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Referral Marketing has Moved Online

In the 10 years that I’ve been doing local search marketing and positioning clients as authorities in their respective fields , I’ve never seen a bigger shift and change in local online marketing than I have recently with online reputation.  With Google recently merging 80+ million Google+ business pages with their websites with their respective Google My Business page and online rating, reputation is not only important, it’s essential.  As I highlight in my latest best-selling book, “Demystified – The Business Owner’s Roadmap to More Customers, Clients and Patients Online”, even off line networking has moved online.  In fact, in a recent study we found by BrightLocal.com, 72% of Buyers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

And 87% of businesses that are referred, the person who received the referral will go check you out before calling you, and that’s after you were referred.  This is unprecedented.  So  to make it plain as day, it’s not about reputation management, that is just being reactive and is really obsolete.  It’s about being proactive with reputation marketing and actively and intentionally going out and building a 5 Star reputation an then marketing that reputation.

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What is Your “Online Reputation” – and Why Is It So Important?

A business’ online reputation is in fact their first, and biggest, concern.

Why increase visibility in search engines in order to get more leads, if you have negative comments/reviews about your business that color a prospective customer’s perspective of your business before you even get a chance to build a relationship with them and convert them to a customer?

Or, just as worse, why spend thousands to gain greater visibility in search engines if you have no comments/reviews about your business and so your competition is able to control the online conversation for your market as defined by search keywords?

As you can see, managing your online reputation or “Reputation Management” is your first priority.

The scope of “Reputation Management” defined in this manner is much larger than just reviews. In fact, studies show that it includes the following factors:

  • Visibility: Are you easily found in search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo as well as local search such as Google Plus and Yahoo Local for the keywords your ideal customers are searching for? Is your business accurately listed in Review sites and Business directories? Is your business accurately listed in hundreds of these directories to maximize your online visibility and authority and standing with the search engines?
  • Reviews: After making sure your business is accurately listed (business name, address, phone and website as shown EXACTLY on your website) in as many review sites as possible, are you monitoring your reviews 24/7/365 for both positive and negative comments and engaging with the reviewers, especially if they leave a negative comment? Do you have a thoughtful, effective customer reviews program in place to motivate customers to leave positive reviews to make sure you can compete with your competition and establish a balance in case of any negative reviews in the future?
  • Mentions: Do you have an effective program in place to generate a consistent stream of social media posts, images, news releases, videos and articles about your business? If not, you will not be able to dominate the conversation about your line of business in your market, nor will you be able to control the conversation about your business – and thus your reputation.
  • Social Media: Are you engaging with your customers and prospects – building an online relationship with them? If you fail to socialize with them and your competitor does – where will that leave you? It will leave your competitor with the ability to define the market, control the “frame of reference” for the discussion regarding the services you provide and ultimately control the frame for reference for the discussion about your business. If your competitor defines the decision parameters for your prospects and customers – ho will you compete if they favor the competition?
  • Share of Voice: Which of the businesses you compete with online will dominate the market and attract the most new customers? The competitor who commands the largest “share of voice,” or the one who has the most visibility, most positive reviews, mots news releases, image posts, video posts, articles and greatest social media engagement and activity on the search engine results pages for the keywords used by the largest number of buyers of your product or service. Will that be you?

And this is only the first step in Reputation Marketing.  We are the only firm in the market that offers a monitoring and management service that covers all of these facets of building a strong and commanding 5 star online reputation. Contact us for more information and a free reputation analysis today.

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University of California in Berkeley Study Published

A study was recently conducted by the University of California in Berkeley and  published in The Economic Journal.

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So let’s talk about reputation marketing a little bit – this is just one of the amazing stats that is showing an increased return on investment that companies get when investing in reputation marketing strategy.

You can see here that with this study done by the University of California in Berkeley, they looked at 328 different business. They found that if you increase the rating by slightly half a star you can actually increase business by 19%. Reputation marketing is proven to increase business by 19% with just half star rating online.  Now, that’s powerful.

Now let me ask you this. On a monthly basis, if your business increase 19%, would that be pretty significant for you?

Well, it would be for most companies. Imagine if you crushed your competition with dozens of 5 star reviews?  This is why reputation is literally exploding this year for business and why it’s worth taking a serious look at this.

As Always, if you have any questions, comments or observations, please feel fre to leave them below.  Or If you’d like to have a conversation, please call us at 847-238-2768.

Seeing you at the top crushing the competition!

All the very best –

just-Markus-transparent

Posted in: Reputation Marketing, Stats You need to know

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