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What Is Online Reputation Management (ORM) in Digital Marketing? Role, Function, Examples

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7th Sep, 2023
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What Is Online Reputation Management (ORM) in Digital Marketing? Role, Function, Examples

ORM is the practice of monitoring, influencing, and managing how individuals, brands, and businesses are perceived on the internet. It aims to build trust, credibility, and loyalty among target audiences while mitigating the impact of negative content. Through strategic actions such as encouraging positive reviews, creating valuable content, and engaging with customers on social media, ORM plays a crucial role in shaping online perceptions and ensuring long-term success in the digital landscape.

What Is ORM in Digital Marketing?

ORM full form in digital marketing expands to Online Reputation Management. It involves tracking online mentions, reviews, and comments and proactively responding to them to maintain a positive image. By responding promptly and professionally to customer queries and concerns, addressing negative feedback, and encouraging positive reviews, ORM aims to enhance brand credibility and trust among the target audience. 

Optimising search engine results and creating valuable content also contribute to a favourable online perception. One crucial aspect of ORM is crisis management, which allows brands to navigate challenging situations and protect their reputation. ORM’s strategic approach helps companies maintain a positive public image, driving customer loyalty and success in the dynamic digital marketing landscape.

Importance of Online Reputation Management 

Online Reputation Management is crucial in marketing because it directly impacts a brand’s digital image and credibility. In today’s internet-driven world, consumers heavily rely on online information and reviews to make purchasing decisions. ORM marketing ensures that positive sentiments dominate search engine results and social media platforms, building trust and confidence among potential customers. A strong online reputation helps a brand stand out amidst competitors, giving it a competitive advantage.

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ORM is essential for addressing negative feedback and complaints promptly, preventing potential crises from escalating. ORM fosters positive interactions and customer loyalty by actively engaging with customers on social media and other online platforms. 

A positive online reputation attracts top talent and potential partners, enhancing a brand’s overall growth and success. ORM in marketing is thus integral to any digital strategy to shape perceptions, influence purchase decisions, and maintain a positive and lasting impact on the target audience.

Function of ORM in Digital Marketing

The onset of digital marketing has necessitated a solid online presence to boost ROI and upturn the conversion rate. Listed below are some key points demonstrating the role of ORM in digital marketing:

  • Brand Perception: ORM in digital marketing helps shape how the target audience perceives the brand. By monitoring and managing online mentions, reviews, and comments, a company can ensure that positive information and sentiments dominate search results and social media platforms, thus creating a favourable brand perception.
  • Trust and Credibility: Building and maintaining trust and credibility are crucial for any brand. ORM ensures that potential customers find reliable and positive information about the brand, which leads to increased trust in the products or services offered.
  • Influence on Purchase Decisions: Consumers often rely on online reviews and feedback before purchasing. Positive reviews and a strong online reputation can influence potential customers to choose one brand over another.
  • Crisis Management: In times of crisis or when negative information surfaces, ORM helps mitigate the impact and control the narrative. Swift and appropriate responses to negative feedback can prevent minor issues from escalating into major crises.
  • Search Engine Ranking: ORM practices like content creation and SEO optimisation can impact search engine rankings. A positive online reputation with relevant and engaging content helps improve a brand’s visibility in search engine results.
  • Social Media Engagement: ORM involves active customer engagement on social media platforms. Responding to queries, addressing concerns, and participating in conversations help build a loyal customer base and strengthen the brand’s relationship with its audience.
  • Competitive Advantage: Brands with a strong online reputation have a competitive advantage over those with negative or neutral reputations. A positive reputation can attract more customers.
  • Customer Retention: Satisfied customers are likelier to become loyal brand advocates. ORM strategies, such as acknowledging positive feedback and resolving customer issues, contribute to higher customer retention rates.
  • Talent Attraction: A positive online reputation also extends to attracting top talent. A positive reputation can make a company more appealing to potential employees who often research companies before applying.
  • Long-term Success: A brand’s online reputation can significantly impact its long-term success in this digital age. Proactively managing the brand’s reputation ensures a positive and enduring online presence.

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Factors Influencing ORM

Factors that contribute to ORM include:

  1. Customer Reviews and Feedback: Positive reviews enhance ORM, while negative feedback can impact a brand’s reputation.
  2. Social Media Presence: Engaging with customers on social media platforms builds brand awareness and contributes to its image.
  3. Search Engine Results: The content that appears in search results can influence how a brand is perceived.
  4. Content Marketing: Creating valuable and informative content helps shape a brand’s online reputation.
  5. Media Coverage: Media mentions, and coverage can impact ORM positively or negatively.
  6. Online Engagement: Active online community and forum participation influence ORM.
  7. Crisis Management: Handling negative situations effectively can mitigate reputational damage.
  8. Employee Behaviour: Employee actions in the digital space can impact ORM.
  9. Online Advertising: The effectiveness of online advertising can influence ORM.
  10. Competitor Activity: Monitoring and addressing competitor actions can safeguard a brand’s reputation.

How Does ORM Differ From PR?

Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Public Relations (PR) are related concepts with distinct focuses and approaches. Here’s how they differ:

1. Scope of Audience

  • ORM: Online Reputation Management primarily focuses on managing a brand’s or individual’s reputation on digital platforms, including search engines, social media, review sites, and online communities. The audience for ORM is predominantly online users and customers.
  • PR: Public Relations, on the other hand, encompasses a broader range of communication efforts that target various audiences, including the media, stakeholders, investors, employees, and the general public. PR activities involve media relations, event management, community engagement, and crisis communication.

2. Medium of Communication

  • ORM: The communication for ORM is the internet, and it involves managing online conversations, reviews, comments, and social media interactions.
  • PR: PR involves communication through various channels, including online media, press releases, traditional media (newspapers, television, radio), public events, and press conferences.

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3. Timing and Speed

  • ORM: ORM often requires real-time monitoring and quick responses, especially when addressing customer queries or managing a crisis online.
  • PR: PR can also involve timely responses during a crisis, but it often follows a more structured and planned approach, including media outreach and long-term relationship-building with journalists and influencers.

4. Focus on Reputation Management

  • ORM: As the name suggests, ORM primarily focuses on managing and influencing a brand’s or individual’s online reputation. It involves strategies to enhance positive content, address negative reviews, and control online narratives.
  • PR: PR has a broader scope that includes reputation management, but it also focuses on building and maintaining a positive public image through various communication and promotional efforts.

5. Nature of Content

  • ORM: ORM often deals with user-generated content, online reviews, and social media posts, which can be more informal and spontaneous.
  • PR: PR involves carefully crafted and controlled content, such as press releases, media kits, and official statements, which are disseminated to the media and the public.

6. Goals and Metrics

  • ORM: The main goal of ORM is to maintain a positive online reputation, increase positive sentiment, and mitigate the impact of negative content. Metrics in ORM can include online reviews, social media engagement, and search engine rankings.
  • PR: PR aims to build brand awareness, enhance credibility, and manage public perception. Metrics in PR may include media coverage, brand mentions, and sentiment analysis.

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Methods to Boost ORM

Building a positive online presence requires a lot of time and consistent effort. Here are some effective ways to enhance ORM and maintain a positive online reputation:

  • Optimise social media posts: Create and maintain social media profiles for your business. Post engaging and creative posts and offer prompt replies to comments and messages.
  • Address negative feedback privately: Contact customers privately to resolve their concerns when negative feedback arises. This demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Keep up your service quality: Provide excellent service and products to consumers — high-quality service results in referrals and positive reviews.
  • Maintain transparency: Share behind-the-scenes insights showing the human side of your brand. 
  • Churn out high-quality content: Develop a content strategy that showcases your expertise and addresses customer pain points. Publish blog posts, videos, infographics, and other content that provide value to your audience.
  • Build and maintain an official website: Create a responsive, user and mobile-friendly website displaying success stories, customer testimonials and case studies.
  • Use influencer marketing: Reach out to your target audience by collaborating with influencers with a considerable fan following. This will enhance your brand’s credibility and reach.
  • Run online ads: Advertising your brand on the current channels is crucial to promote your brand and keep it fresh in public memory.
  • Review your online presence regularly: A periodic review of your website ensures your content is current with no broken links. Moreover, it increases the accuracy and consistency across all platforms.

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Ways to Do ORM in Digital Marketing

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do ORM effectively:

  1. Monitor Online Presence: Use monitoring tools to track mentions, reviews, and comments about your brand across digital platforms.
  2. Respond Swiftly: Address customer queries and feedback promptly and professionally, demonstrating attentiveness to their needs.
  3. Encourage Positive Reviews: Reach out to satisfied customers and encourage them to leave reviews on your website, social media handles, and search pages. Create direct links or detailed instructions to assist customers in leaving reviews easily in a hassle-free manner.
  4. Create Valuable Content: Develop engaging content that showcases your brand’s expertise and values, promoting positive perceptions.
  5. Optimise SEO: Implement SEO strategies to boost positive content visibility in search results and push down negative content.
  6. Crisis Management: Prepare a plan to respond swiftly and transparently to unforeseen issues.
  7. Educate Employees: Train staff on ORM’s importance and how their online behaviour can affect the brand.
  8. Seek Expert Help: Consider hiring ORM professionals or agencies to streamline efforts and ensure a comprehensive approach.
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Online Reputation Management (ORM) is an ongoing process that requires dedication, responsiveness, and a commitment to delivering value to customers. ORM marketing is a prevalent strategy used widely in digital marketing that is crucial in mitigating negative impacts. 

upGrad’s Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management from MICA can help prospective candidates looking to upskill themselves. Acquire expert skills in crafting compelling brand communication strategies using digital platforms, social media, and analytics. Enrol now to lead impactful brand campaigns and excel in the dynamic marketing landscape.




Blog Author
Meet Sriram, an SEO executive and blog content marketing whiz. He has a knack for crafting compelling content that not only engages readers but also boosts website traffic and conversions. When he's not busy optimizing websites or brainstorming blog ideas, you can find him lost in fictional books that transport him to magical worlds full of dragons, wizards, and aliens.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is an example of ORM in digital marketing?

Monitoring and responding to customer reviews on various review sites (e.g. Yelp, Google My Business) to enhance a brand's online reputation is an example of ORM in digital marketing.

2What is the difference between SEO and ORM in marketing?

SEO optimises a website's visibility in search engine results, while ORM involves monitoring and managing a brand's online reputation across various digital platforms.

3What is an example of reputation management?

Addressing and resolving negative customer feedback on social media promptly and professionally to maintain a positive online reputation is an example of reputation management.

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