25 July 2020
To put it simply: reputation marketing is the marriage between reputation management and brand marketing. It is the art of creating not only a notable but credible reputation and marketing that to accentuate your small business’ brand.
There is a large misconception, especially in Hawaii, that a business’ success is measured by a recurring client base, something that has and will sustain them for decades to come. While referral or word of mouth was the most powerful marketing tool for the past 100 years, things have evolved.
Not to mention, with the current social and political climate, pre-existing marketing strategies that many local businesses have built their brands will not be sustainable in the new economy.
Why Is Reputation Marketing So Important?
How many times have you searched for a service on Google and chose either the business with 2 or 3 stars, or no reviews at all over the 5 star business with 50 or more reviews? The answer is probably never.
When a business has negative or no reviews, that signals to a potential customer that no one is engaging or raving about them, greatly diminishing the changes of getting that prospect’s business.
Some quick facts about reputation marketing:
- 91% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business.
- 82% of consumers are less likely to use a business after seeing negative reviews.
- 76% trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.
- Even after getting referred to a business, 87% of people go online to look that business up.
- Reputation marketing is proven to bring in 19% more customers when increasing a business’ rating by ½ a star.
When small businesses monitor their reviews, encourage existing customers to post reviews on popular directories like Yelp, Google, or TripAdvisor, and amplify those good reviews and testimonies to their website and social media; they build measurable value signaling an active and trustworthy business to potential customers.
Why This Is Critical To Hawaii
While referrals and word of mouth have traditionally been critical in growing and maintaining the success of Hawaiian small businesses, it has become limiting. When you refer someone to a business, that is a 1 on 1 interaction between individuals, it is private, and finite. When someone leaves a review online, it is an individual informing thousands on a public forum of their experience and opinion about that business; it is also measurable.
Reviews are measurable as the quantity and quality are not only easily consumed by potential and existing customers, but they signal to search engines the activity and quality of your business either promoting or booting you from the first page of search results for your industry keywords.
In such an oversaturated and corporate market like that which exists on the Hawaiian islands, small businesses had to grow and thrive through a good reputation. Without investing in your reputation through reaching out to customers whether that’s promoting positive reviews or quickly contacting those who had a poor experience providing valuable customer service; that reputation may be in jeopardy.
The most recent Local Search Industry Survey ranked the most valuable local marketing services as:
- Google My Business optimization
- On-site optimization
- Reputation management
- Citation management
- Website design
Luckily, reputation marketing is the most cost effective and straightforward marketing strategy. All you have to do is reach out, listen, and use those testimonials to continue growing and thriving.