Consumers love to discuss brands, services, and products online. Approximately 96% of the discussions happen outside official brand channels. The brands in question don’t know about the conversations in most cases.
Consequently, they don’t realize the adverse effect negative reviews and discussions have on their image. Negative online reviews water down a brand’s lead generation efforts, brand image, and consumer trust.
Statistics show that the average consumer reads approximately 10 online reviews before deciding whether to engage with a business or not. That brings in the question and importance of reputation management. Before delving into that, what is reputation management, and how does it affect lead generation?
What is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management is one of the best ways to generate quality leads for your business. With a positive brand reputation, it’s easy for your business to establish authority, build customer loyalty, and ultimately drive sales and growth.
The strategy combines public relations, search engine optimization, and marketing to create a positive image. The process entails monitoring an online reputation and developing the right system to find content that drives people to your brand when looking for it online.
In a digital world where conversations happen 24/7, your business must have a consistent social media presence, online review sites, blogs, and search engines. It will establish itself as an authority in the industry.
The purpose of reputation management is to help your business create a balance and solve misleading information. Proper reputation management should leave your target audience with a positive image of your business and what you do.
While there are many channels to help you achieve online reputation management, the four main pillars are:
- Paid media: This strategy gives you direct control of placement on paid channels like social media ads, Google Ads, and sponsored posts.
- Owned media: These platforms are entirely under your control. The strategy entails creating high-quality blog and website content to help improve your pages’ ranking for the most significant impact on your brand’s perception.
- Shared media: These platforms enable you to engage customers and prospects directly. For example, one negative comment on Facebook about your brand can harm your brand reputation. A quick, transparent answer is all you might need to prevent a negative windfall.
- Earned media: Your business should prioritize earned media as people trust the platforms more. Managing your brand reputation here can significantly impact brand perception and business growth.
Importance of Online Reputation Management
Your brand’s online reputation is everything. Regardless of your business type or industry, people will talk about you online. While you can’t control what they say or think, you can control what they see, which influences how they think.
Your Brand Reputation Affects Sales and Marketing
Reputation management is at the center of sales and marketing. That is to say that it would be an uphill task to sell to people who think negatively about or don’t trust your brand. Good reputation management helps you clear the way for positive messages that influence your lead generation efforts. The more your audience thinks highly of you, the better the conversion rates.
Online Reputation Affects Business Survival
Enron disappeared into thin air in the wake of a corruption scandal and the public relations backlash that followed. Other business giants like United Airlines, Wells Fargo, and BP survived various reputation blow-ups, but this wasn’t without serious repercussions.
These examples show how a single badly handed situation can quickly drive a company to closure or bankruptcy. Online communication platforms make a reputation delicate, which is why you should prioritize it.
Customers Cancel a Purchase Decision When There is a Reputation Issue
87% of shoppers will reverse a purchasing decision if they see a negative comment online about a brand or product. It’s no surprise that businesses invest thousands of dollars monthly in improving their reputation. If your business knew it would prevent a devastating crisis, it would also be willing to pay the price to maintain a positive reputation.
Can You Handle Your Brand’s Reputation Management on Your Own?
You may be able to implement some online reputation management strategies on your own, but how much time and resources would you need for that?
As a small business owner, you have various other responsibilities to attend to and probably not much time left for this demanding strategy. It calls for monitoring online reviews and creating positive content while generating and managing new reviews.
That is when you realize that you’d do better by hiring reputation management services. A well-established reputation management company has the skills, resources, and it needs to handle all the time to handle all reputation issues you may not have time for. These include:
- Negative news articles
- Negative online images
- Blog posts
- Ripoff reports and scam sites
- Review sites
- Social media
Each of these platforms calls for constant monitoring, given that search results can create a lasting impact for years. A single negative reputation blow-up can gnaw on people’s minds and the search index for such a long time that it almost becomes the truth. That’s where the science and art of reputation management come in to help you save your business.
A reputation management company will analyze the damage, if any, to help your company regain control and create a recovery roadmap. When looking for such a company, consider how much experience it has in the field. You also must identify its areas of specialization in reputation management. Review its testimonials and reputation and establish if it delivers exceptional customer service.
Partnering with AdEdge Digital Marketing for Reputation Management
Online reputation management services give your brand a voice and an opportunity for your customers to hear you online.
Reputation managers address complaints, track potential issues, remove harmful comments, and provide strategic guidance on managing your business online. They also engage your audience by participating in online discussions about your brand.
At AdEdge Digital Marketing, we want to help you manage your online reputation so that you can focus on other crucial aspects of your business.
Our motivation is your success based on high-ROI internet marketing. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation on trustworthy reputation management services.