At least half of a business’s market value is a result of its reputation. Yet, only few businesses have a comprehensive plan in place to manage their online reputation. They think PR would be enough. But it isn’t. Every business needs Online Reputation Management strategies. In this blog, we discuss what is Online Reputation Management (ORM) and why is it important for your business.
We can define Online Reputation management as actively creating and maintaining a positive image of your business over the internet. In other words, it is managing what people (your customers, employees, investors and the society in general) think about your business.
In short, ORM is the use of the right tools and strategies to foster positive conversations, as well as to address negative conversations to prevent any damage to your brand’s reputation.
What does ORM entail?
ORM is often considered to be another name for PR. However, compared to PR, ORM is a broader concept. It includes managing all the information that a customer can find on the web that shapes their perception about your brand. So, ORM includes feeding, monitoring and managing the content on the following media:
This is undoubtedly the biggest determinant of your online reputation. Earned media is third-parties talking about your business without being paid for it which makes it more authentic and trustworthy.
It includes third-party business listings, customer reviews, external blogs, forum discussions, and press coverage. Earned media like Reviews and ratings not only enhance the brand perception, but strongly influence the buying decision of consumers.
It is your own website and blog. It helps you get discovered. The content, layout, design, speed and other factors of your website contribute significantly to a user’s perception of your business. You have complete control over this media. Use it to create a positive image for your brand.
It includes your social media accounts and the mention of your brand by a third-party on social media. You need to pay special attention to shared media. It is where you can directly communicate with the audience. See what people are saying about you on the social media. Address comments.
Encourage your social media followers and customers to talk about your brand and products and services. This User generated Content enhances the credibility and authenticity of your business.
It is when you pay someone to talk about your business. It includes PR, advertisements, social media ads, Influencer marketing, etc. You have complete control over this. You can use this media to set the narrative. However, customers find it far less authentic than earned media.
Why ORM matters for your business?
No matter how small or large your business is, someone is talking about it on the internet. And the internet is the first place where a potential customer looks for your business. So, you need to make sure they find the good references and the right material when they look for you online.
ORM is important for your business because it:
Influences Customer Buying decision
- A trustworthy review influences the purchase intent of more than 92% of B2B customers. Online reviews and ratings are the most important determinant of your business’s online reputation. Consequently, they have the highest impact on purchase intent.
Leads to Higher Revenue
- Implementing the right online reputation management strategies can significantly increase your business’s sales and revenue. For example, if you respond to online reviews, it can increase your business’s revenue by 35%.
- On top of that, customers will happily pay more or wait for your products if your business has a good reputation.
Gets More Traffic and Higher Conversion Rates
- Online reputation management can also help in SEO. Using User Generated Content on your website can significantly improve your website’s ranking.
- It also helps in increasing the website conversion rates exponentially. Just displaying reviews on your website can increase the website conversion by a whopping 270%.
Creates Brand Credibility and Customer Trust
- When other people talk about your business, that makes it more credible and trustworthy in the eyes of your potential customers. In fact, 79% of customers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Not just reviews, your brand’s reputation on social media also matters as it influences the purchasing decision of 58% of customers.
Prevents damage to Business Reputation
- While negative reviews and publicity can damage your business’s reputation severely, you can prevent the damage by addressing them. Research says that 70% of customers will patronize your business if you respond to negative reviews.
Attracts the right Talent
- What people say about your business doesn’t just influence consumers, but employees too. 95% of job applicants apply to a company based on their online reputation.
How to measure the Online Reputation of your Business?
These are the key metrics to measure the online reputation of your brand:
- Strength: This refers to the likelihood that your brand is discussed on social media.
- Sentiment: This is the ratio of positive mentions to negative mentions.
- Passion: It is the likelihood that people talking about your brand will do so repeatedly.
- Reach: Refers to the number of unique authors who write about or mention your brand.
Online Reputation Management tools like SEMRush, SentiOne, Reputology, etc. help you to collect, manage, monitor and measure these metrics. This will help you understand the current reputation of your brand and you can implement the right Online Reputation Management strategies to enhance your brand’s reputation.
Most people use the internet to search for all kinds of businesses – a grocery store, restaurant, doctor, real estate, software, finance, and so on. So, the bottom line is that every business, big or small, local or global, B2C or B2B, needs online reputation management.
This translates into having a holistic plan to collect, monitor and manage the online conversations about your business and making sure to amplify the positive conversations and address negative feedback immediately to reduce its negative impact.
We hope this blog has given you enough insights into the importance of online reputation management and helps you get started towards implementing ORM in your organization.