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    Posted May 7, 2014 by
    Charleston, South Carolina

    Online Reputation Marketing for Small Business

    Online Reputation Marketing for Small Businesses

    As a business owner, you are responsible for marketing your business with a well thought out complete marketing plan. In today’s business environment, Internet marketing and advertising must be included in any marketing plan to stay competitive and to realize the full revenue potential of any business. Internet marketing is now a very broad category comprised of many online strategies, tactics and tools. However, generating new leads into the business sales funnel remains paramount in the hierarchy of any marketing plan design and implementation. And a new lead strategy has emerged and shown itself to be the new number one strategy in online lead generation. Reputation lead generation may not be well known as a marketing term but this time next year you will be ecstatic your marketing department had the foresight to include the new strategy implementation into your overall marketing plan. Let’s take a peek at exactly what comprises reputation lead generation.

    Just eighteen short months ago, the leading Internet search engine firm decided to include business and product reviews into its Internet search results for businesses, products and services. How a company or product showed on the search results page was to be determined by some previous ranking strategies and a new player on the block, customer reviews. And why is this important to a marketing plan? Because, organic search engine results remain the number one way the general public finds businesses, products and services. The Internet search firm began aligning search results with the wants and desires of its own customers, i.e., the Internet searching public. By including customer driven performance reviews on every business and product listing, the Internet search engine changed search result ranking strategies for businesses overnight. Now not only the many moving parts of search ranking strategies are responsible for how a company fares on the Internet, but now also in play are the ranking results based upon the satisfaction of the buyer, i.e., customer reviews.

    The major search engine company listing the Internet search results also encourages the searching public to write reviews about their experience with businesses and products. Included in the listing of a company or product is a review ranking emblem and a statement for the searcher to leave a review on the social website of the search engine company. When the searcher clicks on the url (uniform resource locator) link which states, ‘leave a review’, the searcher is now taken to the social website page of the Internet search engine company to write a review of their experience with the company or product. Also very up front and visible to the searcher are all the reviews of previous visitors and an overall ranking score of the business or product. Thus how prominently a company or product is listed (ranked) in relation to their competitors depends on the number of reviews and whether the review is viewed as negative or positive. So it is quite possible a company which previously appeared very prominently on the search page results prior to this change in ranking results, may now not even hold the same ranking position, i.e., the company has been downgraded based on performance with the buying public. A downgraded result position on the search page equates to a loss in organic search engine traffic to your website and lost revenue for your business. Even a business with a previously stellar performance, having no bad reviews, is vulnerable to just one bad review. Vulnerable because the latest review is always going to be on top of the page and visible for everyone to see and read. So now the question arises, how do you repair a bad reputation based on a bad customer review and proactively maintain a stellar, 5 star reputation? The answer is, monthly reputation marketing.

    Generating leads to your business by maintaining a proficient website is no longer enough to stay competitive in the search engine ranking game. You must also have a 5 star reputation listed within your ranking listing. If potential customers get even a ‘hint’ of a bad reputation, then your leads will diminish and your revenue will suffer. This is true now all across the Internet wherever major sources of Internet traffic congregates and individuals share information:


    Product and service directories

    Social media websites

    Online retail portals; (amazon, eBay and many others)

    Media outlets

    You must be proactive and market your good reputation to survive and be competitive; this is reputation marketing. People do business with companies they know, like and trust and have had a previous stellar experience. You can no longer just manage your online reputation, you must market your Internet reputation! And if you do not yet have a 5 star online reputation, you must be proactive to create a situation in which attaining a 5 star reputation is your number one business goal. To keep your sales volume up, leads rolling in and revenue expanding, you must broadcast your 5 star reputation to all available high traffic web portals. Then, customers will find your business, see your focus on excellent quality and will do business with you. A multifaceted marketing approach for your reviews, reputation score and lead generation will reward your efforts beyond your expectations.

    Online reputation marketing is a complex process and should be taken very seriously. To build, maintain and market your 5 star reputation, you can no longer just perform reputation management. You must be proactive with your customer service, review generation and social optimization and implement a professional reputation marketing plan. You may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals like our staff at Sentient LLC; a founding member of the ULBOA (United Local Business Owners Association ; http://www.ulboa-academy.com ). We can be reached by phone, at 843-441-4944, or by email here: 5star@reputations.marketing .
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