Reputation management has been focused upon for quite some time as an effective marketing technique for businesses. While it is important as ever to protect the reputation of every company online, it is just the first step of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Reputation marketing is concerned more with building the brand to establish it as a leader or influencer. Once that level is reached and maintained, it can be the most powerful marketing tool in any business growth strategy.

Purpose

Companies that plan on being successful should take the time to understand how to continually develop trust with customers and attract new ones. To that end, one of the most important tasks to accomplish is to make it evident in the social marketplace that the business is reliable and worth doing business with. One of the ways to accomplish this is to develop valuable and consistent content for:

a. Websites
b. Facebook Pages
c. Online and print ads
d. Forums
e. Blogs and comments
f. Radio Ads
g. Postcards, brochures, flyers
h. Articles, case studies and videos

The more that content is released through varied media, the more that prospects and existing customers will recognize it as proof that consumers trust the business. Content is virtually anything that can be traced back to the business, from website information to articles, blogs, videos and reviews.

Offensive Marketing Strategy

Unlike reputation management, reputation marketing is designed specifically to build the brand using inbound marketing techniques. In this way, satisfied customers actually do the selling for the business. At least 72 percent of buyers surveyed trust reviews just as much as other recommendations, particularly when there are from 6 to 10 reviews posted. Below are some pointers on how to develop a review strategy:

1. Educate employees and key business players on the power of reviews
2. Always ensure that each business transaction was satisfactory for the customer
3. Ask for satisfied customers to post reviews at each opportunity
4. Gather top reviews from customers and have them published on top market review sites
5. Feature top reviews for the company’s products and services on the business website, Facebook and other relevant high traffic sites
6. When appropriate, ask for testimonials to feature and use in case study development
7. Include evidence of the exemplary business reputation in all online and off line marketing activities

Branding Benefits

Positive business reviews from actual clients and business partners is one of the more powerful ways to influence prospects to do business with your company. Also, the potential for becoming a market leader is increased enormously. That is the power of reputation marketing for businesses. Below are some reputation marketing tips that work to strengthen the brand.

1. Build quality with a focus on quality as well as quantity. While good content featuring a number of articles, blog posts and other types of media can gain more site visitors, it may not do so much in terms of building authority. The truth is that in order to establish the brand and gain authority, content needs to be updated on a regular basis, preferably weekly. To that end, posting and sharing content is what works best to grow the brand.

2. Diversify all content including that which the business name is on, executive communications, websites, anchor texts and URLs. Target large numbers of links to sub pages. URLs need to feature the best content and be able to be targeted. Anchor texts are one of the main instruments for targeting so develop them mindfully.

3. Refresh social media and ensure it is unique. Develop a consistent message and image across all social profiles, from LinkedIn and Facebook to Digg and Technorati. Be consistent with themes and the vision that is showcased. Realize that any content has the potential of going viral, so only post the highest quality information possible.

4. Always interact with fans, subscribers and followers. Use social media as a platform for building relationships first and promoting or advertising second. With that in mind, each person is worth investing time in.

Reputation marketing is considered one of the best opportunities ever to leverage a competitive advantage. By establishing the business as a market leader or clear choice where consumers do business, the brand will continue to expand and naturally attract more interest and business.