It’s 2018. Do you know where your company’s web reputation is?
If you haven’t given your online reputation much thought, now is the time to get started. Have a solid online reputation is no longer optional: it’s necessary for a business to thrive and stay ahead of competitors.
Even if you’ve been working on your brand’s web reputation for years, there are always new insights and strategies to use thanks to the ever-changing online world.
Do you know how to harness the latest strategies to build a good online reputation? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about building your brand’s web reputation. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Web Reputation?
In short, your brand’s web reputation is the combination of all the different things people say about the company online.
That includes what customers, reviewers, and competitors post about your brand or its products. Your reputation is made up of both good and bad comments, reviews, articles, and other content.
Your reputation is also built out of things that your company posts about itself online. Even if your brand has no web presence at all, that affects your reputation. Customers will come to conclusions about your company based both on what you post online, and what you don’t post.
In the case of web reputation, silence isn’t golden. By posting content online, you can take an active role in shaping your brand’s online image.
What are the different factors that affect online reputation? Let’s take a look.
Factors that Affect Web Reputation
There are a number of different places where your brand’s image can be affected online, both by you and by others. These are some of the top ones, but keep in mind that there are many more ways to influence the way web users see your company.
We’re all familiar with the email newsletter by now. Chances are, you subscribe to a few in your personal inbox.
A great email newsletter has become a valuable way to control reputation by fostering relationships with your customers. Email can feel almost personal, and the right newsletter makes readers feel like they’re part of an exclusive club.
Email communication helps keep your brand at the forefront of subscribers’ minds in a positive way. It turns new customers into repeat customer by reminding them about your brand without being obtrusive.
It can even help you do damage control in the event that your brand’s reputation takes a negative hit. A quick, well-thought-out email lets you address concerns and change the conversation fast.
A loyalty club is another way to influence web reputation.
When your brand offers online perks and rewards to loyal customers, they’ll see your brand as one that goes above and beyond to give them a great experience. You might get more visitors to your site when customers log in to track how many points or rewards they’ve racked up.
New visitors will see your loyalty club and know that you care about offering your customers the best, which can make them more likely to make a purchase in the first place.
Branded online apps give you another place to manage your web reputation.
Apps make it easier for customers to engage with you. They might be more likely to post a positive review or comment when prompted by an easy-to-use app.
Apps also help you promote content about your business to customers. The more content you can put in front of them, the more control you have over how they see your brand’s online presence.
Social media is a heavy hitter in the world of web reputation.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your image on social media. New sites are always being developed, while old ones can fall out of favor.
But no matter which sites are most popular at the moment, you can’t afford to ignore social media as a whole.
This doesn’t mean your brand has to be on every last social media site, or give everyone the same amount of attention. Your focus can depend on your product and your demographic.
For example, a company with a target audience of college students might put more focus on Snapchat, while a company that mostly sells to Gen Xers might spend more time promoting on Facebook.
No matter what, though, a comprehensive social media strategy is one of the most important ways to help your brand’s online reputation.
The content you post on your company’s website will also affect how web users view your brand.
It also affects whether or not they can find your brand in the first place. Search engine optimization is an important part of reputation management, and it’s affected by what you post on your website.
Blog posts are a great way to get your site ranked higher in the search engines, and to impress the customers that visit your site. The newest Google algorithm prioritizes long-form, informative content over shorter blog posts.
However, there is a lot of other great online content that customers love besides text posts. Photos are an important part of site content – posts that combine visuals with informative text are a great way to get people interested.
Videos are another one of the top ways that brands are connecting with customers. On your website, as well as on social media sites, video allows your brand to show more personality. It can help customers feel that they are getting a sense of the “real” story behind the brand.
Why Is Your Web Reputation Important?
Your online presence is how potential customers will decide whether or not to make a purchase.
Today, about two-thirds of shoppers read reviews online before making a purchase. And reviews are just a small portion of what makes up your online reputation.
Web reputation affects your bottom line at every level. Without a solid reputation, you won’t get seen by many potential customers. If you have a reputation that’s lacking, those that do see your products online won’t be likely to make a purchase.
However, if you impress customers with a combination of online content, reviews, communications, and more, you’ll be more likely to get first-time customers who convert into repeat customers.
Next, we’ll discuss how to make this happen.
How to Build a Great Web Reputation for Your Brand
New strategies for building a solid online reputation are always being developed. Some old strategies are also still relevant as things change.
Your brand can always look better online. Whether you need to build an online reputation from the ground up, repair a damaged one, or keep a good one going, it’s important to stay on top of the best strategies for your web reputation.
Let’s take a look at some different techniques and tools for creating a great online reputation, from the tried-and-true to the brand-new.
1. Go Live
Video is key to building an online reputation. However, live video goes even further in reputation management than traditional video does.
Viewers know that the online videos shared by brands are scripted, rehearsed, and edited. A good live video might be scripted and rehearsed too. However, it offers an air of authenticity that traditional video can’t.
Potential customers will get a feeling that your brand is trustworthy if you are willing to put out live video. They’ll connect with your story, your staff, and your product on a deeper level. Use a creative, professional-quality live video to show your fans you have nothing to hide.
2. Build Meaning
If you can link your brand to a cause, online searchers will connect your company to a deeper meaning. This can resonate with them and get them invested in your company.
You might partner with a local nonprofit to do a community service project, and post content about it online. Or you could shoot a detailed video about how your brand sources materials sustainably.
Each company will have different ways to build meaning. What matters is simply that you do it authentically. People are good at sensing when a brand claims to be something it’s not.
As long as you use genuine information about your brand to create meaning for your company, though, you’ll get customers invested in your company and more likely to make a purchase.
3. Create Valuable Partnerships
As they say, “You’re only as good as the company you keep.”
This is just as true for brands as it is for individuals. Although partnerships aren’t necessary for a good reputation, they’re definitely helpful.
There are many different ways to build your reputation through partnerships. You could work with social media influencers to get your product in front of a new crowd. Just be sure those influencers are trustworthy, legitimate online presences who aren’t just in it for the money.
You can also partner with other companies. As mentioned above, working with a nonprofit or another charity group can be a great way to give back. However, you could also work with another brand that sells a different product but has a similar audience.
When customers link your company to individuals and brands they already trust, it boosts your value in their eyes.
Ready to Build a Great Web Reputation?
Don’t wait. Start building your brand’s online presence now, and watch the new customers flow in.
Need to keep your employees as invested as your customers are? Be sure to check out our tips for boosting employee engagement.