Survey Shows Businesses Expect Budget Increases for Digital Marketing in the Coming Years

Almost half (41%) of companies with more than 100 employees invest more than $500K in digital marketing every year. This is revealed in a US-based survey with 501 marketers published by The Manifest and looks to discover how businesses invest and how their investment might change in the coming year.

Respondents are a mix of senior level employees and companies. About 76% consider marketing has undergone more transformation during the last 2 years than 50 years before. With the advent of new marketing methods, traditional marketing like pamphlets, flyers or billboards have suffered a loss in popularity. 99% of Manifest’s respondents said they planned to increase spending on “at least one” digital marketing channel in the coming year.

Another report based on digital marketing, it was suggested that traditional media spend is being ousted by marketing automation tools for email and social, which has seen budget increases by 44% in just the last year. Meanwhile, marketing intelligence companies also predicted that total spend on social media advertising was set to grow by $28bn (£21bn) to reach $76bn (£58bn) by 2020.

Indeed, 64% of businesses surveyed by Manifest said they planned to spend both more time and money on social media marketing, while optimising their website was a priority among 55%.

An interesting bit is that businesses plan to put fewer resources on display and banner ads (19%), despite the ever-growing prevalence of automatic buying.

If your company doesn’t have a marketing budget of $500K per year, don’t worry just yet. According to co-founder and head of sales at B2B lead generation agency, the spending that a business should put aside for digital marketing varies by business and customer needs.

“It’s all over the map as far as industry goes. To figure it out, you need to understand who you’re trying to sell to and define those personas.

“Get a sense of exactly how people consume information and how they make purchasing decisions. If digital is really big for these customers, then digital marketing should be a massive amount of your budget”

“If you’re in an old-school industry that doesn’t really do a lot of digital stuff, digital marketing may not make as much sense.”

 

How to Maintain Your Reputation on the Web with ORM and Digital Marketing

A fast growing discipline and business necessity, online reputation management (ORM) is widely recognized as a valuable asset which can be one of the most important causes of competitive edge in a fiercely competitive market, and with companies/brands being under constant scrutiny from the business online community, good reputation management practices seek to help firms handle and cope with this scrutiny.

What is exactly is ORM and what does it entail?

Quite simply, ORM is a set of tactics and strategies put into practice across various communication channels, as a way of influencing a company/brand’s reputation online. This could include a range of different tools used for digital marketing across a multitude of online platforms such as social media platforms, websites, blogs, review sites, search engines etc.

With the rise of the internet and mobile technology, marketing and advertising efforts have partially and progressively transitioned to digital platforms. Today’s brands reach their customers mostly through websites, social media, blog posts, videos and other channels, and seek to perfect their online performance based on a hoard of customer engagement data.

Understand the Customer

The key for any business to thrive and rise above their competitors is for them to continuously hone in on understanding their customer behavior and tailoring their products and services to the needs of their customers. As more and more consumers rely heavily on online reviews for their purchasing decisions, brands should not overlook the importance and huge influence of what consumers as well as competitors and regulators within the market say about the brand itself online. The average customer finds social media more trustworthy than brand-generated marketing, thus making social media much more effective than TV commercials or advertising signs, when it comes to drawing potential consumers.

Managing customer relationships across all social channels implies constant communication and engagement with the online community, proactive engagement by responding to comments, questions, reviews left by customers and being receptive to positive as well as negative feedback. Most social media platforms offer specific tools which can help assess how well received certain and help gain demographic insights about the audience and competitors. Apart from insights on followers, one can see the performance of posts, stories, and ads, as well as the brand’s profile in general. The deeper the insight into customer behavior and preferences is, the more likely a brand is to engage them in lucrative interactions.

ORM and Digital Marketing

Certainly, digital marketing is a huge and indispensable part of online reputation management.Digital marketing represents huge potential for brands to expand their client base and grow their business. Another valuable tool for digital marketing is managing content in search engines, which most would first associate with SEO. Comprehensive and relevant keyword phrases and high-quality content increase the chances to push undesirable content further down on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This is achieved by creating owned media such as blogs or websites that promote a brand in a positive manner, which will eventually raise a brand’s ranking on search engines.

However, SEO is not the only instrument that helps in ranking high on search engines. Paid media is another digital marketing tool that can improve an online performance, which essentially involves either displaying ads on social media or running sponsored ads on influencing blogs. With these strategies, a brand can develop a strong and credible online presence, which consequently will drive towards greater results.

Why is digital marketing important?

Digital media is so prevalent nowadays that consumers readily have access to information any time and any place they want it. Digital media is a continuously growing source of entertainment, news, shopping and social interaction, and consumers are now exposed not just to what a company says about its brand, but what the media, friends, relatives, peers, etc., are saying as well. And in most cases, they are more likely to believe them than what a company says. People want brands they can trust, companies that know them, communications that are personalized, relevant and products tailored to their needs and preferences. That is why good and proper ORM along with digital marketing is crucial for businesses that want thrive and rise above their competitors, whilst building and maintaining a positive brand image online.

Manage Your Rating With Effective Online Reputation Management Strategies

Over the years, Online Reputation Management (ORM) has been steadily gaining momentum in online marketing. In the past, communication between companies and consumers had been very minimal, and companies had been selling or promoting their products to a passive audience.  Nowadays, social media has grown to become a poignant presence and influencing platform for consumers to use, which enables them to freely state their opinions and concerns and allows other people to see and respond to their comments or reviews.

As more and more consumers rely on online reviews and comments when making their purchasing decisions, it has become crucial for businesses to know and understand what it is being said about their brand online and how a company can manage it in order to build and maintain a positive brand reputation online.

Therefore, it is quite clear that if a business doesn’t invest in developing and improving their online presence and reputation proactively, they will more than likely pay considerable costs later in terms of lost revenues, repairing abrupt damage, and developing out the presence they neglected.

First and foremost, is evaluating and determining your brand’s current online status. What is being said about you online? What do customers and competitors think about the brand? Monitoring is essential in any digital marketing operation as your brand presence is measured across various social platforms, forums, blogs and websites.

Secondly, start devising a plan to improve and develop your online presence,that means proactively engaging with your online community. Create a presence on any and all relevant social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, for specific areas of expertise, other social media sites would be beneficial, such as LinkedIn (for high-tech and/or professional types of businesses), Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube (for visually-oriented products).

Communication is key in any relationship you develop, therefore regularly interacting with your customers is a must. It’s important to build up your social media accounts. Merely having a social media account/page for your business is insufficient — you need to develop your audience on them as well, which will eventually build up to a close communication channel and increase your influence and engagement scores.

Be receptive to positive as well as negative feedback. Perhaps the only thing worse than under-engaging in online media is handling social media badly. No one can damage you as much as you can damage yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to respond to negative comments. Based on your response, they either make you or break you. Criticism can often provide your business with vital information regarding to where your business is going wrong. Moreover, it is also a great opportunity to speak to those who have posted negative feedback and ask them why and eventually offer solutions or help.

Positive comments build up your reputations just as much as the negative ones. Encouraging and highlighting positive feedback will definitely boost your brand. On both occasions, personally responding to comments and reviews shows each customer that you care and are actively listening to their concerns and opinions.

However, ORM is not only about managing negative and positive feedback, but also managing content in search engines. You may need to create content and you likely ought to develop content to rank them as high as possible on search engines as well. Develop website and blogs, where you regularly post high quality content and promote your brand in a positive manner. Using relevant keyword phrases will help learn the exact queries people type into search engines to find what consumers are looking for online. Therefore, using the right keywords in content will increase its ranking and therefore more people will access it, bringing in more traffic to the website.

Online reputation development requires two investments: time and money. Following this, ORM, when done right, may help put you and your business in a stronger position and may significantly impact your sales and business revenue.

Proactive online reputation management is going to cost you if you want to be perceived as a positive brand on the market, but it will also save you some money in the long run if the nearly-inevitable occurs. Think of it as a form of insurance. It won’t absolutely keep you from getting damaged, but it could mitigate the damage and keep it from being worse than it might otherwise be.

Online Reputation Management Helping You Deal With Negative Online Feedback

Online Reputation Management

Social media platforms, blogs and online reviews are so readily accessible nowadays and have made it ever so easy for people, or for other companies, to leave online comments about your products, be it negative or positive, which can have a significant impact on your marketing efforts and on your brands reputation. Certainly, you can’t stop people from voicing their opinions, however you can definitely control or at least prevent in which direction the conversation goes. This is where Online Reputation Management (ORM) comes in handy, which quite simply, means managing your brand’s online reputation.

As nowadays, more and more consumers rely on online reviews and comments when making their purchasing decisions, it has become crucial for you to know and comprehend what is being said about your brand online and how you can manage it in order to build and maintain a positive brand reputation online.

Two principals steps are what ORM is involved in: monitoring of what is being said online and active and adequate responding to customers’ concerns and worries. Monitoring is key in any digital marketing operation as your brand presence is measured across social platforms, forums, comments and websites.

Dealing With Negative Comments

Now that you have seen and analyzed what is being said about your brand online, it is time to devise a strategic plan on how to adequately respond and engage with your customers online. That entails establishing a very close relationship with your customers, by that I mean, constant communication and engagement is crucial. Don’t be afraid to respond to negative comments. Based on your response, they either make you or break you. Many businesses receive negative comments online and immediately adopt the ‘ignore and it will go away’ approach. However, this could definitely backfire on you.

Negative comments can often provide your business with vital information regarding to where your business is going wrong. Moreover, it is also a great opportunity to speak to those consumers who have posted negative feedback and ask them why and eventually offer solutions or help.

Positive comments build up your reputations just as much as the negative ones. Encouraging and highlighting positive feedback will definitely boost your brand. So in a way you thank people for their kind reviews, and hope they share your response with their friends. In both instances, personally responding to comments and reviews shows each customer that you care and are actively listening to their concerns and opinions.

This type of engagement is what can significantly increase and impact your online presence as well as your sales and business revenue.

Big and small businesses have rapidly embraced social media like never before and a whole new industry has now emerged to help them manage, monitor and interpret the vast amounts of information associated with your brand. Thus Online Reputation Management becomes profoundly important tool to companies to redefine and maintain their online reputation as positive as possible.