If you run a business online, you probably have a lot on your plate already. Keeping an eye on marketing efforts is crucial if you want to be up for the game and stand out from the competition. However, even the best marketing strategy can fall on deaf ears if you do not care about your online brand management enough. Some small things may slip through your fingers, causing a media crisis or a social media outbreak, damaging your brand forever and not allowing it to come back from the ashes like a phoenix.
What to do to avoid this situation for your business and how to take care of your brand name? Here comes the importance of online brand management, which we'll bring a bit closer to you today.
What is online brand management?
Long story short: online brand management (OBM) is the process of taking care of and monitoring your brand reputation and visibility across the Internet. Online brand management became so essential for many brands that working on it became an integral part of their communication strategy even if it was non-existent some years ago. As simple as it seems to be, it actually takes quite a lot of effort to get the whole process right.
And no one requires you to do it overnight, but if you haven't started working on it already, it may be high time for you to kick it off. You can do it by using several methods (we'll list some of them below) to slowly build some procedures in your business and apply these tactics to your marketing strategy.
Best practices for online brand management
We do advise you to treat the following list with caution - what works for one brand does not have to necessarily work for any other, and you should try it out to see whether they pass the test for your online brand reputation management.
1. Create brand guidelines
Better be safe than sorry. You should follow this strategy when it comes to online brand management - always and forever. Prepare a set of rules, terms and conditions to obey when it comes to your brand’s online communication. The more details your brand guideline will contain, the better - however, the process of making one can turn out to be off-putting. This is why you should start from small steps, e.g. sorting out hours of publication or the tone of voice within particular communication channels.
Big brands have big requirements when it comes to brand guidelines, but of course they had to start somewhere. Taking too many tasks connected to setting up brand guidelines is not warmly welcomed, especially if you are at the very beginning. Step by step - you'll get there.
2. Onboard your team
You should work and be surrounded by a team who is on the same wavelength when it comes to business. If even a single member of your brand does not understand the purpose of some type of communication, it can negatively affect your brand. If you have a specific set of tactics to implement, be sure that everyone in your team is on the same page and understands the importance of a consistent strategy and the nature of a particular project. If you do not take enough care about successful and complex onboarding in your team, your online brand management can be leaked and damaged. Be sure that you work with people who also want the best for your business and your clients.
3. Take care of brand consistency
The more consistent your strategy and communication is, the better the customer experience you may provide, and therefore, your online brand management can be simply easier to maintain. That said, consistency applies to many aspects of your projects - social media strategy, marketing tactics, management, brand guidelines and so on.
Brands who conduct consistent activities across all communication channels are seen as trustworthy and can make a better first impression. If you want to be one of them, take a look at your strategy and assets then start acting.
4. Re-discover digital asset management
There is nothing worse for OBM than a constant mess. Just imagine a situation when you are looking for some files to be sent to press... and you can't find the right file in time, which causes a substantial delay and, in the end, can put the press off.
Or imagine a situation when you need your logo in high resolution, but it is nowhere to be found, and your team members responsible for graphic designing are just sipping drinks in Bali right now.
Not too fortunate, is it? These examples show just how important it is to have everything sorted out and to organize your files.
Online brand management needs to be well structured and organized, and finding a way of accessing your files and giving permission needs to be arranged before you need it. This is where Filecamp comes to save the day, being a digital asset management software that can be a game-changer in your organization, sort out all loose files, presentations and documents, and finally give you full access anywhere you need it.
Find out more about Filecamp.
5. Invest in social media monitoring
Social media monitoring can be crucial for managing your brand online. Not only do you have to find out any possible (positive and negative) mentions about your brand, but, more importantly, you need to reach to them and react as well. What is more, even some of the most negative reviews or comments can be turned into your wins if you react accordingly.
Investing in social media monitoring can help you avoid a media crisis, get important feedback on your products or services, find out more about your target audience, and overtake your competitors - if you track the right set of keywords.
It's not always rainbows and butterflies when it comes to running brand communication online. Sometimes your brand can encounter some kind of social media crisis and be forced to face the challenge of defending itself. Without social media monitoring, you may not even know where to start.
6. Be responsive
The online world is one of dialogue and feedback. Being present on social media or using other digital channels means being exposed to all reactions, including mixed ones. While some industries tried to stay away from the online world (e.g. the banking sector), they know that they cannot afford to do so any longer. They need to enter social media to serve their customers right and offer the best customer support.
It generates nothing but a challenge.
Brands need to be ready for being responsive. Customers can knock on your doors across every single social media platform, through live chat, via phone calls, e-mails or SMS messages. Being unresponsive and neglecting their requests may result in a damaged brand reputation due to poor online brand management.
7. Encourage leaving reviews and feedback
We live in an era where customers' movements are encouraged by social proof and recommendations. If you want to take your online brand management to the next level, do not forget about the power of reviews. No matter if you sell some products, software or offer services or consulting, there is always a chance that a single review can change someone's mind or persuade them to interact with your brand.
Of course, recommendations need to be managed too. You need to keep an eye on what and where is said about your brand (social media monitoring can help with that), and take some action when it is needed. What is more, feedback coming directly from the reviews can help you improve your offer and make it even better and more appealing.
8. Surround yourself with tools
It is really incredibly hard to take care of online brand management manually. If your brand is growing, it is natural that the amount of work around OBM will increase, too. Keeping an eye on mentions, storing digital files in a million folders (instead of using a smart digital asset management solution) and keeping brand guidelines on sticky notes will simply not do any longer.
This is why you should be armed with some useful tools.
While you are now on the Filecamp blog, and we already mentioned Filecamp above, we will only mention here once more that you should really give us a go if you feel like online brand management is something you struggle with - but that you shouldn’t. Other than that, we have recently listed 7 amazing tools for digital agencies, and you should check them out too.
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