Building a strong, credible and marketable online reputation is not a matter of choice anymore, it’s a necessity for modern day businesses. Brands that do not actively engage in reputation building activities usually suffer the most when faced with a reputation crisis. Not investing in online reputation management upfront is like waiting for an imminent disaster.
Studies suggest that consumers are much more likely to share negative brand experiences on social networks and review sites as compared to positive experiences. This means that no matter how good a brand is, it’s likely to receive more negative reviews than positive ones.
Unless there’s a reputation building strategy already in place.
Online reputation marketing is all about proactively building an online reputation that is based on ethical marketing, high-quality content, genuine customer reviews and a strong search profile.
When a brand builds a strong online reputation with an online reputation marketing strategy, it not only reduces the chances of negative reviews and propaganda, but also creates dozens of loyal and vocal customers who become brand advocates.
Brands with a strong reputation are always in a much better position to tackle negative reviews and prevent small customer grievances from turning into an online reputation crisis.
Here’s a quick look at some of the key components of an online reputation marketing strategy.
More than 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine query, and nearly 73% consumers trust search engines when evaluating the reputation of a brand.
Building a strong search engine profile is a critical part of any online reputation management strategy. The objective of a strong search profile is to ensure that the first page of Google search contains positive content and reviews only.
This is an ongoing activity that requires regular investment and effort. But it’s more important than any other reputation-building activity.
The only sustainable way to stay on top of Google search results on branded keywords is by creating high-quality blog content regularly.
Studies suggest that websites with a regularly updated blog have 97% more inbound links and almost 434% more indexed pages.
Creating high-quality content is also one of the best ways to build a strong brand image, establish thought leadership and win loyal subscribers.
“A man is known by the company he keeps”
In today’s world, this can easily be rephrased as “a brand is known by the company it keeps”
Guest blogging is the fastest way to build credibility on the web. When a brand is represented on trustworthy publications like Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur and others, consumers start trusting it immediately.
This is one of the best ways to build a strong online reputation.
Almost every internet user has a social media profile. Brands from any industry cannot ignore social media because the majority of their customers are already there.
Building credible and well-branded profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other relevant social network is not only important for engaging consumers on social media, but also because social media profiles are always shown on the first page when brand names are searched on Google.
A brand’s reputation is closely connected with the reputation of its executive leadership team. Any positive achievements or negative incidents involving a brand’s senior executives have a direct impact on the brand’s reputation and can be exploited by competitors.
This is why building strong online search and social media profiles of the leadership team is also a key part of online reputation marketing.
Is there anything more important to a brand’s online reputation than positive customer reviews and testimonials?
Research shows that more than 75% people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
To avoid any reputation crisis and to counter negative reviews proactively, brands need to actively encourage customers to share positive reviews on public platforms like social networks, Yelp, and other review sites.
This can be achieved by offering incentives, discounts and other marketing techniques to encourage happy customer to speak out.
When a brand has dozens of positive reviews on the web, the occasional negative reviews do not have the same impact. It also acts as a strong shield against negative propaganda by any detractors.
In short, building a strong online reputation has a direct impact on a brand’s business results and should be an important part of its long-term marketing and branding strategy.