Reputation Marketing is Vital to Your Brand Reputation
There is a lot of talk about online reputation management in board meetings these days. It seems that as soon as businesses jumped on the web and social media marketing wave, the Internet evolved into an even more complex organism, now requiring a deeper look into marketing in this ever-evolving world. It is no longer enough to establish your Internet presence. Now you have to manage it: you MUST protect your brand reputation. But it isn’t just about management because everyone knows you make money marketing and not managing . Why is online reputation marketing just as important to your business? Here are the things you should know:
Studies show that 90 percent of all consumers use the Internet research businesses when searching for services or products they are interested in. Regardless of the size and scope of your business, you simply cannot ignore that sector if you want your business to stay afloat. Even more, over 99 percent of Internet users never get past the first page of search engine results. They pay most attention to what they see at the top . . . and if you are not at the top, or if the top search results are not complimentary to your business, you are missing out – big time.
Search for your business online. Also, search for your brand, product, and/or service. See what comes up. Considering the statistics above, now put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes. Do you like what you see? Is your brand reputation positive? Do you stand out in the crowd? Most importantly, would you choose your business over the competition, based on what you see? If the answer to any of those questions is no, then you need to pay some serious attention to your online brand reputation.
Online Reviews Impact Sales.
By now, you probably know that online reviews influence customer traffic and buying decisions. But what you may be unaware of is the quantified impact that reviews have on all sales. A number of significant studies, across several types of industries on businesses large, medium and small, have reached similar conclusions:
A Berkeley study on restaurant Yelp reviews proved half-star change can increase sales by 19%.
A Harvard study on restaurants showed that a difference of 1 star can translate to 9% more in sales.
A study done by Volkswagen showed its dealerships with average ratings of 4 stars and higher got 32% more traffic than those with 2 stars and below.
The Hotel School at Cornell University showed that a hotel can raise its price by 11.2% without negatively affecting sales, if it’s rated 1 star higher.
The development of your online brand reputation.
Your business WILL have an online brand reputation, whether or not you choose to manage it – plain and simple. The fact of the matter is this: if you do not choose to manage & market your online reputation, you can be sure that the public will. Some of that may be good, and some of it may be bad. Do you really want to leave such a major determinant of your business success (or lack thereof) in other peoples’ hands?
Engaging The Reviewers Makes a Huge Difference.
One of the most powerful, organic ways for improving your reviews is engaging your reviewers as soon as they leave feedback. By responding to negative, and positive, reviews, you give yourself the chance to turn unhappy reviewers to happy customers and win them back as customers. By responding to happy reviewers, you turn them into brand advocates, you build customer loyalty and increase the chance of repeat visits or referrals! In both cases, engaging reviewers works completely in your favor:
7 in 10 survey respondents pointed out that a brand’s response to an online review changes their perception of a brand, according to a study done by Bazaarvoice.
A few factors can impact the success rate of your engagements, but one of the most important is the speed of your response because the chances of making contact drops off dramatically within minutes.
Online reputation marketing is a complex process, but it is also tantamount to your business success as much as reputation management. To make the most of your online brand reputation, you may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals like us, Circle Consulting Agency, LLC that have combined both into a solid reputation building, managing and marketing process that will get you more customers, engage all types of feedback, track your brand reputation and help eliminate bad reviews from being posted online.
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