ORM in digital marketing: How it helps build a better relationship with your customers

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Have you heard of ORM in digital marketing? Well, if you are a programmer, you may be familiar with ORM as object relational mapping, but in online marketing, it refers to online reputation management. 

You may not have given ORM too much thought in your day-to-day operations. Yet, there is one fact about being a business owner that you cannot ignore, and that is, no matter how good your products or services are, you will get some type of feedback. 

In the best-case scenario, you always wish for positive feedback. But, sometimes, there can be negative comments. Feedback that could sound the death knell for your brand. Now, here is where it gets tricky. Sometimes, you may not even know that you are damaging your reputation inadvertently.

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the process of actively tracking, managing, and influencing your organization's reputation in the digital landscape. It involves monitoring mentions of your brand or any negative comments or feedback, identifying the source, and responding to those comments strategically, in order to protect and promote your brand. 

It also involves building relationships, engaging with customers, reviewing opportunities for improvement, identifying negative press and comments about your products or services, and developing a plan for improving your online presence. ORM helps organizations control the conversation by taking proactive steps to manage their presence and influence their brand’s conversations.

Let's take the example of organic link building. The idea is to get hyperlinks to your website from other sites. But, you don't take the time to research the linking site. Neither do you get the help of a link building agency to help with organic or quality link building.

It later emerges that the website has low authority and a bad reputation due to its content. And just like that, the audiences link your brand to less-than-savory characters. Unflattering comments start to appear about your brand. At this point, an ORM strategy would come to your rescue.

This article explores ORM in digital marketing and shows how it can help build better relationships with customers.


Understanding Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Online reputation management (ORM) is a broad term that incorporates many things. These include:

  • Monitoring: Active monitoring of brand mentions for any negative or false commentary
  • Mitigation: Any steps you take to guard the brand reputation in the digital space
  • Managing: Reactive actions to manage any negative or inaccurate reports.

A solid ORM strategy aims to improve how your brand looks online. So let's go back to the example of organic link building we mentioned above. You can mitigate negative associations by investing in SEO link building services. In this case, the link building agency would have researched the linking websites. They will use the necessary tools to check domain authority and reputation.

The link building services providers will also keep a close watch for brand mentions. That way, they get to know what people are saying about your company across the digital and offline space. In managing negative comments, the link building agency can engage the site owners. They can ask them to remove your link.

But what does ORM have to do with digital marketing and building better customer relationships?


ORM in Digital Marketing

The internet opened the digital space in a way many would not have imagined. There are many business opportunities, brand-building initiatives and information. There is access to a broad audience base and 24/7 access to customers.
But with the good come some significant negatives. You see, news on the internet spreads faster than the wildest bushfire. One poor review from a disgruntled customer can reach millions in seconds.

Do you know that 94% of customers would rather not engage with a company with negative reviews? If you have one or two-star ratings, only 9% of customers will be willing to transact with you. 53% expect the brand to respond to negative reviews within a week.

So, how can you expect to respond if you don't have a link building agency monitoring your brand mentions? Further, how can you react if you do not have an ORM strategy? Indeed, a solid digital strategy must dedicate a whole section to ORM.


ORM and Better Customer Relations

Online reputation management is key to developing and fostering positive customer connections. Utilizing this savvy strategy can help build relationships that last, enhancing the quality of communication and collaboration for everyone involved. 

By investing in reputation management solutions, businesses can gain an edge in strengthening their customer relationships.

Increased Customer Confidence in Your Brand

One of the essential areas in digital marketing is brand building. And a primary concern for digital marketers is maintaining a positive brand reputation. We already shared some statistics above on why this is critical to the brand.

Let's continue to use the example of organic link building. High-quality links to high-domain sites are excellent ways to showcase industry authority. It is also an endorsement by the linking site that you are credible and trustworthy. That is why you should consider getting whitehat link building services. The more you build a reputation of trustworthiness, the more confidence people have in your brand.

But, as we stated, sometimes quality link building can go wrong if you don't know how to do it. A mistake on your part can lead to negative feedback from online audiences. Remember we talked about ORM including monitoring online brand mentions? Catching feedback early can allow for proactive action to get rid of such negative feedback.

Better Trust amongst Customers with ORM

One of the biggest mistakes some brands make is to ignore customer feedback or reviews. Yet, therein lies a powerful tool to foster closer relationships with customers. Place yourself in the customers' shoes for a minute. You give a review or commentary, and the brand does not react in any way. For many, it is an unforgivable slight that will have them running to the competitors.

Having an excellent ORM system can help organizations address negative feedback and reviews gracefully. Moreover, it will foster trust between them and their customers by showcasing their commitment to transparency. 

People appreciate companies that are willing to admit errors and accept responsibility for making improvements. On the contrary, those who choose to sweep customer complaints under the rug risk losing credibility. By taking a proactive stance, businesses can boost their reputations and demonstrate respect for their customers.

Greater Brand Visibility, Thus Better Customer Relationships

Creating greater visibility for a brand is key to building customer relationships. By increasing visibility of the brand, customers can learn more about it, be exposed to its products and services, and grow a connection to the company. 

Utilizing various marketing strategies and channels such as social media, advertising, search engine optimization, and influencer marketing, companies can reach larger audiences and leverage relationships with their target customers. With effective communication and engaging content, a brand can create an emotional connection with its customers, build brand loyalty, and strengthen its relationships.

That said, let us start by drawing a critical distinction between SEO and ORM. SEO (search engine optimization) is about improving rankings on search engines. It incorporates techniques like content generation, organic link building, and fixing broken links.

ORM is about maintaining the brand reputation by managing or fixing bad reviews. You can showcase the positive aspects of your business. The same applies to capitalizing on positive customer reviews. Indeed, even keeping up with responding to negative reviews can boost brand visibility. You can push negative reviews to lower positions in search results. All you need are the right tactics.

So what does brand visibility have to do with better customer relationships? Well, always have the following at the back of your mind:

  • Customers will research a brand or product online before buying. Appearing in top search results increases the chances of getting organic leads. It can also lead to more conversions.
  • Appearing in the top search results signifies a trustworthy and credible company.
  • Positive brand mentions are great for building trust. The chances of conversions and referrals from happy customers increase.

Better Customer Management with ORM

ORM has more to offer the brand beyond mere reputation management. Indeed, you can better manage customers with a solid ORM strategy. 

  • Prompt responses to customer concerns will always win you brownie points. Let's say a customer complains about something via your inbox or chat line. At this point, you have enough time to take proactive measures to avoid an escalation. Remember, you can turn a dissatisfied customer into a disgruntled, fire-breathing keyboard warrior. How? By ignoring them. In no time, negative reviews will be flying all over. Before you know it, the 'fires' are spreading all over the internet, especially social media.
  • Show empathy and care with how you handle negative reviews or comments. Every customer has some fundamental needs. And one of them is for companies they interact with to treat them well. Showing empathy removes the transactional feel from the engagement. It solidifies the fact it is not only about making money, but rather the chance to build fruitful relationships.
  • Address customer dissatisfaction that can result in poor press for the brand. A business fact is that you may not be able to avoid negativity in its entirety. What matters is how you respond. By now, it should be clear that ignoring unhappy customers is something you should never do. Let the customers know you hear them, and will work to resolve their issues as soon as possible. That simple act builds trust in your brand and what you have to say.
  • ORM provides a chance to own up to and rectify your mistakes. It would be easy to think that customers demand perfection from brands. But that may not be the case for all customers. For sure, they want the best you can offer. Yet customers also understand human fallibility. Showing acceptance and remorse can be the difference between losing and keeping customers. Beyond that is the chance to strengthen existing relationships. You can also show transparency and build trust. Working to fix the issue proves that you are working to ensure customer satisfaction. All these factors result in better relationships with customers – customers who are likely to remain loyal to the brand for years.


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Final Thoughts

ORM is an essential tactic for any digital marketer. By listening to customers, asking the right questions and launching targeted campaigns, marketing teams can establish a strong relationship with their customers. Using ORM gives your audience a greater voice, enabling you to address customer needs while developing loyalty and trust. 

We have explored the link between a good reputation and customer relationships. And it all comes down to a solid ORM strategy for your brand. It allows you to control how customers see and experience your brand.


Author bio

Daniel Martin has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.