With so many competitors out there, companies that fail to provide excellent services and keep their customers satisfied are bound to witness their efforts become futile as they start to amass negative reviews. Businesses that invest in nurturing their existing customers, live to see another day. However, if you strive for greater things every day and aim to protect and fuel your company’s growth, there is one thing to make imperative, online reputation management.
In today’s digital world, people use social media and numerous online platforms to voice their opinions. Surveys have become obsolete since all it takes for a person to get familiar with a brand’s reputation is a simple Google search. This is why it is crucial to keep your online reputation in the best possible shape. There are countless benefits of online reputation management, and this article highlights the ones that our digital marketing agency finds most important.
What is online reputation management?
Online reputation management combines marketing, SEO, and various public relations strategies that help you protect and promote your online image.
With constant online content shifts, business owners know that just as an online reputation can be tarnished, it can also be repaired. This is why over 40% of digital marketers monitor their brand’s reputation daily. Others do it hourly. By devoting your resources to online reputation management, you will apprehend any potential loss of new leads and sale opportunities.
Online reputation stats
Before we dive deeper into all the benefits of online reputation management, here is a section for all of you statistic enthusiasts out there. These numbers affect the decision making of some of the largest brands and are the perfect example of why you should care about your online image:
- 90% of consumers claim that positive online reviews influenced their purchasing decisions
- 65% of internet users say that online search is their most trusted source of information about companies
- Before making a purchasing decision, 86% of consumers do an online research
- 79% of consumers say they equally trust online reviews and personal recommendations
- According to Fortune 500 survey, 58% of executives in the United States see online reputation management as a core part of their organization’s marketing and branding strategy
- 84% of marketers claim that building trust is the cornerstone for future marketing campaigns
The statistics above outline the story about the future of marketing and branding. By the looks of it, online reputation management will be the main protagonist. But, what are the tangible benefits of online reputation management?
Benefits of online reputation management
Positive online reputation increases sales
Before deciding to go with a brand, people often do online research. Even if it is something as simple as going to a restaurant for a tasty meal, most of us will check online reviews of customers before making a final decision. This is why businesses with good reviews see increased customers while those with negative reviews miss out on significant sales opportunities. If you wish your brand to grow, you need to offer premium service to obtain positive reviews. Also, if you haven’t already, building your online reputation is the best way to make your first online sale.
A good reputation increases profits
Companies that collect good online reviews attract more business opportunities. This means you’ll have more chances to sell your products which translates into more revenue. According to the Harvard Business School Working Paper, every additional star rating you get on Yelp increases your revenue by 9%.
Positive online reputation builds credibility
Bad news travels fast, and a negative review about your company can spread like wildfire. Having a sound online reputation management strategy can help you tend to any issues before impacting your business. The most successful brands are those that build trust with customers. This is why you need to monitor your company’s mentions and feedback and ensure that your audience sees only positive and brand-empowering content. Inconsistent content across multiple internet platforms can damage your credibility, so content uniformity is the best way to reap the benefits of online reputation management.
It builds a brand image
The online business world witnessed its share of companies losing their reputation and miraculously recovering after a while. Brands that develop a negative image always see a drop in customer loyalty as a result. All the respect they worked so hard to earn can be lost virtually overnight. Putting an effective online management strategy in place can help you control damage if you find yourself in this position. By monitoring the responses, your company gets on social media and other communication channels, you will build your brand image from the ground up.
An excellent online reputation attracts better employees
One of the main benefits of online reputation management is that companies with stellar online reputations attract employees equipped with better knowledge. According to HRDive, only 1 in 5 job seekers would apply to a company with a low online reputation. Talented people aim to work at a company that is set for success. They tend to trust the opinions of past as well as current employees and look for a company that shares their values. A positive online reputation will show your future employees that you value talent and entertain a favorable culture.
It provides better business insights
An excellent digital reputation management strategy can help pave the way for your company to increase brand awareness. If you focus your customers on the right channel, every feedback you get can act as a new sales opportunity and outline the contour of your future marketing campaigns. Even answering a single social media comment can go a long way in building an excellent online reputation. It shows that your company cares for its customers and tends to improve the service each day. Also, you shouldn’t be discouraged if you get a negative review every once in a while. Your online reputation managers now have the opportunity to address the area of concern and show an online community that your business strives for excellence.
Positive online reputation can bring better search engine rankings
If your product or service gets favorable reviews, promote it and make it go viral. Once you get many people talking about your company, you’ll see an increase in your website traffic, resulting in a better SEO ranking.
Low reputation puts your business at risk
So far, we have been talking about the benefits of online reputation management. Now, let’s see what happens if you neglect your online reputation. Perhaps you’ve heard of broken windows theory. If not, long story short: The theory suggests that a warehouse with broken windows is very likely to attract even more vandals. From the perspective of today’s subject, businesses with low online reputations are likely to earn even worse reputations. Having a bad reputation and doing nothing about that reveals that dealing with that company can put you in some serious problems. It tells people that the company doesn’t care about its image, which usually means that they don’t care about their customers and are likely to employ lousy business practices. These are the companies people typically stay away from as their reputation drops lower and lower.
Your company’s image can make or break your business. This is why most successful companies invest a lot in their online reputation management. Their brand image is what sets them apart from their competitors and makes them instantly recognizable. It’s how they get new and retain existing customers, plan their future marketing steps, get their message across and attract the best talent the industry has to offer. It’s how they shape public opinion and set themselves for growth and success. Remember, how you identify yourself on the web is how customers will perceive you.