What are the benefits to a great business reputation?
Higher trust, more credibility, better talent and less risk.
- Higher trust. People trust a brand or person with a good reputation more.
- More profitable. Companies with high star-ratings and reviews get more business.
- Better talent. Brands with a positive reputation earn better employees.
- Less risk. People move with crowds. Call the "broken window theory" of reputation management
Brands with a good online reputation are trusted more because people depend on the opinions of others. If people appear to trust a company or person, others are likely to follow with the same sentiment. Research shows that 83% of people trust brand recommendations from friends, and nearly 70% trust consumer opinions more than paid advertisements.
Companies with good online reviews tend to attract more business. In fact a restaurant that displays an extra half-star rating will sell out 19 percentage points (49%) more often. Other businesses benefit in much the same way from a good online reputation.
People want to work at a good company that is "going places". They trust the opinions of current and past employees. Along with workplace reviews, positive content online leads to a feeling they might have a bright future at your company. Companies with better reputations tend to attract more, and therefore better, talent.
Companies with bad online reputations tend to earn worse reputations. This may be because of systemic problems within the company but it may also be the reputation management version of the "broken window theory". The theory states (basically) that a warehouse with broken windows tends to attract more vandals.
Reputation affects the bottom line
In today’s highly competitive business environment, the way people perceive a brand has a direct impact on its sales and revenue numbers.
The rise of social media and the shift from conventional advertising means modern-day businesses need to actively engage consumers and focus on building a strong online reputation.
Reputation management on the web is not just about countering negative content and generating positive reviews. It’s about building a reputation that makes a brand synonymous with its core values and the primary needs of its target market. This is precisely why businesses need to have a comprehensive online reputation management strategy in place.
How a solid reputation helps
A solid reputation has several direct and indirect benefits for a business.
- A strong and well-managed online reputation ensures that businesses have a great first impression on their prospects. It focuses on building a positive brand image by identifying the key customer touchpoints and using them to build positive first impressions.
- A comprehensive online reputation management (ORM) strategy not only highlights the strengths of a business, but also effectively counters any negative propaganda by its competitors.
- A strong online reputation that increases trust means that there’s a higher chance of cold visitors turning into prospects and customers.
- A good online reputation helps businesses establish themselves as thought leaders and the go-to source for all industry-related problems. This helps businesses earn free media coverage and elevates them above the competition.
Online reputation statistics help illustrate
To further clarify any doubts about the importance of having a strong online reputation, take a look at these eye-opening stats.
- 90% of consumers say their positive reviews have influenced their purchase decisions.
- 65% of internet users see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies
- 85% of consumers use the internet for research before making a purchasing decision
- 79% of consumers place equal weight on both online reviews and personal recommendations
- 58% of Fortune 500 executives believe reputation management should be a core part of every organization’s marketing and branding strategy
- 84% of marketers believe that building trust will be the primary focus of future marketing campaigns
All the above statistics point in one direction — online reputation management is the future of marketing and branding.
Google is the new business card online
When it comes to reputation management on the web, Google’s first page is the new business card. Customers and prospects judge brands based on what Google’s search results say about them.
In fact, a recent study showed that more than 45% of consumers discovered information via a Google search that changed their minds about doing business with a company.
It is, therefore, crucial for every business to have an online reputation management strategy that highlights its strengths and makes it look good on Google’s first page.