Being a successful business owner in today’s world has a lot to do with your online presence. When it comes to scaling your business, you have to nail the digital space. But that is a multifold process and includes a lot of toils.
You might have established a decent online presence, but what about your brand reputation? Did you know that negative reviews can drive away upto 22% of your prospects? Scary right?
The bottom line is, besides building a compelling brand presence, you also need to work on your online reputation.
Even though online reputation management is a vast concept that can barely be taught in a blog, I can give you one strategy that will definitely yield results. Before we discuss the strategy, let’s discuss online reputation management in brief.
What is online reputation management?
ORM or online reputation management stands for monitoring and improving your brand image online. It is the process of analyzing and optimizing what a potential customer/ buyer finds about your brand or business when they discover it on a search engine or other online platforms.
So, the question is, what will your buyer persona find about your brand before they land on your website or pick up the phone to call you?
Why is it important for your business?
Let’s try to understand how a buyer’s mind works. Consider that you are a buyer, and you are looking for the best video production company in the market. What are the most probable places you will look for them? Google right? But why do you trust Google?
Because Google has established an impeccable brand reputation for being genuine and reliable when serving its audiences with information.
Thus, online reputation not only helps you gain new customers, but it is also part of the reason why they decide to stick with them.
While the best way to gain a good reputation is by improving your quality of work and customer service, how do you get people to get associated with you? Online reputation management is taking care of the way people perceive you, even before they know you.
Bad ORM can impact the following aspects of your business
A negative review on Google, search engines, or other review sites can lead prospects to rethink doing business with you. And before you know, a few bad reviews can snowball into something worse. Customers are more likely to leave negative reviews if they see others had similar experiences.
This results in a poor brand reputation, customer loyalty, and trust, leading to a drop in the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns.
Candidates widely trust job review sites like Glassdoor and AmbitionBox, and it makes it easier than ever for employees to forge your brand reputation by leaving false reviews. Angry or dissatisfied employees can go as far as to leave exaggerated negative reviews about your company.
If Google picks up on these negative reviews, your marketing and recruitment efforts will suffer greatly.
A company needs investors for various reasons. Market expansion, hiring, expertise, and access to capital are some of the many reasons a company might need a suitable investor. But did you know, most investors look at reputation risk, and a liability and a shaky brand reputation can instigate shareholders to withdraw their investments?
As already mentioned, prospects go over public reviews and overall brand reputation before associating with a company. The more reason you give them to be skeptical about you, the more your bottom line will be affected.
Thus, brands or businesses must make sure they have an impeccable reputation online.
How can you make the most of review directories in online reputation management?
Now that we know that third-party reviews play such a vital role, let’s figure out the best way to utilize them.
To create awareness
Think about this; you enter a party where people don’t know you. What do you do? Introduce yourself! For people to know you, you need to reach out to them and introduce yourself. The same goes for your business.
To turn your company into a brand, you need first to create awareness in the market about your existence. Review portals are one of the best ways you can do that. Why? Because both businesses and customers tend to visit these directories.
It is a great way to validate your new business and showcase your services, as many of these directories rank pretty high in Google search results as well.
As you can see, Clutch is ranking third organically after URLs with paid ads on Google when I search the list of top video production companies.
To boost visibility
Referring to the last screenshot, I can show you one more exciting thing:
In the red box, you can see webdew, ranking on the Top Video Production Companies - 2021 on Clutch, which is again ranking third on Google. This means we are very clearly visible to all those people who search for this keyword.
Quite like off-page SEO, it’s like listing yourself of validated and high-ranking sites, where you get a better chance of exposure and visibility.
To increase reliability
Not to forget, the primary purpose of reviews is to create reliability among potential customers. Let’s look at the stats to understand it better:
- Upto 94% of people have said an online business had convinced them to avoid a business.
- 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.
As you can see, a good review or a bad review can inspire your audience to take action in your favor or the contrary.
Thus, it is vital to inspire as many clients as possible to review you and that too generously. Here are some examples of review status you would like to maintain for your business:
To gain exposure
By being active on these review portals, you will also come across your competitors. This will give you an idea about their performance and strong suits. This kind of exposure will help you analyze what you are doing right or wrong and how you can improve yourself as a company.
This will also provide insight into your target audience and what they are looking for in a company. So don't miss to keep an eye on the analytics and metrics.
To earn credibility
The number of positive reviews is directly proportional to the number of happy clients. Therefore, it reflects directly on your credibility as a service provider. Even if you are a product-based company, reviews will advocate its usability and benefit to its users.
Being the leading HubSpot Diamond Partner in APAC, webdew has served more than 100 clients. But the success of these projects and the efficiency of our professionals are best reflected through reviews shared by our happy clients.
To attract new clients
These review directories receive a significant amount of traffic from all over the world.
What are these people looking for?
They are looking for reliable, credible, and skillful service providers to suit their requirements.
Why are they looking for them in directories?
Here they can find companies that fit their budget range; they can choose industry, company size, etc. Simply put, they can use various filters to narrow down their search and then select the one with the best ratings and feedback.
Therefore, these directories work pretty like a marketplace. If you can retain a good rating, you can get great leads.
Finally, you can tie these review sites to your website and build trust among visitors directly landing on your website as well. Some of these also award you with badges which further enhances your credibility.
List of review directories you can try as an agency
This one is elementary! If you have a business, you must make sure to ask clients and employees to review the company there. Google is the first place someone will try to find what they are looking for, and it always pays off to be listed with a good batch of reviews.
If you are running a local business, you should definitely try Yelp. It will help buyers around you find you and choose you. As of 2020, Yelp has received as much as 211 million reviews.
Clutch is another popular directory that has a reputation for being exact about its recommendations. Around 150,000 Agencies have listed themselves on Clutch, and they have 500+ categories.
Even though the process of submitting a review on Clutch is a bit time taking, if your client agrees to rate you there, it will definitely be effective. You can try the free plan of one of their paid plans. The paid plan certainly impacts the visibility and ranking, but you will surely see results if you consistently bring in high-rated reviews.
G2 Crowd is another growing platform you should consider if you deal in business software and services. Their rankings are entirely organic, and you will be ranked up on their list if you are consistent in bringing in good reviews.
If you want to utilize most of the platform, it would be wiser to invest in one of the annual paid plans. However, since the rankings are purely based on the quality and number of reviews, you can gain a considerable amount of visibility there.
As mentioned in the earlier part of the article, Glassdoor is a trusted site where candidates search for prospective jobs and review employers. It is as important to maintain a reputation as an employer as a service provider. Thus, it is vital to encourage your employees to review your agency with positive feedback and good ratings.
Ambitionbox is similar to Glassdoor; you can ask your employees or candidates to share their reviews on the platform. There are various categories to be reviewed, such as company culture, skill development, career growth, job security, etc.
Besides employees, you can also ask interviewing candidates to leave a review through social media strategy or fill out the interview form.
In a crux
When it comes to online reputation management, third-party endorsement is the key. Everyone says they are great, but what makes all the difference is when others say you are great.
And if I talk about review directories, they are just the right way to get them. So, without any more delay, set up your account on your choice of directories and start your review campaign. Want any help? Feel free to Contact Us.