Reputation management campaigns are typically labor intensive operations, largely due to the development, distribution and optimization of content. Additional work on a business’ website and other online assets can add to a campaign’s price tag. So, should a business that is contemplating a reputation management campaign categorize the initiative as an expense or an investment?
Generally speaking, expenses are purposed toward maintaining the status quo in terms of operations and revenue generation. An example of this type of expense would be the cost of energy to run daily operations. When online reputation management was first introduced with a sole purpose of submerging negative content, this too was generally categorized as an expense that was necessary to protect the status quo. In this context, preserving the status quo was perceived as not losing customers, with little consideration given to the idea that campaigns could actually increase revenues.
This perception began to change as an increasing number of campaigns were initiated before any type of negative content became problematic. Referred to as proactive reputation management, the campaigns were executed along the lines of defensive campaigns with an objective of occupying as many of the top listings on search engines as possible. The difference was that, without the focus on burying negative content, the campaigns started to look more like intensive versions of investments in SEO, marketing and branding initiatives designed to increase revenues.
For example, in a successful campaign, a search using a particular key phrase could turn up a search engine results page with the 8 out of the top 10 listings being occupied by the sponsoring company. This result provides several advantages, including:
The net effect of proactive reputation management campaigns is that they can be executed in much the same way and with the same objectives as SEO, marketing and branding initiatives. These campaigns can be set up to both protect business’ reputations and to drive revenues. Under these circumstances, reputation management campaigns should be categorized as an investment instead of an expense.
While the types of negative content attacks can vary widely and require a response tailored to meet the specifics of the situation, there are several actions an online reputation management company can take which can be applied to minimize the damage in most cases.
There is a good chance that, at some point, reputation management for your company will become a necessity. The following are a few of the aspects to consider and implement.
The importance of managing your local business’ reputation cannot be understated, but you probably have a long “to-do” list already. With that in mind, here are a few tips on reputation management that won’t take a lot of time but might just save you money, time and headaches down the road.