In today’s digital age, a brand's reputation is shaped by online conversations, not just marketing or merely being present there. That's where Online Reputation Management (ORM) comes in. It is the practice of crafting strategies to shape and influence public perception of a brand online. Managing your business’ reputation is, in essence, managing how customers and prospects perceive you. Your reputation management strategy is ultimately linked to the customer experience. At scale, many customers think and speak highly, if you have a great reputation. It becomes easier for brands with the help of ORM activities and use them for in-depth analysis and decision-making.
Globally, ORM has been shown to boost sales for businesses by around 18% on average and reduce customer churn by approximately 12%. Coming to India, a study found that Online Reputation Management helped businesses increase their sales by an average of 15%. Another study says that it reduces their customer churn rate by an average of 10%.
Imagine a tech company struggling to find its footing in the digital realm. Despite having top-notch products, their online presence was not optimized. They were available on every relevant platform; however, the responses were not well-tracked or managed. Then, they discovered the power of ORM. The latest ORM methods simplified tracking online mentions and analyzing customer sentiment. With its help, they swiftly pinpointed areas for improvement and customer pain points. They rebuilt their offerings and actively engaged with feedback. This made ORM manageable and efficient. Consequently, their sales soared, and their online reputation flourished. This success story highlights the immense value of utilizing the right ORM tools in today's digital landscape.
When handled the right way, ORM can do wonders for businesses. By properly managing some factors discussed below also helps firms to level up their virtual identity.
Factors Affecting a Brand’s Online Reputation
1. Customer Reviews: Customer reviews directly impact a brand's credibility, influence purchase decisions, boost SEO, offer a feedback loop for improvements, shape brand image, and generate user-generated content, serving as vital social proof for potential customers.
2. Website availability: Regular website outages not only hurt revenue but may also damage a brand's reputation. Customers demand dependable online services, and persistent technical problems might reduce customer confidence.
Every e-commerce marketplace guarantees optimum website availability to withstand the spike in traffic during their yearly Sales Days or Festive Sales periods. Any interruption might result in a considerable loss of income and harm to the company's image.
3. Association with Influencers: According to a study, 40% of respondents claim to have bought an item online after seeing an influencer use it. The actions and reputation of influencers or famous people linked to a brand can affect that brand's reputation. A controversy involving an influencer may unintentionally harm the brand with which they are affiliated. To lessen the damage, the corporation must rethink its marketing strategy.
4. Response to Global Events: A brand's response to a pandemic, a natural disaster, or a social justice movement can have an impact on how the public perceives it. Inappropriate or prolonged silence can be harmful. Many companies that donned philanthropic branding during COVID-19 have succeeded in gaining respect from people throughout the world.
5. Internal firm Culture: Public perception of a firm can be damaged by stories or news about its internal culture, particularly if it involves discrimination, harassment, or any other type of injustice. For instance, a food delivery service in India got plaudits for introducing period leave for its female staff, setting an excellent example for other businesses there.
6. Accessibility: 650 million individuals, or 10% of the world's population, have a disability. In the current digital era, it is essential to make sure that websites and applications are usable for those who have impairments. Brands who don't put this first risk backlash. An online grocery retailer showed its commitment to diversity by redesigning its website and app to be more accessible to visually challenged visitors.
7. Employee Testimonials: According to a poll, 84% of job searchers believe a firm must have a good reputation as an employer. Poor employee ratings may give the impression that a firm doesn't appreciate the people who work there, which might harm its image.
Using ORM to Get Insights and Actionable Strategies
1. Sentiment Analysis Insights: Analyzing customer sentiment (positive, negative, neutral), involves collecting customer feedback, preprocessing the data, analyzing it using NLP techniques, and interpreting the results. This process helps businesses understand customer perceptions, manage their online reputation, and gain a competitive edge. This not only helps businesses understand customer perceptions but also manage their online reputation and gain a competitive edge.
2. Trend Analysis Insights: Identifying a sudden increase in mentions related to a specific feature allows you to understand which aspects of your product or service are gaining popularity. You can capitalize on its success and attract more customers by amplifying marketing efforts around this feature.
3. Competitor Benchmarking Insights: Comparing customer engagement metrics with competitors provides valuable insights into your brand’s performance. By adapting successful competitor strategies, you can enhance brand engagement and stay competitive in the market.
4. Influencer Impact Insights: Assessing influencer campaign impact through reach and engagement data helps measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing efforts. Forming ongoing collaborations with high-performing influencers can further enhance brand visibility and reach.
5. Adopt a review generation strategy: Increasing your Google star rating requires a proactive approach to garner more reviews. Encourage all customers to share their experiences, which will lead to more positive feedback and an improved rating. Request reviews on various platforms like Google, Facebook, and industry-specific sites to maintain high ratings everywhere. Automating the review request process and using SMS for appeal can yield optimal results.
6. Product Development and Services: The development and innovation of products and services are guided by the insights gained from client feedback. You can successfully promote innovation and modify your services to meet shifting market demands by staying in line with customer preferences.
7. Content Optimization: Modifying content creation based on trending topics and consumer interests maximizes engagement. By staying up-to-date with relevant trends, you can create content that resonates with your target audience and drives higher levels of interaction.
8. Customer-Centric Engagement: Engaging directly with customers based on their feedback and personalizing the language of review requests to receive the message most impactful for your business. By actively listening to your customers and addressing their needs, you can foster loyalty and advocacy.
Online reputation management (ORM) is not just about monitoring and responding to customer reviews. It is also a powerful tool for gaining insights into your target audience, and their preferences, opinions, and emotions. By using ORM, you can leverage data analytics and natural language processing to perform sentiment analysis and brand understanding. These techniques can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your products or services, the opportunities and threats in your market, and the best strategies to improve your customer satisfaction and loyalty.
ORM can also help you create more engaging and personalized content for your customers, based on their feedback and behavior. You can use ORM to segment your audience based on their sentiments, interests, and needs, and tailor your messages accordingly. You can also use ORM to measure the effectiveness of your content and campaigns, by tracking the changes in your online reputation over time.
Sources: QDegrees, LinkedIn, Customer gauge, Media