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Much of your marketing efforts go toward increasing your reach and growing a loyal audience. How your audience feels about you depends on more than offering a quality product or service. As you grow your business, whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or work with others, your brand reputation can make or break your brand.
Reviews, Word of Mouth, and Gossip
When a potential customer sees positive reviews and recommendations, they’re more comfortable exchanging their money for your product or service. That’s a no-brainer. How many times do you catch yourself on the fence about buying something and go to the reviews section? No matter how great your marketing copy is, people trust other people who can vouch for the fantastic quality of the product or speedy service.
Obviously, this can work against you if your reviews aren’t very flattering. It never feels good to get a bad review, but look past the hurt to see if there are ways you can improve the customer experience and mend your brand reputation.
Whatever you do, don’t try to bury the complaints. You can’t stop people from talking about your brand, so your job is to make that talk as positive as possible. Otherwise, you can have customers on the verge of making a purchase cancel their order because a friend or relative warned them.
Note: Do Not Feed The Trolls
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who take a small inconvenience as an excuse to get nasty. If it’s an issue outside of your control–like the shipping delays caused by COVID-19 or severe weather–remain calm, understanding, and polite.
But if you address the issue and a person continues to send messages or post comments clearly looking for a fight, stop responding and block them if necessary. Blocking is a last resort, however.
Affiliates and Collaborators
Let’s say you’re just starting your business. Your product/service is awesome, but you struggle to broaden your customer base. You seek the advice of another professional and enter into an affiliation contract with another business or influencer. Their brand reputation is stellar, so their audience trusts the recommendation and starts buying from you. Congratulations on growing your business!
Now, what if the entity you partner with suffers a massive blow to its brand reputation? Your shared customer base will abandon you both. The risk is the same if you’re the bigger brand helping to grow a smaller business’s reach and you’re the one that messes up. Your contracted endorsement means you are linked by association. If you want any chance at saving your business, you have to meet the issue head-on.
Brand Reputation Handled by Experts
If navigating your brand reputation feels too complicated, consider outsourcing the work. You can focus more on your products and services while the agency ensures your visitors click here when and where you want, boosting your visibility and sales.
Like you, the people working for a digital marketing agency can make mistakes and bad choices. It can happen when you just start working together or even years into a business relationship. Keep in mind that if the mistake is big enough that you sever the contract, you’ll be the one left salvaging your brand reputation. At least until you can hire a replacement.
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