The final step is to start creating and publishing your content. You discover what works and what doesn’t through trial and error. If one piece of content garnered a great response, you should figure out why and try to replicate its success. This doesn’t mean creating the same or even necessarily a similar piece of content, but rather one that gets the same effect.
For example, you might find that a piece of content that answers one simple question in detail with resources got a great deal of social media engagement. You published it and it found its way to the top of the Google search results. The result is that when people Google your company’s name, they’ll see this informative article which answers an important question and points to further resources.
A good content strategy here would be to find other key questions your target market has and produce more articles that explain the answers in detail and point to further resources. Eventually, you’ll have a large number of helpful articles out there, and this is the first thing people will see about your company when they search for it.
Here are some best practices for creating and publishing your content.
Use Consistent Branding
Every piece of content you publish online helps to create the image of your brand. This is the image people have of you in their mind. Using the example above, people will see you as a helpful resource for information when they have a question. Decide what type of image you want to create in your target audience’s minds and produce content accordingly.
Also, make sure that this image is consistent. Don’t publish content that is “off-brand” or clashes with your image.
Publish in the Right Places at the Right Times
Publish content regularly in the right places and at the right times. Create a schedule for publishing that includes where you’ll publish and how often. You might say something like, “A weekly post on my own blog on Friday, a guest post on someone else’s blog around the 1st and 15th of the month, one Facebook post each morning and one each afternoon, check for comments every morning,” and so on.
Make this schedule based on what your research tells you is best, what you can handle, and what you think will work. The key is that you’ll monitor your efforts and, through trial and error, discover what produces results. Make monitoring part of your schedule.
Respond to Audience Engagement
An important part of any online reputation management strategy is responding to customer engagement. Whether comments are good or bad, you need to respond to them and interact with your customers. This shows that you’re a real human being and that you’re there for them, listening, interacting, and offering help where needed. Try to say something of substance in your replies rather than just “Thanks for the comment.”
Some things you can do when you respond include:
- Thanking people for their information, opinion, etc.
- Thanking people for correcting you
- Clarifying with more information
- Answering questions
- Providing further help or resources
All of your responses should be positive, friendly, and personal. Focus on helping people and letting them get to know you. Make sure nothing you say could be taken the wrong way.