Brand management is oftentimes overlooked until there’s a crisis. But when a fiasco is looming, it’s overtly evident exactly how important a brand’s reputation is.
When negative publicity threatens a brand, every marketer is suddenly consumed with the brand’s reputation. Can we rebound from this? How do we get our word out there?
In these situations, it’s apparent how the Internet levels the communications playing field. A blogger calling for a ban of your product has the same chance of getting traction online as a video of your company’s CEO addressing the situation posted on an aggregator. When a brand’s reputation is at risk, marketers must use every tactic in their arsenal, starting with online video marketing.
Brand nightmares can range from information leaks to incidents that result in stock market meltdowns. On the flipside, product launches, acquisitions, and other events all require the same marketing know-how and reputation management. While no one wants to think about a brand’s demise, there are enough recent examples to warrant a conversation about what to do when your brand’s reputation takes a hit.
Out of all the tactics available to online marketers, video is the best avenue to reach consumers, especially when the information needs to get out quickly. As we’ve witnessed with recent disasters, video has been the vehicle of choice for brands to combat bad press. Mattel’s CEO produced a video to address concerns about their production standards, Southwest Airlines posted a video in response to their its passenger dress code, and Barack Obama’s campaign posted video of his response to growing concerns about his pastor.
Here are the reasons why using online video can work in times of crisis:
- Video content drives news. Journalists and news outlets continue to cover and incorporate popular viral videos into their broadcasts. If marketers post a video in response to a crisis or release a brand-flattering video, they can potentially generate news online that could translate into primetime broadcast coverage.
- Search engines can pick up the video. If there’s video content posted on the aggregators about your brand, it will be included in search results. Marketers have a better chance of reaching target audiences if they can get their video messages included in search results as it will be evermore important for advertisers to diversify their marketing efforts to attract user’s attentions.
- It’s what people are watching. When it comes down to it, people watch videos online. A December 2007 study by Burst Media found that 76 percent of men and 67 percent of women watch online videos. By spreading pertinent brand messages through online video, marketers have a chance of benefitting from the content being syndicated on other formats. If a marketer can get a message out through video, there’s potential it will be distributed on iPods, homepages, mobile devices, and social networking sites. That’s good coverage. Video posted on a brand’s Web sites will arguably garner more attention than text.
- Video goes viral. Every marketer wants their message to be what people are talking about, and utilizing video is a great way to reach this goal. Video is easily dispersed amongst peers and can be accessed and posted on a plethora of platforms. Online video also makes a nice side dish to any news story or blog posting. So if someone is commenting on your event (good or bad), it’s easy to include your video along with that commentary. The idea here is to make it easy for others to get pass along your message for you.
The hardest part of getting a marketing message out in trying times is cutting through the negative clutter, so your message and branding can actually be seen and heard. The key to successfully managing your brand’s perception online is to keep up your efforts in the absence of a crisis. Have communication channels ready to receive your message.
If you proactively reach out to bloggers and have videos posted on video aggregator sites, when you need to communicate with your key publics, you’ll have outlets to reach out to. To echo wise sports commentators before me, the best defense is a strong offense.
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