ORM in digital marketing is a very unpopular term as people don’t talk about it usually.
I don’t want to make it complicated for you. I will spare the heavy definitions and all. We will look into it to see what it is exactly.
What is ORM in digital marketing?
ORM is Online Reputation Management, managing how people view your business on various online platforms.
Just a few years ago, Only big brands need to care about their reputation because of newspapers and all. Cause there was no website or social media thing. If you don’t like any local brand’s product you can just stop using it.
Even for big brands hardly people can complain that can reach the management level.
Nowadays, If you don’t like a product what do you do?
You post an image on social media, a review on their website and other website listing them and blast a Tweet with all the angry expressions you can find on your emoji keyboard. 🙂
If you want to sell online in this big competitive space you need to maintain a good reputation online for your brand big or small doesn’t matter.
People like me(digital marketers) who do this management thing call it “Online Reputation Management”.
If I had to sum up this, ORM is all about maintaining a positive reputation across various digital marketing platforms. (Search Engines, Social Media, Business listings, Review Websites and others.)
And that is all about what is ORM…
You must be wondering okay. I got it. But, why should I care? and how can I manage this thing?
Worry not folks, today we will discuss What, Why and How about ORM.
Let’s move to the WHY now…
Why ORM is important for your business?
Would you like to buy shoes from amazon that has a 2start rating with some bad reviews?
That is about reviews. Let’s look at another scenario.
Suppose you are looking for a new laptop. You found this amazing laptop with the best specs and pricing on Google.
The brand is new to you. So, you decided to visit the social media page of that brand and found a post featuring that particular laptop model that you are thinking of buying.
But, here on that post, you see many people commenting that the laptop has heating issues even in normal usage.
Would you still want to buy it?
These two are real-life scenarios that can happen with your business too. It’s doesn’t matter if you are selling a laptop or grocery.
If you are still not convinced about why ORM is important for your business then see some facts.
71% of consumers start their customer journey with a simple Google Search. If you are not looking trustworthy there then forget about the next step to acquire that customer.
If you don’t show up at all that’s also something you should start working on immediately.
If you are a local business having a Google My Business listing then managing that listing should be your priority then posting on social media.
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust any recommendation. Cause reviews can’t be deleted. Bad or good. Whatever is done is done forever.
And you know what 53% of consumers in the attention stage expect the businesses to reply to their reviews.
That’s why managing your reviews is very important to maintain a good reputation online. You should reply to all reviews good or bad both alike.
Businesses with any less than 5 stars ratings are at risk of losing 12% of the potential customers who otherwise would have become their customers.
There are many stats and facts we can discuss. But, I think you all are very clever and now you perfectly understand why you need to work on your Online Reputation and manage it properly to not lose potential customers.
Now, you know the Why. The next step is to know How?
How to Manage Your Business’s Online Reputation
Before we go to the point of how to manage the online reputation of your business. We need to understand how ORM works exactly.
As I said in the starting we will be going into details to understand the core.
When we talk about Online Reputation many channels fall into it. You don’t need to work on all but maintain the ones you have your presence on.
Looking into all the channels individually can be overwhelming so there are mainly four digital marketing channels involved in ORM, also known as PESO Model.
1) Paid Media
2) Earned Media
3) Shared/Social Media
4) Owned Media
1) Paid Media
You might have some ideas about what it is just from the name. And guess what you guesses are right.
This is a very straightforward channel. Whatever you do to promote your business online by paying someone that comes under Paid Media.
Such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Youtube Ads or anything like any promotional blog post/video done by an influencer or other entity.
This is easy to manage as you are in full control over how these web entities will represent you in the content. You also have full control over your Ad placements so it won’t show up where you don’t want it to.
2) Earned Media
If paid media needs you to pay. Then Earned Media is something you get for free from external web entities.
When someone writes about you or mention you or your product/service in their content that counts in earned media.
It could be…
- Blog Articles
- News Article
- Image/Video Post
- Mentions on social media or other platforms
Controlling this is not on your hands but because of that managing, these things become more important.
These web entities can write anything about your business. Good or bad it’s in their hands. If it’s good, you should be happy. But, if it’s not good you need to try to resolve the issue. At least know the reason why they did so and improve that aspect of your business.
3) Shared/Social Media
All your social media profiles fall under shared/social media. Your Facebook page, Instagram handle, Twitter account or any other page or account on other social media platforms.
People are mostly active on their prefered social media. If they are not satisfied with your service or products they can post something about their experience mentioning you in the post.
You must manage your reputation on social media. Things can go wrong in a matter of minutes on platforms like Twitter.
Any bad campaign or review unhandled properly can leave a long-lasting negative effect on your reputation.
4) Owned Media
This is the fourth and last type of channel. This consist of everything you own on the internet.
It could be…
- Your Website
- Your Blog
- Your Social Media handles
- Anything you publish on the internet
All these things are in your control so you can easily manage everything here.
The more owned channels you have the better. But, you need to make sure all represent the same things. Otherwise, it would do nothing but create confusion for your customers.
You can work on your website so that you rank for the keywords that describe your business or your product/services. That way you can easily attract potential customers searching for the product or services you provide.
If you are still with me then I assume you have understood most of the things about online reputation management.
Now, let’s look into a strategy to manage everything. These many things can be confusing for anyone to start with.
Online Reputation Management Strategy
To manage your online reputation is not an easy task. There are just so many things you need to handle depending upon the channels your business use for its online presence.
But, this can be streamlined and with the help of a simple 5 Step Strategy that we are going to explore now.
- What do you want to be known for?
- What do people think about you currently?
- What are the best channels for your business?
- Work on those channels to improve your image
- Monitor, Analyze and Manage
Let’s look into easy steps individually.
1) What do you want to be known for?
Before starting anything the first thing you need to do is decide what is it that you want to be known for in the market. And that’s our first step in the strategy.
What are your core values, mission and vision?
Why you are doing business?
How customers should view you?
What type of image do you want to portray?
Do you want to be an industry leader?
Once you have your goals set then you need to move to the second step.
2) What do people think about you currently?
Your goals are crystal clear now and you know what you want. So, the next step is to check how people perceive your current online presence.
Note: If you are completely new and just starting with zero online presence you can skip this step.
As we have seen in the PESO model. There are a total of 4 media you need to analyze to check where you stand currently.
To simplify this further we will use two modules.
Google your business and your products. Check the first page results or the first 10 results.
Do you know?
According to a study website on the First page of search results gets 95% traffic.
Are you on the first page of the search results?
No, you need to work.
Yes, does your link matches the goals you have set for yourself?
No, you need to work.
Does your business have a Google My Business listing?
If no, you need to create one.
If yes, check if everything is correct and align with your goals.
If everything seems fine for you then you don’t need to work on it. Just make sure you keep everything updated. Many websites lose their ranks in a week or so if they don’t pay attention.
The second part which directly affects you is your social media presence.
You need to check some key matrixes depending on the channels.
- What you are posting?
- Latest Activity
- Comment Replies
- Message Replies
- Response Time
- What you are posting?
You need to check if everything you do on social media aligns with the goals you set. If not you need to work on it asap.
88% of consumers are likely to avoid buying from a business that doesn’t respond to support requests on social media.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media. It plays a major role in your overall online reputation.
2.3) Listing sites
There are many listing sites on the internet used by customers to find what they are looking for.
If you are listed on such a site then you must know that there is always a feature to review your business.
You need to check all those sites where you are listed and check if everything is okay or not.
Too many bad reviews can turn away your potential customers from calling your business.
You also need to check if the info about your business is updated on all such sites so customers looking for you can connect with you without going through a roller coaster ride.
3) What are the best channels for your business?
You might see posts from marketers saying how this and that social media is great. I often see posts about how great LinkedIn is on Instagram.
That doesn’t mean you need to start a page on LinkedIn as well as Instagram.
If you are a local restaurant. What are you going to post about on LinkedIn? Pics of your dishes?
No, you need to consider that posting on Instagram is more beneficial for you or on LinkedIn?
Choosing the right channels is the key to create a great online reputation.
4) Work on those channels to improve your image
Now that you know which channels you need to work upon you can perfectly start creating content, graphics and optimizing your channels according to your goals.
You can do it by yourself or if you are too busy handling your business then you can hire someone who can do that for you.
5) Monitor, Analyze and Manage
You might be thinking that okay, now everything is complete. Right?
Actually not quite right.
Cause you need to constantly monitor your activities and online presence.
Why? you must know that technology changes every day.
That’s also true for all the online media and channels. They change almost every day.
New features, Google Algorithm updates and whatnot. And your competitors are trying their best too.
So, if you don’t monitor you can lose your ranking in Google. Someone requesting support can be ignored if you are not monitoring your social media.
Many things can go wrong in just a moments notice on social media. That’s why you need to constantly monitor your growth and KPIs on all the channels.
There are tools that can help you manage your online reputation.
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
And many more tools are available for you to use. You can check out the best tools as per your requirement and use them.
You also need to analyze your efforts to further improve your activities and efforts. Which channels are best for you? What you should focus on more?
Finding answers to such questions and working on improving your online reputation.
So, that’s all there is to managing your online reputation. If you think this is too much for you to handle or your team is already occupied with other tasks then you can always hire an agency or someone who can help you with managing your online reputation.
We looked into what is ORM and how you can check your online reputation? how to improve your reputation online? You can start working on your business’s online reputation now.
But, keep in mind that this is not just one-time activity or just a one-day thingy. This takes time and you need to be patient and consistent to work upon your online reputation.
Now, start working on your online reputation and top it with what you have learned from this article.