The world today is a global village where millions of messages are exchanged every second between people living across different continents and where news travels faster than the speed of light.
With so much information transfer taking place, brands are facing unique challenges to their online reputation that did not exist just a few years ago.
Today, thanks to social media, people react to events happening across the globe even if they do not have any direct relation to it.
Events like mass employee downsizing, threats to workplace safety, gender discrimination, etc., attract strong reactions from people on social media and the internet in general.
Many companies have even fallen victim to international propaganda campaigns and rumors spread by detractors to tarnish their reputation.
This is why it’s crucial for brands, celebrities and even corporate professionals to have a comprehensive international reputation management strategy that secures their reputation across different countries and geographic locations.
International, national and local reputations are developed and managed differently. While the fundamentals of online reputation management remain the same, there are marked differences in the planning, execution and operational stages of each reputation strategy.
A prime example of this difference is how giant corporations like Coca Cola, Walmart, Honda, etc., tailor their brand’s message, marketing campaigns and products according to the market they’re operating in. Their global, national and local reputations are managed in parallel.
To further clarify the differences, here’s a bird’s eye view of each type of reputation strategy.
International reputation management is about identifying the international markets where consumers have a direct or indirect impact on a brand’s core business performance. It focuses on building a strong brand image on the international version of Google search and by dominating search queries and social media trends.
The goal is to build a positive online reputation on relevant high traffic keywords by creating high-quality content and publishing it on multiple platforms. Content distribution and promotion is another key aspect of international reputation management.
A national reputation management strategy, on the other hand, zooms in on a particular country. Through a comprehensive reputation audit, countries are categorized as high, medium and low risk. Each country has its unique cultural and business dynamics that need to be taken into consideration before devising a reputation management strategy.
The SEO strategy for a national reputation management campaign also differs significantly from an international campaign. From the selection of target keywords and content topics, to publishing and distribution, everything is focused on the national trends and user preferences.
In many cases, the content is created in the local language of the target country and published on country-specific top-level domains.
Local reputation management zooms in further, and focuses on dominating local search trends, forums, review sites and social media trends.
By default, Google tailors its search results according to the location of its users. Studies show that consumers are using search engines, review sites and social networks to look for local businesses, consultants, celebrities, etc., more than ever before.
A localized reputation management strategy aims to dominate local search trends through positive content, tailored for the local audience, distributed through local bloggers and media partnerships.
On many occasions, local writers, artists, experts and event management companies are also engaged for different reputation building activities.
A market can be termed as mature when there’s consistency in the supply and demand patters, when there’s a lack of innovation, and when most of the suppliers have their fixed and settled market share.
Market maturity has a direct impact on the reputation of a brand as well. For example, a company that has reached the maturity stage is much more likely to have detractors, negative reviews and even propaganda campaigns against them.
As compared to an immature market, fixing a damaged reputation in a mature market takes significantly more effort and resources.
One of our reputation management case studies about a tool manufacturing company is a prime example: The company had reached maturity stage and was facing significant reputation challenges due to a combination of genuine negative customer reviews and defamatory competitor campaigns.
ReputationX developed and executed a yearlong reputation management plan that got rid of the negative content, and worked on building a strong first page presence on Google search.
It’s important to understand the impact of market maturity because it affects international, national and local reputation management strategies as well. Every country has unique market dynamics, which is why the reputation management strategy also needs to be tailored accordingly.