Your brand’s online reputation matters more than anything else. It can either be your strongest asset or your biggest liability. Because perception is reality, how prospective customers view your business determines whether or not they see you as a viable option or if they see you at all. At every step of the customer journey, your reputation is a pivotal factor in not only attracting new customers but maintaining your existing customer base to achieve optimal brand loyalty. What kinds of things can you do to optimize how folks think of you?
Customer Feedback is Invaluable
Part of any good marketing strategy involves listening to your customers. Your entire strategy should be based on appealing to customer needs and improving the customer experience. While feedback and reviews are invaluable in gauging whether or not those needs have been met, where they really carry weight is in providing potential customers an impartial review of your business or brand.
With that said, 87% of consumers relied on online reviews to make a purchasing decision in 2020. That figure, up 6% from 2018, represents a shift toward trusting recommendations and endorsements. Just look at the increasing usage and efficacy of influencer marketing to see the impact thought leaders, celebrities, and influential figures have on impacting customer attitudes and beliefs.
Part of your online reputation is inherently tied to your digital presence-namely your channels of owned media. Your brand’s website, social media pages, and blog are the only channels of which you have complete control. The better optimized they are to handle customer needs, the better it bodes for your brand reputation.
When All Else Fails, There’s Reputation Management
Even if your online reputation starts to falter, there’s hope. A few bad reviews won’t condemn your business to failure. However, it’s important to listen to the negative feedback. Avoid repeating the same mistakes and above all else, treat your customers like they really matter. If you’ve received a few bad reviews or you feel your reputation is starting to suffer, consider reputation management.
With four or more negative reviews, you’re likely to lose up to 70% of potential business to the competition. That means reputation management is more than helpful-it’s essential. While it doesn’t remove or delete negative reviews, reputation management can augment negative reviews by adding more positive reviews and minimizing the visibility of existing negative reviews.
There’s a reason some of the biggest brands pay up to $3,000 a month and more for reputation management. Importantly, the more visibility and brand awareness, the more chances you have for negative reviews. On that note, the more overall reviews your business has, the less impactful a few negative reviews will be.
Start Optimizing Your Online Reputation Today
The first step to maximizing the efficiency of your digital presence is to optimize your website. From SEO to responsiveness to content, strive to make your website a pivotal part of the customer experience. Furthermore, remember to maximize your owned media channels. If you can get results from social media and your website, you won’t have to spend as much on paid ads like PPC, Google Ads, or paid social media campaigns.
Start making your reputation count by providing more value for your customers. The more you can provide, beyond a simple transaction, the stronger bonds you’ll build with your customers. In an age where brand loyalty matters, be the brand your customers want to stick with and your reputation will follow.