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses. Unfortunately, 37% leave positive reviews, 6% leave negative ones, and 4% never do this at all. (Bright Local, 2023)
- About 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends. While 75% say they trust a brand more with positive reviews online, 60% of customers will not buy from a brand with negative ones. (ThriveMyWay, 2023)
A good online reputation can translate to many opportunities for your business, from improved online visibility and customer engagement to increased lead generation and sales conversion. Here’s how it can positively impact your business:
- It boosts your brand awareness. You can improve your branding tactics and brand recognition through digital reputation management.
- It improves your online visibility. Managing your online reputation contributes to your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking by helping you climb the SERP’s ladder.
- It drives traffic to your website. The more visible and prominent your brand is on SERP, the more you can direct potential customers to your website. Scraping dynamic websites for unique features, offers, and prices will help you better understand what your target customers need and adjust your site for maximum conversion.
- It enhances customer engagement. More and more customers would love to interact with a brand having a good reputation. One negative review can shoo customers away in an instant!
- It generates more leads. A good online reputation can go as far as attracting more prospects called leads for your business. Increased web presence and traffic through digital reputation management can help improve your lead generation.
- It increases sales conversion. The end goal of online reputation management is to convert leads into sales or prospects into actual customers. As mentioned above, your brand reputation can influence buying decisions.
As you can see, online reputation management (ORM) is crucial for reaping the benefits above. You can learn directly from the damaged reputation of famous companies and how they managed to rise above their circumstances. Some even go as far as hiring ORM services to ensure a successful implementation and overall business success.
In fact, the global ORM services market size could grow from $226.44 million in 2022 to $504.01 million by 2028. It’s forecasted to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.27%.
But of course, you can manage and improve your online reputation yourself. Learn what steps to take and earn some practical tips in the next section.
How To Manage and Improve Your Online Reputation
Online reputation management (ORM) requires a conscious effort and deliberate action to
implement your handful of strategies. But your ORM success lies in your actual implementation, not to mention the best practices you employ.
Let’s cut to the chase—here’s how to manage and improve your online reputation.
1. Examine Your Online Reputation
Before implementing your ORM process, you must conduct extensive reputation research about your business. The goal is to examine how the general audience perceives your brand. That allows you to see what’s working and what needs improvement.
First, examine your website, blog, social media, and other third-party sites. All it takes is to Google your brand name via an incognito browser window and see what appears on SERP. You can also use ORM tools like Determ to aid you in the audit process. A thorough examination will help you successfully proceed with your ORM strategies.
2. Understand Your Audience
After examining your online reputation, you must also study your audience before implementing your ORM process. The goal is to understand your target market—their pain points, motivations, and interests. Then, you can align your ORM strategies with your consumer needs and wants.
Michael Power, CMO at DTF Transfers, recommends conducting market research before implementing any marketing or branding campaign. “You must identify your consumer needs and get to the bottom of their problems. That way, you can create relevant and valuable campaigns that offer value and meet their needs.”
3. Highlight Your Strengths
Now that you’ve examined your online reputation and studied your consumer needs, it’s time to let the world recognize your strengths. Your target market ought to know what value your business can offer. You can do this by creating valuable content pieces that resonate with your prospective and existing customers.
Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, highlights the importance of digital marketing. “Online marketing tactics, such as SEO, PPC, email marketing, content marketing, and social media campaigns, let you promote your brand and sell your products or services. However, ensure you employ white hat techniques since they are ethical and sustainable.”
4. Improve Your Weaknesses
Highlighting your strengths is one thing; recognizing your weaknesses is another. The latter is as equally important as the former in your ORM process. You should identify your areas for improvement and quickly address them before consumers pinpoint them online and destroy your reputation.
Start by examining your brand and the products or services you offer. If you find something off about them, plan how to sanitize your brand name and improve your offerings promptly. The next step is to check the online perceptions of your target customers about your brand. What better way to do that than to examine online reviews or directly ask for customer feedback?
5. Offer Real Business Value
There are a handful of ways you can manage your digital reputation, from publishing valuable content from professional writers to engaging with customers. However, a successful ORM process all boils down to your business value. You’re on the right track if you offer products or services that can truly help people.
Mark Pierce, CEO of Colorado LLC Attorney, recommends going back to your business core. “Ask yourself why your company exists in the first place. Are you looking to meet consumer needs or address their existing problems? Unfortunately, some business owners focus more on marketing their businesses instead of improving their products or services. The latter matters the most!”
6. Earn Positive Online Reviews
Online reviews are powerful in business in the digital era since they can influence purchase decisions. As these reviews can make or break your business, make a conscious effort to ask for customer feedback and publish positive online reviews. You have no choice but to do this!
Fernando Lopez, Marketing Director at Circuit, highlights the value of online reviews. “More and more consumers heavily rely on what people say online about brands and their products or services. Get one negative review, and your business sales will suffer later on. Aspire to earn more positive feedback about your brand and ensure others would notice.”
7. Implement an SEO Campaign
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of technically improving your website, regularly writing optimized content, and strategically building quality links. When done successfully, your business will be visible online by taking the top spot of SERP. That alone is already good for your SEO reputation management.
Integrating SEO with ORM is like hitting two birds with one stone. Not only will you improve your online visibility, but you’ll also boost your digital reputation. To achieve both objectives, optimize your website, publish relevant content, and earn high-quality backlinks. That can make a world of difference in your brand recognition and reputation!
8. Harness the Power of Content
Content is king in the digital realm, which remains true to this day. Content pieces, whether how-to articles, product photos, or promotional videos, can boost your brand and engage with your audience. Therefore, employ content marketing as part of your ORM campaign.
As such, empower your brand reputation through content marketing. For one, regularly produce and publish valuable content on your blog. You can also perform outreach by sending relevant emails to potential and existing customers. Lastly, post and share content pieces on your social media pages consistently.
9. Monitor Your Online Reputation
equation. You need to see if all your ORM efforts are paying off in the long run!
Start by setting key performance indicators (KPIs), such as your SEO ranking, organic traffic, and online reviews earned. While at it, measure your customer engagement, lead generation, and sales conversion rates. Also, monitor your ORM strategies regularly to see if they are working. Lastly—more importantly, optimize these strategies to ensure they boost your brand.
10. Address Online Criticisms Quickly
Knowing how to deal with online reputation damage and rebuild your brand is crucial for business success. The last on the list is handling online criticisms and learning from mistakes. However, this step is easier said and done.
The good thing? There are effective ways to repair your online reputation. First, act on them quickly by acknowledging your mistakes and apologizing to impacted consumers. Provide solutions as soon as possible to mitigate the risks and appease the customers. Lastly, strive to earn positive reviews to bury negative feedback and redeem your brand thereafter.
In today’s business landscape, digital reputation is everything. As you can see, how the audiences perceive your brand online impacts your business in many ways.
As such, consider the ten practical tips for managing your brand reputation online discussed above. Remember, your digital reputation affects your online visibility, website traffic, customer engagement, lead generation, and sales conversion.
Bring your brand in a positive light online, and you’re well on your way to business growth and success!