Why Every Business Needs Reputation Management
Updated: Aug 1, 2021
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It's a new era for businesses. The old model of "build it and they will come" has been replaced by the need to focus on your reputation, online presence, and how people perceive you in the digital space. You now have to market yourself, produce quality products and/or services, and pay close attention to how you are showing up online. However, before you can even start marketing yourself, you need to make sure that your business is found when people are searching for it online- especially Google!
Reputation is the most important thing for a business to have. It can make or break your company before it's even had a chance to get started. It's also one of the most difficult things to manage because there are so many ways that you can be negatively impacted by uncontrollable factors both on and offline.
In this blog you will learn about what reputation management is and why every business should be implementing a solid reputation strategy.
What is Reputation Management?
Your online reputation is more than just a way to judge your company's credibility, it may also determine if you are qualified to provide the products or services you are selling.
In today's digital world, it is vital for business owners to take control of the way their company appears online. The fact of the matter is that a whopping 81% of people search online for a product or service (Data Reportal, 2020) and according to Smart Biz Genius, 2021, “more than 50% of revenue across 14 major industries is generated by social sales.”
The goal with reputation management is to improve a business’s overall online presence by:
Increasing brand awareness
Identifying opportunities for growth or improvement in product quality
Creating content that promotes a business’s website in a positive light
Increasing positive reviews and restoring trust from negative ones.
Removing posts or images that might damage a company’s reputation.
What services are included in reputation management?
Search engine optimization - reputation focus to enhance the way a business shows up online (search engines, website, Google Maps, and reviews)
Create brand awareness on major social media platforms
Managing and monitoring social media channels to promote a positive experience for consumers
Monitoring both negative and positive content and responding appropriately (reviews, comments, emails, phone calls, texts, etc.)
Continual monitoring, analyzing, and refining
Now for the big question and the reason we are all here...
Why should every business have reputation management?
1. Access Valuable Feedback
Monitoring your online reputation is an important part of managing it. You can start to collect some useful insights on customer satisfaction and feedback about the product or service you offer before going out into public for surveys, polls, etc. It's a convenient way of learning more from people who are actually using what you're producing!
Monitoring one's own digital identity is integral in building their personal brand as well as care-taking their business' success long-term - not just short term gains based on marketing campaigns and advertising ploys.
2. Build Trust
Trust is everything. If people don't believe in you, they won't do business with you or buy your products. When a company has an online reputation for being trustworthy, customers are more likely to follow suit and trust the brand as well.
While this may sound simple, it is easier said than done. There is a lot to consider when building a long lasting trusting relationship such as:
Engage with your audience - tell your story - get personal - be vulnerable
Have strong branding that stands out
Deliver consistent quality
Have a well designed, simple to navigate, educational, and easy to contact website
Make customer support a top priority and directly address any issues
3. Improve Customer Loyalty & Lifetime Value (CLV)
One of the biggest challenges companies face today is keeping existing customers happy over long periods. Brand reputation management offers a unique way to promote brand transparency and build trust with your clients while showcasing commitment to customer satisfaction through positive reviews or negative feedback.
Reputation management agencies leverage both good and bad online reviews for brands, but can also be used by individuals who want more control over their personal branding process--both on-site as well as in social media channels.
One of the most daunting tasks that businesses endure nowadays is satisfying current customers without disappointing them due lackadaisical service (or false advertising). One solution: building stronger client relationships using reputable marketing strategies that will improve customer loyalty and their lifetime value.
Here are some ways that you can promote customer loyalty and their lifetime value:
Provide around the clock customer support with chatbots or live support
Have an omni-channel presence that allows both current and prospective customers to contact you
Focus on B2C relationships and satisfaction
Publish engaging and fresh content regularly
Send regular emails with promotions and offers
4. Generate Positive Reviews
A reputation management firm can be your best weapon in the digital world - and one of their most important roles is to address online reviews. A company needs a steady flow of verified online reviews from satisfied customers so potential buyers will feel confident purchasing products or services without personally trying them out first (92% according to statistics).
The more positive feedback, ratings, comments, testimonials you have on review sites such as Google, Yelp!, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Yellow Pages etc., the better chance you're going to attract new clients for business growth.
Before moving on to the next important reason businesses need reputation management, I want to emphasize the importance of standing out on Google, and not just Google Search, but especially in the "Google Map Pac
Google Map Pack, sometimes called "local pack" are the top three listings you see when you search for a local business or service in your area. If your company doesn't show up in the top three of those results (or at least the first page), then it's likely to not be seen and you are therefore losing out on FREE traffic.
This is a much bigger deal than it may seem so let's consider statistics such as 97% of consumers search online for local businesses. (Bright Local, 2020) This is a BIG DEAL when you consider that 91% of consumers between 18-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and right now Google is the king of all search engines! (Bright Local, 2021)
Here are the first steps in getting your business in the map pack:
Sign up for a Google My Business (GMB) account and fill in as much detail about your business as possible and UPDATE content regularly.
Get your business verified
Start getting reviews (there is an easy share link to send to clients in your GMB profile)
*Stay tuned for another more detailed blog post about GMB.
5. Appeal to High-Intent Prospects
The Internet has given consumers a voice, and they are using it to share their opinions with the world. Approximately 97% of customers report that business reviews influence their purchasing decisions—a statistic which should not be ignored by any company looking for customer loyalty these days. Think about it... With the number of people with an intent to purchase who hop online before throwing down their credit card, it is no wonder why you need reputation management to thrive in an increasingly competitive market!
6. Increase Revenue and ROI
Building a brand with a solid reputation as an ROI like no other! When you build a brand with a solid reputation it is inevitable to see higher profits. If people like and trust your brand, they are more likely to purchase from it over less favorable options.
It is also important to recognize that having a good reputation instills the perception of value in people, which can allow you to charge more for what you provide.
Before you can measure the ROI of reputation management, you need to know how much it will cost. As a business owner with limited resources, this is an important part of your decision process.
Let's first consider the in house costs:
The hours or hiring of staff to manage, monitor, and create fresh content
Purchasing software and tools to help track, analyze, and improve customer experiences
The countless hours of training and staying up to date on the latest trends to support your reputation
Now consider the cost of hiring one for your agency...
Both options will pay off in the end, but one will certainly save you a lot of time and wasted money purchasing unnecessary tools and software. Time is money that would be better spent cultivating strong relationships and providing products or services to current and potential customers.
Consider your online reputation management as a compounding investment. As you invest in your business's reputation your payout increases over time. This makes sense, right? The more you improve your customer relationships and produce quality reviews and rank high in search engines, your business will inevitably increase its revenue.
Reputation management has a sure ROI when it is implemented with positive brand visibility and customer satisfaction in mind.
7. Boost SEO
The first step in a good SEO reputation management plan is to ensure your site ranks high on SERPs (search engine result pages). This is easier said than done and takes a skilled SEO specialist to improve your business's online appearances by finding opportunities to showcase good content, and drown out bad search results. In essence, the top things you MUST consider in terms of reputation management for SEO are the following:
Boost positive search rankings
Address negative search results
Enhance, optimise, and continually update and add fresh content to your website
Need to know SEO statistics:
Google is the king of search traffic, with 75.34% of global desktop search traffic. (Net Marketshare, 2017)
Only 5% of people look past the first page of Google. (Edelman, 2020)
A page that ranks number one on Google generally gets 31.7 percent of the traffic. (Backlinko, 2019)
65% of consumers trust online search engines the most when conducting research on a business. (Edelman, 2020)
Downsides to Poor or No Reputation Management:
Loss of revenue
Lack of/or diminished trust
Overspending with little to no return on marketing expenses
Low to no customer engagement
Low search engine rankings
Reduced or no customer retention
Reputation management is a must for every business that wants to succeed. Those who wait to implement a strong reputation management plan will sink deeper in the competitive digital market we live in today. The time to act was yesterday!
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Contact Finn Local Marketing to learn how I can develop, support, and monitor your business's online reputation today!
Book a FREE brand strategy with Finn HERE.
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