So much of your reputation is in the hands of consumers, and the things they might say about you online. Negative reviews and testimonials can destroy your reputation and over time, your whole business. Research has shown that the majority of consumers (up to 80%) will no longer purchase from a company after seeing negative opinions about them online. The figures remain the same no matter how the customer heard about your company. So even if they were attracted to you through word of mouth recommendations by friends or family, they would still turn away after seeing a poor review or testimonial. Yes, online reviews hold that much sway with consumers!
The good news for business owners, is that reviews don’t always have to be bad. Positive online content can bring you customers, create a stronger brand image, and in turn increase your growth and profits. The state of your online reputation comes down to what you do to maintain and build that reputation, and that’s why we’ve put together this short video covering why Online Reputation Marketing is essential to your business.Watch our video now:
Negative Reviews Will Harm Your Business.
This is a point that you simply can’t ignore. If you’re starting to get bad publicity online, your business needs to address it immediately. Ignoring negative comments, reviews, opinion pieces and testimonials leaves opportunities for your customers to form a negative opinion of you, before they’ve even dealt with your company. Consumers will judge your company through what they see online, even if the information available does not reflect the typical standard of service that you provide. So when we see figures like 80% of consumers (Cone Research) who will change their purchase decision after seeing a negative review, it’s not hard to understand the importance of having a strong and positive online reputation.
If 8 out of 10 prospective consumers would choose to do business with a competitor after reading negative opinions about your company online, then how much potential business do you think you are losing to the competition? Just a single bad review could make all of the difference, so that’s why Online Reputation Marketing is so important to maintaining a positive brand image.
In The Digital Age, People Share Opinions Online.
The most dangerous aspect of this modern truth, is that people believe and respect the opinions of their peers online. So any time there’s a bad review, testimonial, or editorial regarding a poor customer experience with your company, the influence will be widespread, and heavily damaging.
Because online reputations are so important, there have been a number of studies conducted on the impact of consumer reviews. BrightLocal discovered that 78% of consumers in America use online reviews exclusively when finalizing their purchase decisions. Even more important for businesses to understand is the weighting that customers put on online reviews, with 79% of people trusting them as much as they would personal recommendations. Think about that, these are the opinions of strangers, yet consumers will trust them completely when forming an opinion of your business, regardless of whether the opinions are based on fact or not. Are you happy as a business owner to let your reputation and the success of your business be decided by consumer reviews while you watch passively?
Consumers today have more power to research your business from wherever they are. One third of searches for testimonials and consumer reviews today are performed from mobile phones and tablets. This means that a customer could be inside your physical premises, and be impacted by negative opinions even while on site. Imagine that. A customer could be forming a poor opinion of your company, right inside your showroom, and you have little or no control over whether they will decide to do business with you. Anyone who is running a company knows that this is not acceptable. Business owners simply can no longer afford to be passive when it comes to their online reputation.
In addition to the trend of consumers reading (and believing) reviews, they also love to share their own opinions online. Over half of adult consumers with internet access have left a review online.
There’s no way to escape from consumer opinions, you can only acknowledge what is happening, and take steps to raise your reputation in the online community.
Regain Control: Use Happy Customers to Help Your Business
You can’t stop customers from sharing opinions about your products and services, even if they’re negative, unfair, or not completely true. What you can do, is leverage happy customers to provide positive feedback about you online. You can encourage customers to proactively do this, or you can collect testimonial data which you can then publish online yourself.
What you must never do, is post false reviews or testimonials.
The best way to counter negative feedback online, is to publish more positive opinions and reviews about you company. Positive reviews hold more sway over consumers, and most consumers will be willing to overlook negative experiences, provided that there is enough positive feedback regarding your business. Over 90% of purchase decisions are based off of positive online reviews.
In addition to reviews, a strong online presence can help your overall reputation and ‘social buzz’. Social Media is an excellent tool for businesses wanting to reach out to the online community. Chadwick Martin Bailey & iModerate Research Technologies published results from a survey that found over 50% of Facebook users and 67% of those on Twitter had more chance of purchasing from a company or brand that they were following on their social networks.
More Than Just Reviews: Online Reputation Marketing
When a business decides that it’s time to really boost their reputation and build an online presence, it’s time to start thinking about Online Reputation Marketing (ORM). ORM goes further than just online reviews, it encompasses all activities relating to bolstering your reputation online, engaging in a positive way with customers, and mitigating damage from negative opinions. ORM can even help to rebuild relationships with those customers who did have a bad experience.
Creating a strong and positive online presence is done over time, and in our experience, following these tips will help you to produce the best results:
- When you decide to employ an Online Marketing agency, or individual Marketing Manager, insist on a consultation before you commit to any contract. This will help you to establish their expertise on ORM, and you’ll also be able to identify if they’re a good fit to work with your company.
- Ask for reports showing your current standings online. Keyword research will help you identify where your business will focus online, and tracking keywords can also highlight what kind of publicity is already out there regarding your company.
- Never publish fabricated reviews, and when you do publish, make sure reviews are on relevant websites that cater to your target market.
- Don’t ignore the power of Social Media. Optimize your pages and create official accounts for Facebook and Twitter. You can begin to combat negative opinions and start engaging in community discussions that are relevant to your company’s products and services.
- Blog as much as you can. Incorporate a blog on your website. Relevant, high quality content that is published through your blog can offset negative opinions around your company. Quality blog posts will also ensure higher search rankings and raise the profile of your official page. At the same time, your blog content will also develop trust with consumers, who will see a commitment to your product and reputation through what you publish.
- Continue to build reports and track your progress. Log consumer comments (negative and positive) and keep a log of the official comments that your company is posting. Log all articles, blogs, and press releases that have been published. This will help you to continually track your progress.
We Market your Reviews & Reputation
If you want to build a positive profile, increase your visibility online, and create a positive reputation for your company across the internet, then you need a partner that you can trust.
We’ll never hesitate to say that we’re experts at Online Reputation Marketing. By leveraging our knowledge and experience in the industry, we’re able to implement effective processes which will create a positive image of your company. We also work to raise your profile through search engine rankings within Google, meaning that you always get seen before the competition, and always in a positive light.
We provide free in-depth consultation, allowing us to provide a detailed report and action plan for how we will apply Online Reputation Marketing to your individual business model.
To start taking control of your reputation, and build a strong presence within your intended markets, call us today on 979-314-7213, or leave a message to schedule your free consultation.