Reputation is the most important thing. It is a make-or-break moment for your brand. In the Internet era, reputations can be easily built and ruined.
How can you be sure that your brand is the right one for your audience? B2B brand reputation management can help you access growth and improve your online reputation.
Why Is Brand Reputation So Important for B2B Companies?
Business development is powered by reputation. A carefully constructed company image demands attention. How can you make sure your business gets the attention it deserves?
Awareness is the first step in the marketing funnel. Potential customers first learn about your company at that time.
Awareness can include some things.
- Your company's position in the market
- Client reviews
- Your social responsibility policies
The first interaction is important in a highly competitive market. Potential clients will make a decision based on those few moments.
What Does Brand Reputation Management Mean for B2Bs, in Particular?
Brand reputation management is not limited to B2C companies. B2B brands have to have more robust reputation management systems in place because spending is not an individual decision and must be approved by a series of managers.
You can count on bad reviews or incomplete information. Business success is dependent on managing your reputation. It does not happen to any company on its own accord. It takes a lot of work and a tested brand reputation management strategy.
What Channels Can My Business Use for Online Reputation Management?
The top online connection channels are listed.
- Social media. Just because many businesses may not officially allow their employees to use social media at work doesn't mean such channels don't influence decision-makers. Creating a distinctive voice and image of your company, advertising, and followers—AKA potential customers—helps solidify your brand image and build awareness. Social monitoring tools can help track the effectiveness of campaigns and establish user personas.
- SEO Web content. An optimized website is key to ensuring you gain the traffic you want and need. There is little point in ranking for something such as women's shoes when you want to be a leader in IT technology, so be careful that your keywords and SEO strategy support your brand to help you reach the top search engine positions.
- Outreach content. Working with other brands and partners can improve your reputation and trustworthiness. Get your brand out there with reliable partners. But, as always, check their online reputation first.
- Customer reviews. Genuine reviews build trust, which leads to sales. Over 92% of B2B buyers say trusted reviews are a factor that drives them to make a purchase. Quickly responding to positive and negative reviews shows you are active and interested in your clients and their satisfaction.
- Communication channels. Business is a fast-moving world, and your clients want results—and fast. Effective communication channels such as chatbots, forms, and forums connect your customers to your brand and form an integral part of online strategy.
Challenges of Online Brand Reputation Management
Online reputation management is a problem for many companies. It takes time, effort, and a lot of hypothesizing. If you are doing it manually.
Decision-makers often use automated online reputation management software. The work of building brand reputation is improved by these tools. They allow you to perform in-depth market research, complete social listening, gather data on potential clients, and much more.
Top 7 Tips for Brand Reputation Management
1. Get high-quality content on your side
You need to tell the world about your brand and go online. Valuable content is what you need to get your customers engaged.
There are some ideas.
- Sharing your expert opinion on the industry on your website blog
- Posting the latest news on discounts and new product lines
- Creating guest posts on industry journals
Content that speaks in your company's voice and works alongside a content strategy is what is most important. It is hard to make a content plan and decide which information will be most useful. Social listening tools can help.
2. Establish a social media presence
Online reputation management requires more than a website. Companies are using social media to reach more people.
Find out which social media sites are popular with your competitors and potential customers. Online reputation management software can be used to monitor social media.
There are online reputation management apps that can help with online reputation management. You can find out which social networks have the most mentions of your topics and where your competitors have gained popularity.
That is only the beginning. You will need to level-up your social media strategy to be in line with your overall plans for your brand and your company's voice to ensure consistent impact.
3. Track your company's mentions
It's essential that feedback is given. Brand reputation management involves knowing what your current and potential customers are saying about your brand. It is your baseline on whether your campaign is hitting the mark or falling into the gap of what you want them to hear.
automated tools have come to the rescue, so you won't have to scroll through endless reviews to complete that task.
4. Make your website trustworthy and authoritative
More leads come from investing time and effort into your website development. Your website is the first place that companies look for reliable providers, and the first place they visit to ensure the credibility of your company.
A wide range of elements are needed to make a website trustworthy.
- Design: Outdated websites will make your customers steer away from your company to faster, more reliable competitors.
- Content: Content should be relevant and useful to your potential customers. Add feedback from your previous buyers, references, case studies, detailed descriptions of your products, and valuable data from your company experts on the website blog to show prospects what your brand is all about.
- Functionality: Your website should be intuitive and it should perform seamlessly so that each feature works swiftly and simply. No one is going to wait around while you fix a bug or two.
- Security: Your potential customers should rest assured that they can trust your website with any sensitive data related to their business. Following industry security standards speaks volumes about how you will treat your customers in the future.
5. Engage meaningfully with your clients
Online presence is more than just posting content and ads. Your brand is built on the participation of your clients. Communication is not a one-way street.
You can establish two-way communication with your clients by engaging them in conversation on social media, encouraging them to share their opinions and experiences, and attending interviews to better understand their experience. If you don't know your clients' expectations, how will you grow your brand's reputation?
By engaging with customers, you can learn more about their product requirements, establish a more personalized approach to customer service, and build that sought-after brand-client connection.
6. Harness the power of reviews
A good review can do a lot of damage. According to a recent study, people tend to trust online reviews and friends recommendations more than ads or other resources. It's a priority for your business to know what others think about it.
Handling reviews can be a lot of work. Fast replies to your reviewers online add more potential clients to your business at best and save you from any reputation losses at worst.
If you don't have a huge team, monitoring reviews is not always realistic. Adding trackers that gather user responses from all sources into one hub can automate the process and make it easier for your community gurus to work their magic.
7. Manage your crisis before it happens
How can I deal with a crisis that hasn't happened yet? To be prepared is the secret. Any company can be hit by crises at any time.
If you know how you will handle it, you can protect your brand. Here is how.
- Gather your reputation management team, which should include the team members currently handling your business reputation online.
- Choose a team leader who understands the situation well and can keep a cool head when leading your team toward the goal of crisis eradication.
- Determine the weak points that caused the reputation crisis and work out the plan for its settlement. If the crisis hasn't happened yet, gather your team to elaborate on the steps on how to prevent any reputation risks.
- Monitor all your communication channels, because word travels fast and you should be one step ahead of it. Once a crisis rears its head, it quickly jumps to all online channels and you have to be there to resolve the problem quickly and stop it from spreading.
- Be prepared for various scenarios, and make plans of action in case something goes wrong. Elaborate on strategies that you have in mind. You know how your industry operates, how your clients act, and how your business responds. Adding those details into a list of potential situations will make you more able to resolve a crisis if it occurs.
A carefully created brand reputation gives your company outstanding business development opportunities and builds industry trust. It allows you to learn more about potential clients and how to improve the company's product.
You need help from a winning team and some awesome technology, but it is worth it.
More Resources on Brand Reputation Management
Marcomms is different from crisis communications.
Online Reputation Management 101: What you need to know.
Don't wait, get your brand crisis- ready, now: Melissa Agnes on Marketing Smarts.