We live in time of unprecedented communication and connectivity.
The 24 hour accessibility of the online marketplace has changed the way brands, businesses and individuals are perceived.
What informs a brand’s online reputation?
Not so long ago, a brand could define and control its image to a great extent. Today, the business also defined by the public feedback on its products and services.
Whether this is in the form of online reviews, social media posts or any kind of negative feedback, how you manage your online presence matters.
A digital marketing strategy in 2021 is about far more than paid advertising (PPC). While this should continue to form part of a local businesses’ strategy, there is much more to effective online reputation management.
Online reputation strategies need more than simple advertising
Advertising alone no longer drives revenue in the way that it did for decades. In fact, a recent survey, the 2021 State of Experience Marketing shows that 57% now believe online reputation management is more important than advertising. Local businesses that manage their brand’s reputation successfully understand the importance of positive online reviews, a cohesive reputation management strategy and social media cultivation.
Brands are increasingly recognising that business success means working with customers, Google search results and crafting a reputation management plan that goes far beyond simple advertising.
The increasing importance of effective online reputation management
At Igniyte, we have an in-depth understanding and collective expertise in delivering online reputation management that works. And while some may still equate reputation management solely with crisis management, over the last few years it has developed into something far more complex.
Online reputation management is no longer just about turning a reputational crisis around, but also about minimising risk and positively impacting content through effective SEO and a content management strategy.
Consumers today have higher than ever expectations of a brand or business. They are actively seeking out information, such as online reviews, results from search engines and positive content to help them form their own brand image.
Online reviews and reputation building – where do you start?
Any marketing team must understand the impact of external and internal communication channels and pro-actively grab any opportunities to grow the brand. This includes everything from online review management to running effective social media channels, pushing down or removing negative content and understanding what potential customers think.
The importance of social media and its impact on online reputation can’t be underestimated.
Stats from Pew Research show that around 70% of people in the US actively use social media. As social media is deeply entrenched in the entire customer journey online, it’s a vital part of reputation management.
Social media and the customer research journey
It’s important to understand the shift that social media has undergone over the last couple of years too. For a brand reputation management strategy to effectively improve online business, it should work with the consumer journey. Social media use has increased since the pandemic began and the typical user is on eight separate platforms, according to Datareportal.
So, having a Facebook page alone is no longer enough to establish an effective online reputation. All of this means that, by and large, the experience for consumers today is heavily dependent on what they see online. Advertising online is obviously a part of a workable online reputation management plan, but it must go much further.
What should online reputation management include?
In addition to advertising, online reputation management should also include monitoring every piece of digital content out there.
Making sure all content about a brand is accurate, appropriate and useful is a massive job. However, when we consider that businesses believe that their online reputation accounts for about 63% of their market value, according to Weber Shandwick, it’s clear that it’s worth taking seriously.
Why you should use an online reputation management company
Many of the principles that a successful online reputation management company like Igniyte brings to clients are based on crisis comms. It’s about proactive planning and looking outwards for the kinds of opportunities that can be used as part on online reputation management strategy.
Of course, there is so much online noise out there that in order to effectively understand what consumers want, online reputation management teams should consist of a careful balance of content experts, SEO technicians, marketers and communications experts.
Data science and the skill of knowing when to react
Using data science to truly listen to all stakeholders – this means the consumer, the wider community, the sector and the media – helps to prioritize impact for a brand or business. These things are obviously in a constant state of flux, meaning that careful analysis must be ongoing.
There is also much skill involved in deciding when to jump in to a situation, and when not to. While it can be tempting to some business owners, for example, to dive into responding to negative reviews, this isn’t necessarily the smartest move for their online reputation.
The best online reputation management firms will advise you on all of this, and ensure that there is a coherent strategy in place to deal with everything from negative search results to online review management.
Reputation monitoring and online reputation management services
Reputation management, then, should include:
- Accurate and up to date business online listings
- Digital marketing tools such as relevant advertising across social media and websites.
- Staying on top of search results and what the online community will find when they carry out online research.
- Staying in contact with the online world and consumer engagement on both social media accounts and the company’s marketplace.
- Understanding potential customers’ pain points through analysis of review platforms.
- Data processing – including from review sites, consumer reviews, surveys and social media channels in order to build brand reputation.
- Ensuring content is accurate, fresh, up to date and relevant.
- Pushing down or removing negative content where necessary.
- Constant reputation monitoring of the brand online reputations and customer satisfaction levels.
Reputation management company benefits
Working with experienced online reputation management experts is your best bet for effective tools and strategies.
The best online reputation management, in our opinion at Igniyte, comes from the judicious mix of content moderation, content creation, digital marketing to improve brand image and the use of effective reputation management software where necessary.
Online reputation management strategies that work
A positive brand image is extremely important. As we’ve seen, a business reputation can be made or broken by customer feedback online.
What people say about you – whether about the customer experience or the company’s reputation – online is one of the biggest influences on your business. This remains true for small business and brands mentioned online, local business reviews and even for the biggest brands. No matter the size of the business, negative online reviews can reverse a previously positive reputation. When people put the name of your business into search engines, they will immediately form an opinion based on what they see. Specifically, the first page of search engine results shape public perception of a small business more than any other factor.
Brand searches online, therefore must be considered as part of any reputation management campaign. Everything that people see on review sites matters. In other words, their perception of you via paid media coverage, bad reviews or more positive reviews informs your online reputation.
What informs your opinion of a brand’s online reputation?
Think about the last time you typed a brand or local business name into a search engine? The chances are you will have seen an online review, for example. Whether positive reviews or negative reviews dictate the vibe about the company you’re researching, it will inform your opinion. If there is a morass of negativity visible on the front page of Google about the brand in question, why would you consider giving them your business?
Even if the online review isn’t factually accurate, you have no way of knowing that. You’re likely to follow the majority of consumer behaviour in taking the front page results from the search engine as the guiding information on the business reputation. If you have time, you might check out other review sites to find more reviews, but the chances are you will simply move on to elsewhere.
This is exactly why reputation management software exists and online reputation management works – if you partner with experts like Igniyte.
Your online reputation management strategy
When we consider the following statistics regarding the importance of online reviews and all other digital content about your business, it’s easy to see why a careful, specialist strategy is necessary for effective reputation management. Potential customers, when searching for you online, want to see generally positive content on the front page of Google. Reputation management companies should have the right kind of online reputation management tools to make this happen. Online reputation management efforts must include search engine reputation management as well as online review management. When it comes to online searches of a brand, business or individual, the following statistics come into play. Our reputation management firm has collated these stats from experience, surveys and data analysis across many businesses.
The most important thing to be aware of is that Google controls a massive 92% of all search engine traffic.
Front page results matter the most
The very first page of results from a Google search of your business name attracts 95% of the traffic. That’s how important it is to ensure that a positive perception is in place, whether that’s via public relations, review generation or review management.
90% of people doing the online search will only look at the first page of results before they make their decision.
64% of people trust online search engines the most when searching a business name in the same way they do personal recommendations.
Search engine results are key for online reputation management (ORM)
Igniyte’s expertise as a leading reputation management firm means that our team knows exactly how to ensure that your front page results are positive and accurate.
People need to get a good first impression simply by glancing down the first few results on the search.
If they can see positive reviews on a number of independent review sites, along with links to websites, profiles, positive media coverage, a lack of negative reviews but no clearly fake reviews then they are far more likely to want to do business with you.
Conversely, a stream of negative reviews, obviously fake reviews, poor press, negative social media storms or anything else of this type, your reputation management strategy must be addressed.
Only trust your online reputation strategy with the experts
Online reputation is absolutely vital for any business to succeed in today’s online marketplace. And while positive reviews are great, it’s better to have a coherent online review management plan in place.
And while advertising can be paid for (PPC), this should only form part of an online reputation management strategy. Igniyte, as one of the highest rated online reputation management firms, provides the kind of bespoke, complex and wide-ranging reputation strategy that will make tangible differences.
Depending on our client’s needs and aims, an online reputation strategy will include public relations, content management, online review management, a dedicated reputation manager and tactics to combat fake reviews, ensure there are more reviews highly visible on commonly used platforms, push down or remove negative, outdated or unwanted content.
Starting with a free consultation, our team has the skills, expertise, market understanding, data analysis techniques, technological solutions and content creation skills that all work together for a meaningful online reputation strategy.