To thrive both on- and off-line, brands must have a solid reputation and active digital presence. Yes, content and great design go a long way, but your company’s behavior—every customer service interaction, every written response to a customer, the quality of your products, the way your company treats its employees—will always be at the core of the brand’s reputation.
There are many ways you can do your part to spread positive content about a brand, and you probably know about all the fundamentals by this point: having complete and up-to-date local citations and review sites for your business, soliciting testimonials and reviews, and responding to any negative reviews that appear. Strong, consistent branding across all of your owned online properties is a crucial piece of the puzzle. But it’s only one of them.
Walk the Walk
A healthy spread of genuine, positive online content is what your brand needs. The goal is to prevent potential customers from finding the negative stuff (if there is any) when they search for you. Your potential customers now read more reviews prior to making a buying decision, so it’s crucial that the first content they see is a positive reflection on your brand. This may seem manipulative to someone unfamiliar with online reputation management, but when you consider the fact that anyone could write a bad review for any reason, it makes sense that brands would do whatever they can to offset that kind of damage. That’s what reputation management is all about.
One tactic that can help achieve this is developing content that establishes your brand as an authority on the subject. The content should be useful to your target audience, target the keywords people are searching on to research your products/brand, and be appropriate to the places where it will be shared. White papers, infographics, in-app content, newsletters, blog posts, social media posts—there are endless options you can incorporate into a plan that fits your business. If you become a go-to source for searchers seeking information about your industry, this can go a long way toward populating search results with positive content centered around your brand.
Good in Real Life
As mentioned before, there are many things a business can do (and should do) to bolster its image. The first is obvious: provide the best possible customer service. If there’s one thing people like to post online about, it’s customer service experiences. In fact, 54% of respondents in a recent survey by Dimensional Research said if they shared a bad customer experience, they would share it at least five times. 58% of respondents said they’re more likely to share any customer experience than they were five years ago.
So, we can’t stress this enough: while reputation management tactics and content strategies can help promote the good stuff, you can’t outrun bad business practices or customer service. The behavior, goods and services associated with the brand are what consumers will respond to.
If you find yourself fighting against a negative reputation, then you won’t want to miss next week’s post, where we’ll discuss the steps you can take to fix your brand’s image online.