Why Your Company's Reputation Is Now More Important Than Ever.
In today's world, consumers have near-immediate and unlimited access to information about an infinite number of topics, and they also have access to extensive platforms for sharing information and opinions. This shift has created a new perspective on what a company's reputation means, and how owners build it.
Today, a company builds a reputation on comments, reviews, mentions, and recommendations across a slew of platforms, websites, and apps. Digital marketing is critical for your business because it encompasses much more than advertising campaigns.
Digital Marketing: More than SEO
Consumers are going to use the information they have at their fingertips to make spending decisions—that's a fact. And digital marketing is about much more than getting your company on the first page of Google results or having an active social media presence. That's because consumers often care more about what other consumers say than they do about advertising campaigns. Ad campaigns and SEO are, of course, important, but as platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon, Angie's List, YouTube, and TripAdvisor have risen in prominence, so too have the effects of reviews on those sites come to have a greater impact on consumer opinion.
Review apps and sites like these strongly influence consumers, and they also contribute to a company’s visibility on social media and search engines. Effective digital marketing and reputation management must take consumer interaction online into account.
In addition to reputation marketing and management, lead generation, consumer retargeting, SEO, and social media management are critical for businesses who want their online presence to help their brand thrive—and frankly, that should apply to all businesses. Email marketing and video marketing are other tools that can also help a company's online presence pop. Today, professional online marketers have many software solutions at their disposal to track the results of their marketing and advertising efforts, which in turn helps brands see what they're getting in return for their investment.
If you want your company to succeed in today's extremely competitive marketplace, digital marketing is not optional. The fact is that any company with a great online presence is bound to outperform an equally situated company with a weak online presence. There's no real justification for ignoring the potential benefits of digital marketing.
How Can a Company Influence Its Online Reputation via Digital Marketing?
Because consumer reviews are such an important medium—and that importance is always rising—we consider them a central element in digital marketing. However, regardless of the platform, whether it’s social media mentions, traditional press, or forums, similar strategies may be used to build a solid reputation online. There are three concepts that we consider key:
One of the first fundamental things that must be done to build a strong reputation via digital marketing is monitoring. That is, companies should know what consumers are saying about them. After all, consumers aren’t just writing these reviews—they’re reading them, and they're doing so to make a purchasing decision and comparing what they read in those reviews with what reviews of your competitors say. Monitoring can be a challenging process, especially for smaller companies, thanks to the proliferation of review sites and apps. Still, the stakes are too high to ignore what consumers are saying about their brand online. It's the most pragmatic first step to building a robust reputation.
You can monitor reviews manually, and many review sites also send notifications of new reviews. There are also third-party services that consolidate reviews from different sites using software, which can streamline the process. Either way, it's essential to keep up with reviews. While negative reviews almost always crop up occasionally, promptly responding to them can reduce consumer blowback. It gives the brand the opportunity to acknowledge the complaint and offer a solution to accomplish two things. First, it often changes the opinion of the complaining customer. Second, it demonstrates to other consumers that the brand can be trusted.
Quality of reviews is important, but so is the quantity of reviews. In a perfect world, of course, consumers would be engaged, passionate, and enthusiastic about leaving positive reviews regularly. However, both automated and personalized methods can result in gaining more reviews. All too often, consumers only think about leaving a review if they've had a negative experience, but by reaching out to them personally, many brands can acquire more positive reviews. These requests should be clear and straightforward and make the review process as easy and accessible as possible for the consumer.
No matter how many reviews you have or their overall positivity, your company won't be at its full potential concerning online reputation without amplification. Here, reviews function as a type of social signal to other consumers that your brand is superior to your rivals. Amplification strengthens that signal. Testimonials are often seen as a marketing gimmick when self-published by a company. But online reviews from third-party platforms carry much more weight because they represent a stronger social signal. Embedding reviews in conversion pages, adding reviews to the front pages of your white papers, and using these reviews as social media posts can all help get the job done.
Your brand’s online reputation can become one of its most valuable assets. Combined with increased website traffic, websites with strong conversion rates, email marketing, social media management, and digital advertising, reputation management can transform your brand into an online powerhouse that drives more and more consumers to choose you over your competition. Companies should always take into account the power that consumers have to help them build their reputation when planning their online marketing strategies. Is your company’s reputation living up to its potential? If it’s not, contact us today to consult with us about how we can help your company grow through digital marketing. Every brand and company is unique, and we can help craft a digital marketing approach tailored to your brand’s needs.