It is no big secret that when you are in the B2B world, you talk to A LOT of business owners. That being said, coming from the online marketing world, this is most often the topic of conversation that comes up. How can I best market my business online? We talk about a lot of different things, SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, landing pages, ect. and most have at least a general understanding of what those terms mean.
However, when I mention Online Reputation Management, more often than not get a blank stare or a long conversation about online reviews. If the business owner has heard of ORM more often than not it is all about yelp and how to improve scores on that particular platform. While this is a very important focus of Online Reputation Management, there is a lot more to managing your brand online than just dealing with reviews as they come in. In this day in age, you need a full scale focus to manage your brand, which includes a variety of different activities that cross a variety of traditional online marketing techniques. Here are a few to consider working into an existing online marketing program.
- Review Monitoring/Solicitation – Whether it is your business or an agency, asking often for reviews is an important strategy for any business. Make sure you are taking the time to build an e-mail list and have a system in place to systematically respond to reviews and ask customers for feedback. Many popular reviews sites discourage you from doing so, but take my word for it, this is a must do because we all make mistakes and sometimes have customers that are not forgiving.
- Social Listening – Not only should you be marketing your business via social media, but you should also have tools in place to listen for people talking about your brand. For example if someone is posting pictures of your dirty bathroom on Instagram, that’s probably worth you knowing about, right? Remember a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s pretty easy to take one in this day in age. Make sure that you are covering yourself here.
- Content Management – Make sure you are always putting fresh and relevant content out there on a variety of different sites about your business. Whether it is Press Releases or blog posts or other types of content, activity is key. Remember the more you put out there, the more you control, which is exactly what you want to have….control!
- A Review Process – Even the least technical person can Google their business name every so often and a few related terms that are important to them. Make sure you make this part of your monthly or quarterly plan to review, because there could be things floating around that are costing your business and you don’t even know it!
While there are countless considerations for managing a brand online, these are things that anyone can do with simple tools. The internet requires a proactive mindset and if you do not have a plan in place it could easily come back to bite you, resulting in decreasing sales and the reactive options are often times quite expensive or won’t work. Take the time to manage your brand online or hire a professional, it is certainly a worthwhile investment.