As the challenge of doing stand-out content increases, it’s important to be aware of every possible value it can bring to our brand and business.
One value that consistent content marketing can bring that many don’t consider is proactive reputation management.
What is proactive reputation management?
Proactive reputation management is having powerful assets (such as positive content) and reputation already in place and active in the public mind before a crisis happens. While that may not avert a crisis, it may play a significant role in reducing the effect, and of turning around your brand’s reputation.
Eric: Mark, over the course of two and a half years of these “Here’s Why” videos, we’ve talked about the value of content from many different angles. We’ve discussed its value for SEO, for social campaigns, for brand building. But today you wanted to talk about what you think is an overlooked but equally worthwhile reason to create exceptional content for you brand.
Mark: Yeah, thanks Eric. That’s right. As the challenge of doing standout content increases, I think it’s important to be aware of every possible value that it brings so we have a full assessment of its ROI. So I think one value that consistent content marketing can bring that many don’t consider, is what I call Proactive Reputation Management.
Eric: “Proactive Reputation Management,” you said. Now most of our audience probably has some idea of what reputation management is, but we usually think of that as the things you do after your brand has a reputation crisis. So what do you mean by proactive reputation management?
Mark: Proactive reputation management is having powerful assets and reputation already in place and active in the public mind before a crisis happens. Now while that may not avert the crisis, it may play a significant role in reducing the effect, and of turning around your brand’s reputation.
Eric: So the idea is that you’ve created enough goodwill and positivity around your brand over time, that even if something negative happens, people will be more willing to stick with you.
Mark: Right. And I think having a consistent and effective content marketing program already in place could be a big part of that.
How Content Can Save Brand Reputation
Mark: Now let me share a real-world example where telling the brand’s story through content might have saved a major brand some grief.
Eric: Share on
Mark: Back in 2010, Greenpeace began calling out Nestle for getting its palm oil from a source that was destroying Indonesian rainforests, threatening endangered animal species, and destroying the livelihoods of indigenous farmers. Now the campaign got traction, and many people went to Nestle’s Facebook page demanding a response. Instead of addressing the issues and acknowledging customer’s concerns, Nestle doubled down and threatened to remove negative comments.
Eric: Let me guess. That didn’t help.
Mark: Yeah, of course not. It only fanned the flames and increased the protests and negative publicity. Now eventually Nestle came around, apologized for its responses, and changed its palm oil source. But a lot of damage had been done by then
Now here’s how this relates to my idea of Proactive Reputation Management. Most accounts of that famous brand disaster focus on the failed social media responses, and certainly that response deserved all the criticism it got. But here’s what was largely missed. Nestle had already been investigating before the Greenpeace accusations emerged. They had been investigating the palm oil problem.
So what if they had been telling that story? What if they had been putting out content that affirmed their commitment to corporate responsibility all along? What if they had even been so bold as to post about their efforts to find less destructive sources of palm oil? Having that kind of content out there might have lessened the blow of the Greenpeace accusations. Or who knows? Maybe even prevented those accusations from being made at all.
Eric: I see your point. If the public has little to no impression about your brand to begin with, any negative news comes with full weight.
Mark: Yes. And a consistent content marketing plan that is well integrated with social media and other means of promotion, could really help to build up a bank of positivity that brand could draw from at negative times
Eric: Thanks, Mark. One more reason why content marketing is so essential to digital marketing.
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