I have been remiss lately in posting to my blog. With so many projects and changes going on with the search engines we were scrambling to keep up. I promised myself I would not let one more day go by that I didn’t share some important information with my subscribers.
Today, I want to talk about Reputation Management and Reputation Marketing. No doubt you have probably heard both terms and are wondering the difference. I’ll explain…
Reputation Management is defined as the practice of understanding or influencing an individual or businesses reputation. Essentially, it’s a public relations term and has been around for a while. With the advent of the Internet and particularly Social Media it has become one of the largest factors being weighed in the search results. There are many of us in the industry who think having the word “management” follow “reputation” denotes a defensive posture. Would you agree? That is why this method has become referred to as a reactive way to manage your reputation online.
For a more in-depth definition and to learn why the term Reputation Management has become controversial visit this link.
On the other hand Reputation Marketing, which I believe sounds more productive and proactive, is more of managing your brand…advertising your business and letting your customers know what you want them to know. In return, if customers visit your establishment or purchase something from you and they have a positive experience you encourage them to let others know about their interaction. Hence, post a review. Now, wouldn’t you agree this is more of a ‘marketing solution’ and not a ‘management solution’ for a business?
Going forward Reputation Marketing is going to play a HUGE role in how successful you are online with your business. And, I’m here to tell you every business online today should have a Reputation Marketing plan in place.
Why Your Business Should Have A Reputation Marketing Plan
- When you type in a business name and a city in the search engines their reputation is the very first item you see. This was not true 2 months ago. Everything has changed when it comes to search engines. Reason: Google Places converted to Google+. Google+ pages are now indexable. Remember Google bought Zagat so rather than hearing your Google score…you’ll now hear people referring to the businesses “Zagat” score.
- Customer reviews are now a major factor in PPC (Pay Per Click) and Organic Rankings. Good and bad reviews show up in Google Maps and Google+, Pay Per Click, Website Rankings, Organic Rankings and Local Directories like Yelp and City Search. Essentially reviews are everywhere!
- If you or someone in your business or you have hired an outside company to perform SEO, Social Media, Pay Per Click or Local Marketing AND you have a bad reputation all of your efforts and money are being wasted. Think about it… if a business has a bad reputation do you want to do business with them? The tides have flipped. In order to be successful with selling your products and services online you have to first create a 5 star reputation. Then, you can successfully market and sell your product or service easily.
- Good Reviews can send you pre-qualified and pre-sold prospects. Buyers trust reviews especially when enough people reiterate the same thing over and over, i.e. great customer service, a pleasure to do business with…etc. Consider this stat: “72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
All things equal people buy from people…all things unequal people buy from people. Put another way if you want to build a Referral Marketing business, the Reputation Marketing component must be part of your marketing plans.
I saw this term somewhere recently and truly believe it more and more today “…Reputation Marketing Trumps All Other Marketing.” Contact us if you’d like to discuss your business reputation and how to create a 5 star reputation!