How your online reputation is impacting your business
It’s a fact of life that you can’t please all the people, all of the time. And while a negative comment here or a bad review there may not seem like a big deal,if left unchecked,this kind of negative feedback can quickly have a negative impact on your business.
Managing your online reputation not only helps presents your company as an industry expert or authority, but it can be instrumental in driving more business to your door, and that translates into real revenue.
Using tools and strategies to enhance your online reputation can be a game-changer, in the current climate. What people say about your business matters, and negative comments can be damaging.
Did you know that;
87% of customers will read online reviews before buying
83% will depend on word of mouth recommendations
67% said that online reviews directly influenced their decision
Those are big numbers, and with so many buyers being affected by what they read, it really is important to pay attention to how your business is perceived online.
If your company is relatively new and you are lucky enough to not have any negative reviews, you may still be affected as potential customers looking for information perceive not enough reviews almost as badly as negative reviews.
What can you do?
Tracking and improving your online reputation may seem like a monumental task, but it’s not without its advantages. Evaluating and improving your online reputation will help you to represent your business well in the digital space. Managing your companies reputation effectively can help you to reach more potential clients, grow your customer base, and succeed in the long term.
Element62 supports companies by providing a Digital Marketing Toolkit to help small business users and solopreneurs to manage their online reputations, listings, and reviews all from one easy to manage location.
Improving your online footprint and brand presence can be done by using our one-stop platform to –
Evaluate your current online reputation
Assess your business image
Be more active on social media
Manage online content
Encourage positive reviews
Building a positive image by getting active across all of your social media channels will help you create trust and by personalizing your business you can drive more engagement. Being active and accessible may also help to remove or negate negative content as it ages.
Along with reinforcing your brand, good online reputation management shows your client base that you are responsible and trustworthy. Improving credibility with transparency and a consistent brand message can turn your company from one that looks questionable, into one that customers want to do business with.
Among Millenials and Gen Z buyers, a digital footprint is essential to review the activities and review suitability of possible businesses. So if your product or service targets a younger generation, having a good online reputation will reach this market segment where they interact most.
While solid management of your online presence will drive business and attract new customers, it will also help you to retain existing clients. Being active and maintaining social accounts and other online outlets help to keep your business in front of clients both new and existing.
So the next time they are looking for a product or a service that your company provides, their instinct will be to visit your website or online store first. If you need any more convincing then check out this fact.
In a survey by BrightLocal, 94% of customers said ‘that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business. “
With statistics like that, isn’t it time you took a good look at your company’s online reputation and used it to generate more business?
If, like many of us, you are wondering where the money is right now, the short answer is Tech. And the figures are mind-blowing!
Tech companies dominated the Best Global Brands 2020 report from Interbrand with Apple, at an estimated $322.9 billion as the company with the largest brand value. Amazon follows at $200,677 million, demonstrating an impressive 60% increase in brand value, compared to last year.
In the relentless disruption of the covid-19 pandemic, communication brands and social media have flourished. Instagram (#19), YouTube (#30) and Zoom (#100) are all appearing in the rankings for the first time. Although a diverse list, there is no doubt that Silicon Valley technology is on top in every sense of the word.
So why does Brand Value Matter?
With numbers like these, it’s clear that brands offer the potential to create incredible commercial value for companies and corporations. The old adage that “People buy brands, not products” – is particularly relevant in the Covid-19 climate. Differentiation is key to long-term profit, growth and staying power. Brands that have achieved differentiation fared better throughout the covid crisis than those who failed to exploit their differentiators. This is because people don’t have relationships with products; they are, however, loyal to brands.
An ever-growing school of thought insists that brand is essentially more important than any product or service. There are several reasons for this, the first and most obvious being that brands are immortal, products date. Brands build communities, inspire ideas and motivate change at a time when one-dimensional products are struggling to satisfy the demands of a technology-driven, global communication society.
Secondly, increased internet access in developing countries and a boom in e-commerce and online business practice have opened new geographical markets. A blossoming middle class across Asia, Africa, and South America is increasing competition for relevant brand names, keywords and descriptors in multiple languages, but mainly English. These are large population countries with enthusiastic audiences and a wealth of opportunity for hungry, new entrepreneurs driven by the need for change. Increased competition drives up the value of existing brands while forcing new brands to be more creative in defining their brand identities, value propositions and other brand assets.
In this maelstrom, the challenge of brand performance management continues to be a demanding one that requires highly experienced professional partners and a complex multi-discipline strategy to deliver.
The hard truth is simply that great products, branding and advertising are simply not enough to differentiate businesses in a climate of intense competition for the attention of today’s discerning buyers. They want brands to be more than just product or service providers. They want them to be community builders, problem solvers and allies for change. They want human experiences with technology-driven efficiency, which meet them halfway – after all, attention is currency. If you want them to spend it on your brand, then you must return on that investment with something of value. Because in this world, where time is at a premium, that is essentially what attention is – an investment.
Changing buyer behaviour highlights how brands can potentially be worth more than all the other assets of the company combined – many of which depreciate in a way that brand doesn’t. Brand valuations can be complex to ascertain, but experts report that the share of brand value across industry segments can equate to around 40%, on average, of a company’s value. Not a percentage to ignore.
Brand is no longer just nice to have. It’s a long-term investment which can pay for itself – if you look after it. If you want to know more about how your brand is performing, please contact us to find out more about how our brand audit service can reveal opportunities for improving your brand position and value.
Marketing budgets asking for an idea of expectations often attracts some interesting responses, but it’s really not a trap!
It is inevitable, though. At some point in pre-proposal discussions, you will be asked if you have a budget in mind. If this makes you nervous about answering, for fear of inflated rates, this video explains why consultants and agencies ask this question and why your answer is important. Clue: It’s not about how much to charge you – it is about managing expectations.
How Marketing Budgets Help
Consultants love to have a budget. Marketing budgets are necessary, particularly for consultants, because they help calibrate your available resource against your planned marketing activity to ensure we can realistically meet any agreed goals and targets. Simply speaking, if you want the moon on a stick, you need to have either a budget which allows us to undertake the activity required to get you there OR you need a long-term plan to set out the goals and spend in the interim.
For more info on why this is an issue, check out this short video from our founder Shells Milne which explains in more detail why we ask about marketing budgets and resource availability. For more videos, courses and free goods, check out my YouTube Channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and click on the little bell to get notified of new posts and material.
About Element 62 Founder, Shells Milne, MA, MSc.
Check out Shells YouTube Channel to be kept up-to-date with info, insights, training and freebies.
Hi, I’m Shells, a media and marketing strategist and entrepreneur with over 23 years in marketing and business. I help creative entrepreneurs and business leaders turn ideas into realities where they can thrive and grow. Since 2002, I have worked in-house, in-agency and as a consultant with a variety of house-hold names across the public and private sectors. Industry experience includes energy, finance, technology construction, food and drink, automotive and luxury products. When not working with brands, I also enjoy working with energetic start-ups, to build sustainable and exciting commercial futures.
My mama always told me that the meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away. So, here I am. Sharing everything I can 🙂
Voice Search is going to continue to grow in 2021. Over 55 % of British Households are now using voice tech to search the internet and make purchases. However not many businesses are optimising for voice search. To maximise this opportunity, marketers must evolve their SEO and keyword strategies to include Voice Search Optimisation (VSO) to rank on the major SERPs. Find out how to get ahead of the game in this video from our Founder, Shells Milne.
If you use Siri, Cortana or Alexa or have asked your sky remote to find your favourite TV show, then you have been using voice technology. The search results you receive are based on effective VSO.
So Why is VSO a Big Deal?
Voice requests are not as searchable as text. Google is redeveloping its algorithm to better understand how to provide relevant answers to search queries from users. In order to do that Google will be using long-tail keywords to catalogue and find the sites that provide the answers.
With high levels of consumer use by people of all ages, Voice-based search is only going to grow in popularity. Already, over 55% of households are using smart speakers so if you’ have not added optimised for voice in your keyword strategy, then you risk falling behind.
If you want to remain competitive make sure you’ve got a long tail and keywords factored into your keyword strategy. Voice search will not be a standalone requirement. You are not going to be able to create voice specific pages. VSO will need to be incorporated into your overall SEO strategy. Google is not going to rank high pages that are only optimized for voice or those only optimized for search. A holistic strategy that encompasses everything that google needs to know is imperative to its success.
Finally, much voice-based search is conducted off-screen so results need to be available in a non-visual way wherever possible.
Our top tip for 2021 to keep ranking high in google – evolve your keyword strategy. If you do, you will find yourself far more competitive. If you don’t – you will fall behind.
For more information on how Element 62 can help improve your SEO and Voice search capability. Contact us today.
Marketing Trends come and go but it’s inarguable that 2020 raised the bar for digital marketers, making the online space far more competitive.
Many businesses who were perhaps reluctant to embrace the full potential of the online opportunity, found themselves in the unfortunate position of playing catch up to those who were already established. The nationwide lockdown highlighted the importance of a strong digital presence, favouring those who had previously invested in developing strong tactical delivery, underpinned by a considered and achievable marketing strategy.
It’s clear that the world has changed in the last year, as we adapt to a digitally-lead economy. As marketers we need to consider which consumer behaviours are here to stay, what’s going to drop off and what’s gone for good?
This knowledge will help us to shape strategy and forecasts that will clearly define our priorities and allow businesses to adapt and adjust to any new or unexpected realities created by this pandemic and the shifting sands of how we conduct business.
So I wanted to share with you six things that our founder Shells Milne thinks will continue into 2021 and should be factored into your strategy for 2021/22.
This video highlights six key trends that you should be aware of if when planning your strategy including:
1. Post-Covid Response and Consumer Buying Habits 2. 3rd Party Cookies no more 🙁 3. Brand Advocacy 4. User-Generated Content 5. Live Streaming 6.Voice Search and SEO
Consultancy and Agency/Do-It-For-You Services are not the same thing. So in a world full of consultants, freelancers, agencies and contractors, how do you know what you need? And how do you ensure strong marketing ROI?
As a consultant, one of the first things I need to ascertain is if the client has a real need for a consultant or whether they require services more traditionally provided by agencies. The primary indicator of this usually revolves around their expected timeline and long-term objectives.
In a nutshell, a consultant is usually a highly specialised professional, focused on strategy and long-term thinking to identify and solve problems. They will take a close look at your company, using fresh eyes, insider-insight and AAA access to ensure an in-depth knowledge of the company, its products, aims, needs and wants. The will use market knowledge and experience to help your team define realistic budgets (and determine KPIs/ROI on spend), review and audit suppliers and write integrated strategies which combined 360 thinking across the business as a whole.
While many marketing agencies do employ ‘Consultants’ in various guises, the necessary speed and quantity of their client base often prevents the in-depth knowledge and service that a business should expect from a true consultant. For this reason, an agency is quite often more ‘now’ focused, helping their clients to identify the quick wins and implement previously identified strategies. They will operate only with the information you provide them and most likely as a third-party supplier with primarily phone/email contact and an occasional, often chargeable, meeting. They will provide retainer or project-based quotes which will need to be factored into any pre-existing budgets by your in-house team. These often have costly add-ons attached for out-of-scope work.
Working very closely with your board and leadership teams to grow, develop and shape your company future and culture, A consultant will use strategic planning, deep knowledge and long-term thinking at an agreed consultancy rate. They will cultivate relationships across the business and use insights, data, analytics and testing to inform long-term growth which defines and aligns sales, marketing, product development, company mission, vision, values and objectives to drive sustainable and effective strategies and budget planning. They will advise your in-house teams and provide the guidance needed to implement these strategies once approved.
However, if you want someone to manage your social media feeds, create content and write press releases on your behalf to support or replace an in-house resource, you most likely need an agency, freelancer or contractor to manage this for you. An agency’s strength often lies in it’s dedicated in-house resources such as designers, videographers, PR managers and developers to respond to all their clients immediate needs as quickly and effectively as possible, making them a great fit for creative content creation or campaign implementation.
Consultants in their truest form are, as a rule, far more expensive than an agency in terms of cost-per-hour but their services are not really comparable. The value of both is determined by the weight of need by the client business. A good consultant can help you grow sustainably, securing long-term value and increased market share as well as evaluating activity to ensure efficacy and alignment. A good agency should ensure your immediate and short-term future visibility and brand profile while working to meet your stated strategic goals.
There is no good and bad in this. Both services are capable of providing immense value to your business and, when used correctly, can go a long way to moving you to your end-goal, whether that be winning awards, increasing your social following or growing a start-up into a multi-million-pound corporation.
Knowing which is which, will help you to shape reasonable expectations, maximise marketing ROI and minimise the potential for frustration at both ends of the agreement.
Element 62 is a marketing consultancy with over 20 years experience providing strategic marketing as well as specialist services including Inbound Marketing, Product Marketing, HubSpot CRM, Brand Story, Vision, Mission and Value Creation. Get in touch if you think we can be of assistance in helping your business develop everything it needs to grow sustainably in the experiential and digital marketplace.
Check out our new DIY Digital Marketing Toolkit designed specially for small & local business owners and personal brands who want to take control of their marketing without entering agency or consultancy contracts.