The Average Costs For A Reputation Management Campaign
The average costs for a reputation management campaign can vary tremendously, depending on what kind of service is needed. There is no cookie cutter solutions and one size fits all. Online Reputation Management is a delicate process of sculpting the search results to match your ideal portrayal to the public. To sculpt this perfect painting for a client can be expensive and is always going to be dynamic due to the fluctuations in Google’s algorithm.
The Importance of Spending on an Online Reputation Management Campaign
Each case is unique, and the best reputation management agencies customize their work based on several key factors. These include whether you want to manage your own reputation with software, address a simple instance of bad press, correct inaccurate reports about your company, delete a mugshot, de-index a ripoff report, remove old court case records, or need to run a full campaign across multiple media to restore a tarnished reputation that encompasses strong news websites and blogs that fill up the search results. Think of an ORM campaign as a way to do public relations while you can promote yourself and brand while demoting negatives on the internet.
The Costs of Various Reputation Management Services
Practically speaking, most companies seeking help for managing their reputations require an average of 50 to 200 hours of services, ranging in price from $5,000 to $20,000 paid over four months. Generally, $100 per hour is a good ballpark figure for providing these types of services:
Outreach to news outlets
News Release Distribution
Back linking and Sculpting
The agency writes and produces professional-quality articles, has an animation and video team to create a relevant video that is then distributed and fills up the search engine results page with positive assets while demoting the unwanted content. This process which has the effect of reinforcing a company’s positive side while making it harder to find negative material online.
Refuting False or Misleading Stories
It often becomes important to refute false or misleading allegations about your company — especially when the negative press comes from a generally reliable source. Web repair services with the official industry name of “Online Reputation Management” are generally expensive if you’re dealing with a reputable agency vs. a low grade one located in somewhere like India or Southeast Asia. The cost of service depends on multiple factors including the severity of the damage and where the negative links appear.
Relevant Niche Publications
Niche publications and government-funded publications such as the SEC.GOV, Department of Justice Website, and Finra.org are extremely difficult to neutralize when they make a negative report about your business. It might require several hundred hours of targeted content, refutations and letters demanding correction of erroneously reported facts. There are few easy solutions when it comes to reputation management, or website owners would handle the process in-house. A negative article posted on a .gov or .edu website can take months to neutralize but no result is impossible to de-rank.
No Existing Platform or Website
Companies that don’t have an existing sales platform or website face extended difficulties when trying to manage their online reputations. It helps to have press and a brand that can be promoted. If this doesn’t exist then the job of creating and building from scratch can be done with costs expected to be $10,000 – $25,000 over the course of 6 months.
There’s no base of operations to give the business legitimacy, so it takes longer to repair the company’s reputation. Fortunately, those with a strong online presence have an easier time of refuting negative press.
Pushing Down a News WebSite Posting Negative Material
A negative article or review about your company posted on a highly reputable site — such as Google, The New York Times, ABC, CNN, etc. — can cost more to manage. It’s difficult to get retractions from trustworthy pages and authoritative websites. Burying the negative comments under a deluge of positive press can be quite expensive.
Effort Defines Price in Reputation Management
Generally, the more difficult the challenge, the more expensive you can expect the effort to resolve the issue in your favor. As mentioned before, most problems can be handled with 200 hours or less work. Hiring and working with a high quality Reputation Management Consultant who can provide services that guarantee removals and deletions can be done for specific sites where a potential relationship is had with the webmaster. Unfortunately, there are many “consulting” companies that provide basic services that are practically worthless so you end up spending double. Some disreputable companies charge as much as they think they can get. Wealthy clients who don’t study the details of the service plans often fall prey to these unethical firms. People are often desperate to repair their professional reputations, and that makes them a big target of unscrupulous operations.
You should also be wary of companies that promise unrealistically low prices. Reputable companies don’t usually offer $10,000 of professional services for a $2,000 price tag. Companies that do so are generally offering internet reputation monitoring or a very limited amount of content creation that will not resolve your issues and will ultimately cost you more money.
You’ll usually discover that $2,000 is overpaying for these types of monitoring only service. A reputable reputation management company might approach your case by taking the following steps to repair an online reputation:
- Spending 5 to 10 hours getting to know the business, its history and past reputation
- Researching 5 to 10 hours for major keywords
- SEO strategies and updating platforms to be current
- Analyzing for 10 to 20 hours the sources of negative press and coming up with a plan to refute, bury or otherwise neutralize the damages
- Spending 50 to 80 hours creating rich content including articles
- review responses, videos and other media
- Devoting 20 to 80 hours devising social media campaigns to build your brand and reputation
The Bottom Line on Online Reputation Management Campaign Costs
You can quickly get a feel for those companies who do things correctly versus those that are simply going through the motions. When getting a quote for service, look for companies that are upfront about the costs of those services that they perform. There’s no magic button or free lunch, so you should plan to pay for the service that you need. Vague proposals, promises of pie in the sky and a lack of details are red flags. The right company will offer professional services to manage your reputation and increase your revenue and number of clients.