Today’s Top Trends in Digital Reputation Management
It’s not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Maintaining a positive brand perception in the minds of current and prospective customers takes continual nurturing.
In an increasingly competitive digital marketing landscape, maintaining transparency and integrity is crucial in validating and enhancing your brand’s online reputation. This has led to a much savvier and discerning consumer, 95% of whom read online reviews before making a purchase. And not just a few reviews—on average, 70% of users will look at four reviews, while 20% will look at more than 11 reviews. Those numbers may vary depending on your source, but the point is, reviews play a tremendously important role in buying decisions.
When it comes to social proof marketing, reviews are as influential as personal recommendations to a majority of consumers. The flip-side of this coin is that, left to their own devices, consumers find it just as important to leave reviews and feedback for a product or service—especially when that experience was negative.
You don’t have to leave the review process to chance, however. It’s much more effective if your brand has a strategy in place for soliciting and managing reviews. In fact, many of the trends to watch out for that relate to digital reputation management require your brand to take a proactive role in the process. Let’s dive into what some of those trends are and how businesses are using them to control and shape their online reputation more effectively.
Subscribe to the UpCity Blog
Embrace Omnichannel Reputation Management and Moderation… And Avoid Surprises
While you might not be an expert with a specific platform, if you’re in business and in any way competitive in your industry, you already understand the importance of social media marketing as a tool. However, social media platforms can also be one of your most powerful tools for managing and moderating consumer perception. But social media platforms aren’t the only places you should focus.
With Millennial consumers gradually expanding their influence, and the digital-savvy Gen Z entering the economic playing field, consumers are increasingly capable of navigating the full breadth of the digital landscape. Beyond social media, review sites, your website, e-commerce sites, and any other place on the internet where a consumer might make their feelings known about your brand should now be the standard purview of a properly structured reputation management strategy. Luckily there are tools and services that can integrate a full omnichannel approach as easily as a standard Facebook ad campaign. The most important aspect of this is that you’re engaging positively with consumers wherever they are comfortable and negating the chance that there are negative reviews lurking about the web damaging your brand without your knowledge.
Customers don’t know (or care) if you’re a small- or medium-sized business on a limited budget. They expect every business or brand they might interact with to handle their questions or issues at all hours, and they often expect immediate results—or immediate engagement at the very least.
Leverage AI Across Customer Engagement Channels
Your business must operate on a bandwidth comparable to that of your customers, and customers expect some level of engagement 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and no breaks for the holidays. Customers don’t know (or care) if you’re a small- or medium-sized business on a limited budget. They expect every business or brand they might interact with to handle their questions or issues at all hours, and they often expect immediate results—or immediate engagement at the very least.
Luckily, with the growing utility of AI-driven consumer engagement tools such as chatbots on messaging, email, and phone systems, consumers can have extremely complex interactions that can field any number of customer service requirements without the aid of a human operator. And often, these systems can take the sting of a potentially negative situation, ease the customer, schedule follow-up appointments, and provide the consumer with tangible evidence your business is taking care of their needs.
Embrace Word-of-Mouth and Transform Customers into Brand Ambassadors
We talked at the beginning of this article about social proof being one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, and it must play a major role in your approach to reputation management. And unlike expensive, complex digital marketing campaigns, inviting customers who have had a positive experience to provide video or written testimonials about their experience will cost you next to nothing in the long run and provide a robust return on your investment. That’s due to a combination of several factors. First, consumers want to be the voice that guides their peers towards a product or service the consumer found value in for themselves. And second, they want to have their moment in the spotlight. Inviting consumers who’ve had positive experiences with your brand to be ambassadors across social media and other channels will generate more qualified leads and ultimately drive more revenue to your bottom line.
Testimonial and Explainer Videos Champion Your Brand’s Authenticity
Video content in marketing has been trending in various ways for several years now, and trends show video to be emerging as one of the primary methods for conveying product or service information in a marketing sense. However, the pandemic has pushed video to the forefront in another powerful way by focusing consumers on testimonials and explainer videos, key to the consumer journey in deciding on what product or service to purchase. By providing these types of video and weaving them into your brand’s overall presentation, you’re establishing your reputation as informative and aware of consumer needs, as well as controlling the narrative. Providing consumers with the story you’d like them to tell and then delivering a great experience is the most powerful way to ensure that your story will be shared and told.
Rise to the Top with Effective Digital Reputation Management
In the modern economic landscape, consumers find it easier to drop a complaint on your Facebook page or leave a negative review on your product sales page than they do engaging with your customer service team. That’s why trends in digital reputation management have become more automated technologically and strategically more focused on proactive approaches to engaging and inviting reviews and feedback. Follow these trends throughout the remainder of 2021 and beyond to ensure your reputation won’t be tarnished and you won’t be blindsided by negative customer sentiment.