It takes a lot of chipping away at the hard porcelain-like attitude of the average company owner to soak up an understanding that your online reputation requires more than a website and some pay per click marketing.
The internet is sometimes referred to as the web, and that is because to dominate your niche requires some serious weaving; simply being there is not the solution to online presence and does not build a solid online reputation. If anything, limiting your activity to just that can in some cases be more damaging than simply not being there at all. Your online reputation is calculated by multiplying the quality, consistency, and synergy of each piece of your online real estate. Fail to grasp that and you will fail to create and maintain a uniform message that wins the hearts and minds of potential customers.
We have conversations with business owners on a daily basis as they seek opinion or professional assistance on how to become the obvious choice for their niche market, be that niche by product and service or niche by dominating a local market.
And it seems to be the same story repeatedly and again. They (business owners) feel that if they are spending on PPC, they are being proactive in cornering their market, and that these adverts somehow constitute presence and reputation.
In order to build and maintain a glowing reputation, there needs to be a holistic approach to internet marketing, whereby you tie in all social media platforms, blogs, vlogs, online marketing, offline marketing and website into one same-directional marketing strategy, monitoring it all from every angle. By so doing, there is an overall positive impact on all sides. The bang for the buck metric goes through the roof when you take full responsibility for all your marketing actions, whether active or passive.
Research conducted by various public relations firms has thrown up surprising results regarding a business’s online reputation. It shows that companies that have a less than desirable online reputation, especially those that have a negative image on the internet, could see a significant drop in sales.
Here are 3 main considerations as sited in a recent Huffington Post article to business owners…
Managing your online reputation
In the face of this research and given the stiff competition that most businesses face, it has become more vital than ever before for small businesses to take active steps in managing their online reputation. Here are some ways in which you can do that:
- Keep an eye on online reviews: You need to be aware of how your business is being judged by actual customers on the internet. If your brand has negative reviews you must take the necessary measures to turn those reviews into positive ones.
- Maintain a complete website: Simply having a website on the internet is not enough. You have to ensure that it is user friendly, provides excellent knowledge about your products and services, is easy for prospective customers to find, and instils a sense of confidence in casual visitors that could eventually turn into paying customers.
- Build a strong customer base: If you can build a loyal customer base that talks about your business in a positive light, then your sales could be enhanced considerably. Using the power of blogs is one of a number of great ways to do this.
As is evident from the above, online reputation management involves a lot of hard work and consistent efforts. Ignoring your online reputation can have disastrous results so it is well worth considering using the services of an online business reputation management company to boost your chances of a positive internet image.
A perfect example and I suppose a case study was for one of our newest and possibly most reluctant clients. This client had a reasonably attractive website, although lacking appropriate and up-to-date calls to action; he was running a PPC program which was delivering on average 12 enquiries per month. He had a Facebook page and some activity on LinkedIn, and Instagram, but he had no idea how each was doing, didn’t know what was bringing in the business, and didn’t realise that each and every lead that was being produced (yet not maintained in a CRM) was costing him circa £400 each.
He had his nephew taking care of his website and PPC. Whether it was for nepotistic family reasons or a belief that this was industry norm, he was paying his nephew £3000 per month and for that he was “taking care” of the website, running a PPC program with a monthly spend of just under £2000 per month, and was also looking after the social media.
The client’s initial reluctance to engage us was simply that he imagined by using our services, he was being disloyal to the family, breaching the laws of nepotism, and might end up throwing out the baby with the bathwater – or at least his nephew.
We explained that because there was no cohesion, no proper recording and reporting, no synergy with all the activity going on, because of all of this he was burning through cash. We also assured him that we did not want his nephew’s job and were not suggesting he got rid.
Anyway, long story short, we came in and tied everything together. Within seven weeks, we trebled his inbound lead flow just by creating synergy and correlation with social media, tweaking landing pages and website, slapped everything into a CRM and he is now a very happy camper. He is now seeing and measuring as many leads organically as he is receiving through his PPC, and he feels that people genuinely are far more aware of his business existence – something to do with a regular newsletter and drip email campaign afforded by the CRM.
The nephew who was drawing daggers when he first heard of us, now shines in his job, is referred to as the Significant COG (company online guru) in the business. He has our logo on his pillow and he hugs it every night – allegedly!
Bring it all together – all the online real estate – and create your online reputation. If you don’t take care of your online reputation – your competitors will!
Having a good digital footprint for your small business is absolutely essential in the modern age of information technology. Your company’s digital footprint basically refers to your online reputation. Whether you are aware of it or not, your business, along with the hundreds of thousands of others out there, has an online reputation that may or may not be positive. Buyers post reviews about your services and products not only on your website and related forums but also on a host of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Even the slightest hint of a negative reputation online can be enough to drive your customers away. This is why it is absolutely vital that you pay attention to online reputation management for your small business.
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