Your customers are more digitally savvy than ever, and most of their purchase decisions start with an online search — that’s not news. What you may not know is that your business’s online reputation is more than just online reviews, and that it helps to support SEO efforts. If you don’t already have a reputation management strategy in place, it’s important to understand what it can do to help your business grow and thrive.
Gaining visibility and reach online comes with the added task of monitoring the places where customers are talking about your business. It starts with online reviews — curating and responding to them — and includes engaging on social media platforms and networking sites, and promoting your business online in other ways.
Bottom line: it’s the process of making sure customers get the best first impression no matter where they find your business online. While it can seem overwhelming to create an actionable strategy to cover all your bases, there are some steps you can take to make it a more manageable process
Start With An Audit
Like with many of your other business processes (and especially your marketing) performing an audit is the best way to form a baseline. What kind of branding messages do you want to be sending to customers online? Who is your core target demographic? Where do you want to promote your business online and what actions do you want your customers to take when they find your content?
As you check out what your reviews look like, what public relations content you have published, what customers are saying in the comments on social media, make sure you’re answering the questions above. You can use what you find to get a better idea of what you’re working with and where you may need improvement.
Focus On Reviews
Online reviews play a large role in your reputation management strategy. If you’re not already keeping an eye on reviews on platforms like Facebook, Google, and Yelp, now’s the time to start. It’s also a wise idea to use an integrative tool to send reviews from these platforms to your website for search engines to find; these tools can also offer features that make it easy for customers to leave reviews.
These tools also alert you in real time if your business receives less-than-stellar feedback. In this case, it’s a wise idea to respond to negative reviews as professionally as possible — potential customers will judge your response and base their buying decisions on how you handle the situation. Engaging like this makes you more approachable and accessible as a business owner, which in turn builds trust and long-term loyalty.
Fine-tune Content Promotion
Again, it’s important to remember that reputation management isn’t just about reviews (good or bad), it’s also about content. If your business already has a comprehensive marketing strategy, it’s likely that there’s plenty of content being created, and it needs to work to support the same reputation you’re working hard to manage in your online review maintenance efforts. Use that content to showcase how your business is providing solutions to common customer problems.
The next step is looking for ways to promote that content off-site. Guest blogging, press releases, media coverage on the TV news, sponsorships — all of these opportunities build relationships offline that drive customers online to learn more about your business. Cross-promotion with other businesses opens your own brand up to a new audience to expand your reputation’s footprint.
Work With A Team Of Experts
The truth of the matter is that your online reputation can make or break your business’s bottom line. If you’re not ready to tackle online reputation strategies on your own, along with all of the other day-to-day tasks it takes to grow your business, it’s time to call in a team of marketing experts that has experience with reputation management.
We can help build an online reputation strategy that attracts more customers and grow your business with an online presence that leaves a lasting impression. Capture the attention of your visitors and convert them easily with an engaging, professional presence online — get in touch with us for a free consultation to get started.