When it comes to marketing your business there are many avenues you can go down. Those include content creation, social media marketing, paid search, email marketing, and so on. Why not explore some programs that are less traveled that can add to both your marketing efforts and your online reputation management.
Many industries have created affiliate programs such as Amazon, Mortgage Companies, Moving Companies, Hosting Companies, you name it, there is a pretty good chance it has an affiliate program. Not only do affiliate programs provide your company with an opportunity to earn more leads or sell more stuff but it also provides the affiliate marketers a chance to produce websites and marketing campaigns promoting your business in a positive light.
Take for example the “We Buy Ugly Houses” affiliate program. You’ve probably seen their billboards with the ugly signs but this company essentially franchises out the real estate business model. If you happen to Google “We Buy Ugly Houses” you will see that in their top 10 they either own or an affiliate owns over 80% of the results.
This method provides your company the ability to essentially own more sites returning from a given search without having to do the leg work in creating the site.
Giving to the Community
Monsanto doesn’t have the best reputation around and when you search their company name you will find a number of negative results regarding their company including an association against them as a whole.
Since the summer of 2011, Monsanto has been giving to organizations in St. Louis, Missouri to improve the city. This is a great idea, there is a nomination and the community as a whole votes on the organization they feel most connected to. Many organizations generate votes through their Social Media profiles as well as placing the information on their websites with links back to Monsanto’s page.
If they had created as a stand-alone site they could possibly suppress one of the negative pieces currently residing in their top search results. It is still a great way to help your overall reputation online.
Content Marketing and Outreach through Executives
One of the best ways to do any marketing these days is through content marketing and guest submissions on reputable sites. Chances are you have someone designated for this task or if you are a small company you might be doing it yourself. For bigger companies, one of the best methods is for their C-class executives to get in the game and be the face of the content.
One great example of this is the company Allsup that is headquartered in Belleville, Illinois. Their Founder and CEO Jim Allsup is the man behind the curtain who shows his face on content throughout the internet to promote his company. By contributing content he is essentially controlling the conversation about his company and you should too.
Offer a Scholarship
Another great strategy to use in your reputation management is starting a scholarship. This is a really great way to give back and with the rising costs of education, many students can be helped through these charitable contributions.
There are a considerable amount of great companies that have established scholarships for veterans, including their children and spouses, to all-inclusive scholarship applicants like the one at StorageMart. Their Scholar Smarts Scholarship program has been great at helping students for over two years now.
Outreach to universities and let them know of the scholarship you are offering to students. They can get the word out to their students by way of linking on their university’s scholarship page.
Share Your Customer Testimonials
For some companies in the search engine, when you type their name Google Instant likes to return phrases such as “review” “scam” “sucks” unfortunately. One of the best ways to combat such terms is to be proactive in purchasing domains with these negative keywords.
Developing out a site such as yourcompanyreviews.com can be a strong move in defending or protecting your online reputation. You can use the testimonials you have collected to seed the site with content. By using the testimonials it makes your life easier in that you won’t have to be creating the content itself.
There are many ways in which you can protect your online reputation whether it is in site creation or the creation of an entire affiliate program. Whatever your budget, there should be no excuse to putting off protecting your reputation. Fit it in with what you are doing in your marketing department, you may not see the effects on your ROI but a negative reputation certainly will show up.
About the Author: Jay Buerck is the COO of an Online Reputation Management Company and has worked as an online marketing specialist for over 8 years including stints with 3 Inc. 500 Award Companies in industries including event tickets, online marketing, and the mortgage industry.