Even the most successful and secure businesses can benefit from Proactive Reputation Management. Just because a company doesn’t have a bad reputation doesn’t mean that it is functioning at its optimum level. Don’t settle for an “okay” reputation online – it may seem “good enough” now, but when an uncontrollable situation arises, it won’t be enough to protect you. Regardless of how healthy a corporation’s status may seem, an unexpected crisis can result in a loss of trust, clients, and revenue. But, if a business is operating at a maximum level of brand and positive press, the impact should be minimal. By understanding the principles of reputation management, proactively building your market, and creating a line of defense, you’ll reap the benefits of an excellent online reputation and be ready to protect your company in the case of a crisis.
Reputation undoubtedly impacts a brand’s sales, profits, and livelihood. As a majority of the world’s commerce has moved to the internet, online branding has become vital. A company image reflected in a positive light can impact corporations in several ways. Brands that have a secure and recognizable brand experience improved search rankings, happy customers, and increased traffic to their assets. “53% of online shoppers are most likely to trust recommendations from other customers online when choosing between different products, and 56% have found something in an online search that solidified their decision to do business with a person.”
Many brands make the mistake of thinking that their reputation is “fine” as long as it isn’t currently impacting them negatively. Not only is maintaining an average reputation a risk in the case of a crisis, but it’s also a missed opportunity to maximize your company and take it to the next level.
Monitor your online reputation to assess potential weaknesses and growth points. Take a look at your company’s current status online and determine your current reputation level. You need to examine your digital footprint. There is a lot of information out there, and you may need to comb through your websites, social profiles, and other information section by section. Are you functioning at your highest potential? What could be improved? Identify the weaknesses that you want to remove or suppress. As you examine your footprint, also look for opportunities. Where can you add exciting new content that elevates your reputation and brand? Create an action list of content that will support your online image.
Highlight existing positive information by optimizing data to showcase at the top of search results. You may have a lot of positive content in existence, but it is hidden deep in search results or in locations that your target demographic doesn’t access. After you identify the media elements that positively impact your brand, you can consciously optimize them so that the public registers them. Don’t be humble about your online reputation – showcase your accomplishments and let them shine.
Create and optimize new content that best reflects your predetermined goals. Whether or not you have existing positive content, you can always create additional influencing media. Proactively building your company’s online presence can be creative and fun. Take a look at your goals. Then, look for opportunities to obtain and share news articles, footage, or other media that is in line with those intentions. Blog posts, guest contributions, and video content are examples of content that bolsters online presence. As you create new information, stay true to your core message. Remember the values of your brand and build them into your content. Proactive reputation management shouldn’t be confused for bragging or boasting. Always be authentic!
Enlist a team of experts who can generate positive press opportunities for your brand. An article in a known publication or a feature on a news program with authority can take your business to the next level. If personal blog posts or social media posts don’t reflect the level of your company, you may consider enlisting a team who can secure press opportunities for your brand. PR companies can introduce your corporation to publications that will be excited to share your brand story.
If you aren’t in a place to invest in publicity, consider collaborating with other businesses. Identify companies or influencers who share your niche. You can ask them to write a guest article for your company, or even ask to contribute content to their site or blog. The goal is to fill the internet with content that aligns with your brand. Press, whether it’s professional or written by your peers, can speed up that process.
When you build a strong reputation, you create a defense against any new harmful information introduced online. When a company has a “fine” reputation, they may need to employ reactive online reputation management techniques when a crisis comes along. This technique is known as Crisis Management. Responsive methods are not ideal, as they are not as effective as proactive methods. The most robust approach is to foster and bolster a company’s online reputation, proactively. If you wait to take action until harmful content appears, it may be too late. Even if you feel secure in your company’s reputation, remember – it can always be better. The safest move is to begin developing a crisis management approach now.
Your wall of defense is your brand content, and until a crisis hits, that wall will serve your corporation as a showcase for your success. Businesses can only benefit from proactive brand building. Don’t accept a “good reputation” – push to outshine the competition with an exceptional one.
If you aren’t sure the current status of your reputation or want more information about how you can maximize your brand and your business, a reputation expert may be able to help. Reputation Management is a growing business, and the tools and techniques available to grow your digital footprint are improving every day. Visit our services to learn more about how a reputation plan can take your company to the next level.