Just think of well-known brands. Becoming an established brand requires building a solid reputation. Companies from startups to large corporations need to focus on reputation building strategies to ensure the continued growth and success of their businesses.
We've uncovered the top strategies for building an online reputation in your industry.
How to build and manage your online reputation
Reputation building and management are essential for businesses of all sizes. It helps control how your business, products, and services are perceived by others.
Building an online reputation ensures your business gets noticed (and talked about) for all the right reasons. It builds trust, encourages customer loyalty, boosts sales, and supports business growth.
If you want your business to succeed, building an online reputation is a must. In today’s online world, it is easier than ever before for customers to share their feedback on our products and services.
A large part of building a strong online reputation involves encouraging positive reviews, countering negative reviews, and engaging with customers as much as possible.
If you don’t invest time in managing your online reputation, it will manage you. Thankfully, there are many ways to build your reputation online and below we are going to share the more effective strategies.
Why building your online reputation is important
Building your online reputation matters to your customers and the growth of your business. Below are the top reasons why building your reputation matters.
Builds trust and loyalty
Sixty-two percent of consumers are loyal to brands they trust. And consumers trust brands that have a good reputation. Just think of brands like Walmart and Home Depot. Everyone knows about them. Consumers shop at these brands because they trust they’ll receive a great service. This trust didn’t come from thin air. It was carefully nurtured through reputation management strategies.
Grows your business
The more well-known your business is, the more you can gain your consumers’ trust and the more sales you will see. All these things contribute to business growth.
Increases online visibility and brand credibility
Having an online reputation that is increasing with the help of positive reviews, great customer service, and quality products, means your brand credibility increases and Google will reward you with higher rankings as a result. This improves your online visibility, making it easier for customers to find you online.
Boosts sales and conversions
Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. The more reviews you have, the better trust signals are given to your brand and offering. Encouraging positive conversations around your brand will translate into more sales and repeat customers.
Helps reach new audiences
As your brand reputation increases, your customers will start recommending your business to others. Alongside this, you will enjoy better rankings and increased visibility as more people start to search online for branded terms and keywords related to your company. These benefits alone can help you reach new audiences and expand your customer reach.
13 strategies for building your online reputation
Now that you understand the importance of building your online reputation and the many benefits that come with it, let’s talk strategies.
The right strategies can make the difference between an online reputation that works for you and one that doesn’t. According to Neil Patel, “reputation management is one of those things that works better if you implement it before you actually need it.”
Read on to discover the top strategies we recommend for increasing your online reputation.
Provide 24/7 customer support
Customers will be browsing your website and making purchases at all times of the day and night. Despite the fact, your business might only operate between 9am and 5pm, by providing 24/7 customer support you will develop a reputation as being there for your customers whenever they need you - accessibility is an aspect where many businesses lose revenue and potential customers.
Although it can depend on the kind of industry you’re in, it is generally accepted that customers want to know someone is available to help when they need it. Whether it’s a simple question, a small request, or a change to their order, providing 24/7 customer support ensures your customers can speak to a real human being who can answer their questions and support them with their problems there and then.
By providing 24/7 customer support in this way, you will show your customers how much you care. And in turn, you will be rewarded with a great reputation and the many benefits that come from this.
Build industry relationships
Business success isn’t achieved alone. Businesses that have built great reputations haven’t done so in isolation. Instead, they have taken the time to build positive relationships with other businesses, journalists, and influencers within their industry.
As a business owner, it is imperative to build professional relationships with others in your industry. Taking the time to build positive relationships can help you win new customers, retain current customers, improve your business, and manage your reputation.
Relationship building is the key to long-term business success. As you connect with other influential business owners, journalists, and experts in your industry you will be met with new opportunities and have connected with brand advocates for your business.
Having these solid relationships is very advantageous, especially if you need any advice or information, or if you are looking for link building or partnership opportunities. If you have a strong network available, you can connect with the people you need to and discover untapped opportunities for you and your business.
One of the ways you can build your online reputation is by becoming an authority in your industry. You want to develop your business to become so well-known that your website, yourself, and your team are where people go for answers to their problems, products they need, and professional advice.
There are many ways you can become an industry authority, but one of the most valuable is link building. Having a strong backlink profile (links from other websites directing readers to your site) shows your customers and Google that your website is a valuable source of information.
Link building takes a lot of time and investment but as your backlink profile grows, so does your online authority. Becoming an authority through link building is one of the most effective ways to build your online reputation and grow your business.
Get active on social media
Having a social media presence has a big impact on your brand reputation. Consumers expect their favorite brands to be on social media. Social platforms allow brands to connect with their customers on a more personal level, showcase their brand to a wider audience, and highlight their authenticity and individuality.
When consumers follow a brand on social media, 75% will increase their spending with that brand. That statistic is significant and could mean the difference between a stagnant brand and a growing one.
The more active you are on social media, the better. Use social platforms to interact with your customers, engage with new audiences, promote your business, and offer excellent customer service.
Being active on social media will increase your brand reputation, connect with your customers, and help you grow your business.
Support good causes and drive positive change
Did you know that 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a company when it supports a charity they care about? Today’s consumers are more invested than ever before in companies that support good causes and are driving positive change.
Supporting good causes is a great way to improve your business reputation. Today’s consumers care about things like sustainability, ending homelessness, and caring for wildlife. And in order to meet these consumers and win their business, you need to support the causes they care about. Ask yourself:
- How can your business drive positive change?
- How could you support good causes?
- How can company culture help enforce positive change?
You might donate to charity, partake in community fundraisers, support small businesses, source products locally, or work towards being carbon neutral. There are so many options.
Become a thought leader online
A thought leader is "[a person] who provides a new, or a unique, or a not heard of, or not seen before view from anywhere, with a grand purpose, about a subject." Becoming a thought leader is a great way to increase your brand reputation online and drive the success of your business.
There are many ways to become a thought leader, but one of the most effective is to work with mentors and influencers within your niche. You can’t become good at business without learning from those who have gone before you.
Study their successes (and failures), take their advice on board, and come under their mentorship. Whether you choose to do things differently or the same, taking the time to learn from others will benefit your business hugely.
Use reputation marketing
Reputation marketing is the process of managing how your brand comes across. It helps ensure that others’ perceptions of your business are positive. It seeks to highlight the positive qualities of your brand and promote these in the best light in order to connect successfully with your customers.
Reputation marketing matters because we live in a multichannel world. Today, it is easier than ever before for consumers to find what they are looking for, there are so many products and services, articles, and reviews all scrambling to be chosen.
With reputation marketing, you can use positive customer reviews and social media shoutouts to your advantage. These comments help your brand stand out and attract new customers. Dedicating time and resources towards reputation management helps ensure this process is a smooth one and that your business achieves the best results.
E-A-T (Expertise, authority, and trust)
The concept of E-A-T comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines. It is one factor that Google uses to evaluate the overall quality of a web page and helps to ensure Google returns accurate, truthful, and useful information to searchers.
To improve your E-A-T online, it is important to earn topical backlinks, gain mentions from trusted sources or influencers, create accurate and up-to-date content, gain reviews, use expertly sourced materials, build your credentials, share your contact details, create a Wikipedia page, and promote your business of the page, too!
Phew, that’s a lot. But it all plays an important part in increasing your online reputation and authority. Ultimately, driving the success of your business.
Implement social media marketing
We have already covered the importance of connecting with your audience on social media at the start of this article. But in order to connect with your audience on a regular basis, you need to commit some time to social media marketing.
Expert social media marketers will be able to work with you on defining your target audience so that you can perfect your efforts and create content your audience wants to see. As engagement grows and your following increases, you will be in a good position to start reaching out to influencers and requesting opportunities for content collaboration. This will help expand your reach, gain the trust of your followers, and increase brand awareness.
Through social media marketing, you can effectively grow your online reputation and reach the people you want to. With the right social media planning and strategy, you will have a social media presence to rival your competitors.
Connect with “competitors”
This might sound like an odd suggestion, but building relationships with your competitors can be beneficial for your business. While it is natural to view your competitors as competition (healthy, even!), partaking in a collaboration can be a great way to combine forces and reach a larger audience. Why not work together to create something brand new? It could be offering a new service, collaborating to develop a unique product, or simply getting together to launch a great joint discount for your customers. The options are endless.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “using an alliance with a competitor to acquire new technologies or skills is not devious. It reflects the commitment and capacity of each partner to absorb the skills of the other.”
There are many great examples of successful competitor collaborations that have helped increase brand visibility, engage consumers, and reach wider audiences. Global brands such as Microsoft + Intel and Vimeo + YouTube have seen great success when collaborating with “competitors”.
Networking is an essential element of increasing your brand reputation. The more people you talk to about your business and what you do, the more you raise awareness and build connections.
Taking part in conferences and events, attending virtual summits, connecting with others in your industry, and speaking on others’ podcasts are all great ways to build your brand reputation.
Finding the right influencers to work with can be tough. But once you find a great individual to collaborate with, you have a brand ambassador that will greatly increase your reputation, help you reach new audiences, and boost your sales.
Do your research and define your budget before reaching out to influencers. If you start with research and finding out exactly:
- Who your target audience is?
- What do they want?
- How you can help?
- What your budget is?
- What you’re offering?
You stand a far better chance of connecting with an influencer who will benefit your business.
Local community takeover charity projects
We have already spoken in this article about consumers supporting brands with a cause and dedicating time to local community projects is a great way to show how much you care (and it helps people, too!)
Use your business as a platform to stand up for causes you believe in. Do you care about the planet? Promote sustainability and support local charities planting more trees. Do you care about education? Sponsor local schools to buy the equipment they need. Giving back is an important part of running a business and ensures you are driving positive change both for your customers and for your community.
What’s more, you may even receive PR and media coverage for it which will help boost your brand reputation on a wider scale.
Benefits of becoming an online authority
- Increased custom
- Wider audience reach
- Boosted brand loyalty
- Collaboration opportunities
- Higher Google rankings
- Social media mentions and shoutouts
- Influencer recommendations
- Driving positive change
- Caring for customers
Reputation management has a huge impact on the success of your business. Nearly every element of running a business is tied to how your customers perceive you and what they think of your brand. Through the right online reputation management strategies, you can ensure your business is being noticed and talked about for all the right reasons.