Reputation marketing news

Reputation marketing news & blog

This is a blog on reputation marketing & news thereof, so I take liberties to write what I find interesting at any given moment. Most all will be on the broad spectrum of reputation marketing and reputation management. And most all will have some lesson built in. Reputation marketing news are not always fresh news as such. I will dig into the archives of the net and try to shed light on ongoing issues of the reputation marketing field. But it goes without saying that I feel strongly that every business should have a strategy in place how to handle their online reputation. And offline. Therefore this reputation marketing news blog will be biased to telling you to actively build and market your online reputation. You have been warned :)

Mission statement for reputation marketing & news

What is reputation marketing?

To me, the definition of reputation marketing is something I heard David Sprague say. It is the building of a five star reputation and then leveraging that reputation by utilizing the toolbox known as “reputation marketing”, to bring you more business. And that is what marketing in general is all about. Building your business to such a standard, that you feel comfortable selling its services and then you market it. The same applies to reputation marketing: first you have to have something to market and only then should you start marketing.

In fact, I will take it a bit further. You should not market at all, until you  have a 5 star reputation online. The simple reason is this: your reputation is visible everywhere. And what’s the point of wasting money on marketing that only goes to prove that you have a questionable reputation?

all-businesses-have-google-reviews-online-reviewWhich of these businesses would you like to own? The one with 15 Google reviews averaging 4.3 stars or the one that is the first in the listing that has only 2 online reviews? Of course you’d want the former. And so do the customers. They go online and look up something on Google and every time they are met with something similar: who has the best reviews online? But really think about it: even though the first listing is first (and we’re taught that first position on Google is best) we’d still go to the one further down. The impact on your business is phenomenal when you get a 5 star online reputation. Studies suggest that even a one star hike in Yelp can give restaurants a 9% increase in turnover.

So, given that even after hearing your radio advertising or after seeing your television commercial, your customer will nevertheless go online to look up your business, do you not agree that you must first make sure that your online reputation is up to scratch, and only then start thinking about marketing spenditure? This is where reputation marketing enters the picture.

 How does reputation marketing then work out for you?

What we do with our customers is build up their online & offline reputation. Then we disseminate the knowledge of that great reputation. In other words if it’s a restaurant, we might produce small flyers for the staff to give away to the patrons, there would most likely be posters on the wall, and they’d all have a uniform message stating that “Our customers love us and we’d like you to show your love too: please give us your online review!

So we’d go about the tricks of reputation marketing, by utilizing the accumulated reputation as a spring board for more and better reputation. People act socially and when they see social proof of the that fact previous patrons have given only 4 or 5 star reviews, they will more likely follow suit. This is where reputation marketing all turns into a self perpetuating wheel of good: more 5 star reviews leads to more five star reviews.

Staff matters when aiming for effective reputation marketing

The crux of all this is that you have to make your staff understand the importance of effective reputation marketing. They are the key to your success. Not only is it necessary for your staff to act in accordance to the needs of the trait but they must also be willing to go by the laws of reputation marketing and pull out those ever important reviews from your patrons. It involves actively talking to the customers and requesting they give a review.

My best suggestion for almost any business owner is getting a few tablets that are dedicated to giving reviews. Then at the end of the service, hand over the tablet to the customer asking them to give a review. The thing revolves around the prerequisite, that you must have an automated system to gather online reviews for this to work. Make sure the tablet is set to start a dedicated review collecting page every time it’s turned on, so there is no way the customer could avoid doing the whole business of giving you the review correctly! With a tablet in hand, staring at previous five star reviews and a blank review submission form shouting to leave a review, many will capitulate and do what’s expected of them. They will give you a review! Hint: how to cope with a negative review!

This way you will inevitably start getting online reviews and offline reviews. Here again you need to be street smart and remember the needs of reputation marketing. Like I stated earlier, people follow suit. So you need to make sure your customers see the five star reviews that you have been getting before. In our automated review collecting system we have everything set on autopilot, so our customers’ customers see only great reviews prior to leaving their’s. So you want to find a way to see to this also.

When is the best time to leave a great online review?

There’s no time like the present! Studies show that even a 45 minute wait can be too much when doing effective reputation marketing & review collection. So you want to be proactive towards your customers. See to it that they leave their review while still on your premises. Or at the latest when they get to their car. If you think that “they were so nice in promising to do it later today” you’re most probably wrong. Please, please, please make sure your staff understands this and acts upon the knowledge.

Armed with great reviews, what does the smart reputation marketing guy do next?

The next stage is then normal every day marketing and reputation marketing mixed together. With a great online reputation you are cookin’! Your new and shiny reputation will be visible not only online on your Yelp pages and other local directories, but also on your Google searches and on your Google Maps and most importantly on your Google Places for Business pages. Every search your customers do for your business will show to them how good a reputation your business has. This is where reputation marketing really gets traction.

Keeping in mind that 70 – 80% of people use online reviews to guide them in buying decisions, you are in good company. Now all your marketing efforts will lead to a better pull rate since every time someone searches for your brand or product, your online reputation is being marketed to them at the same time. It is imperative that you understand that reputation marketing is just that. You have a great reputation that catalyzes your sales and marketing to a new level. Reputation marketing is different from reputation management in the sense that you proactively build a system that perpetuates the good effects of your sterling online reputation.