Reputation Marketing As A Business Owner Can Be A Little Overwhelming
Here’s What You Can Do As A Business Owner To Increase Your Positive Reviews Online With Ease
If you are like most business owners you got in business to make money. Even more so you want to make a comfortable living and in order to do that you understand that there is a huge need to grow your business to afford that comfortable living. You are probably like most smart business minded owners and have taken time to research where most of your customers come from and what trends are driving consumers. Trends such as word of mouth, referrals, online marketing are ranked the top resources for clients who quickly buy from you. Why is that? Why are the least of your customers buying due to flyer distribution, door to door, cold calling, and all the “fun” marketing and sales you don’t want to do? It’s an easy sale because someone somewhere mentioned you had a good reputation and that your reputation made you stood out from your competition.
With the latest research trends showing that online marketing positive reviews result in more sales. In fact more more and more consumers look to online reviews as good as word of mouth. Because of this trend there is a great need for reputation marketing management, that is if you want to stay on top of the marketing trends to grow your sales.
A lot of business owners I work with get a Facebook page, or even another business directory page because they
heard from other business owners that is where they can be found online in hopes of generating more sales. Some smart business owners have already build a website and put some testimonials on there for people to see. This is good, however without the proper management of these online pages and websites you might as well throw dollar bills at people driving buy on a busy street to generate sales, because you’ll achieve the same results.
Here’s The Problem With Online Reputation Marketing
The do it yourself method can be a lot to do.
There are problems with every marketing venture you taker, usually the biggest problem is knowledge, time, and money investments. What do I need to do to market my business online? How do I know it will be beneficial for my business? And if needed, how much money do I invest to grow my business? These or questions likes these are what is needed to keep you on course to growing sales and making a comfortable living. So let me ask you a few questions to help clarify the answers you are needing.
How much time do you really have to study different online marketing avenues, case studies and other things when you need to be managing your business to make money? How much time do you want to spend online when you can be doing what you love to do, and that is running your business? Is there a way to simplify the process of growing positive reviews that is automated yet personal to customers? I like the acronym K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Smarty), because reputation marketing thing although it appears massive can be simple and easy.
Now there is a way for you to develop your own system and you want a programmed system because most people are human and we need reminders, especially with positive experiences. It takes 5 positive experiences to equal out 1 negative experience. Because it’s easy to remember the negative. So simply asking customers to go online and leave a review is a start, and if you email them you might if you are lucky get about 2.5% (or extremely lucky 5%) of those you emailed to do so, however what if I told you there is a way to get between 20% and maybe even 65% of your recent customers to do so? How many more reviews would that mean for you?
Here’s The Solution
Where do I begin as a business owner to generate more reviews and how do I use that to make more sales?
Here’s an easy step by step checklist process to get your online reputation marketing up and running fast, with an easy to manage process that doesn’t cost you and arm or a leg, or waste too much time.
Step 1 – Take A Breather
Taking a breather moment allows for more oxygen to flow through your mind and body and makes it easier for you to process information in a focused manner (plus I just wanted you to feel better knowing you are on the right track).
Step 2 – Become Findable
Search engines tailor their search result to each user in a unique way. Have you ever used a tool to help determine how your business is viewed online. There are many free tools online if you understand the basics of online marketing, Atlas provides a free tool called “Are You Findable?” which does not put you into an email funnel. It takes just a few minutes a we scan the top local internet directories for your business to see how customers will view you online. For a more comprehensive analysis of your online reputation and that of your competitors please contact one of our team members.
If you are not listed in the top 50 local business directories you can take time to manually add your business to each directory or even pay a service for it. As a side note to that, please don’t overpay or underpay for that matter. Some services will charge as much as $1000 for it, whereas some cheap services will cost far less but not list your business on the directories you need. (For an inexpensive alternative that lists you on the best directories available please reach out to one of our team members)
Step 3 – Establish A Customer Review Management System
A lot of words for a system where you gather your customer information and ask them for feedback in a way that’s convenient enough for them to do so.
Key pieces involved in a successful system include:
- Customer contact management to store contact information
- Internal survey reviews to ask for customers what they may like (or dislike), how they rate your business, and if they would recommend you business to others.
- Messaging and follow up messaging system that gives follow up reminders without being too pushy.
- A plan of action for both positive and negative reviews.
- And a way to have customers publish positive reviews on local business directories that rank well on search engines such as Yelp, Google+, Facebook, etc.
- My personal favorite, review monitoring online, which usually comes at a monthly cost with software or comes included with my own service.
The DIY Method: You can also develop your own system involving email and text messaging notifications and email reminders, it would initially take some time but it would automate it as well. Services such as MailChimp, Constant Contact and Twilio as tools to automate the process. You set the rules of how often messages are sent out and other parameters needed. Yes, this will take some time to set up, or some money to pay someone to set up. (Be sure and learn that you are getting the best email hosting service for your business by taking a look at this article by Cloudwards)
It’s Done For You Method: There are tools that we personally use for ourselves as well as our customers to use that manage and automate the process which reduces time involvement on their part and leads to a higher conversion rate of achieving more positive reviews online. We are happy to share our knowledge. Other tools similar to ours start around $500 to setup and about $149 per month, and if your are serious about making sales it is worth it for most businesses. However we can show you how to do it for less while having more reviews posted online, while automatically being posted to your website. Since each business is unique each program is different. Take a little time to compare features is well worth the time invested.
Step 4 – Review Your Progress
Every business system needs to be tweaked and fine tuned, especially since your business is unique you have to fine tune it for you. Even though a system is an out of the box system, some assembly may be required. In this case looking at the information to show what kind of growth is happening. What kind of reviews are coming on board? What specific things are being mentioned by customers? What are the online tracking tools used to show website traffic showing you? Taking time every 3 months or so to look over information allows you to find insight and use that insight to offer more of what customers want, which means more sales. More sales are kind of what show business growth, which is why most business owners have a business.
If you want to grow your business and you’ve been noticing more people buried in their smart phones and tablets, or if you have noticed your competition growing know you have better products or services then there is a need to start reputation marketing. You can develop a system where you manage it on your own with a few good solid days of work and learning email and text messaging automation which will save you time down the road, or you can find a reliable online self managed solution which will do it for you. Either way one thing is for certain, to be successful you need to utilize reputation marketing if you are a local business.
Final food for thought to consider. With the DIY method how many hours would it take you? With a managed system that does it for you, what would be the value? How much is each customer worth on average? What’s the easiest way to be constantly growing positive reviews online?