Your Guide To Brand Reputation Management
Your brand’s reputation matters. A lot.
Your reputation can either make or break your brand.
No matter your industry, the online shopping process is about the same. People try to find the best deals and avoid regretful decisions. To limit risks they research their options online to find a brand they deem trustworthy.
People determine a brand’s trustworthiness by its online visibility, reviews, and word-of-mouth reputation.
Naturally, having a brand with a positive reputation has countless benefits. Here are just a few:
- Positive press, leading to more online visibility
- Increased website traffic, leading to more sales
- Enhanced consumer confidence, leading to higher conversion rates (and more sales)
- Positive reviews, leading to more consumer confidence (and also more sales)
Did we mention a positive reputation can lead to more sales?
Interested in some of these benefits? Follow these steps to increase your brand’s online reputation!
Step One: Establish Your Goals
Your business is unique, as are its goals. To leverage your brand, you have to highlight specific objectives that align with your long-term business goals. This way you can accurately attribute your successes/failures to avoid wasting time and money.
Use your goals as a guide. Time is precious so focus on one goal at a time and make sure that all of your efforts are geared towards achieving that specific goal.
Step Two: Identify Your Problem(s)
You have to diagnose a problem before you can fix it.
These are just a few things that can harm your brand’s reputation:
- Negative reviews
- Lack of online reviews
- Ranking for negative keywords
- Negative press attention
- Social media criticisms
- Inconsistent messaging
Discovering problems with your brand’s reputation will present new opportunities. Finding your starting point will light up the path for your journey.
Here’s an example. Imagine you run an eCommerce store that generates lots of traffic, but few sales. After looking around you notice your product pages have little-to-no reviews, and realize its deterring customers.
Your problem: Shoppers aren’t completing their purchases due to a lack of trust
Your solution: Accrue more positive reviews so shoppers can feel secure completing their purchases
Your next step: Develop a strategy for accruing more positive product reviews
But how do you develop a strategy?
Step Three: Develop Your Strategy
Your strategy should be a direct response to your problem. Just like in the example.
Every situation is different, so we added some tips to get you started!
Benchmark Your Competitors
Learning from the accomplishments (or mistakes) of your competitors can take some of the risk out of trying something new. It’s like using them as guinea pigs without them knowing it.
Research how your competitors are succeeding in areas that you aren’t. Of course this is subjective, so you’ll need an apples-to-apples comparison to get any useful info from your research.
This may even require you to go undercover.
For example, a company whose reputation is struggling on social media can spy on competitor profiles (Facebook/Twitter/Yelp) to analyze how they handle unsatisfied customers.
You can even learn from your competitors’ reviews. The important thing is honesty – for better or worse, your brand can only grow from adapting the truth (even if it hurts).
Turn Your Weakness Into A Strength
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The same goes for your brand.
After analyzing competitors, you’ll notice there are things your brand does better and things that need work. Consumers tend to have many of the same concerns, so prioritizing one or two major weaknesses can generate faster results.
A quick turnaround will help customers take notice!
A perfect example is Domino’s turnaround strategy a few years ago. They were notorious for having low quality pizza so they developed a strategy that included them acknowledging their weakness (very smart) and improving upon it (even smarter). Rather than deny a blatant problem, they admitted fault and improved their situation while adding a human-side to their brand that likely connected with many customers. Everybody loves a comeback story (and transparency)!
Keep Your Brand’s Messaging Consistent
Your brand is how customers differentiate you from competitors. Each brand should have a personality with a set of values that people can identify with. Most consumers want to be loyal because deciding what brand to use is one less thing to worry about. Your goal is to make purchasing an easy decision!
Promote brand loyalty by delivering a consistent messaging strategy. This involves a cohesive logo and tone of voice across all platforms (website, brochures, social media, ads, etc.) Failing to maintain consistent messaging will confuse customers and forfeit opportunities to remind them of your brand.
McDonald’s “i’m lovin’ it” tagline follows every ad, bringing all of their messaging together under one umbrella. This allows McDonald’s to tell their brand’s story, one ad at a time.
Utilize Search Engines
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing a website’s visibility via search engines. The idea is to rank for strategic keywords that intended publics would be searching for. As an example, Audi (a luxury car brand) would want to rank for keywords like “Best Luxury Cars” to make it easier for interested parties to find their website and potentially buy a car.
Reverse SEO does the opposite and works to suppress search engine results with unflattering keywords. Audi would not want to rank for “worst luxury cars” because it would reflect poorly on their brand’s reputation and deter potential customers. Reverse SEO can also help suppress unflattering search results for your brand’s name, like in the event of a PR crisis.
Develop a Social Presence
Being active on social media helps legitimize your brand while providing opportunities for 2-way conversations. Direct customer feedback offers opportunities to win customers over while supplying valuable (honest) feedback that your brand can learn from.
Social media is an excellent platform for doing damage control.
Some customers utilize social media to apply public pressure when they’re unsatisfied with a company. This scares businesses because they want to avoid negative attention at all costs. But here’s the thing, people understand that businesses aren’t perfect and know people try to take advantage of crowds. Bystanders tend to focus more on how companies handle these situations. Companies who admit fault (when guilty), standby their values and are willing to offer fair solutions can win a crowd over.
Partner With Influencers
Your brand’s reputation will always be fueled by trust and consumers know to take a brand’s direct word with a grain of salt (clearly they have motives). This is where influencers come into play. Partnering with trusted voices can sway influence and allow current and potential customers to see your brand in a new light. Just be sure that the influencers you partner with align with your brand’s values!
Consider a Reputation Management Agency
Business owners have enough to worry about without managing their brand’s reputation. If there is simply too much on your plate, you might want to consider partnering with trusted agency like Active Web Group.
Active Web Group is a full-service digital marketing agency with experience establishing, growing, and maintaining brands of all sizes and industries. Looking to improve your brand’s reputation? Get a FREE Reputation Analysis now or call Active Web Group at 800-978-3417!