Even the smallest companies now understand that there is more to managing their online presence than simply building a website and starting a social media page. To get noticed in online searches means taking steps to increase your visibility. SEO and marketing strategies have become essential aspects of modern business practices. To further increase the visibility and reputation of your online brand, you should also consider working with a reputation management agency.
Your online reputation is a precious commodity. And it can be a dangerous gamble to leave your online reputation up to chance and the whims of online users. Consumers read reviews, and many consumers write reviews. These can range from satisfied customers who want to spread the good word to consumers who are extremely angry with your company for any number of reasons. It is essential that you take an active role in this online conversation, and the best way to do that is to work with a reputation management agency.
What is online reputation management? What are the benefits of hiring an online reputation management agency? And what are the features of working with an online reputation management agency? This guide will offer you some of the most compelling reasons to work with an online reputation management agency.
What Is Online Reputation Management?
Online reputation management involves a set of strategies used by professionals to take active steps toward increasing the visibility of your brand and making sure your brand is perceived in the possible ways. Marketing professionals work to make sure the online conversation about your brand is one that provides a positive view of your company and the products and services you offer.
Remember that the online conversation about brands, products, and services is open to everyone. People share content, write reviews and read reviews, and do their research when it comes to online shopping. This means the perception of your brand can be driven by a vast array of voices that are not your own.
More than 75 percent of people searching for businesses online read reviews before making decisions about a product or service. If the information about your company available to consumers who are searching for products and services like yours has taken a negative turn, your business will suffer. It is now an essential feature of online marketing to take an active role in online reputation management.
Benefits of Hiring a Reputation Management Agency
We cannot overemphasize the importance of taking an active role in your online reputation. And we know that you are primarily in the business of running your business. Unless yours is an online marketing firm, you may not have the time and resources to do all that is necessary to manage your online reputation. This is why a reputation management agency can be so important. The benefits of hiring an online reputation management agency include:
People search online for information that allows them to trust a company. Negative reviews and comments can spread quickly on the web. This is why you need to address these things immediately and with sound response strategies. An online reputation management agency has the resources and insight to quickly respond to negative comments and reviews and turn them around. These strategies boost your credibility online.
Build a brand image
Online reputation management agencies take an active role in defining your brand image. While there is no way to control the conversation among consumers online, there are concrete steps and strategies for responding to this conversation in a way that builds a positive image for your brand.
More than 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Another 60 percent say they would buy from a brand that has positive online reviews. This means a positive online reputation translates into sales. The calculus here is quite simple. If your brand has a positive online reputation, you will see an increase in sales. If negative online reviews are allowed to flourish without some type of online management intervention, your sales will plummet. Online reputation management agencies provide an active intervention in online reviews, making sure your brand is seen in the best possible light.
Boost search engine rankings
Google, for example, uses over 200 criteria in how they determine search engine rankings. What many people do not know is that online reviews are part of this set of criteria. Google uses the type of reviews, positive or negative, the frequency of reviews, and the kinds of reviews in its algorithm for search engine rankings. In addition to things like SEO, an online reputation management agency can boost your search engine rankings and increase the visibility of your brand.
Build trust in your company
What online consumers are looking for is a company and a brand they can trust. They are reading online reviews to see which company offers a product or service that is reliable. Online reputation management agencies work to build your reputation into one that consumers recognize as reliable. Building online trust attracts customers. But perhaps just as important, online reputation management helps build a base of customers who rely on your brand as trustworthy.
What to look for when hiring a Reputation Management Agency
So what do you look for in an online reputation management agency? You look for the very things that online reputation management agencies provide.
If an online reputation management agency does not itself have a great reputation, you know they are the wrong agency. A good online reputation management agency will offer proof of its good reputation. And if this guide has shown you anything, it has shown you that you can check the reputation of an agency quite easily. Online review sites will reveal the truth of an online reputation management agency.
Online reputation agencies should be able to show you a solid track record of real results. They should be able to provide examples of the kinds of things they have done for other companies and the positive online reputations they have helped build.
A portfolio of case studies will reveal the exact strategies an online reputation management agency has used in the past. These case studies will also show you measurable results. For example, after taking specific steps. They will be able to demonstrate how their work in establishing an online reputation led to increased sales.
An Action Plan
When you approach an online reputation agency, you will obviously have concerns and questions. A good online reputation management agency will be able to formulate an action plan that demonstrates clear and concrete strategies for boosting your online reputation.
What is included in a Reputation Management Plan?
There are some key steps to an online reputation management plan. Each of these steps will depend on the nature of your business and the kinds of goals you have for your online reputation management issues. In any case, the basic procedures of an online reputation management plan include:
This is sometimes referred to as an online reputation audit. The review generation is a lengthy and comprehensive review of all that has been said about your brand online. A good review generation will ferret out negative reviews even if these kinds of reviews have not had much impact. The goal of the review is to find points of intervention and response that will take control of your online reputation.
So much of reputation management is monitoring. One of the reasons it makes sense to hire an online reputation management agency is to leave this rather time-consuming step up to others while you tend to the business of running your business. Online reputation management requires constant monitoring because new content is being generated constantly. You need to be able to respond to negative content immediately, and you need to be in a position to optimize positive content just as quickly.
Social media monitoring
Part of the monitoring process is paying close attention to not just your social media, but also other social media that could relate to your brand. Keep in mind that people will offer comments and reviews on social media pages that are not yours but maybe a competitor’s.
Review marketing is one of the phases of reputation management that requires the expertise of professionals. Depending on your online reputation management needs, a marketing plan that grows out your specific needs will be put in place to begin generating the kind of reputation and public perceptions that work for your brand.
Search engine optimization (SEO) reputation management
Once strategies are in place for optimizing your online reputation, the next step is to optimize content for search engines. It is essential that your content begin grabbing the attention of search engines to boost the kinds of content that portray your brand in the ways you need. SEO is one tool among many that will make your brand more visible.
Online reputation repair
In the event of real damage to your online reputation, an online reputation management plan will necessarily involve online reputation repair. The fact is, the web is wide open to anyone, and people can and do write negative reviews and share negative content regarding a specific company. Often this is not fair, but it happens. Online reputation repair begins with careful responses to online comments and reviews. Again, this is an area where marketing professionals and public relations professionals can provide the correct responses—responses that are carefully constructed to answer the concerns of consumers while redirecting the conversation in more productive and positive directions. It is always tempting the respond to unfair negative content on your own. But this is an area that is best left to online reputation management professionals.
Online Reputation Management Pricing
The cost of online reputation management plans can vary. The average price for what amounts to an average plan is about $500 a month. However, some clients require only a minimal set of strategies, while others will require long-term monitoring, marketing plans, and public relations strategies. Much of the pricing for online reputation management depends on your needs.
When considering the cost of online reputation management, you may want to consider some other factors. Thirty years ago, more than 90 percent of a corporation’s value was in tangible assets. Now, about 75 percent of a corporation’s value is intangible. This means a significant portion of your company’s value is intangible things like reputation.
According to leading business experts, a company’s brand image can account for as much as 60 percent of its value. This means a blow to your brand image and your company’s reputation can be devastating. Online brand management is no longer an optional part of modern marketing. Online reputation management has become an essential feature in building your company as a competitive brand in just about any area of business.
Given the stakes in online reputation management, it makes sense to trust professionals in the field to take care of this end of the business. Even small businesses have much to gain and just as much to lose by not tending to their online reputation. HeyDay Marketing can offer a full range of strategies for online reputation management.
HeyDay Marketing Services can help you set up strategies to monitor and optimize your online reputation. We can help you can get the most out of customer reviews and achieve the benefits of customer reviews for increased visibility. HeyDay Marketing Services can do things like suppress bad reviews and augment positive reviews.
We are a full-service marketing agency based in Miami, and it is our business to get your business the best online reputation possible. This means we know how to place your business at the top of local searches in Florida. When potential customers search for local businesses, HeyDay Marketing Services knows how to position your business so that yours is among the businesses with the highest rankings.