At its essence, reputation management isn’t that hard. The basic principles sounds easy enough: Push bad and damaging search engine results off the first page of a Google search page by getting positive content on the web to rank higher. But it’s more complicated than it seems. For instance, what kind of things do you want to rank well? Do you make content yourself, or do you build links to help others’ content rank well? And how positive is too positive? At what point will your audience think they’re being fooled by overly positive search results?
If you’ re in cool industries, like technology or entertainment, you probably can think of a million ways to get positive information to rank well in your SERPs. But what if the company you are doing reputation management for is “boring,” like they make blenders or tax preparation software? How do you create good content on the web that people will want to link to so that it will rank high for your branded terms?
First of all, there is no such thing as a “boring” industry, only boring reputation management professionals. If you’re going to help a boring company clean up their SERP, you just have to get a little more creative. Think outside the box. Do something different.
In fact, here are some great examples of boring companies that have managed to build a great online reputation just by being creative with what they share on the web. So creative, in fact, that most of them have come to be seen as leaders in their industries.
BlendTec makes blenders. Not the most exciting industry in the world. But not only do they make blenders, they make industrial strength blenders. And they were a virtually unknown company until they started an online video series, called “Will it Blend?” Each video has a simple concept, they think of an object and then they throw it in one of their blenders to see if it will blend. They’ve done books, super glue, glow sticks, and even a iPhone. Now when you search for them by name, two of the top ten results are links to their videos (both on their own website and their BlendTec YouTube channel).
One of the top search engine optimization companies in the world didn’t start out as the most well known. In fact, how do you get people excited about all the technical mumbo jumbo involved in search engine optimization? Well, SEOmoz took that challenge and created an awesome online reputation with it. Instead of trying to appeal to a mass audience, they decided they were going to be a great resource for the SEO industry. So they created downloadable SEO guides, videos, blog posts, and more. Now they have over 50,000 social shares on Twitter and Facebook and a search for their name reveals videos, social media profiles, articles, pres releases, pictures and more.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club is a company that sells disposable razors over the internet for a dollar a month. Not exactly front page material, right? Well, to jumpstart their reputation management efforts, they created a hilarious video about their company that currently has over 4 million views on YouTube. Now when you search for them online, you see a myriad of reviews, videos, articles and more all about them.
What about tax preparation software, you ask? Certainly one of the most boring industries ever created. Well, for the 2011 tax season, TurboTax took to social media to interact with its customers and raise their online reputation. And it worked. They had thousands of responses and now their social profiles rank number 2 and 3 after their main site, showing anyone who searches for them that they are a company who cares about its customers. And that’s the kind of reputation you can’t buy.
Remember, reputation management doesn’t have to be all drudgery. If you get creative not only will you build a solid online reputation but you’ll cut down on the work you do because everyone else will be building links to your great content for you. So don’t be boring. Be creative and build a better online reputation.