What is Online Reputation Management in Digital Marketing?
A recent United States E-commerce Country Report noted that a whopping 88 percent of consumers research their buys online before making a purchase, either online or in person. What does that mean for companies? They need to understand how they’re viewed online, and even more than that, take steps to improve — or possibly correct — that information.
As you might expect, this process has been given a name: online reputation management (ORM). The concept is pretty straightforward, since the idea behind ORM is whether a company’s online presence is helping it or hindering it.
Online Reviews Are The New Word-of-Mouth
Did you know that a 1 star increase in your rating can mean a 5-9 percent increase in revenue!
Consumers having the ability to review goods and services on sites like Yelp, Amazon, Google, and Facebook is a bit like a double-edged sword for businesses. Glowing reviews will help attract new customers, but those that aren’t so flattering may do the opposite.
According to ReviewTrackers, 33 percent of diners wouldn’t eat in a restaurant with an average online rating of fewer than 4 out of 5 stars. Even more sobering, four in five consumers will reverse a purchase decision after reading negative reviews.
How truly sad. All the goodwill companies have earned through carefully crafted marketing and advertising campaigns can be undone in a flash — since online ratings and reviews are now a major factor in shaping brand reputations. And there are so many review sites out there, probably way more than you might think.
And remember this, also from ReviewTrackers: A number of research studies suggest that online reviews are more trustworthy and useful than branded social media content, advertising, information from salespeople, and even natural search engine results. Customer reviews can increase conversion by 270 percent. You simply can’t ignore the power of the review.
You May Be Losing Customers Because Your Information Is Wrong
In the world of online dating, it’s fairly common for people to exaggerate their attributes and perhaps even use a favorite photo — from 10 years ago. When “caught,” there may be a bit of disappointment or even a few laughs, but companies simply can’t afford to have incorrect or old information about them floating around.
Have you ever searched for a company online, thought you found what you were looking for, and then realized the information was wrong? Maybe an old location was listed, incorrect hours, or a bad phone number or email address.
That happens more than you might think, and instead of trying to find the right information, many people will choose to move on to the next option. Seventy-three percent of consumers lost trust in a business with inaccurate listings. Who knows how many potential customers companies are losing this way — simple because some erroneous data about them is accessible via search engines?
ORM To The Rescue
Maybe you heard this as a child: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Fast-forward to 2020 and that is certainly not the case for companies, as those with a bad online image — or even no online presence at all — can find that deters new customers from making purchases.
Here are some statistics from Cox Media Group:
- 94 percent of consumers avoid companies with bad reviews.
- 50 percent of consumers question the quality of a company with negative reviews.
- 22 percent of prospects are driven away by one negative review.
But who has the time to monitor everything said about their business online, much less do anything about it? It can be an overwhelming task and a full-time job, one that gave birth to professional ORM.
Companies that specialize in ORM can promote positive reviews and articles, make sure company information is current, help respond to negative content, and more. It’s all about giving a boost to companies’ online images — creating, cultivating, and maintaining their brand names and good standing online.
More customer reviews + stronger online presence = more customers = more REVENUE
As more and more consumers go online before they buy anything, ORM will become more and more important. And companies without the expertise and manpower to care for their online reputation themselves will be best served by turning to ORM providers that can handle this critical job on an ongoing basis.
Want to learn more about where your company stands online to drive more traffic to your business? Or, need help managing your current review system with little-to-no effort from you or your team? Contact us today for a FREE, no obligation strategy session!
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