The term “reputation management” doesn’t have an excellent reputation! There are several business owners and brands, that think of “reputation management” as similar to crisis management. And this means reputation management, like crisis management, isn’t given much thought, till such time a problem takes place. For a long time, the reputation management industry has been reinforcing such negative thought patterns. It often made people feel that their brand might just get affected in a very bad manner. After that, scathing reviews from the press will make it worst. It made both business owners and brands feel very desperate, affected by certain forces which are much beyond the control of a business owner.
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The change from reputation management to marketing
Have you imagined your brand reputation as the way you plan your online marketing activities? If no, have you ever imagined that what will happen if you do so? The very first problem that you face is that, as a marketing channel, the concept of “reputation” is a very odd factor. The reputation of a business or a brand is completely on what one thinks about it. And the “customer’s voice” is indeed something that you can’t put under your control and purchase.
The concept is an old one! And for many years, marketers have been attempting to make the most of the user’s “word of mouth” publicity with mixed success. The power and prevalence of word of mouth publicity in today’s digital age get increased manifold. Hence, online reviews today can have an incredible impact on the customer’s behavior and beliefs. Reviews do more than determining whether a business or brand can get identified on social media or search engines. It also defines the way people perceive that brand and if they will purchase from the brand. Want to get started with reputation marketing? If yes, then make it a point to get started with the consumer reviews.
What is reputation marketing all about and what does it look like?
Customer reviews are perhaps the most influential platform for developing and showcasing a business’s or brand’s reputation. When you take a look at the three elements discussed below, you will know how well it applies to reputation building. The three elements are:
- Monitoring: Understand what your users are saying
It can be difficult to stay updated with every customer review! It is more so when the business or brand footprint is found in multiple online review sites. For the small businesses that have a small marketing budget, managing online reviews might become a difficult manual procedure. However, considering these stakes the business owners and marketers should be aware of what is getting told about their brands on reviews. These reviews are read by consumers right from the point of the highest buying intent directly with competitor reviews.
Acquisition: You need to obtain more reviews
Obtaining a positive business review online is a challenge for most businesses! Generally, there are enterprising and interested customers who can praise your business without you having to prompt it. At times it might stand in your way. Go and ask a delighted user as to why they didn’t write an online review of your brand, which you deserved. And most users will tell you that it didn’t occur to them and they completely forgot to do. Some people might also find the process of writing reviews difficult.
Every objection is indicative of an apparent counter-tactic! You need to ask, guide, and remind the users about the review process. It can prove to be very useful for you when done correctly! Take a try. And you might wonder why you haven’t been trying these techniques all this while.
Amplification: Make use of your reviews in the marketing and sales funnels
The online review websites offer a crucial vector through which consumers can discover as well as assess their business or brand. The concept of “social proof” is what is at work here for the most time. Why should the customers select your service or product, leaving your competitor’s? The reason is that your competitor provided something better. How can your customers know that the product/service is better? It is from a strong social signal that confirms so. All you need to do is amplify that signal. Don’t fall for fake and doctored reviews. Customers are smart enough to detect that. The only way is to use your reviews and keep on amplifying them.
When you look at reputation management as reputation marketing, you place your best foot forward for your customers. You give more reasons to your customers to write positive reviews for you that also add to your reputation in a significant way.