“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”- Warren Buffett
Think of your business as a pond and your brand reputation as what has the power to influence the water. One small incident involving your company, and suddenly your reputation becomes a tossed pebble sending ripples across the surface. In reality, your brand reputation has a ripple effect on every facet of your company from SEO to lead generation, conversion, and customer retention. You can probably think of a few companies in recent months that have found themselves in instances that have jeopardized their reputations. Brands with negative reputations are put in a position to defend their business while trying to salvage what they can of their reputation. It is best to heed the old advice that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure--take the time to invest in your brand reputation from the start and you will see the return on investment unfold.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the foundation of any solid marketing strategy. A majority of web traffic is driven by search engines, with 80% coming from Google alone. Shoppers are on the internet searching for the product or service your brand offers, your goal is to appear in those search results. If optimized, your brand will appear in front of the eyes of hundreds to thousands to millions of potential customers who are leads waiting to be converted. Additionally, SEO is organic meaning it won’t cost your business any added expense and can bolster your credibility on the web.
Lead generation and conversions
A brand with a positive reputation will have an easier time generating leads than a company with a negative reputation. Consumers will most likely stray away from any brand that has negative press, reviews, or reputation and those companies will have to work harder to defend their brand. As a result, business is lost and revenue suffers. However, brands with positive press, reviews, and reputation will reap the benefits of the effort they have invested in building their reputation. Consumers are more likely to do business with companies they feel they can trust, and generating leads will be much easier. The high volume of generated leads will increase your revenue while presenting an opportunity for lower personnel costs associated with generating leads. It's easy to see how investing in your brand reputation has a positive impact on your bottom line.
Once you have put in the effort to generate and convert a lead into a customer, the work does not stop there. You must ensure you are taking the right steps to keep your customers satisfied. Never forget about the power of a repeat customer. The cost of retaining existing customers is much lower than the cost of recruiting new customers. Repeat buyers are aware of your product or service, have placed trust in the quality, and purchase more frequently than new customers.
Customers that you have worked to retain and foster a relationship with can also become an additional resource for lead generation. Loyal and happy customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends and family. Studies show that 70% of adults are more likely to trust product recommendations from those closest to them, whereas that number drops to just 10% who trust traditional advertisements from brands.
Reap the rewards for your brand
Begin by working with your marketing team to optimize your search engine rankings. The greater number of people who find your site through organic search means a greater number of generated leads. Next, strive to convert and retain those leads through positive customer experience. Strong customer relationship management will create loyal customers who share their experiences with family and friends through word-of-mouth advertising. Lastly, enjoy the return on your investment in the forms of conversion-ready leads.
Your brand reputation speaks for itself, make sure it's saying good things!