What is Reputation Marketing for Local Businesses? | Vicinus.ai
Ever heard of the saying ‘your reputation precedes you’? It means that people have heard things about you even before interacting with you, good or bad. And this holds true not just for individuals, but also for businesses and their reputation marketing.
If your brand’s reputation is indeed good, you can use it to acquire new leads. This idea lies at the heart of ‘reputation marketing’.
What is Reputation Marketing?
Reputation marketing is the direct use of brand assets such as positive customer ratings, reviews, testimonials, awards, and social media mentions to promote your business.
In a nutshell, consider it as building your local business’ branding reputation where rave reviews and testimonials are a part of your marketing toolkit. The ultimate goal of reputation marketing is to highlight the positive qualities of your brand’s offerings in a way that converts prospects.
Importance of Reputation Marketing for Local Businesses
Simply put, whether you run a mom-and-pop store or an e-commerce website, what customers say about your brand matters. So, why exactly is your brand’s reputation management important? Here’s why.
1. Your Brand’s Reputation Directly Affects Your Bottom line
You already know that your brand’s reputation has a direct impact on your prospects’ buying psyche. It helps them decide if they really want to give you their money. So, your brand’s reputation tells your prospects what to expect from you.
Such perceptions are created and shaped by what your customers share about your brand online. And, your prospects are constantly consuming this information. In fact:
So, if your business reputation management is poor, meaning you never reply to negative reviews or reach out to aggrieved customers, it’s going to affect your bottom line negatively.
2. Reputation Marketing Boosts Customer Trust
A 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Report revealed that:
Therefore, without customer trust, a local business is unsustainable. What’s more, in today’s competitive market space, winning trust is hard, but retaining it is even harder.
This is where digital reputation management and marketing kicks in! It helps create a positive perception by projecting your local business a certain way on social media, review forums, local searches, etc.
3. Attracts Top Talent
Your organization is only as good as your employees. And, companies of positive repute tend to attract highly-qualified candidates who stick around. With a good online reputation, it becomes possible for your business to attract the best talent in the industry.
Examples of Reputation Marketing
So far, we have learned about what reputation marketing entails and why it matters. Let’s now understand the tools through which it manifests in the real world.
1. Customer Reviews
Reviews establish trust. A study concludes that, on average, customers read 10 reviews before they buy from a local business. So, add positive customer reviews to your website.
Testimonials are reviews but only positive ones. You can think of them as digital word-of-mouth marketing. When customers publish testimonials endorsing your brand on various online public platforms, your reputation gets a boost.
3. Social Media Promotions
Customers often interact with a brand over various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc. They also talk about the positives and negatives of a brand here, thus influencing its reputation. Therefore, it is critical you respond to aggrieved customers on these platforms instantly.
Remember, social media platforms have a vast and diverse reach. If your brand’s reputation suffers here, you will likely witness a downward swing in sales.
4. Listings on Review Websites
To rise up on local search rankings, list yourself on as many review sites as possible. Doing so provides you greater visibility, which leads to higher chances of conversions.
Build Your Reputation Marketing Strategy: Here’s How!
All you need to do is adhere to these four practices to build your reputation marketing strategy.
1. Assess Current Brand Reputation
Before engaging with customers, understand what they think of you. Figure out the answers to questions, such as:
- What are prospects saying about your offerings?
- Is the general reaction towards your brand positive or negative?
- If it is negative, why?
Assimilating said information manually can overwhelm you, as there are several public platforms you need to study. Therefore, you can automate this process and compile brand mentions across the social and digital media ecosystem through various SaaS tools available online.
2. Calculate Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a scale that ranges from -100 to 100. Periodically send out surveys asking your customers about their perception of your brand. When the responses start pouring in, apply the scale to figure out how they like your brand and whether they are willing to recommend it to others.
Using an NPS scale helps you understand your customers’ loyalty and sentiment about your brand. It highlights any reputation problem areas you need to focus on.
3. Figure Out What Customers Want
Figure out the pain points of your customers, specifically with regard to your brand offerings. Do they expect more personalization than you provide? Will they forgive delayed shipping but not sloppy after-sales service? Which digital or social medium they prefer most to engage with your brand? Which public forums they review your product on?
The list can go on! The point here is to figure out where it’s most critical to build, monitor, and manage your brand’s reputation.
4. Define Objectives and Tactics to Achieve Them
Once you have assessed your present reputation, calculated your NPS score, and figured out your customers’ need gaps, it’s time to take action. For instance, if your NPS score is low due to poor customer service, devise strategies to improve it, hire and train skilled staff, ensure quicker response time, etc.
If your customers are leaving negative reviews because of your high product price – use content marketing as a way to explain why that is the case. Deciding on the tactics to address customer problems is the final piece of the puzzle and is critical to reputation building and marketing.
As more and more prospects post online about your brand each day, reputation management becomes crucial, especially for local businesses. Once you have positively built and managed your brand’s reputation, market it to acquire new customers!