Brand protection is becoming big business. Consumer fears over fraudulent online retailers combined with the risk of social networking sites facilitating bad press mean that companies need an effective brand protection strategy more than ever. Without an effective campaign to mitigate bad publicity, companies face losing revenue through lost sales and waning public trust. The best way to combat negative publicity is to harness organic SEO techniques and combine them with branded PPC campaigns.
Brand protection using these methods can not only flush out negative press quickly, it can boost reputation in the long term. To protect a brand in the event of a period of negative publicity, the first steps to take are to initiate a PPC campaign that promotes the brand and its products or services through positive marketing. This can be through advertising a promotion, or drawing the public’s attention to the brand’s inherent qualities.
Social networking has proved to have an immediate effect on brand reputation, in particular in drawing the public’s attention to negative news.
To combat this, brand protection strategies can be used to essentially dilute the negative news with positive. Another factor to consider is the effect affiliate sites have on consumer confidence. Third party companies selling branded goods legitimately on behalf of the parent company can have a detrimental effect on brand reputation if they use the brand name in their online advertising campaigns.
Brand protection services offered by SEO companies can prevent affiliate or third party companies from using the brand name in this way, or indeed at all. Not only does this reduce the cost of bidding on a brand name by reducing competition for the term, it also increases consumer confidence by building trust in the brand name and disassociating it from fraudulent online retail.
Utilising PPC campaigns in this way has an immediate and visible effect, but to create a long lasting solution, ethical SEO strategies need to be implemented alongside it. The goal is to cement the presence of a brand legitimately over the long term; foundations that temporary negative listings from fraudulent companies or dissatisfied customers cannot shake. It is through building a solid reputation with solid techniques that a brand will remain protected from negative press.
Just as SEO strategies to attain high listings are ever evolving, the techniques used for brand protection are too. However, the two disciplines are closely intertwined which is why an experienced and reputable SEO company is the primary choice for companies that want to protect their brand.
For instance, at High Position we implemented a brand protection programme for Denby, to counteract unauthorised third party companies using the brand name. This resulted in an immediate rise in consumer confidence and online spending.
Mu colleague James Hollands, head of PPC at High Position, says he believes that companies that rely on their brand name should be pro-active about protecting their brand.
He summarises: “In many cases official companies are not protecting and policing their brand name online. PPC campaigns have successfully defended the online brand names for companies like Denby. By policing the competition, the company consequently saw a huge increase in online sales, mainly generated by PPC. In this instance brand protection is key.”