Monthly Archives: March 2016

Online Reputation Management – 7 key points for success

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The reputation of your brand is like the moto of your business. Reputation is an important factor for growth, brand development and sustainability of the business. Word of mouth has been an important tool for sales and marketing for ages and it still is. But, as we enter and thrive in the world of the Internet, businesses need to manage their image online as words over the web travels much faster. A tarnished reputation can be a grave crisis for any business.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon once said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6000 friends.” So, you can imagine the intensity of a bad reputation. Its impact on your business is unavoidable, and sometimes irreversible.

Online Reputation Management is managing your presence on the Internet, how your business looks when they search for it and how to manage reviews. It is how the positive content about you and your business comes up first and the negatives are pushed down below, so that Google searches give a positive image of your business. Research shows that 70% of people take action based on online reviews and 68% of people trust consumer reviews posted online.

As a matter of fact, you cannot control bad news and once its up online, it stays there forever. So, it is important to manage what goes online or how to change that in your favour and create good news. The following pointers will help you to make your Online Reputation Management program a success.

Know your customers:

As you are in the process of creating your online presence and build your reputation, get feedback from your customers. Know what is good with your business and what could be better. Talk and highlight about your positives so that customers can also testify. Keep a track of improvement areas and your plans of resolution so that you can proactively respond, if a review or comment comes up.

Voice out carefully:

Choose your words, actions and shares carefully on the Internet, especially on social media. So, it is important to have a social media policy in place. Check before you post or share something on your business page or blog, if is in-line with your business and if it is relevant and useful for readers. In case, you have a business blog, refrain from making it a sales pitch, rather share information, that motivates audience to reach you.

Know your employee experience:

Your employees are your greatest marketers, both offline and online. What they speak about you outside or how they present you matters a lot. So, know about their experiences about you, your business, the workplace before they share anything on the web. The social media policy will help you to keep a track of information. Knowing your employees is as important as knowing your customers.

Be transparent and consistent:

This is one of the most important things. You really do not have to disclose every bit of information, but ensure you are transparent and consistent in what you are disclosing. Be consistent with what you say online and follow it in your business soon. A transparent reputation makes your business look clean and customers appreciate the same.

Monitor your online presence:

While it is important to monitor your updates on the web, it is equally important to monitor what people say about you over the Internet. So, keep a track about references, shares, tags, etc. It is also a good practice to know about your competitors and what they are up to.

Be true and sincere:

Make sure the information you share online pertaining to you or the industry is true and valid. Seek information sincerely from customers and respond appropriately. Talk about your best practices, your story and experiences. Reveal relevant and true facts and figures so that people are assured of your authenticity and rapport.

Build your online reputation NOW:

The onus of building your reputation is on YOU. So, it is better you build your reputation before someone else builds it for you. Digital marketing and online presence is quite important in today’s age and you should leverage the widespread reach and accessibility to customer base over the Internet to the advantage of your business. So, if you are there online, make sure your brand, networks, followers and social engagements present a positive image of your business

While you know best what to write about your business and how to build your brand, do not ignore the negative comments, get into arguments or share your details in any response. Manage online reputation and brand building wisely and reap the benefits of positive publicity.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.”, make sure your Online Reputation Management strategy is fool proof to prevent any damages. A good online reputation is truly a boon for the business and takes it a long way ahead.

 

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Create A Website For Business Purpose

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While starting a business has its own hindrances, but running and sustaining it is quite a challenge in itself. In this digital age, your business needs an effective online presence to thrive and succeed. With the growing number of users accessing the net everyday for various purposes, it is very important for businesses to leverage this for customer reach and engagement.

A website is the front-end of your business, which gives the first impression. And as we know, the long-term impact of the first impression, it is very important to present your Corporate website with a branding potential for your business.

According to the 2015 Digital Marketing Survey, around 74% of small businesses already have a website, while a quarter of them still don’t have a website. Among the people, who do not have a website, around 9% plan to start a website in the near future, while 10% still have no plans to start a website. Experts feel that small businesses still lack the adaptation to the Web and adopt digital marketing as their strategy.

But, gradually they are shifting to a store front online and making their presence mobile friendly as well. A website is the first interaction of the consumer with the Company. It introduces the business, its stakeholders, its products and services, its goodwill and its brand identity. Some of the key factors that influence the type of website suitable for a business are as follows:

Nature of your business:

This is an important factor. If you are looking at sales, then it is advisable to go for an e-commerce site. If your business requires brand building, then you need to invest in a different type of site.

Geographic implication:

Your location or point-of-sales is also one important factor. You need to invest accordingly for web hosting and availability, including accessibility.

Technological aspect:

You need to invest carefully on the technological aspects like levels of security and authorization, based on the business requirement.

Future roadmap:

You need to keep a focussed outlook of your future business plans or expansion, while designing your website today.

The above survey also indicated that around a quarter of small businesses with a website intend to increase their spending on web development, web design and hosting in 2016 as they feel it will be helpful for their business. In addition to this, around 56% of companies have a responsive website to cater to the market penetration via mobile devices, and other platforms, while 17% want to make their website responsive for the same reasons.

Some of the main reasons for creating a website for business purposes, have been discussed below:

Potential online business:

If you are not creating a website for your online presence, you are probably losing out on potential customers. The purchase mechanism and customers have evolved over time and online sales is the growing trend. So, to tap more prospects, sustain growth and goodwill in this competitive market, you need a good website to enhance brand value.

Providing better support to customers:

A website is a platform to engage with your customers. This helps a business to support its customers with information, online assistance, updates, and much more in one place.

Gathering feedback and suggestions:

Having a website comes easy for customers to reach you. They will be eager to send feedback or suggestions online. A website can facilitate online surveys or ratings. These are quite helpful for business’ for improvement and market analysis.

Gearing up for the future:

With more number of people moving into the digital world for their needs and requirements, the online marketplace is virtually real. So, the future of global business is online and if you need to stay in business, you need to adapt and adopt.

Different business needs different types of websites based on their requirements, business focus, marketing strategies and future roadmap. One of the main thing to keep in mind while designing a website is – what is the purpose of the website? Some of the major types of websites for different businesses are:

Sale of product and services through an e-commerce site:

E-commerce websites cater to businesses with an online store. This helps them to reach more customers and also interact and engage with existing one in a better way. They create direct revenues and measurable profits.

Generation of leads through a lead generation site:

They mostly are required for sales lead generation, but they still require heavy funds as it involves a lot of analytics and tracking mechanism.

Increasing goodwill and brand value through a credential site:

These are the least expensive ones and are more information-based. They can be used to increase brand awareness and tell customers about you and your brand.

A Company website is the face of their brand and should be attractive and appealing. Proper content, strong images, useful information, ease of navigation, SEO, promotions, and several other factors needs to be incorporated to set up a user-friendly and effective website.

Your customers will reach you through your website, so make the first impression a good one to ensure a long-lasting relationship.

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