4 Dangers Of Failing To Monitor Your Online Reputation

monitor your online reputation

Monitoring your online reputation can be time consuming for any business owner, leave alone trying to respond to each and every comment or review. Despite this, reputation management is something you must commit yourself to as it leaves a lasting impression on how people view your business.

Ignoring or not paying enough attention to monitoring your reputation may not only jeopardize your brand, but could also get your business into a hole that might be very difficult to get out of. Here are four reasons why ignoring your online reputation is a huge mistake:

  1. You won’t know what bad stuff is being said about you

It’s inevitable that someone will say something negative online about your business. It’s not just important to know about it – you also need to deal with it quickly so it doesn’t escalate.

You want to suppress negative mentions as much as you legally can, or at least decrease their online visibility. If you don’t know about them, you won’t be able to deal with them, which only worsens the situation.

  1. You won’t know what good stuff is being said about you

It can be quite insulting when someone compliments your business and get no acknowledgement. With so many competitors out there, you could easily lose customers just for that.

A simple note of thanks for positive reviews will help you build your customer relationships, while encouraging would-be customers to do business with you. Additionally, you can take advantage of positive reviews by using them to boost your ongoing marketing efforts.

  1. You will not be able to respond to questions

Discussion forums are choke-full of unanswered questions directed to companies from their own customers. This is simply irresponsible from a customer-care perspective, and suggests that you could care less about your customers concerns.

Monitoring such forums for mentions of your company give you the opportunity to address customer issues. This will go a long way in solidifying existing customer relationships and even boosting sales.

  1. You will miss out on brand ambassadors

Thanks to social media, you can now engage your unofficial brand ambassadors. These are the ones who will mention you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, showing off the products they bought from you and doing some serious marketing on your behalf for free.

These are the loyal customers that will keep coming back for more purchases and will introduce your business to their friends. I cannot overemphasize the need to acknowledge them and nurture these relationships.

Helpful tip: There are various free tools that allow you to monitor your online reputation without eating into your budget. They include Google Alerts, Social Mention and Topsy and many others.

Reputation management is today an industry in itself, so if you feel overwhelmed, there are professionals out there who are experts at monitoring online reputations. Get them on board and avoid the risk of a few negative reviews destroying your image.

 

Why Do You Need to Capture Your Customers’ Information?

why having a database is a great marketing tool

If you consider your company’s marketing capabilities important, then customer data must be a priority. Without it, your marketing efforts may not be as effective as you might imagine. Capturing information about your customers is not difficult, and there are many tools to make the process a lot easier. If you have your customer’s contact info you can make yourself a ton of money.

Here are 6 reasons why you need to capture your customers’ contact information:

  1. Know your customer

In order to be successful as a business, you need to know your customers so well that you can predict what they want and provide it even before they ask. Database marketing, for instance, is only possible when you have an accurate history of their purchase history.

  1. You can offer personalized service and communication

Capturing customer information allows you to know who they are, when and how they purchase products. This can be used to design personalized communication and services that will make your customers feel valued. As a result, your efforts will better match their expectations, which will encourage customer loyalty.

  1. You can market to them

Existing customers are more likely to respond positively to direct marketing efforts, particularly when they have had a positive experience with your company. Email marketing is especially effective when you have already built a solid relationship with your customers. This also means that they will be more willing to make future purchases from your company.

  1. You can build customer segments

Obtaining your customer’s information also allows you to learn their purchase habits – what, when and how often they buy. With such information, you can build segments of customers with similar behavior and then design targeted marketing for them. For instance, you can determine which of your customers to offer incentives to as well as those willing to pay full price for your products or services.

Additionally, having their contact information allows you to easily follow and track one-time customers and convert them into loyal customers.

  1. You can maximize profits

You’re in business to make money, and having your customers’ information helps you do just that. It’s now common knowledge that making money off existing customers is much easier and profitable than from new customers. Generating business from new customers is expensive, which is why your existing pool of customers is your best bet at keeping your business afloat. Customer retention strategies such as email marketing are much easier, cheaper and effective.

Helpful tip: Be careful about asking for too much data from your customers, particularly when they are not making a purchase; this could alienate them. As a rule, ask for no more than three pieces of information at a time, and then aim to gather more during future interactions.

The goal of capturing customer information is to ensure your customers keep coming back to you. By identifying opportunities for continuity and using the information strategically, you can keep them reigned in for years to come.

If you would like expert advice or assistance on email marketing and database marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

5 Tips On How To Build Your Online Reputation

build your online reputation
Your online reputation is so important for getting more business.

As a businessperson competing in today’s market, you need to accept the fact that what Google says about you is now more important than what you say about yourself. If you’re just starting to build your business, your reputation is particularly fragile, so you need to pay a lot of attention to the conversations going on about you, if any.

The biggest challenge for businesses in building their reputation is the fact that you are not in a position to control online conversations, which tend to be quite volatile. With user-generated content driving online activity, conversations about your company will definitely impact your success to a great extent.
Here are five useful tips on how to build your online reputation for business success:

1. Pay attention
It’s advisable to constantly monitor your brand mentions online. Run a search of your brand mentions, then analyze and interpret those results to measure what kind of reputation you have – good or bad. Reputation monitoring tools are particularly useful as they notify you whenever someone mentions your company online.

2. Ensure your personal reputation doesn’t compromise your business reputation
Your personal online reputation will affect your business reputation whether you like it or not. Offensive posts and comments on Facebook from yourself or your team are going to cause your brand to lose ground against your competitors. You need to know exactly what potential customers see when they look you up online, and fix any problems there.

3. Engage on social media
There is very little brand reputation building you can do today if you’re not active on social media. When done right, engaging on social media can generate lots of referrals to your website and business. Remember that social media engagement goes beyond content management – real time engagement with your customers and fans is the crucial too.

4. Get feedback and ask customers to share their experience
A good way to get consistent feedback from your customers is to create a follow-up system that allows you to contact them. Capturing their contact information is a good place to start, since you can always email them and ask for a review. Additionally, you could also ask your loyal customers to share their experience, thus contributing positively to a healthy online reputation.

5. Be strategic about responding to negative reviews
Negative reviews can feel awful, but you need to remember that customers are generally forgiving, provided you respond quickly, with empathy and a solution. You can also offer some sort of compensation, such as a voucher or discount, but if there’s nothing you can do, don’t forget to at least apologize.

Helpful tip: Building and monitoring your online reputation can be tasking, and could even start to take your attention away from your core business, particularly if you are growing. Getting an online reputation marketing agency on board will benefit you in ways only the experts can.

If you are looking for expert and professional advice on how to build your online reputation, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re happy to help.

 

5 Reasons Your Web Design Should Be At The Top Of Your Priority List

local web design

Many business owners don’t believe their local web design is a big deal. As long as you’ve got a working website, that should be enough, right? Wrong! Your website does far much more than ensure your business information can be found online, and your web design entails much more than simple aesthetics.

Studies reveal that a well-built website will actually generate customer traffic, while a good user interface will increase conversion. But how? Here’s 5 ways how a good website design affects your business:

1. It builds trust

Studies show that visitor trust decreases as the usability of a website declines. When customers visit your site, they have certain expectations about what kind of experience they should have. If your website meets these expectations, a good impression of your business is formed. Naturally, they will also expect that their expectations of your products or services will also meet their expectations, and they are more likely to buy your products or services.

2. It solves your visitors’ problems

When customers visit your website, they are usually doing so to get some information about your business or what you’re selling. Research shows that lack of information is one of the biggest hindrances to a good user experience.

Your web design will affect the ease of navigation, which has to do with how easy it is to travel throughout the website. This in turn dictates how easily a visitor can find the information he or she is looking for.

3. It supports your brand image

When your website is well designed, it encourages visitors to spend more time on your virtual space. This means they are exposed to your brand logo longer and will build positive associations with your brand.

This is very important as it influences their willingness to buy your products or services, as well as their chances of recommending your business to family and friends. It is worth noting that influencers are 18% more likely to share, follow or comment after interacting with a site that is highly usable.

4. It allows for effective advertising

A great web design allows visitors to find what they are looking for while providing opportunities to advertise without getting in their way.

5. It allows customers to interact with your business

When visiting a website, the average person will try to get what they need for 60 seconds before they give up. This means that if a visitor is unable to get what they need within one minute of your website loading, they will probably have moved on to your competitors.

In contrast, the faster they are able to find what they need, the longer they would be willing to have a look at what else you have to offer. This increases the chances of additional business.

Helpful tip: Placing your most important business information strategically, such as on the upper left hand column, helps get your message across more effectively and also improves your SEO.

4 Reasons Why You Need To Get Positive Online Reviews

benefits of postive online reviewsIf there’s one thing that should not be in doubt, it’s that online reviews have a huge impact on your digital business portfolio. In fact, potential clients need to see positive reviews of your business before they buy from you. Statistics show that over 88% of shoppers incorporate reviews into their buying decision.

It’s worth noting that a good online review today is just as good as a good referral. They both show that you’re running the type of business customers want to be associated with. Like referral leads, good reviews allow you to skip a lot of the relationship building and guarantee high closing numbers.

Here are 4 reasons why you need to get positive reviews:

1. It contributes to your local SEO efforts

Although they may not directly affect all organic search rankings, reviews impact specific or local searches. Location-specific searches favor highly rated businesses and will rank them first. Additionally, although other factors will also come into play, the total number of reviews, their length and quality, as well as the variety of review sites where your business features will contribute to where you fall in the pecking order.

2. Ratings feature prominently on Google Map

The Google Map search layout shows ratings and reviews prominently, so users can immediately tell what others think of your business. This is the kind of immediate feedback that encourages buyers to make a snap decision. Additionally, results are also ranked based on their rating performance and reviews.

3. Customers are increasingly trusting strangers over brands

In the absence of word-of-mouth, online reviews are highly trusted by internet users. In fact, statistics show that although reviews from family and friends are generally more trusted than online reviews, more than 50% of shoppers between 18 and 34 years say they trust online reviews more than the opinions of family and friends.

4. User reviews increase conversions

Customers will more likely make a purchase from a site with user reviews, and visitors that interact with reviews and customer questions will spend more than visitors who don’t. Note that this doesn’t only apply for good reviews – even bad ones. A few not-so-good reviews actually help create a more authentic look. Customers may even dismiss reviews as fake if they’re all good.

Helpful tip: Many online review users will search for the name of a product and include the word ‘review’ or ‘rating’ to the search. It is therefore important to include reviews on your site as you will have a better chance of picking up this traffic.

It’s not just important to have good reviews. You also need to deal with bad reviews positively and see it as an opportunity to improve your business, not just for the individual customer, but also for other customers forming opinions about your business based on those reviews.

 

When Customers Rant: 4 Steps To Dealing With Bad Online Reviews

online reviews good or bad

You may not want to admit it, but if you’re like most normal people owning a business, online reviews and ratings can really make or spoil your day. Positive reviews are always great and boost your online reputation, encouraging new customers to bring their business to you.

On the other hand, negative reviews have the potential of not just turning away new customers, but turning the whole world against you – even people who’ve never done business with you. This is why you cannot possibly afford to ignore bad review.

Here’s a short guide on how to fix a bad Google review, or any other online review for that matter:

1. Fix your product or service
No matter how difficult it may feel to be rational about a negative review, you need to stay calm. The best first step to take is to assume the customer is right and is in fact justified in posting the review and it’s your job to fix what’s wrong.

With such an attitude, you will be in the best position to identify what may perhaps need improvement on your part.

2. Turn on the customer care charm
Your online marketing could be the best in town, but without an equally strong customer care culture to back it up, you may as well be stabbing yourself in the back. Good customer care actually demands that you go the extra mile in making things right, even if you think the customer is wrong.

Try your best to contact the customer and see whether you can make things right. This is not about serving egos – it’s about investing in your reputation, which is a crucial ingredient in your company’s success.

3. Make it up to them
It’s not just enough to acknowledge customer complaints. If there’s a way to make it up to them, make sure you do just that. In an instance when the customer’s complaint is genuine and legitimate, make amends by apologizing and then offering something at no cost to them.

If you’re offering a service, offer a redo of the service, but make sure this time the customer will have nothing to complain about. If you haven’t fixed the problem, you may make things worse by repeating your mistake.

4. Acknowledge negative reviews
Not all reviews will be fair, but if they’re on a reputable site, they should at least be acknowledged. Even if you have no intention of making it up to an unreasonable customer, you still need to apologize for his or her experience.

However, this should only be done on reputable review sites. Bad reviews on negative rant sites such as RipOff Report should be left as they are, since replying will only build their rankings and increase the chances that they’ll come up on Google when your company name is searched.

Helpful tip: Always respond positively to a negative review. You may be tempted to justify yourself because you’re right and the customer is wrong, but this will do more harm than good. If you can’t be pleasant, then at least be neutral.

If you need expert help building your online reputation and making yours a business success story, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

 

5 Reasons Why You Need To Build Your Online Business Reputation

build online reputation

About 61% of shoppers research products online, and about 90% of customers say their buying is influenced by online reviews. Additionally, 85% of consumers say they will read up to 10 reviews before they can trust a business. This shows that your company’s reputation should be prioritized as part of your marketing efforts.

Your advertising efforts, regardless of how much you spend on them, only serve to introduce your business to the public. However, most people today will go online to find out more about your business and gauge its reputation before doing business with you.

To break it down, here are 5 reasons why you need to build your online reputation:

1. Your online reputation attracts customers or turns them away
Acquiring the trust of your client’s trust is a huge step towards the success of your business. Consumers typically discuss their purchases, and it’s never been easier to do this than it is today, thanks to the internet. It is worth noting that while a good reputation can take years to build, it can be destroyed in a short time. Even worse, negative reviews can cause even your existing customers to go elsewhere.

2. Your online reputation affects your sales
Since customers want to find out about a business beforehand, it follows that a good reputation will bring paying customers to your business. In fact, your reputation may be one of the biggest factors affecting your profits. When the reputation of a business falls, you can be sure that its profits will soon follow.

3. Your online reputation affects your competitiveness
When customers read negative reviews about your business and decide not to buy your products or services, this does not solve their problem. They will keep searching for a company they are comfortable doing business with, and will ultimately buy from your competition. Additionally, customers will often compare ratings before deciding where to buy. In other words, your reputation indicates where you stand in comparison to your competition.

4. Your online reputation affects your business partnerships
With a poor reputation, you have even more to worry about than just the customers. Potential and existing business partners may come across a poor review posted online, or even read about alleged bad business practices in your business.

Your business partners have an even bigger stake in your business than your customers, because they stand to lose their money if your business fails. A poor reputation is therefore dangerous as it could put your future income at risk in case a partner is put off by something online.

5. Your online reputation affects your workforce
Prospective employees will likely research your company before they apply to work for you. A negative blog post by one of your former employees could keep the highly competent professionals you need from your company.

Helpful tip: The best approach to building your reputation is to use a system that allows you to be proactive.

We offer a simple yet efficient system that will not only monitor your online reputation, but will also help build a good reputation for your business. Contact us today for more information.

4 Huge Benefits Video Marketing Offers Your Business

Despite their growing popularity of video marketing, a lot of people still view it as an expensive form of marketing that is best left to the big brands with millions of dollars worth in marketing budgets. Nothing could be further from the truth, because even with a tight budget, you can still make the most of video marketing.

Thanks to mobile devices, people can watch videos anywhere at any time, creating a huge potential market. Additionally, the positive results you will gain will more than offset any costs that it may incur.

Here are 4 video marketing benefits proving why you should include it in your brand building efforts:

1. Videos allow you to get and hold people’s attention

More than 64% of internet users would rather watch videos than read text, and this is set to reach 80% within the next three years. In addition to being more appealing, videos allow you to use less of the viewers time to get your message across.

In other words, you would have greater luck getting potential customers to watch a full 3-minute video than read text with the same message that would take them almost double the time to read. It is also worth noting that email open rates increase by 19% when the word ‘video’ appears on the subject line.

2. Videos allow you to create a more memorable impression than text

Videos allow you to communicate your very important message while entertaining your viewers, which is what the most effective video ads do. Using text to do this will likely require a longer piece, decreasing the likelihood of your viewers reading through it. Additionally, viewers are far more likely to remember a video they watched than a written piece they read.

You also get the chance to give your brand a human touch through direct personal messages, something that will help build your reputation and customer trust. Keep in mind that more people today will recommend a company after watching their video.

3. Videos are actually quite affordable

Contrary to what many assume, video marketing need not be time-consuming, expensive or complicated. At its simplest, you can actually use your smartphone or a budget camcorder to create something that will capture your audience’s attention.
Cheap lighting and some help from a video editor to give it a professional touch should not cost much, and you gain all the benefits of video marketing that big brands enjoy.

4. Videos improve your SEO

Simply put, Google loves videos. Posting videos on your site is a great way to increase your search ranking. In fact, research from Forester showed that when there’s a video on your web page, it is 53 times more likely to appear on the first Google results page.

Helpful tip: It’s advisable to have a couple of videos on your site. However, ensure that each video offers some value to your viewers and is not just promotional. Teach them something new or entertain them for the best result.

Any business set to succeed in this day and age cannot afford to neglect the need for video marketing and its benefits. Smart business people are not asking whether they should use video marketing; they’re asking how they should use it.

 

4 Major Ways Local Business Directories Can Help To Improve Your Advertising

tips for using local directories for advertising

There’s really no point of having your business online if customers cannot find you. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners do not take advantage of one of the most helpful yet simple tools to improve their online visibility – local business directories.

These directories typically provide the most basic information on companies such as the business name, address, contact information and website. Listing your business in a local directory allows you to provide accurate information about your business that can easily be found by a wide base of potential customers.

Here are just some of the benefits you may be missing out on if your business information is not yet listed in local directories:

1. Targeted Advertising

Most customers will use local directories when looking for a particular company, service or product. They will typically use a search term that includes the product or service and their geographical area. If you have not availed your local directory submissions, your business will probably not come up among the first results, so you’re essentially missing out on a lot of traffic. Additionally, these customers are likely performing these searches to make a purchase, so you cannot afford to miss out on this simple form of advertising.

2. Improved Inbound Marketing

When you include your website URL as part of the information you provide, this provides valuable inbound links to your website. As a result, the ranking of your website on popular search engines could improve, which would then increase the number of visitors and potential customers to your site.

Keep in mind that Google Search holds a lot of these local directories in high regard, so you receive a dramatic boost in search rankings by simply being listed in one or more of them.

3. Boost Your Local Business Growth

Business directories offer the most convenient way for potential customers to gain accurate information on business including the name, address, phone number and website. As such, when your online listings are accurate, customers are able to easily find you when using local search apps or directories. This is also why you must ensure that your information is up-to-date and check regularly for updates.

4. Enhance Your Reputation

A person that uses online directories is in most cases ready to make a purchase and is looking for reputable business. The simple fact that they can find your business on an online directory is viewed as good reason to trust your business. It is therefore logical to expect that the level of trust among customers increases with the number of reputable directories in which your business is listed.

Helpful tip: Make sure the business details provided on different directories (including your business name, address and phone number) are the same. If they are different, your business will be viewed as different multiple businesses. If your business can be found in different locations, then you need to differentiate them based on the particular geographical areas.

The best part about using local directories for advertising is it’s free, or comes at a very low cost. Additionally, it generates organic traffic to your website, something you can never have too much of.

If you’re looking for expert advice on how you can make full use of the most reputable local business directories, or to talk to an online marketing expert, please contact us today.

Online Reputation Management Consultant Vancouver BC

I get this question asked all the time, how does a local business build their online reputation and then leverage this power to get more customers?

It can be kind of complicated, but if you have the right system it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Here is a few tips to help improve your online reputation.

Tip #1: ask customers or your patients about their experience. If you provide a five star experience then your customers won’t have a problem leaving a review.

Tip #2: have a feedback page you can email your customers or patients. Having a feedback page you can email is a great way to get reviews. Not only that, if there is a problem you are able to find out right away and deal with it before it gets too late.

Tip #3: create a thank you follow up system. If you can stay in contact with your customers with a follow up system there is a great chance they will leave a review they buy your product or service.

I hope these tips help.

Google Dictating Tool Review

I came across this great tool today. It’s a dictation tool offered by Google.

It’s apparently similar to Dragon Naturally Speaking. I don’t know how new it is, but I came across it today, so I thought I’d just create this video. I used Dragon all the time and it saves me tons of time, but it’s expensive, so if you’re into trying the Google dictating log into Google Drive using Chrome browser, and on the top here you can see add-ons.

You need to configure it to your city or your country and language and the commands.

One thing I learned from using Dragon Naturally Speaking is to have, or invest in a good microphone.

Another thing is to speak slow and clear so Dragon can understand what you are saying.

So far so good, I think it is a little slow, but we’ll keep trying and see what happens.

So I’m not sure, it seems all right, but seems a little slow actually but you never know.

Try it out and give it a shot, it might save you some time.

I hope this helps

Have a great day.

Why pay attention to your online reputation?

why you need reputation marketingA few tips on why you need to take care of your online reputation including monitoring, managing and marketing.

I had a client today call me and ask about their online reputation. They have been spending tons of money advertising and not seeing any return on their investment (ROI).
They said they have been spending lots of money on Google Adwords, Facebook marketing and in their local newspaper. They have even updated their website and hired a local writer to start writing content focused on their products and services.

I said to them this is great but what does your online reputation look like? I did a search for them and then realized their reputation sucked. They had lots of bad reviews and even had a few websites with a 1 Star.

I gave them a few tips on how to get started repairing their reputation but I also said this takes time and you need to monitor and market your reputation.

More and more people search online before making a buying decision so monitoring and marketing your reputation is a must. If you get one bad review this can have your potential client or customer going to your competition.

In today’s online world you must take your reputation serious. If you don’t you are putting your business at risk. Not only that if you monitor your reputation and for some reason there is a bad review then you will be notified right away and have time to respond to it before any new customers see them.

Every business is going to have bad reviews but if you respond correctly you can turn a negative review into a positive preventing any more things happening. If you see a Beta review you can change your working practices so it doesn’t happen again.

I hope this helps if you have any questions about your reputation or online marketing be sure to give us a call or use the contact us form on the site.

Video Marketing Agency Vancouver BC

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine int world after Google? Or that an average US citizen watches 186 online videos per month?

The truth is, we don’t watch TV like we used to. YouTube is replacing TV nowadays, as you can see in your daily life.

More importantly, you need to be aware of this fact if you want to promote your business in the most effective way with the lowest costs.

You see, videos can be used to promote your products or services to educate your customers or to entertain them. However using videos, they can bring more clients through your door.
If you’re not using videos, then you’re actually losing customers to the competitors who are using them. In the end, it doesn’t matter what business you are in, you can benefit from using videos in your promotional campaigns.

The best part is that you don’t need to write a huge check to promote your business through videos as you do when advertising on TV. In your opinion, which type of video could help your business the most?