In a digital age, your online reputation is becoming increasingly more important. We’ve heard about reputation management or ORM, but what about reputation marketing, and what can it do for your brand’s image?
As prestige writer, Publilius Syrus once wrote, “A good reputation is more valuable than money.” The ideology of reputation marketing isn’t new. Its value has been recognized since the dawn of man. When you were applying for jobs or colleges, how many people were telling you to be careful of what you post on social media?
A positive reputation is crucial for both individuals and businesses. When customers search for your brand online (and they will), you wouldn’t want them to turn away or cancel their services as a result of seeing negative content or bad reviews about you or your company.
Steve Olenski once wrote that brands should focus on reputation marketing, and yes there’s a difference between reputation management and reputation marketing. The key is to take the initiative into actively promoting your brand online, not waiting for a crisis to erupt, and this includes its image/reputation.
One of the most effective ways to promote your brand online is by generating more reviews for your business. Facebook, Google Business, Yelp, and Best Company are just a few of the dozens of websites that can collect reviews by your customers. In this digital age, more and more consumer are reading reviews. In fact, 84% of people trust reviews they read online as much as personal recommendations from someone they know.
Some companies have realized increases in sales by as much as 22% from factors which include an improved online brand reputation coupled with a revamped targeting and retargeting strategy.
The common misconception about reputation management is that it is merely a strategy of removing bad reviews and complaints while suppressing or deleting bad links from the major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. However, the former couldn’t be farther from the truth. While that is, in some aspect, a portion of what online reputation management projects entail it’s more about targeting the source of bad reviews and complaints from a consultant’s perspective and working on fixing those discrepancies. As a result, the brand could see 1-star reviews getting changed to two to five-star reviews, preventing bad reviews from happening in the first place and getting listed on those bad sites like PissedConsumer.com or ComplaintsBoard.com.
Reputation marketing is a powerful online strategy that helps both brands and individuals establish themselves as the authority figure in their niche.
Another way to promote your reputation is through public relations and expert outreach. Getting your name mentioned in the media as much as possible is not only a marketing tactic many influencers use today that offer search engine benefits and bragging rights, but the more people see your name mentioned in ‘good media,’ the more likely they are to trust you.
Research writers and contributors from major publications your potential or existing customers are likely spending their free time, the devise a plan to engage that writer to consider using you for their next topic. Don’t spam their inbox or try to be overly promotional; these media mentions are not Press Releases, because they are mainly to provide value to their readers.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by having other figures believe you are a spammer before you can even get your name out there.
Eventually, outreach won’t even be a required task for your reputation marketing strategy because others will be seeking you out for a quote or interview for their site or magazine.
No one else could have said it better than good-old Benjamin Franklin, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”
Except for maybe,
Warren Buffet, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
“All you have in business is your reputation – so it’s very important that you keep your word,” said Richard Branson.
The term brand can refer to an individual or a business. Today, everyone is considered their own brand. Whether you’re running a local brick-and-mortar business or an eCommerce store online, all brands must realize this one simple fact.
63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to look at online reviews on Google before visiting a business.
That’s for local stores, and it’s not too far-fetched to believe that most people will open a new tab and do a little research before hitting the final checkout button to make their payment or set that appointment.
The same automated result of decades of scammers devouring the web can be used for good. Knowing that most people will research your brand or yourself should influence your strategy to take the initiative and build your brand’s reputation to match if not, defeat your competition.
The final key in marketing your brand’s reputation is authenticity. Studies show authenticity is the main factors consumer’s identified as what attracts them to brands.
There’s no faking it til you make it. You have to be honest, uplifting, courteous, and respectful from day one. People tend to decipher what’s real and what is phony. Don’t believe for one second that having a five-star rating with hundreds of positive reviews online is enough because in truth it’s not. People are going to read at least the first six reviews, and if they are fake or seem fake, the repercussions will likely be worse than not having an online reputation whatsoever.
Do yourself and your brand a favor and give a lot of attention to detail, be authentic, and have fun. The latter is like being a telephone salesperson. If you’re smiling on the phone and having a good time, the person on the other end can tell because it carries over the phone and leaves a lasting impression. Don’t be the irritatingly salesy car salesman or phony infomercial spokesperson, be yourself, be authentic and be respectful. Do that and follow these reputation marketing tips I just shared and your brand will thank me for it.