Everyone wants to think that their content marketing is doing wonders for their company. Whether it’s building up your brand authority or attracting new consumers to your space, the content you’re putting online is intended to enhance your business and its efforts. However, there are times when some kind of online marketing crisis may arise, either due to something you created and posted, negative product feedback from a customer or the work of hackers.

    Many of these incidents are unavoidable, but you can control how your business reacts to the problem. Just as you formulate a strategy for content marketing, you need to have a plan in place for dealing with brand emergencies or an online marketing crisis. Guidelines that dictate how you respond to problems can save precious time in the heat of the moment, which in turn allows you to increase the effectiveness and public perception of your efforts.

    Internet connectivity and reputation risk

    First thing’s first: you need to understand that online crises will happen. They are a threat to every company and industry, and many of the contributing factors are beyond your control. However, reputation risk is a necessary part of social media marketing. According to a global survey from Deloitte, reputation risk is the top concern for most executives.

    Additionally, more than half of those individuals questioned think that technology enablers and disrupters are factors that could eventually interfere with their brand. Among the top concerns for companies were social media, mobile applications, cloud computing and cyberattacks, the research found.

    “The rise of reputation as the prime strategic risk is a natural reaction to recent high-profile reputational crises, as well as the speed of digital and social media and the potential loss of control that accompanies it,” said Henry Ristuccia, the global leader for Deloitte Governance, Risk and Compliance. “The time it takes for damaging news to spread is quicker, it goes to a wider audience more easily and the record of it is stored digitally for longer. Several reputational episodes in the past three years have really brought this issue into focus for every industry.”

    Online marketing crisis managed with social media

    Although social media and online marketing may be the cause of some crises, they also present an effective way of solving these problems. For example, your Twitter feed could be hacked and spammed with useless ads. Instead of ignoring this issue and hoping most followers simply scrolled on by, use the same medium to address the problem. Social Media Examiner noted that some of the most effective measures used by companies in the past involved informing customers quickly and explaining the problem, while also citing what they were doing to fix the issue and prevent it from happening in the future.

    It is also helpful to use multiple channels to address a concern and the online marketing crisis, even if the initial problem only occurred on one of the given media. This allows you to control the message being sent to all consumers and prevent some individuals from hearing exaggerated news through others.

    Focused responses can prevent widespread meltdowns

    So you’re figuring out the best way to manage crises, but maybe you aren’t sure which situations call for this type of damage control. To keep it simple: all of them. You should use a more focused version of crisis response every time your company receives a complaint or negative review – if you don’t, you could be feeding into the problem and ultimately causing more harm.

    Whenever you receive a poor review or complaint, do your best to reach out to the affected party immediately. Acknowledge the problem, attempt to learn more and try to make up for it in some way. Even if nothing comes of the issue, the consumer will be placated and you may have learned something that refines a practice for the future.



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