How powerful of a statement can be made with digital video? The answer can be traced to the 2016 American electoral campaign; when a controversial video of a lewd conversation between Republican candidate Donald Trump and the host of an entertainment news show was made public.
The infamous video not only derailed Trump’s campaign but also deeply damaged his online reputation. To this very day, a Google search for “Trump video” returns the inflammatory video in question as a top result.
There is no question that digital video can substantially influence online reputation management campaigns. To understand the synergy between video and reputation management, it is worth reviewing how this type of media content has evolved in relation to branding and marketing.
History of Digital Video and Reputation Management
Until about 2010, online reputation management was largely confined to monitoring certain keywords on search engines and taking proper action with content and SEO. By 2011, when Google reported that its acquisition of YouTube had resulted in more than three billion page views per day, it became clear that streaming video had fully captured the internet.
Although digital videos have been used for internet branding and advertising since the mid-1990s, their initial use for reputation management purposes dates back to 2005, when a videoblogging conference was held for the first time in New York City. In 2009, photo sharing network Flickr added the ability to tag short videos with SEO keywords for the benefit of web searches.
In terms of online reputation management, early corporate vlogs were more proactive than reactive, which means that they were mostly used for branding and PR purposes. The need to use digital video in a reactive manner clearly illustrated in 2009 with a YouTube clip uploaded by Canadian folk duo Sons of Maxwell, whose guitars were damaged by careless United Airlines baggage handlers. The video turned viral and generated scathing PR for United, which estimated that it lost $180 million as a consequence of a 10 percent drop in its stock price.
These days, streaming video has become even more ubiquitous thanks to the smartphone revolutions and social networks such as Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine. Short vertical video optimized to play on smartphones held in portrait mode is the current trend; this is followed by live streaming platforms such as Periscope and Facebook Live. Vertical videos are more likely to achieve viral status since users find them easier to share with their social media circles.
How Video and Reputation Management Work Together
Effective management of online reputation requires a mixed content strategy. There was a time when keyword research, backlinking, on-page SEO, and written content was sufficient for reputation management. These days, however, articles and social media posts are not sufficient.
The modern search engine results page (SERP) prominently features and highlights video content by virtue of three major signals: relevance, freshness, and social media value. Relevance is achieved via SEO while freshness is determined when the video is produced and published in relation to its context; social media value can be fostered with a proper marketing strategy.
Companies, brands, and individuals who wish to develop a good online reputation should strongly consider a proactive video strategy. This means producing positive video content with branding in mind. One example would be a neighborhood pizzeria that takes viewers into the kitchen or that presents a seasonal recipe complete with ingredients and preparation. Another example could be a pediatrician who shares advice useful for parents or who discusses the results of a recent research study.
Mobile searchers are bound to click on video results they can watch on their smartphones, and this means that they prefer videos of a short length. Just because vertical videos tend to be short does not mean that they should lack production values; sloppy videos are not helpful for reputation management purposes.
Digital video content naturally lends itself to be promoted via social media channels, email, and blogs. With the schema and structured data protocols currently used by Google, videos can be easily optimized so that their SERP ranking can be improved in terms of relevance.
It is important to remember that video content is more effective as part of a proactive reputation management campaign. It is more difficult to react to negative videos when no positive videos have been previously published.
Interested in improving your online reputation? BrightPast can help you suppress the negative, promote the positive, and maintain your online profile as it should appear.