Reputation management has been part of human behavior as long as we have been a species (at least in my imagination!). Seriously though, if you think about it, it’s still part of our everyday life: in our communities, our careers, in our interpersonal relationships, and for the companies we work for (or own). And in the marketing space – forget about it! It is the key component of most brand strategies and is a highly competitive arena.
In ancient civilizations, even then, a good reputation was crucial for social and economic success. Fast forward to today. Maintaining a positive image is still important, but now we have digital marketing to help shape how others perceive us.
Reputation management has evolved from the days of the Greeks and Romans, who developed systems to evaluate the reliability of merchants. Nowadays, we use various online tools like search engines, social media, and reviews to manage our reputations on a global scale.
Reputation management in digital marketing is similar as it requires an understanding of what is being published about a brand by customers, the press, and other brands. Once the brand’s reputation has been established, reputation management then involves affecting positive change for the brand’s image.
Digital marketing includes a great website (a place where you can showcase your content as well as products and services). It can also mean utilizing the following tactics:
- Social media channels
- Email campaigns
- Online reputation management
- Online review platforms
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “Online Reputation Management (ORM) is all about monitoring and managing your brand’s reputation across the web. Let’s look below at four key areas:
- Paid Media
- Earned Media
- Shared Media
- Owned Media
For example, as a content creator, maintaining a positive online reputation is essential for building trust with an audience through owned media (content created and published on platforms that we own and control). Platforms such as our internal websites, a client’s website, blog, or email newsletters.
By consistently producing high-quality, relevant content, we establish our clients as thought leaders and attract a loyal following. Owned media allows our clients to convey the brand’s values, missions, and critical messages in a controlled environment, shaping how the audience perceives the brand.
Content is short-hand for text, photography, videos, and illustrations that fill the pages of your website, blog, and social media, and the development of content is an integral part of a modern digital marketing plan. A good content strategist supports your company by developing plans for your websites, search engine results, and social media. As these platforms continue to evolve, informative words and descriptive images will continue to be a requirement.
Paid media involves advertising strategies such as pay-per-click campaigns and sponsored social media posts to control the narrative around your brand. My boss is the expert in this area and utilizes paid media to target specific demographics and reach a larger audience to promote a positive, solid image.
Earned media refers to publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, such as influencer partnerships, press coverage, and word-of-mouth recommendations. This is the public relations side of things and where I first began my career. It’s incredibly crucial for brands to actively seek out opportunities for earned media, as it significantly impacts brand perception and credibility.
Sharing user-generated content, testimonials, and positive reviews on social media platforms can help amplify positive sentiments about your brand and foster a sense of community among your audience. Basically, it is another arm of PR mixed in with tech tools for greater measurability.
Shared media involves engaging with your audience through social media platforms, creating a two-way dialogue that encourages interaction and feedback. By actively participating in conversations and responding to comments and messages, you can build relationships with your audience and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Shared media also includes collaborative efforts such as cross-promotions with other brands or influencers, which can expand your reach and enhance your brand’s reputation. YouTube is a fabulous platform to employ this tactic.
What are the three phases of reputation management?
The online reputation management process, consisting of research, strategy, content development, and promotion, helps businesses control their online narrative and shape public perceptions.
Monitoring involves keeping a close eye on what is being said about your brand online. Tools like Google Alerts, social media monitoring platforms, and online reviews are essential for this. By actively monitoring mentions of your brand, you can stay ahead of any potential issues or negative feedback and address them promptly.
Building includes developing a solid strategy to improve and manage your online reputation. This may involve creating engaging and positive content, enhancing your online presence through social media and website optimization, and actively engaging with your audience to build trust and credibility.
Maintaining is imperative moving forward to keep improving the online reputation while managing it to ensure it remains positive. Possible efforts could involve regularly updating content, monitoring feedback and reviews, and consistently engaging with the audience to maintain a positive reputation.
Psychology Today writes, “Your reputation lives a very real existence apart from you, representing the collective mental construct everyone but you shares about you…We only ever have influence over our reputation—never control—as is the case with all things external to us, but it remains one of our most precious assets (far more important than any one job, house, car, or even, some would argue, money).
Our reputation is a tool, then—not, hopefully, for creating or maintaining our self-esteem but for practical navigation through daily life,”.
What is reputation management in digital marketing?
In conclusion, reputation management in digital marketing is a multifaceted process that involves monitoring, influencing, and improving how your brand is perceived online. By leveraging paid, earned, shared, and owned media channels effectively, you can proactively manage your online reputation and build a strong, positive image that resonates with your target audience. As technology continues to evolve, staying vigilant and adaptable in your reputation management strategies will be vital to maintaining a competitive edge in the digital marketplace.