Content marketing can be used to accomplish a variety of different objectives. Not only is it an effective way of promoting your business and maximizing your online presence but it also enables you to control the image of your business and brands that are presented to the world. This ensures the right type of content about your business is dominating the landscape and that any negative coverage of your business is prevented from taking hold.
But can the same techniques that you use to promote your content be applied to reputation management? Let’s take a look at some of the more common techniques that businesses use for this purpose.
Use Microsites For Crisis Management
Microsites are effective tools for growing your online presence, as well as enabling more control over your reputation management. Microsites have got a bad rap over the last few years because of their use in black hat SEO. It used to be possible to force a webpage up through the Google rankings by exploiting exact match domains. However, Google has fixed this loophole. They is now being used by brands in a variety of creative ways to market their brand.
Microsites are small, self-contained websites that contain just a few pages. Common examples of microsites include the websites that film and videogame studios create for their products. These websites only contain information about the product that they are promoting and exist separately from the studios’ main websites.
A crisis can cause severe and lasting damage to your brands’ reputation, especially if you don’t take any steps to remedy the situation. Negative coverage can go viral and spread like wildfire, especially if it captures the imagination of social media. If you want to counter the negative effects of this coverage, microsites can be an effective way of promoting your side of the story and reducing the impact of negative coverage.
As well as using microsites as a way of controlling the narrative, you can also use them to dilute search results. Microsites expand your brands’ digital footprint. This means fewer of the websites that show up in results for searches for your brand’s name will include negative coverage.
Create Positive Coverage For Your Business With Branded Articles
Whether you are in crisis mode or not, it is always good to generate positive coverage for your business. The most powerful positive coverage will come from other businesses, but you can still create your own to great effect. Branded articles are probably the most common way of buying positive coverage, and they are also one of the most effective. Coverage that you generate organically is referred to as ‘earned media’, as opposed to paid media that you pay someone to produce.
Ensuring that there is plenty of positive coverage of your brand online will reduce the impact of any negative coverage that exists and will pre-emptively reduce the effects of any negative coverage that arises later on because of a crisis. The most effective way of doing this is by combining the benefits of both earned and paid media, leveraging both.
In order to ensure that you are generating as much earned media as possible, you need to make sure that journalists know what your business is doing. If they don’t know about it, they can’t write about it. Press releases are an easy way of generating some organic earned media, but you can also earn positive coverage just by doing your job well. The more earned media that is out there discussing your business, the less of an impact any future negative coverage will have.
Paid media is a key part of any reputation management strategy. With paid media, you have much more control over the results and, to some extent, can dictate what is written about you. However, paid media is not a magic bullet, and if you use it the wrong way, then it can ultimately end up damaging your reputation rather than helping it. Not all of your paid coverage has to be explicitly about your business. Articles about the wider industry that you operate in can also promote your brand in a positive way.
Ensuring that there’s more content out there mentioning your business will make it more likely that journalists will write more content about you. You want to create a self-perpetuating cycle of positive coverage for your business. If you can generate enough positive coverage without harming your reputation significantly along the way, you will eventually reach a tipping point where positive coverage of your brand keeps coming without any intervention on your part.
Infographics Are A Powerful Tool
Most of the content that relates to your business will be text-based, but you don’t need to limit yourself to one type of media. In fact, it is a good idea to harness the benefits of multiple media channels to build a well-rounded strategy for reputation management. Infographics aren’t just an efficient way of communicating information with your audience. They are also much more likely to be shared than most other types of content.
Does It Work?
As with any marketing technique, it is all about how you use it. If you take the right approach to content marketing, it can definitely be a useful means of improving your brands’ reputation and reducing the impact that any negative coverage of you has. However, you need to be careful about how you use content marketing techniques in the wake of a crisis. Content marketing can definitely help in crisis management, but if you are openly buying positive coverage without making any other efforts to address your crisis, you are going to end up alienating people, not bringing them around to your way of thinking. Reputation management is an important ongoing concern for any business. A hit to your reputation will translate into a hit to your bottom line, deterring people from using your business. Content marketing can provide you with many worthwhile techniques for managing your reputation.