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The Definitive Guide to Online Reputation Management

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There are a lot of misconceptions about online reputation management. Some people think it’s just social media monitoring, while others believe it has something to do with public relations, and still others have no idea the impact it can have on sales.

In this guide, I’ll explain the role of online reputation management in today’s digital age, explain why it matters, and outline 10 tips for improving and protecting your brand’s online image.

Why Does Reputation Management Matter?

Just a few years ago, the internet was very different. Companies didn’t engage customers, they just sold (or tried to sell) to a passive audience People could not express their voice in a powerful way, and the overall communication landscape was very “top down.”

The situation has radically changed. Today, websites are no longer static brochures. User-generated content is a must. And regular interactions on social networks are vital to any business success.

No matter the size of your business, people are talking about you, including prospects, customers, clients, and their friends. They are tweeting about your latest product, leaving a comment on your blog, posting a Facebook update about their customer experience, and much more.

If you think you can skimp on reputation management, or if you think you can make it without taking into account people’s voices, opinions, and reviews, think again.

Today’s Brands Need to Be Transparent

One of the most important business commandments is “Be transparent.” Opening up to criticism and feedback seems beneficial for companies that embrace this new communication mode with their audience.

What does being “transparent” mean? Here are some examples:

  • allowing employees to talk about products and services publicly
  • establishing a 1-to-1 communication channel
  • asking for feedback
  • not hiding criticism, and addressing it publicly

Easier said than done! Most small and medium sized companies do not invest much on communication, and they struggle with this concept. As a result, their efforts usually are incorrect or inconsistent.

Being transparent is risky. But in the long run, not being transparent is riskier.

Online Reputation Management “Failures”

Being open does not come without a price. If you and your brand accept feedback, customer opinions, and so on, you also must be ready to face them promptly.

Consider these scenarios:

  1. What if your product/service sparks too much criticism?
  2. What if your employees are not social media savvy?
  3. What if your competitors take advantage of this?

These are just a few reasons you need to have a proper online reputation management plan in action before embarking on a transparency journey.

Here are three famous cases of reputation management failure in the digital era:

  • Dark Horse Café received a tweet criticizing their lack of electrical outlets for laptops. Their response was something like: “We are in the coffee business, not the office business. We have plenty of outlets to do what we need.” Needless to say, defensive/aggressive behavior doesn’t work in the online world. Many blogs reported the fact as a negative public relations case.
  • Nestlé received negative comments about their environmental practices a few years ago, and they did not address them. People started becoming aggressive and posted altered versions of the Nestlé logo, forcing the company to close its public page. Takeaway? Do not pretend people are not talking, and address criticism as soon as possible.
  • Amy’s Baking Company fought fire with fire against a one-star internet review. Their insults against the reviewer eventually were picked up by the local news. Negative attention is not good publicity.

The lesson here? Pay attention to your online reputation and respond–kindly–to poor reviews. Don’t let your ego get in the way of being professional. Remember, you aren’t just responding to the person who left a review, you are showing everyone else online who your brand is.

The Key to Online Reputation Management: Listen To What People Are Saying About Your Brand

What are people saying about you? Good online reputation management is not just reacting well to what people say about you, your brand, or your products and services, but also about whether to react at all and, if so, when.

Sometimes a reaction is not necessary, and sometimes a reaction that is too late can cost you millions.

A proactive approach to the matter consists of monitoring your public reputation regularly, and not just when you come to know about a specific event to deal with.

How do you do this? By using social media monitoring tools that keep an ear on what people are saying about your brand.

Social media monitoring allows companies to gather public online content (from blog posts to tweets, from online reviews to Facebook updates), process it, and see whether something negative or positive is being said affecting their reputation.

Social media monitoring can be both DIY (Google Alert is an example of a free web monitoring tool accessible to anyone) and professional, depending on the size of the business involved.

Watch for Online Reputation Bombs

ted mosby is a jerk online reputation management

In the online reputation management scenario, companies should be aware of two types of harmful content. One is represented by complaints on social networks. They need to be addressed properly, but unless your company has serious problems, they do not pose a real challenge to your business.

The other is what I define as “online reputation bombs,” which affect your reputation and sales long term and can severely damage a business. They are very powerful because, unlike social network content, they are prominent in search engine results.

What if someone Googles your brand name and finds defamatory content? Let’s see what they are:

  • Negative Reviews: Review sites allow users to express their opinion on your brand. Did they like your service/product? Would they recommend it? Negative content can affect your sales, and addressing the criticism on the site may not be enough. Websites like Ripoff Report and Pissed Consumer provide the perfect platform for this kind of negative content.
  • Hate Sites: Some people go beyond simple negative reviews and create ad hoc websites with their opinions, some of them containing illegal content. So-called “hate sites” sometimes address companies and public figures with insults and false information. Needless to say, a search result like “The truth about NAMEOFYOURCOMPANY” or “NAME scam/rip off” will make your potential customers run away!
  • Negative Media Coverage: Phineas T. Barnum used to say “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” That may be true for controversial public figures, but unfavorable TV, print, and online media coverage negatively impact companies and brands.

What do you do if your business is the victim of a smear campaign?

What To Do if Your Company is Subjected to an Online Reputation Smear Campaign

The first thing most companies wonder is “Can we call the cops?” I get it; being unfairly targeted feels illegal. But in most cases, online comments are not a legal matter.

Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Everyone has the right to express their voice about your brand. There are, however, certain boundaries that need to be respected. Some of the negative content online actually is illegal. Why?

  • It uses defamatory language
  • It reports false information
  • It is aimed at damaging the company’s reputation

How do you react to all of this? How do you defend yourself or your company from this kind of illegal behavior?

Depending on the scope of the problem, several paths can be pursued in order to restore your online reputation:

  • Aggressive SEO: Ranking on pages one or two of Google for your industry and brand name is one of the best ways to push down bad publicity. The first thing that you or your online reputation management company should do is devise a search marketing strategy that increases the ranking of positive content, owned by either you or third parties. The search engine game is too important to be ignored, and it is the first step in restoring your image.
  • Review Removal: Did a user claim something false about your company? Is that review clearly aimed at destroying your reputation rather than providing feedback? Does it contain improper language? Legal liaison and speed of reaction will make it possible to remove the negative review.
  • Online Investigations: In case of serious attacks on your brand image, it may be necessary to hire skilled online analysts to investigate untraceable threats and attackers via email tracing, data cross-indexing, and other information collection techniques. Cyber investigations are the definitive path to get to the bottom of the most difficult reputation management cases.

These strategies are only required in the most extreme cases. Most businesses can manage their online reputation by following these 10 tips.

10 Online Reputation Management Tips

Calling it “online reputation” really is redundant. Your online reputation is your reputation. In the digital era, nothing protects your brand from criticism. This is good from a freedom of speech perspective; bad if your company has been defamed and attacked.

To help you stay on top of your reputation, here are ten practical tips that sum up what we have covered in this guide. The world of brand reputation will change in the coming years, but following these simple tips will help you keep your name.

1. Become Well Respected

Trust is a perishable asset and it is hard to gain. Working to build respect work is more important than any other online reputation management commandment.

2. Be Radically Transparent

After years of hiding critics, McDonald’s publicly forced egg suppliers to raise hens’ living standards according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals request.

Being transparent about shows you care about your customers and are willing to make changes when things go wrong.

3. Monitor What People Say About Your Brand

In addition to all the reasons to monitor your online reputation, social media monitoring also can increase sales. These days, lots of people ask questions via Twitter and Facebook because they evaluate whether or not they should buy from you. Showing you are responsive makes your brand look reliable.

4. React Quickly and Politely

In case of a customer complaint via Twitter, for example, a prompt and simple “Thanks for making us aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible.” is better than a late reply with more information.

5. Address Criticism

In 2009, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote an op-ed on Obama healthcare reform, which caused a controversy among WF customers. Two days later, the company published a written statement recognizing there were “many opinions on this issue, including inside our own company” and invited people to share their opinion about the article and health care changes. They didn’t just ignore it and hope it would go away; they addressed the issue head-on.

Responding to negative feedback shows you care and are working hard to fix any issues.

6. Pay Attention to Your Google Results

First impressions count, and we do judge many books by their cover. If the words “scam” and “rip off” are associated with your brand, then that is something you should worry about.

A strong SEO strategy is your best defense against negative press, reviews, and false reports.

7. Learn From Your Detractors

Criticism can be the chance to learn more about your audience and craft a better message in the future. Motrin’s controversial “baby-wearing moms” commercial sparked a lot of criticism. It did not come from competitors or illegitimate attackers, but from people in Motrin’s target audience who felt offended by their promotional content.

If the online responses to your brand are legitimate, it might be time to reconsider your marketing strategy or responses.

8. Attack Your Illegitimate Attackers

Sometimes we simply have to fight illegal behavior. In 2009, Domino’s Pizza employees who posted disgusting videos of themselves playing with food were fired and arrested. Another example is people who post false information on the internet. Sometimes, if you don’t sue them, they might do it again.

9. Learn From Your Mistakes

Sony certainly learned a reputation management lesson back in 2005. The company placed copy protection (XCD) on its CDs which created computer vulnerabilities that malware could exploit. Instead of being upfront about their mistake, Sony stonewalled criticism and lost millions in class-action lawsuits.

If you’ve made a misstep, own up to it and take action to fix the issue.

10. Ask For Help If Necessary

If your online reputation management efforts are not enough to protect or restore your brand image, you have the choice to request help from a professional. Working with an online marketing company or reputation management firm may be your only resort.

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Here are 10 tips to protect your online reputation management

  1. Become Well Respected

    Building and maintaining trust in your business can protect you from online smear campaigns.

  2. Be Radically Transparent

    Share the good — and the bad– about your company to build trust.

  3. Monitor What People Say About Your Brand

    You can’t protect your reputation if you don’t know what people are saying.

  4.  React Quickly and Politely

    A prompt “Thanks for making us aware of the problem. We are working on it and will get back to you as soon as possible.” is better than a late reply with more information.

  5. Address Criticism

    Don’t ignore criticism, responding quickly shows you care about your customers.

  6. Pay Attention to Your Google Results

    If the words “scam” or “ripoff” are associated with your brand, it is time to take action. A strong SEO strategy can protect your brand by pushing down negative feedback.

  7. Learn From Your Detractors

    Criticism can be the chance to learn more about your audience and craft a better message in the future.

  8. . Attack Your Illegitimate Attacker

    Sometimes, if you don’t sue or push back against detractors, they might do it again.

  9. Learn From Your Mistakes

    If you’ve made a misstep, own up to it and take action to fix the issue.

  10. Ask For Help If Necessary

    If your online reputation management efforts are not enough to protect or restore your brand image, you have the choice to request help from a professional.

Slutsats

Managing your online reputation starts with listening to what your customers have to say and finding ways to connect with them. Replying to online criticism is crucial and building an SEO strategy is crucial, but it might not be enough to protect your brand from smear campaigns. In those cases, it might be time to get professional help.

What do you do to protect your online reputation?

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How CTV can deliver market research for B2B marketers

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How CTV can deliver market research for B2B marketers

Connected TV (CTV) is the fastest-growing digital ad channel, as more TV watchers cancel cable subscriptions and turn to lower-priced or free a la carte streaming options they can watch on TVs, laptops and mobile devices. Many streamers are also potential B2B prospects, but not many B2B marketers are leveraging CTV for advertising.

“We believe connected TV advertising is undervalued, and there’s so much that digital, data-driven marketers can do with connected TV advertising that goes beyond the scope of any other ad channel,” said Hooman Javidan-Nejad, director of performance marketing for CTV advertising platform MNTN, at The MarTech Conference.

Varför vi bryr oss. Hit shows on streaming services get the credit for the CTV surge. But within these mass audiences there is data for targeting and segmentation. B2B marketers ahead of the curve have also experimented with streaming for delivering on-demand video content to prospects. 

Serving prospects ads on ad-supported Netflix, or managing your own video programming like a kind of B2B Netflix, is a much different experience than traditional whitepapers that recognize professionals’ changing media consumption and self-serve research habits.

CTV data. “Data-driven marketing has picked up in the last decade because the nature of all those digital channels are enabling you, and empowering you, to have access to the data and to act on it,” said Javidan-Nejad. “This is something that we never had for a TV — [traditional linear] TV advertising has always had limited or no reporting.”

Because of CTV’s digital infrastructure, ad campaigns on that channel have performance and measurement data that can be used as a market research tool.

“The beauty of approaching connected TV just like another digital channel is that you can apply the same targeting criteria you are applying today on LinkedIn, or on Facebook,” he added. “The insights that you’re getting from connected TV advertising can be applied to all the other channels, or the insights that you’re getting from the creative can be applied into the other channels.”

Dig deeper: Bringing your ABM strategy to CTV

Finding audiences on CTV. When advertising on CTV, B2B marketers should execute multiple campaigns, or target different audiences with a single campaign.

For example, a B2B marketer could run one campaign based on job titles, and another one based on firmographic criteria. You could also launch a retargeting campaign, based on first-party data acquired from those who have visited your website and shared their info.

“For each of these audiences, you will get audience segment reporting,” Javidan-Nejad explained. “So you will be able to see which of these audiences have performed better, which of these audiences had a better verified visit rate, and all the other metrics [to discover] which audiences are performing better. And then you can take those audience insights and apply them to the other channels.”

Matched audiences. B2B marketers can also use existing customers and prospects from their CRM and match them with a CTV adtech partner, in order to deliver CTV ads to those prospects when they’re watching streaming TV.

“This is the same audience that you’re using across all the other paid social channels,” said Javidan-Nejad. “The insights and learnings that you get from CTV can be extended and implemented across the other channels.”

Testing creative. Before committing a large budget on a robust TV campaign, B2B marketers can test different kinds of creative on CTV to determine what messages and visual cues stick with customers and prospects.

While every digital ad channel has its own sweet spot for what works in video ads, some of these insights about what works best on CTV can be applied to other channels.

“We are all familiar with A/B testing,” Javidan-Nejad said. “As digital marketers, we always try to leverage this feature or functionality across all the other digital channels. Now you’re able to do that for your TV advertising.”

Register for The MarTech Conference here.


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How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO

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How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO

Creating a video is a creative process which involves a lot of brainstorming, editing and producing. But the success of your video does not 100% rely on the quality or originality of that video.

Whether your video is going to be a success is determined by how many people will be able to find it and watch it.

Don’t underestimate the discoverability of your video. It may make or break your whole video marketing strategy performance.

One of the biggest channels that can drive findability of your video is search engine optimization, i.e. optimizing your video page for it to rank in search engines (mainly Google and Youtube search) for relevant keywords.

And one of the most important SEO elements of any page is its title.

What is a Youtube title?

“Title” is what you see on the browser tab when you open any Youtube page:

It is controlled by the “Title” field which is required when you upload your video to Youtube:

In the code of the page the title can be found within <title></title> tags.

On a Youtube video page, the title is also repeated underneath the video as the main heading making it also an on-page SEO element.

Youtube allows you to enter up to 100 characters to the title field and I recommend making the most of those 100 characters.

How can titles impact the findability of your video?

Page titles are key on-page SEO elements because they do both:

  • Page titles are direct ranking factors (Google uses them to understand what the page is about)
  • Page titles impact click-through by being the most visible parts of standard search snippets.

In that respect, Youtube SEO is not much different from any other types of SEO. The only slight difference is Youtube videos also get an additional section in organic results which you can target: Page titles are also included next to video thumbnails in video carousels:

Since titles are so important for your video findability and clickability, spend some extra time brainstorming effective video titles. Here are a few ideas:

How to create an effective Youtube title

1. Include your keyword

This is important in the context of this article. Keywords are still very important for SEO because they still help search engines understand the main topic of your page.

Keyword research is also a great way to estimate a demand for any topic (by looking at the search volume).

Identifying your main keyword and including it into the page title will help that video page rank for that keyword driving views for your video and generating additional brand visibility to your business. There are lots of tools and plugins allowing you to identify your target keywords.

It is a good idea to grab URLs of your competing videos and run them through this SEO Content Checker to identify their keyword usage and learn from that:

2. Make it sound interesting

I know it sounds obvious but there are too many boring video titles for me not to mention it.

Your video title needs to invite a click, so make sure it is interesting enough to invite one.

I realize it sounds easier than it really is and in many cases it is also highly subjective. But there’s a tool to help.

Using ChatGPT will help you find some ideas, in case you are stuck. Here’s what the tool was able to generate when I requested the following “Generate video title ideas that will include “Youtube marketing” keyword. Make those titles sound intriguing:”

There are quite a few pretty nice ones. If you don’t like what the tool suggested, keep asking it for more, changing your request just a bit to make it think harder.

This tool is great but make sure to pick a title that won’t over-promise. There’s a fine line between “intriguing” and “click-baiting.” Try and avoid the latter as it may reflect badly on your branding strategies.

3. Include numbers

Including a number in your page title has proven to be an effective way to get more people to click it. Click-through is likely to be an (indirect) ranking factor, so if more people click your title, there’s a good chance it will rank higher.

You cannot make each of your videos a listicle though, so you won’t be able to use this trick in each of your Youtube titles. But it is a good format to keep in mind and use from time to time.

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4. Mention a brand (if there’s one to mention)

Finally, if your video is about a well-known brand (for example, if that video is of you speaking at an event) or, more importantly, if you create it in collaboration with a well-known expert and/or influencer, include that name in your title.

Not only will it help your video rank for that searchable name, it will also increase its click-though thanks to people recognizing that name. 

Youtube also allows you to tag that name in the title (much like tagging works on Twitter or Facebook). If you add @ and then start typing that name, Youtube will allow you to select that name from the drop-down (if that brand or person has a Youtube channel). This will notify them on the mention and urge them to engage with the video helping its visibility:

No need to include your brand name though (unless that video is all about you or your company). If you pick your Youtube name well, it will help you build your brand’s recognizability with every high-ranking video because the channel name is always included in search snippets.

Keep a close eye on your results

Finally, creating an effective title is something that you can never do perfectly. There’s always room for improvement and experimentation. Learn from other well-performing videos in your or outside your niche and never stop experimenting.

Monitor video carousels for your important keywords to get notified when a new video succeeds in getting there and not what may have brought them that success. There are SEO monitoring tools that can help you with that task:

Additionally, keep a close eye on your Youtube analytics to monitor keywords that generate views from Youtube search and learn from those results:

Slutsats

You spend hours creating your video. It deserves a good title which will help your video get found. Spend some time brainstorming an effective title, experiment with different formats and measure your success. Good luck!



The post How to Write YouTube Titles for SEO appeared first on DigitalMarketer.

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Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]

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Amazon Announces Auction System for FBA Storage Space [What Sellers Need to Know]

Amazon’s FBA program is a tremendous asset for brands who sell products on the platform. With FBA, retailers can outsource the heavy lifting of logistics such as warehousing, fulfillment, and distribution for a fee. In the last few years, sellers have expressed the need for more capacity, predictability, and control over their inventory. Amazon’s recent update helps sellers tackle those challenges and so much more.

Amazon just announced a new streamlined FBA capacity management system that will go into effect on March 1, 2023. With this new system in place, Amazon FBA will be turned into an auction where sellers can bid for additional storage space.

The system will now incorporate a single, month-long FBA capacity limit rather than weekly restock limits that can make inventory planning challenging for sellers. Now, capacity limits for the upcoming month will be announced in the third full week of each month via the Capacity Monitor in Seller Central and email notification. According to Amazon, the majority of sellers will now have access to greater capacity volumes than before.

With this new update, Amazon also announced they will provide estimated limits for the following two months to help sellers plan over a longer period. In a recent blog post highlighting the announcement, Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President of Amazon Worldwide Selling Partner Services stated, “We will forecast how much space and labor we expect to have to provide these estimates, but these estimates may vary up or down based on how efficiently sellers are using their capacity, as measured by the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.”

With the new Capacity Manager in place, sellers will also be able to request additional capacity based on a reservation fee that they specify. Mehta noted…

“Requests are granted objectively, starting with the highest reservation fee per cubic foot until all capacity available under this program has been allocated. When additional capacity is granted, sellers’ reservation fees are offset by earning performance credits from the sales they generate using the extra capacity. Performance credits are designed to offset up to 100% of the reservation fee, so sellers don’t pay for the additional capacity as long as their products sell through.

 

Our goal is to provide sellers with more control over how much space they can have while limiting unproductive use. We’ve piloted this feature with certain US sellers, and we’re excited that with this launch, we will expand it so all sellers can request higher FBA capacity limits.”

 

The recent announcement also highlighted how Amazon will set capacity limits and measure sellers’ inventory usage in cubic feet (vs. number of units), which better represents the capacity sellers’ products use in our fulfillment centers and transportation vehicles. As many sellers prefer to plan in units, Amazon will continue to show inventory usage in units but will also provide an estimate of how many units specific cubic volume capacity limits are likely to permit.

 

Tinuiti’s Take on the New FBA Capacity System

 

Change is certainly on the horizon. Let’s hear from Tinuiti’s own Bjorn Johnson on tips for how you can prepare for the FBA change coming March 1st.

“These changes are likely to be impactful, especially to sellers with larger products. Amazon reverting to cubic foot-based storage limits is likely to reintroduce previous issues for these clients in maintaining healthy inventory levels. Their difficulties look to be exacerbated by the addition of the bidding system. In order to keep their already high-fulfillment-fee products in stock, they’ll need to bid on large amounts of space. On the other hand, sellers with smaller products are likely to be able to store more units than before, and have the flexibility to bid on smaller amounts of space. The decision from Amazon looks like a clear effort to encourage small, light, easy-to-ship and fulfill products.”

– Bjorn Johnson, Operations Manager at Tinuiti

 

Want to Learn More About the New Auction System for FBA Storage Space?

 

We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about the new FBA capacity system. If you’re interested in learning more about our Amazon offerings or if you have any questions concerning FBA, contact us today.

 

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