You can’t afford not to do online reputation marketing because your company’s online reputation is arguably the most important piece of your marketing strategy, and that applies to both your online and offline marketing efforts.
I say that because today’s consumers are used to googling pretty much everything and a large percentage of them most certainly will google your company name to check up on your online reputation before deciding whether or not to contact you about using your products or services.
Amazon first introduced its customer review system in 1995 and Yelp was founded nine years later, in 2004. So it’s been quite a number of years now that consumers of everything from books to burgers have relied on the social proof of customer reviews when evaluating products, companies and providers of both home and professional services. Here are some relevant statistics from a BrightLocal survey of how consumers read and use online reviews:
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from people they know
- 88% of consumers have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business
- 39% of consumers regularly read online reviews
- 85% of consumers say they read up to 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a local business
- 92% of consumers say they will use a local business if it has at least a 4 star rating
- 27% will use a local business if it has a 2 star rating
- 72% of consumers say they will take some sort of action after reading a positive review
To boil it all down, having at least 10 positive reviews online will generate new customers for your business. When consumers find you online–either through searching for the product/service you provide or googling your company directly–they will find that people say good things about you. That fact alone will give a boost to the ROI for all the marketing you’re doing because the positive online reviews will provide you leads that are already presold.
Negative reviews, on the other hand, have the opposite effect. They turn prospective customers away and negate both your online and offline marketing activities if they pop up in the search results. That’s why online reputation management is such an invaluable service.
Having no online reviews is almost as bad. If consumers can’t find any information about your company online, they are unlikely to do business with you. They will opt for one of your competitors with a stronger online presence.
If you do in fact have a bad online online reputation due to negative reviews, comments, blog posts or news stories about your company, you will want to move past reputation management and straight into online reputation repair. ORR is all about improving or restoring your good standing by countering or eliminating any negative material about your brand and replacing it with more positive content to restore your credibility.
All of the above are good reasons for you to have your online reputation monitored and any negative content mitigated, while proactively building your positive reputation. That, in a nutshell is reputation management.
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