LONDON – BUSINESS – In today’s fast-paced consumer society, a vast number of sales are instigated by referrals and online reviews. There are many studies that show the important role peer reviews play in influencing the buying decision, but it goes without saying that a positive review can only be written about a business that has a good reputation.
A good reputation is essential if any business is to succeed. This is because there is only so much your public relations department can do to give your business the image it deserves, after a while, the growth of your business will depend on how people see it through modern media. For this reason, it is important that you pay attention to building and managing your brand reputation across all the different available mediums.
What is reputation management?
Reputation management is all about controlling the information associated with your business. It involves blending public relations skills with the strong technical expertise needed to monitor your brand activity and provide a quick response to reviews and feedback, both positive and negative.
Brand reputation goes beyond responding to queries, providing solutions to problems and removing malicious comments. It also entails making sure that your brand is passing on the right information at the right time using the right medium. In most cases, this means extensive SEO implementation, keyword research and positive content.
Your brand reputation is one of the key ingredients that can influence your conversions. Remember that, as you are spending money on marketing and advertising, your competitors are doing the same and this exposes your customers to a wide range of information. Most of the time, because of the similarity of business offerings, they are hard pressed to make the right decision; but your reputation can play a decisive role in influencing their choice.
When reputation management is done right, it has the capacity to significantly change the face of business success.
How customers judge reputation
There are a lot of factors that influence your brand reputation in the eyes of the customer. Once you can score more than the competition in all or some of the influencers, you will enjoy a better reputation in the minds of your customers.
Trust and credibility
A wise man once said, “With integrity nothing else matters and without integrity, nothing else matters”. This aptly covers the role of trust and credibility in business. Without trust and credibility, there can be no business; in fact, earning the trust of your customers is a vital component of business success. Your customers will discuss your business with their friends and family and, if they had a bad experience, be sure that everyone in their sphere of influence will know about it, and if this doesn’t kill your business immediately, it will undermine your marketing efforts. Customers would rather go for a company they trust even when competitors offer the same products and services at a better price.
Brand identity –
Having a good brand identity is vital to succeeding as a business. When customers relate to the identity of your brand, you can expect them to always remember you when they need the products and services you offer. Creating an identity that customers will associate with involves sending the right signals. This means creating and communicating your value propositions in a way that resonates with your target customers. This might entail working with a content writer, as most business have a problem communicating their messages in a way that connects with their customers.
The problem with an inconsistent message is that it confuses the customer as to the true intention of your business, a situation that can frustrate your content marketing efforts. When this happens, frustrated customers may leave negative feedback and this can cause you to lose a significant amount of new customers.
To avoid this, consider outsourcing your content writing to an experienced writing company. They will craft your value propositions in a way that connects with your target audience using the right tone and style of writing that will leave no room for confusion. Here is a useful guide on outsourcing written content.
Social media relevance
Social media has practically become the go-to destination for consumers looking to get information about any business. This is also the place where the bulk of reviews, mentions and likes are made. If you can win the social media war, you are on your way to succeeding as a business. However, it is not all cut and dry. Customers and content marketers alike consider social media to be the most important reputation-monitoring platform. It is also the hardest to control. People can go on social media to say what they like, and this can have a huge influence on search engines.
However, social media also gives businesses the opportunity to engage customers directly and on a one-on-one basis. As long as you can respond quickly to queries, address negative comments and properly influence the conversation on your page, you can control how people see your business.
But, like every other part of the internet, the way you communicate matters. It is for this reason lots of businesses make use of content writers to ensure that they are communicating in the language of their customers.