As the online marketplace becomes increasingly competitive, you need to find every opportunity to stand out. Online reputation management strengthens your marketing campaigns by highlighting your unique selling proposition from your customer’s perspective — through online reviews.
With online reputation management, your customer feedback does the selling for you and presents your value from your most authentic source: your customers.
When talking about having a competitive edge, we’re referring to the set of factors that make your business unique — the advantages that place you ahead of your competitors. Your marketing campaigns are essential in telling your target audience why to choose you. Reputation management services are equally vital and help your marketing campaigns showcase your competitive edge.
The role of a reputation management agency is to leverage your online reviews to win new customers. Paying attention to your online reviews is necessary because 82 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses and about 52 percent of consumers aged 18 to 54 always read reviews (BrightLocal).
When reading reviews, your target audience receives impartial advice that guides their purchasing decision. The quality of your online reviews can be the determining factor that turns a prospect into a customer.
You don’t have control over what your customers say but review management services and proven strategies can positively influence what people say about you.
This blog covers how review management services get your online audience to trust your business and consider you a top choice. We discuss:
• Understanding online reputation management
• 6 ways online reputation management propels your business
• Benefits of hiring a reputation management agency
• Future-proofing your business with the right reputation management company
Understanding Online Reputation Management
Generally, online reviews are published publicly on third-party review websites. This means that businesses don’t have control over the platform and can’t alter reviews in their favor. Consumers trust reviews because they offer unrivaled transparency of your products and services.
Online reputation management (ORM) leverages reviews to take control of how the public perceives your brand. ORM strategies that actively improve your business’s reputation include increasing positive business reviews online and managing negative feedback.
Studies show that 76 percent of people today trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In the digital age, reviews are the new word-of-mouth — and you want great things being said about you online.
Reputation management services help your business maintain a positive brand image, instill trust in your online audience, attract new customers and build customer loyalty.
A robust business review management strategy includes:
1. Review Generation
You need reviews, and 76 percent of people will leave one if you ask them (Bright Local). Review generation involves creating a plan and implementing a review management system for acquiring new reviews. It’s necessary to integrate your review requests into your core activities to continuously generate business reviews online.
2. Review Response
Responding to your reviews reinforces your commitment to your customer’s satisfaction. Forty-five percent of consumers are more likely to visit you if you respond to negative reviews (BrightLocal). Crafting appropriate responses to your reviews shows you appreciate your customer and reflects your genuine desire to improve your business.
3. Review Monitoring
Your customers can leave feedback on over 300 review sites (and counting). Online review management software or ORM software alerts you on your online brand mentions so you stay on top of what’s being said about you. You need to monitor your reviews to respond to them while keeping an eye out for unfair or fake reviews from people not in your database.
Why should you care about your business reviews online? Take it from BrightLocal statistics:
• Consumers read an average of 10 reviews before feeling able to trust you.
• Increasing your reviews from zero to five makes purchase likelihood grow by 270 percent.
• If your star rating is less than 4 stars, only 54 percent of people would consider you.
Without review management services, you lose out on sales and possibly turn away nearly five out of 10 potential customers with a low star rating.
You need reputation management services to maintain a steady flow of reviews that serve as vital trust signals and make or break your sales.
Let’s dig deeper into the power of a robust business review management strategy.
6 Ways Online Reputation Management Propels Your Business
Your target audience appreciates the unfiltered feedback that online reviews provide. Even with your exceptional marketing campaigns, your business is only as good as what your happy customers say about you.
Take this example of two garage door repair companies. They would promote similar selling points such as their years of experience in the business or their service delivery speed, but leave their customers without an exact reason for choosing one over the other.
On a repair company review site, a customer who has availed services from both companies left a review saying the end result was the same. They preferred the first repair company because they answered phone calls quickly versus the other company that made them wait long on the phone. Something this simple could be the difference between a new client and a lost sale.
A review management system gives your business a competitive edge by placing your best foot forward through your customer’s experiences. You increase the reviews that aid your target audience’s purchase decision and let them determine your value for themselves.
Whether you hire a reputation management company or take matters into your own hands, here are six ways you can improve your competitive edge with business review management:
1. Boosts Your Sales
A positive online review can go from being an ORM tool to a sales tool. Reviews serve as the social proof that your customer needs to decide to engage with you. As you improve the quality of your reviews and your average review rating, your target audience hesitates less and becomes customers sooner. Positive reviews make 91 percent of consumers more likely to do business with you (BrightLocal).
2. Highlights Your Strengths
You want to stand out from your competitors, but what exactly makes you the best choice? In a sea of brands competing for a customer’s attention with ads, online reviews uniquely speak to your strengths based on your past or existing customers’ first-hand accounts. Your feedback can even be displayed front-and-center by a review widget, an ORM tool that features your positive customer testimonials on your website for maximum reach.
3. Improves Your Online Visibility
To attract more customers, you want the best possible rankings on search engines. A core Google review management principle is that reviews serve as fresh and relevant content that improves your search position. Being more visible on Google is not only about having reviews but having many positive reviews. A robust Google review management strategy uses ORM to increase your chances of being featured on Google’s local search results.
4. Gathers Valuable Consumer Insight
Monitoring your reviews allows you to get a pulse of your brand image at any given time. Review management software consolidates your online reviews on one platform so you don’t waste time sifting through multiple review sites. You use ORM software to see your reviews at a glance, then strategize on how to use your consumer insight to improve your business.
5. Provides Necessary Damage Control
A single negative review can cancel out your hard work in maintaining your positive online reputation. Studies show that negative reviews make 82 percent of consumers less likely to engage with you. So, you want to make sure everything being said about you online is accurate and authentic with the help of ORM software. A damaged reputation can cause you to lose existing and potential customers.
6. Positions You as an Industry Leader
If you want to be seen as a top choice for your customers, you need to look the part and have a better-than-average reputation. In the world of Google review management, this means having at least 47 Google reviews and having a star rating of 4.42 or higher (BrightLocal). Review management software automates your review requests to speed up the process of acquiring reviews and sends follow-ups according to your preferences.
In a nutshell, a robust online review management system focuses on giving your potential customers every reason to engage with you and avoids any reason for them to look to your competitors. You drive the best results with the help of review management software and a trusted reputation management company.
Benefits of Hiring a Reputation Management Agency
There isn’t an instant solution for increasing your online reviews and improving your online reputation — you need to stick to a plan and diligently encourage your customers to leave reviews. Fortunately, reputation management companies offer tried-and-tested ORM techniques to reap the best results.
Here are the top reasons you should hire a reputation management agency:
1. Industry Expertise
Experienced reputation managers have worked with various industries and can apply industry-specific best practices to your ORM strategies. You skip much of the learning phase and begin improving your online reputation in the shortest possible time.
2. Dedicated Reputation Managers
With reviews coming from multiple sources, you need more eyes to ensure your brand is being represented well online. Because negative press can spread quickly, your assigned reputation managers would act fast to prevent or contain its adverse effects.
3. Professional Review Responses
Out of everyone who reads your business reviews online, 97 percent will read how you respond. Additionally, 53 percent of consumers expect responses to negative reviews in one week. Save your business time and resources when you leave review responses to the experts.
A top reputation management agency should be:
• Innovative: Using modern ORM tools to make your strategies more efficient
• Reliable: Easily contacted for immediate concerns and quick resolutions
• Results-Oriented: Able to maximize all channels and opportunities to achieve ORM success
Future-Proofing Your Business With the Right Reputation Management Company
As the business landscape continues to change, the need to strengthen your competitive edge grows. Craft innovative ways to showcase your value through review generation, review monitoring and professional review response strategies.
In times of economic downturn, you need to focus on the strategies that drive the revenue you need — and online reputation management will always be essential to driving more sales.
Rize Reviews is the forward-thinking reputation management company you need. Our fully managed online review management software is capable of sending unlimited review and non-review email and SMS campaigns. Our done-for-you reputation management services adapt to your ever-changing business needs.
We publish pre-approved and humanized review responses within 24 to 48 hours, according to your desired tone of voice. We quickly forward feedback on anything needing immediate attention and serve as an extension of your team, protecting your online reputation.
We use our Google review management expertise to skyrocket your search visibility and craft a customized review generation strategy that’s right for your business and industry.
Contact Rize Reviews for a free online reputation audit and begin reaping the benefits of online review management software expertise.
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