A good reputation is vital for sustained success in business, for sales leads, repeat business and profit margins. The modern business has two worlds in which they need to consider and manage their reputation, offline and online. Offline reputation is concerned with how real people view and make recommendations for businesses the interact with. Online reputation is both the buzz around your business/service/products in the social and blogging universe, and your brands search profile with consideration for how easy it is for new customers to find your business and how favourable and authentic that information is.
Word of Mouth is Best
Word of mouth recommendations (offline reputation) are the hardest to achieve but the most useful form of advertising. You can't buy it, it must be earned. Conversely negative word of mouth recommendations can undermine the most expensive advertising campaigns. Word of mouth is closely related to an overall excellent customer experience, to the point where the customer becomes an advocate for that brand/product/service.
Many purchasing decisions are concluded after some form of online research in our connected society. Even something as simple as buying milk may involve a quick search standing in the isle on what "Permeate Free" actually means or whether it's "worth paying $3 extra for A2 milk??". A reassurance might be sought while standing in the isle of Officeworks surrounded by a plethora of identical looking printers, so a quick search for "is printer X any Good?" gives back any number of user opinions to make a value judgement from.
Online reputation is not as valuable as offline due to the anonymity of the comments and the sceptical position taken from those asked to part with hard earned money. There is a big danger in being seen to be manipulating the commentary around and brand, but there is no harm in making authentic positive testimonial available to a potential customer who is busy making a purchasing decision.
Citations & Back-links
Google has particularly smart algorithms for its search capabilities, and pays particular attention to what it perceives as authentic citations (mentions of your brand/keyword) and back-links (those citations that link back to the website of the brand) in determining the popularity of the brand's website. This plays a big role in the Search engine ranking, which is discussed more under search engine optimisation and creating content for search.
Find out more
Contact us for more information about your reputation marketing possibilities, to request a brochure or to set up a meeting.