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brand_safety_twitterAs more companies than ever rush forwards into an era of automated content production, digital advertising, and online presence, the idea of "brand safety" has grown increasingly important. The term "brand safety" refers to the tools and practices used to ensure that an advertisement or piece of content will not appear in a context that causes harm to the brand in question. This potentially damaging substance can fall into one of two categories: the first are hate sites, adult content, or sites covering controversial topics. The second category depends on the specifics of the brand itself.

Whether you manage a blog, personal project, or entire business website, it's crucial to be aware of the threats that currently exist online. Blogging and social networking have introduced new risks as malicious individuals search for ways to steal customers and hijack revenues. Unwarranted abuse and criticism has also been made far easier by the anonymity and ease-of-access associated with the internet. If you want to reassure your customers, and make sure that your loyal fans remain devoted to your company, then you'll need to answer questions about the following 7 things your clients need to know regarding brand safety.

1. What Is Your Brand Personality?

Before you can begin defending your identity online, you'll need to develop an understanding of what that identity actually is. Formally, the personality of a brand is defined as a set of characteristics that are typically associated with the name or function of a product, the service a company provides, or the organization themselves. In other words, brand personality refers to the adjectives that your customers might use when describing your business. If you have a deep personal understanding of the message and image that you are trying to put across to consumers, then you'll have a better chance of protecting your identity in the future, and keeping your brand safe.

2. Do You Understand The Risks?

The next thing that your clients will want to know is whether you truly understand the risks that you are facing. Ultimately, your brand is one of the most important assets you own - and despite the various benefits the Internet gives us, being online also makes it harder to look after your brand and keep yourself secure. You will need to show that you understand things like PPC fraud, traffic diversion, SEO manipulation, cybersquatting, phishing, and more.

3. Can You Respond Appropriately to Feedback?

Nobody enjoys dealing with criticism, but the unfortunate truth is that negative feedback is going to be a reality in your business - regardless of which industry you're in. Your clients will need to know that you can keep an eye on your brand and deal appropriately with negative reviews when they appear. The best

thing you can generally do in these situations is make sure that your side of the story is visible alongside the negative comment. Don't simply try to silence the nay-sayers by deleting their comment - fight your corner.

4. Do You Own Alternative Brand Spellings?

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that companies make when making a presence for themselves online, is that they forget to consider the repercussions of failing to own alternative spellings. You can register your domain name using commonly miss-spelled or variations of your brand name, and this can be a great way to ensure that scammers don't get hold of potential domains where they can slander your name and exploit gullible customers. Registering multiple domain names will help you to keep your brand safe, and protect your loyal fans from fraudulent individuals.

5. Do You Have A Policy For Content?

Simply having a tried-and-tested policy for content can be enough to ensure that you don't end up causing unnecessary damage to your brand name. This means making sure that information about your site or business is never placed on inappropriate websites that contain images of violence, malware, bot networks, hate language, or anything else that could earn you a poor reputation.

Similarly, with your content policy, you should be ensuring that your brand remains consistent, so that your approach, and tone are reassuring to potential clients.

6. Can You Use Social Media?

Simply ignoring negative commentary that appears on twitter or Facebook about you won't make that content go away. If someone is discussing your brand on social media, then you should have the capacity to get involved in the conversation. The more you show yourself as an active and interested party, the better chance you have of protecting your brand.

7. Could You Use a Brand Protection Service?

Most of the time, paying for a specialist legal service can be incredibly expensive, but they're also a useful solution when it comes to protecting your brand. Brand protection services (such as DoubleVerify) can advise ISPs to remove illicit sites, generate legal warnings to sites that might be exploiting your brand, and give you an opportunity to purchase potentially damaging website domains.

Topics: Click Fraud, Social Media, DoubleVerify, Brand Safety, Brand Personality, Brand Risks, Phishing, Brand Protection Services, PPC Fraud

Eric Greener

Written by Eric Greener

Founding partner at ExactDrive and happily married father of four.

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