Search engines only rank the good content, but it is no longer enough to rank at the top of the SERP since that isn’t your ultimate goal. In the end, you are looking for sales conversions and consumer loyalty. That means you should have a great reputation to back your ranking. Only then will your consumers – both online and offline – talk about you and your products. With everything going online though, earning and maintaining that reputation (remember goodwill?) can be hard. So what more can you do? ORM is the solution.
The full form of ORM is Online Reputation Management. SEO helps your website, blog, or other content to rank at the top of the Google Search. But that does not earn you loyalty from your consumers. Anyone with a little bit of diligence and perseverance can do SEO and rank fairly high. That does not make the brand they are promoting the best in the industry. Why? Because the proof of the pudding is after all in the tasting. That’s ORM.
Simply put, ORM is all about creating goodwill in cyberspace. Traditionally, businesses attached a monetary value to this Goodwill and put it on the right side of their balance sheet as an intangible asset. It’s no new concept. Business owners worried about whom they associated or collaborated with for the fear of losing their goodwill. Present-day marketers are still worried about the same thing – the only difference is that present-day marketers operate in cyberspace rather than the real world and word of mouth has donned the garb of social media.
A brand’s online reputation management is a multitude of techniques – including SEO – that marketers use to build their goodwill on the internet.
ORM does not look at just SEO. It includes profiles, websites, ratings, engagement, and a lot more. Because SEO is the way to get noticed in cyberspace, ORM is sometimes called SEO-ORM.
Yes, it does. ORM does not just mean increasing reach and ranking. Here are some of the many benefits you can derive from ORM.
The main objective of ORM is to generate a positive online sentiment about your business and brand.
If you are understanding all this, you’ll also understand that the advantages of ORM are not limited to those mentioned above. If done right, the sky’s the limit for your brand – and you will eventually arrive at a position where promotion is no longer necessary – your brand will find its place among the brands that you implicitly trust.
With SEO at its root, ORM uses traditional digital marketing techniques to improve your brand’s online reputation. Just like everything else with digital marketing, a brand’s online reputation management works towards pre-determined goals. Some of these goals include:
Most contemporary users check products online. Even those that are not tech-savvy do so with the help of their friends and family. Moreover, both highly satisfied and highly disappointed users vociferously discuss their experiences on social media and online networks. Search engines often include such reviews, comments, and discussions in their SERP. One disgruntled consumer on a widely used platform like Facebook or Instagram can ruin your reputation forever making others stay away from your brand.
So it is vital that you should tread cautiously when executing your ORM. With that in mind here are some tips for those executing ORM.
Conduct periodical searches for your brand to understand where you stand. You’ll also be able to spot people sharing negative feedback and information about you. Evaluate this feedback, its reach, and its impact. Then respond wisely – or not at all. You don’t have to dignify every comment or reaction with a response. Some are best ignored.
You should know where your consumers are. You’ll likely learn about this from the above step when you see something new that your search throws up. If you know where your consumers are and what they are saying about your business you can connect with them, strategically, nip any negativity in the bud, and direct the conversation in a positive direction. Think of it as an opportunity to expand your reach and customer base.
If you’ve scored, say it. If you have erred, admit it. Apologize if necessary. In this day and age of information, you can’t trick anyone online – so don’t even think about it. Accepting your mistake will make your brand human and relatable. Acceptance has the potential to turn a negative sentiment into a positive one. Your consumers don’t want to fight you. All they want is a solution. Give it to them.
Don’t wait for your consumers to reach out to you. Take the first step and reach out to them. Talk about your endeavors, campaigns, and achievements openly but without vanity. Be open and honest. Take your consumers into confidence – they’ll love it and love you. Then they’ll talk about you and your business. Give them new things to talk about. Engaging with your consumers is the best way to build your reputation.
ORM is – or should be – an important part of your digital marketing strategy, and Litmus can help.
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