There are some companies using negative marketing and black hat techniques to hijack the brands of competitors and make them appear untrustworthy, illegitimate or otherwise bad. Fighting this type of negative marketing can be difficult, especially if it has gone unnoticed for some time. It is possible to reverse the effects. Five tips will help any business combat negative marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The first tip is to accelerate or start search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to combat the negative marketing taking place online. Effective SEO can obfuscate or completely negate the efforts of naysayers. It can push the negative content far enough down in rankings that it is no longer seen by average consumers. This will help a business reclaim its brand and good name.
Never Respond With Negative Marketing
Businesses should never respond with negative marketing targeted at competitors. Consumers respond very poorly to marketing that suddenly turns negative. The correct response is to highlight the positive, factual and empowering aspects of a business. This is an effective way to show that competitors who have defined a brand by exclusively attacking others really have nothing to offer consumers.
Some rough competition will attempt to generate large amounts of negative reviews and word of mouth in order to discredit a business. Starting referral programs can encourage satisfied customers to provide positive reviews to their friends and colleagues. Successful referrers could receive promotional drinkware or other promotional products, loyalty rewards or discounts. An influx of positive referrals will negate the negative marketing.
Hold an Event
Another strategy is to hold some type of product or company event if your business has a local presence. This will bring people into the business where products, services and employees can be seen outside the light of negative marketing. People attending can be given free gifts like promotional drinkware by HALO to show the positive nature of the brand. Promotional products like these can not only help you maintain your existing client base, they can also attract the attention of new clients. A successful and positive event can showcase what a business really has to offer.
Engage On Social Media
Businesses should engage consumers on social media. Negative postings with specific complaints should get responses referring the people to customer service channels or other solutions. An effort should be made to start a positive dialog about the beneficial aspects of the products and services provided by your company. This will directly influence consumers and combat negative marketing.
The key to combating negative marketing is to always remain positive and focused on the customer. Companies that choose to use negative marketing have very little to offer customers in most cases. Emphasizing the value, quality and benefits of your products or services will cut through hollow and negative marketing.