Previous generations of business owners relied on a slew of traditional marketing resources to establish their brand and earn trust in the marketplace. Printed materials, radio/TV commercials, and good old-fashioned word of mouth were some of the most common mediums entrepreneurs used to build a solid reputation for doing good business amongst their specific targeted consumer demographic.
While traditional promotional resources still have a firm foothold in any marketing mix, the importance of good reputation building has changed completely. Case in point: today’s consumers still rely heavily on word of mouth, but now it’s a digital version. Instead of asking friends for recommendations, customers are scouring the Internet to find out where they should spend their money and which companies deserve their business. Recent stats published from a Bright Local survey reveal that 85% of online readers value digital reviews and posts as much as personal recommendations. In short, in order to cultivate industry authority as well as earn and sustain consumer trust, you must make developing and maintaining an excellent online reputation your top marketing priority.
Beyond being as effective as an in-person referral, a positive online reputation earns trust within your industry in three other invaluable ways, such as:
Oftentimes, outside reviews, posts, and comments are your only opportunity to make a great first impression on readers. Having a good online reputation in place ensures your brand remains ever poised to make a positive impact at all times. Not sure what your current digital first impression says about your brand? Google (and Yahoo and Bing) your business to see for yourself what your online community is saying about you. What comes up in search results will ultimately form public perception, making it essential to always to good business to encourage positive comments and establish your company as credible and viable to Internet readers.
No matter the medium, transparency earns trust. Online reviews and posts allow business owners an excellent chance to communicate directly with reviewers, instantly increasing the opportunity for customer engagement and full transparency. However, there is a darker side to publically connecting with your consumers. Online forums grant consumers an opportunity to express everything and quickly amplify their opinions to everyone. What does this mean for you? If comments are positive, respond in kind so prospective clients can see your brand is accessible and connected with buyers. If comments are negative, respond professionally to address the situation and remedy if possible. If you’ve made a mistake, own it, apologize, and change your process so it doesn’t happen again. Showing that you take all customer comments and feedback seriously demonstrates honesty and transparency, which consistently reinforces trust and dependability within your industry.
Conveys All Your “Good Press”
Using your favorable online reputation to build credibility doesn’t mean only relying on what consumers have to say about your brand. You also have the ability to take control of how your brand is perceived online to earn public trust as well. Consistently publish honest, positive, and shareable content about your business to consolidate all of your very best stories together on one crucial location – the first page of a Google browser search. Most Internet users never go past page one of an online search, making it an invaluable marketing and reputation-building tool. Use its power to your advantage and further define your positive online reputation by taking charge of what readers will find here to emphasize your digital status, encourage readers to share what they find, and reinforce consumer trust.
Are you struggling to earn online trust and separate your brand from the competition? Repair Bad Reputation can help. Contact our team of online reputation experts to discuss how you can use digital resources to elevate your brand image.