Brand reputation matters. It impacts marketing effectiveness, brand loyalty, investor confidence, revenue, and so much more. Most executives actively manage brand image. However, they often leave their companies vulnerable to a critical part of the customer journey: the internet.
1. Craft a strong online presence with SEO
In most cases, a company’s website ranks at the top of the search results followed by third-party brand mentions. So, what happens when a customer rants about a bad experience on a prominent review site? That negative review sets up shop on the first page of Google. Without a strong online presence, there’s no other content to fill the SERPs.
Think beyond your own website’s content and strengthen your online presence everywherethrough public relations and SEO. Get blogs and news sites to write about you. Capitalize on all owned digital assets. Create and optimize all social media profiles.
2. Become a thought leader
Nike doesn’t just know shoes; it knows them. Microsoft doesn’t just know computers; it knows them. Netflix doesn’t just know streaming; it … you get the picture.
Thought leadership is established through the content you produce and the people who represent your brand. The more you can provide timely, innovative, thought-provoking, and actionable information to the people who care about your industry or products, the better. Guest posts, byline articles, interviews, speaking engagements, books, and original research are all great options.
3. Deliver the best customer experience
An upset customer has plenty of tools to regain control of their situation: social media, reviews, and more. But they should never reach the stage where they have to complain on social media just to be heard. Deliver an excellent customer experience across every point of contact to make sure they feel positive about their interactions with your brand.
4. Nurture an exceptional company culture
Just like your customers, your happy employees can be your best allies.
You can hire amazing employees. But if the company culture is bad, satisfaction and productivity will crater. Create an environment where stellar employees can thrive and where average employees feel empowered to become great ones.
In other words, foster a culture of transparency, trust, and open communication.
5. Use influencer marketing
Increase your brand’s authority and trust by having industry influencers vouch for you. Consider the audience you want to target and the influencers who appeal to them. Then, build a relationship with those influencers.
Collaborate with them to produce compelling content so you can increase the odds of your brand resonating with the audience. (You’ll impact your brand reputation more with actual two-way relationships with influencers rather than treating your engagements as transactions.)
Your brand’s reputation plays a critical role in every stage of the funnel: awareness, consideration, decision, and long-term loyalty. Customers know how to do their homework. In fact, 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a business with positive reviews. Conversely, 82% say they’re less likely to use a business with negative reviews.