4 online reputation strategies for healthy brands

In today’s world companies have become engaged in a highly competitive race to produce the most successful and

In today’s world companies have become engaged in a highly competitive race to produce the most successful and healthiest brands. Marketing organizations are employing several techniques to try and shift the competition in their favor. One way of doing that is the use of online reputation strategies to a brand maintain a positive online status. A good reputation is what helps to bring in customers, and is vital for building a sustainable brand. Before we can delve into the topic of online reputation strategies, let’s understand what a healthy brand is.

Healthy brands

There are several characteristics that help determine whether or not a brand is healthy. A healthy brand is one that is constantly connected with its customers. This means that it has a firm understanding of what its customers expect from it, and it closely monitors its target market. As such, it can quickly adapt to changes in demand and can draw out strategies to optimize its revenue. Healthy brands tend to be unique. Whether it is through a unique product, service, or logo, a healthy brand should carry a distinct identity. This distinguishes it and helps it to stand out in the crowd. It’s all about being noticed.

Another mark of a successful brand is that it is passionate. If the workers of a brand are enthusiastic about what they do, then the customers will appreciate that. An audience is more likely to find appeal in a brand that is confident, as they correlate confidence with success. If you wish to make your brand a successful one, then you must also consider consistency. Consistency is something all customers look for in the brands they make purchases from. A consistent quality of products and services is to make customers want to come back time and time again. In addition to this, a customer is much more likely to recommend a dependable brand to their friend or family member; then they are to recommend an inconsistent or unreliable brand.

A healthy brand is also competitive. In the business sector can’t be lax. It is constantly working towards outdoing its competition by developing new marketing techniques and creating new plans to exceed the expectations of its consumers.

Advertisement is also very important for a healthy brand. Companies must ensure that their products and services are being exposed to an audience if they wish to maintain a steady stream of clients. To do this, they must ensure that their products and services are being exposed to a large audience and good online reputation strategies are in place. This can be achieved by setting up multiple websites, and pages on social media platforms.

A final characteristic of a healthy brand is the presence of leadership. Behind every accomplished brand, is a determined leader who directs and organises the company, and leads it towards success.

How does an online reputation contribute to a healthy brand?

In today’s world, online channels are playing an immense role in the marketing and business sectors. Over half of the world’s population makes use of the Internet, of which nearly 3 billion use social media. Brands are increasingly relying upon the Internet to attract customers, while a large number of customers use the Internet to find brands for purchases. In fact, 84% of customers place as much trust in an online review as they would in a recommendation from someone they know.

84% of customers place as much trust in an online review as they would in a recommendation from someone they know #OnlineReputation Click To Tweet

This is why online reputation matters so much for a business. If a business wants to see healthy growth in their brand, then they must ensure that their customers on the Internet hear positive things about them; promising things, that will attract them towards the brand’s products or services. So, for those looking out for ways to improve their brand’s online reputation, here are four online reputation strategies.

#1 Monitor customer feedback, and engage them.

The first of our online reputation strategies is knowing what your customers are saying about your brand. This is instrumental in maintaining your online reputation. If you know what your customers want from you, then you can work towards meeting their expectations. If you know what your customers are complaining about, then you can develop a plan to fix their complaints.

In order to monitor your customers’ responses, set up as many online platforms as possible. They will function as a channel for you to receive feedback from your customers. This includes comment sections on your brand’s website, forums, and social media pages such as Twitter and Facebook.

An important tip to remember is not to ignore negative comments. Some companies think that they can solve the issue of complaints and negative reviews by removing them from the comments sections or from their online forums. This is not the correct way to go about it. Simply sweeping the dirt under the rug will not resolve the problem, and the negative feedback will only just come back. It is important to address it, rather than ignore it and allow it to build up.

Companies need to constantly communicate with their customers to diffuse any negativity or dissatisfaction that may arise amongst them. Display a keen interest in their problems. Take what they say into strong consideration, and draw out a proper, efficient solution, so that the same complaint does not return in the future.

Also remember to be polite, and professional, when interacting with customers. Do not offend them, or give them a reason to criticise your brand. Realise that people appreciate a brand that is enthusiastic about helping customers, and they will most definitely recommend it to a friend or peer. Your commitment towards customers will not go unnoticed, and this will boost your reputation among the online community.

#2 Optimise positive content

Among the many online reputation strategies, one of the most effective ones is to promote as much positive content regarding your brand as possible. When a potential customer enters your brand name into a search engine online, there are two possibilities as to what may pop up. The first possibility is that they are presented with ‘positive’ content. That is internet pages, blogs, and forums that promote your brand in a positive way and recommend your brand to potential customers.

The second is that they are introduced them to a selection of ‘negative’ content, content that speaks disapprovingly of your brand and drives away any potential customers. Needless to say, you want the first possibility to happen. For this to happen, it is essential to draw up a plan that protects search result; create a strategy that grabs their attention by increasing the amount of positive content that they see.

You can do this by arranging for positive content to be featured on popular, trustworthy websites. This is known as the protection strategy, in which you spread positive content concerning your brand. You can draw out a content plan, which strategically places high-quality content about your brand on the best possible websites. Actively partaking in this method will shift the results of the search engine in your favor.

You can also conduct an investigation into which websites are already speaking positively of your brand, and then share content concerning your brand with them. By observing these websites, you can also figure out what it is that you have to do to improve your own brand’s website.

Another course of action is to build relations with online publications that are reliable, and well-known. Your brand should cooperate with these organisations to promote content that is relevant to their readers, but also content that builds your brands reputation.

#3 Reduce the amount of negative content

The suppressive strategy is another one of the many online reputation strategies that you can employ to maintain a suitable reputation for your brand. Above, we discussed the promotion of positive content under the protective strategy. The suppressive strategy functions on the opposite end. Instead of spreading positive content, the suppressive strategy reduces the amount of negative content associated with your brand. There are multiple ways to do just this.

One way is to take legal action. Under very particular circumstances, Google will remove private information or inappropriate images that have been placed on the Internet without the permission of the subject. As a brand, you can investigate any unflattering content that your rival brands have uploaded on the internet websites in regards to your brand, and develop a case to have such content removed.

If Google accepts your case and erases the content from its search engine, then that is highly advantageous for your brand. By reducing the negative content that your customers are being exposed to you are decreasing the chances of them being driven away from your products or services.

Another option is to approach the source of the negative content. You can request the publisher of a website to use particular tags for their content which are not registered by popular search engines such as Google and Bing. This means that the negative content is still out there, but there is a less likely chance of your customers stumbling upon it.

Another, and third, course of action is to lead a more aggressive campaign against negative content. You analyse the websites and pages that publish negative content and observe the keywords and tags they employ, the authority of the content publisher, and the Internet traffic passing through such websites. Then, you develop techniques to produce positive content on ‘stronger’ websites, websites that are even more reliable, and popular. You will then use specific tags to publish content which is of better quality content and allows you to bury the unfavorable content underneath layers of favorable content. This technique is very effective though it takes its time to bear fruit. It allows you to keep your brand’s online reputation intact.

#4 Reverse Wikipedia Strategy

The previous online reputation strategies we have discussed focused on the company’s relationship with the customer: receiving their feedback and responding to it, exposing positive content to them, and removing negative content from their path. This strategy also takes the customers into consideration but has more to do with the company itself, and its internal system. The Reverse Wikipedia strategy revolves around one key concept: motivation.

The strategy works towards building a strong online reputation by considering what the ideal Wikipedia page would be. The strategy motivates the company’s marketing strategists and content generators by using an imaginary Wikipedia page as their inspiration. If their brand was to have its own Wikipedia page, what content would they want to be featured on it? This drives them to produce a website or page that features the best quality content. The strategy involves the content creators drawing up a framework that consists of four components.

The first component is a summary of the brand. Here, the content focuses on the background of the brand, and its story. It paraphrases the products or services provided by the brand and introduces the brand to the reader.

The second component is the sections. This divides the relevant, and most important aspects of the brand into several parts.

The third component is the details under each section. The content now consists of all the details concerning the brand. Citations are given to support all the information provided, which leads to the fourth component: references.

When providing references, the content creators must provide the most reliable ones, which are in no way promotional. This is important to remember, as the reference provided to the reader reflects on the brand. The proper use of citations can help gain the trust of potential customers. It can further aid in the development of a positive online reputation.

Following this framework properly allows the company to make sure that all of the published content is of a high standard. In doing so, they can generate a good image for the brand.

To Sum Up

So, you have it: 4 online reputation strategies that will help you build a healthy, successful brand. Follow them properly, and you can rest assured that your brand will benefit immensely.

About George Mastorakis

George is a co-founder of Mentionlytics supervising Financial Planning and Analysis and our Cloud Architecture. He is an Associate Professor on Emerging Technologies and Marketing Innovation. His interests include Cloud Computing, Web Applications and Internet of Things.