Online Reputation Marketing Services
Online Reputation Marketing Services
What is involved in online reputation marketing services? Let’s look at four big game changers that make marketing your reputation important. First, I will build a foundation for reputation services.
What Shoppers Online Are Looking For
Your shoppers are going online to find out about you. And what are they looking for? We have found that people are looking for information about your business. They are looking for are reviews by others about your business. The next thing they are looking for is your website.
Now, given that online reviews are really important with shoppers, how do you compare with your competition? If you were shopping for a product or service online, and you found three businesses you could shop at; all else being equal and they had differences in reviews, wouldn’t you go with the business that had the best reviews? I know I would.
In fact, that’s exactly what your potential customers are doing right now, and if you don’t have great reviews about your business — five stars — you may be losing out to your competition.
Four Game Changers
Now, let’s look at four big game-changers in online marketing that your competition may not be aware of, and you should.
The first game-changer is that Google has merged more than 80 million Google plus pages with each company’s website. This means that in most cases, Google reviews are visible to anyone doing a search online for that business. If you do a search for your business online, you might be surprised to find that you have Google reviews and ratings showing below your web site listing. You may also see reviews from other sources like Yellow Pages. These reviews are powerful, and are either helping you or hurting you.
Here’s a Tip: Make sure that your Google Plus page is set up properly including your correct address, business information and pictures. Without one your business will not show up in the Google Places listing. That is the list of businesses (currently seven) that Google often pulls up when someone searches locally for a service they need.
Game-changer number two is that reviews provide a major presence on the web. They are all over the place, showing up on Google + maps, local directories, pay-per-click ads, Facebook and more. That means that your business exposure on the web is dramatically increased. And if this exposure is not good, the effect is multiplied over-and-over, hurting you.
Game-changer number three is that most of the advertising you are doing now may not be effective if you have no reviews, or bad reviews online. This is so because, as we have already noted, search for goods and services has moved online. That means that even if someone hears a radio ad, or sees a video ad, or reads a newspaper ad about your business, they will normally go online to find out more about you. If they don’t find great reviews about your business, they will likely shop with a competitor.
The answer to this problem is to first build a five-star reputation online; then market to drive traffic to your business.
Game-changer number four is that online reviews give you pre-sold leads. This power of online reviews is the Biggest Marketing Shift in 10 Years. Why? Because research has shown that 72% of buyers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
How Yelp Rating Improvements Can Help Your Business
And an increase in positive ratings can actually increase your business. A review by economists at the University of California, Berkley found that a half a star rating increase in Yelp increased a restaurants’ business during peak hours by 19%.
Similar research by the Harvard School of Business put the increase in revenue for one a star improvement for independent restaurants at between 5% and 10%. While figures will vary, the point is that higher star ratings will generally improve a businesses’ revenue. So I hope you agree with me that getting great reviews is great for business.
What is Reputation Management and Reputation Marketing
While reputation management is an important aspect to marketing your business online, we believe that it’s only part of the story. We believe that marketing your reputation is more important. That’s the part that makes you money. Managing could be described as passive and marketing active. We recommend not just manage your reputation, but marketing it.
What is reputation marketing? Wikipedia defines it this way: “The reputation marketing field has evolved from the marriage of the fields of reputation management and brand marketing. In the socially connected world of the new millennium a brand’s reputation is vetted online nearly in real-time by consumers leaving online reviews and citing experiences on social media websites.”
And brand marketing? If you’re a small business, I believe it’s your reputation.
Tip: You can get a free alert service through Google Alerts at www.google.com/alerts. Using your free Gmail account you can set up an alert on just about any topic and receive an email from Google whenever your topic is mentioned. If you enter your name to track, Google will alert you if it is mentioned online. However, this will not alert you in the case of reviews placed on the web since these are on directory sites and reviewers don’t normally use your name or business name in their review. You need a reputation management service for this.
Strategic Approach to Reputation Marketing
Now let’s take a look at a strategic approach to reputation marketing. This is the approach I take for my clients.
The first step is to create a 5-star culture by educating your staff. The second step is to build your reputation by getting feedback and great reviews from your clients or customers. The third step is to market your reputation by placing customer reviews on your website and all over the web on various social sharing sites. The fourth step is to manage your reputation by monitoring it and collecting data you can use to evaluate your progress.
Reputation Marketing Services
Unless you have time and the experience to manage and market your reputation online, it makes sense to hire a professional to do so. We believe that you will find it a very wise expenditure of marketing dollars, costing you much less to acquire customers than many other forms of advertising, arguably including the Yellow Pages.