One issue we haven’t talked about much on this blog is reputation management, especially in terms of video marketing. While a bad review on a blog may get hundreds or thousands of views, a popular video can get millions or tens of millions of views and cause long-term damage to a company’s brand and reputation. These types of videos are well worth trying to stop, or at least mitigate.
No company wants to get hits to their website or even be talked about offline due to some infamy. The negative reaction of consumers to the BP oil spill is just one example of this, and the fallout over the NSA’s wiretapping program has just begun. The government certainly does not want its name dragged through the mud unnecessarily.
A couple ways to prevent videos with a poor image of the company from ever appearing on the web are to restrict access to the official YouTube account to only a select few employees, and not to ignore bad videos when they are uploaded. The open nature of YouTube forces corporations of all types, public and private, to be more transparent and accountable.
YouTube has only a few ways to remove a video, as well. In most cases, a video that is affecting a company’s image will have to be responded to, rather than removed entirely. However, YouTube may remove a video that infringes on a copyright, such as including background music without permission. Privacy rights can also be claimed for private individuals, although public officials and widely-known celebrities will usually not have the same level of privacy rights. Also, any type of satire will usually be allowed to remain on YouTube.
With the more transparent nature of online sharing of videos, there is less room for error or outrage for companies. The bigger they are, the more backlash they can expect from an issue in which the company appears negatively. Thus, any sort of wrongdoing, whether it be entirely inadvertent or simply an unexpected result of an otherwise sound policy, needs to be responded to as quickly as possible. Sitting on such issues will not make them go away.
And this is the key point: hiding does not make a problem go away, it only gives it more time to spread online without a defense also able to spread. People may hear about the issue offline and then search for it on the internet, which leads to an increase of negative search terms related to a business. Without any competing video explaining the company’s side, only the negative will show up in search engine results.
The image created by any video, whether it be good or bad, is not easily forgotten in the minds of many people. Search engines that display content from websites, video sites, and social media accounts have radically changed reputation management in the last few years. Especially because search results that include images (such as video preview thumbnails) are more likely to draw attention to themselves, any negative videos regarding a company need at least an official response.
One final tip to removing or responding to a negative video about a company is to involve the social media team in any response. Creating and uploading an official video response is one step, but the video must also be shared with opinion leaders to ensure that it is spread further into the online world. Social media marketing will help with this, and will give consumers at least the option of exploring both sides of any given issue. Again, ignoring the problem will give them only one side.