Right or wrong, today’s internet assures that news or rumors about your company can spread at lightning speed, affecting your revenues positively or negatively depending on the nature of the publicity.
One survey found, for example, that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Positive reviews influence 74% of consumers to trust a local business more, while 60% are less likely to patronize a business in response to negative reviews.
“Buyers in all industries (including B2B customers) are using digital content and online search to make their purchasing decisions,” notes Ryan Erskine in Forbes. “Even startups seeking investment must worry about what their investors find online. (But) companies that use the tools at their disposal are the ones that will find their online reputation most accurately reflects the narrative they prefer.”
Fortunately, both positive PR and constructive responses to less positive PR can be spread quickly and efficiently when you follow strategic reputation management. And one of the most effective tools in your arsenal is bound to be paid media. Because it offers you maximum control over information being published, it’s one of the fastest, most effective ways to get your messaging across to wide audiences, to gather clicks and to generate traffic. Your multiple options include social media posts, display ads, paid search results, video ads, pop-ups and other promoted multimedia.
“Following a crisis, damaging stories could potentially haunt your search landscape for years because Google associates topics when they consistently occur together,” notes crisis management specialist Jonas Sickler on Brandpoint.com. “Therefore, publishing a high volume of content related to a positive subject will eventually overpower the unwanted connection. While that’s a massive simplification of how reputation management works, it is the underlying foundation of most strategies.”
Why your reputation management messaging must provide value
Another important point: In a world where consumers are weary of overly promotional sales messaging, your marketing strategies should strive to provide information of value to your audiences. That can be easier with paid media rather than other marketing strategies because you have so much more control over the message. As such, you can mix the ideas you wish to promote with information that’s helpful and usable to your target audience so the overall package is more valuable and easier to digest. That mix can be doubly important when your organization’s reputation is at stake and your messaging needs to be overtly truthful and transparent.
Brandpoint has created the perfect tools
To give clients a range of effective paid media options, we’ve fine-tuned three products that can work ideally with reputation management strategies. Here’s a brief explanation of what they can do for you.
1. Brandpoint’s Expert Series
This video or print content is created when trained journalists at Brandpoint interview key people at your organization, gathering facts and quotes on the topic of your choice before turning that information into AP-style stories. You edit the drafts for clarity and accuracy, then the finished bylined products are offered to our exclusive network of top-tier news organizations such as the L.A. Times, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune for publication. That comprehensive network boasts a side audience of more than eight million, and you can boost your exposure (and credibility) even further by linking the content to your social media sites.
The process is a win-win: The news outlets appreciate the free content that helps them round out gaps in their own coverage, and your organization benefits from its association with top-notch, objective media organizations.
The Expert Series presents a unique chance for you to quickly and strategically tell your brand story, boost your thought leadership or otherwise improve your company’s public relations. “It’s not an ad, it’s not purely owned media because obviously the L.A. Times has placed the article, it’s been syndicated,” notes author and social selling specialist Sam Richter. “It’s really in between, so we gain the credibility, the objectivity and yet we control the message.”
Expert Series as a Corporate Communications Tool
By publishing and distributing this strategic branded content, your marketing team will be able to gain a reputation as a credible organization. These guaranteed placements can influence every form of reputation management, such as:
- Corporate social responsibility: Let your thought leaders speak about what values are important to them and the company as a whole.
- Crisis communications: Address your audience directly to speak to current events or situations.
- Diversity and inclusion: Gain coverage of your efforts in a way that can be shared across all communications channels.
- Executive visibility: Grow your company’s leader’s presence and exposure in order to impact your brand’s success with stakeholders.
2. Brandpoint’s Premium MAT Releases
These highly effective products work in a similar way, but don’t require person-to-person interviews and may be slightly more branded than Expert Series pieces.
You provide the primary messaging you want to impart, then our skilled writers work it into a brief article that also features information of value to the consumer. Once you approve the draft, the result is offered to our network of major consumer-facing news organizations — the largest MAT distribution network in the country.
As with Expert Series articles, your info gains credibility by appearing in objective news publications. The difference with “premium” MATs is that we can promise high-level audience targeting, publisher social media engagement and guaranteed traffic, whether the content lives on your website or media sites. That can make for fast and efficient distribution of the PR messaging so important to preserving the integrity of your brand — in a way that promotes trust and boosts your authenticity.
3. Brandpoint’s high-quality graphic content
Charts, infographics, tables and videos often offer the advantage of getting your PR information across to your audiences clearly and efficiently, with less reliance on words than images. In fact, studies suggest 93% of all human communication is visual, 90% of information sent to the brain is visual and the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Even better, strategically designed graphics can significantly boost your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs) presented to users who enter keywords relevant to your organization.
Both those factors can be crucial when you’re trying to promote positive messages about your organization in ways that are fast and effective in reaching your key audiences. Fortunately, Brandpoint understand how to build elements into your graphics that can give you an edge over competitors, optimizing details such as alt text, image captions, schema markup language, embedded codes within images and submitted sitemaps.
Want to learn more about how the right content can help with your organization’s reputation management goals? Call Brandpoint at 952-278-0780 to hear about its wide range of options.