In this era of mass digital media and enhanced connectivity, PR goes hand in hand with digital marketing. A strong business reputation not only sets you apart from your competitors, but it also allows you to attract and retain customers. In fact, according to a recent study, executives from large agencies and enterprises reported that nearly half of the company’s market value depends on its reputation.
People’s opinion of your business is invaluable. After all, giving a referral is as easy as posting a social media link. What’s more, is that nearly 90% per cent of your prospective customers base their buying decisions on online mentions and reviews of your business. Needless to say, it’s crucial that you take control of your business’s online search results and minimize the damaging effects of misleading, negative and false content that’s circulating the internet—and that’s where business reputation management comes in!
What is Business Reputation Management?
Simply put, business reputation management means taking control of your business’s online conversations. It involves strategies and techniques that ensure that people find the right information when they look you up online. The purpose is to counteract misleading trends, create balance and give you the chance to put your best foot forward.
Online reputation management differs from traditional reputation management in a way that it doesn’t involve burying headlines or courting the press; it refers to developing an effective reputation management strategy that increases brand awareness, generates high-quality leads and counters negative feedback by engaging with customers.
Lead generation doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all strategy. Studies show that only 1.5% leads were closed among 100 million internet leads, making high-quality lead generation one of the biggest challenges for B2B marketers. Business reputation management can prove to be an effective solution in this regard.
Key Business Reputation Management Practices
Let’s look at some ways how online reputation management practices contribute to branding and lead generation:
1. Increased Visibility Strengthens Brand Power
One of the best ways of marketing your content online is through a content-rich, well-structured website, in addition to company blogs and online avenues like Twitter, Facebook, etc. However, you also need responsible management to handle all regular user activities on social accounts and websites, which can easily be done by reputation management.
With online reputation management (ORM) services, you can maintain user comments, reactions, discussions and reviews to maintain the highest level of web prominence. What’s more is that it helps you achieve improved visibility on search pages through keyword optimization, valuable content creation, and organic SEO measures. It assures that your business account links feature on the first page of SERP.
2. Generates Valuable Business Insights
Business reputation management strategies help you fetch smart insights on different ways to increase brand awareness.
Every review matters—as long as it is focused on the search engine pages—because it acts as valuable feedback used in future planning when launching new products and services. Reputation managers even work with negative feedbacks by addressing the problem areas.
What’s more, is that with business reputation management you can chart out customer feedback with graphical figures and report analysis. It helps you get ahead of the most important aspect of maintaining a business: understanding users’ demands.
3. Focuses on Customer Experience
Among all the variables that impact customers’ purchasing decision, customer experience is one of the most important ones. Prospects always look for a brand that delivers stellar customer experience.
Here are some ways online reputation management aims to deliver great customer experience:
- Personally checking in with customers at least once per quarter
- Sending out customer feedbacks and improving on the problem areas
- Keeping customers in the loop through product updates and email newsletters
4. Builds Credibility
It goes without saying that your business’s trustworthiness depends on how credible your brand is perceived in the marketplace.
Reputation management services ensure that all content that enters social sites and search engines are brand empowering. This way you have control over what your audience sees, and allows you to maintain content uniformity across multiple platforms. Inconsistent content can end up impacting your hard-earned credibility.
Reputation managers urge loyal customers to post positive comments, enhancing brand protection to the optimum level. After all, real customers are better brand ambassadors than hired ones. This technique is called customer advocacy and it’s a great way to capture new leads—a potential customer goes through these reviews to engage with your business for further information.
5. Uses Social Listening Tools
Negative reviews spread like wildfire on social media platforms, and it’s crucial that you put that fire out instantly. Business reputation management leverages social listening tools that receive alerts when your brand is mentioned on social media.
Since your response is publicly visible, remember to be helpful, humble and empathetic in your response. There’s a lot to be gained from conveying courtesy and professionalism in your response—it builds your reputation as a customer-centric brand.
6. Delivers Top-Of-The-Line Customer Support
A strong presence and responsive customer support team can put any brand at the top of the customers’ mind; research shows that digital interactions influence nearly 70% purchases and that’s where business reputation management comes into play.
It goes without saying that the more efficient you are in resolving customer issues and responding to customer queries, the better your brand reputation will be. Make sure you offer multiple support channels, including email and live chat to improve personalized customer engagement.
You can even use dedicated help desk groups to ensure the tickets are handled on a first-come-first-serve basis.
7. Increases Social Media Engagement
Experts predict that there will be nearly 3 billion social media users by 2021, amounting to about one-third of the world’s population. It’s safe to say that the importance of engaging with an audience on social media will only continue to rise.
Business reputation management allows you to maintain an active and upbeat social media presence, a key factor in improving brand reputation.
Maintaining a positive brand reputation is critical for overall business success and this can be done by developing a smart and effective online business reputation management strategy. Focus on improving customer satisfaction by delivering stellar customer experience, personalized customer interaction and increased social media engagement.
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