How To Improve Your Brand Reputation Online

how to improve brand reputation

It is true what they say; reputation is everything. Well, any digital marketing agency in London will tell you when it comes to brand identity, it certainly is. You can spend 15 years building a reputation and 15 minutes ruining it, as the old adage says.

However, no one can have a 100% squeaky clean reputation. We all understand mistakes happen, complaints occur, and this ultimately can cause some damage to your brand's reputation. 

But a couple of negative complaints doesn't mean your brand is completely ruined; there are steps and measures you can take to ensure that you not only improve your reputation but also help build your brand up as a reliable, trustworthy and reputable company. 

Why Is It Important? 

It is essential to manage your online brand reputation because it impacts consumer behaviour, including the most important thing… whether or not they choose to buy from you. 

When potential buyers look at your brand, they want to see if it fits their interests and needs. If they find that you have a good reputation online, then there is a higher chance that they will buy from you because of this alignment. 

Customers who know about your good reputation may be more inclined to continue using your services or products because they know what to expect (i.e. quality). 

You may be thinking, well, brand reputation is all about other people's opinions, which I cannot control. Well, you would be right to a certain extent, but there are ways you can not only change people's opinions but monitor what is said and say you control the conversation around your brand. 

Tracking 

Track your brand mentions. This can be done through social media, search engine results and third-party review sites. You will need to have a strategy in place to follow up on these mentions and respond accordingly. 

Using a monitoring tool that gathers data from multiple sources and offers it all in one place for easy access, you can ensure you don't miss a thing. 

Up Your Social Media Check-Ins 

Be active on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn that are relevant to your business. 

Social media community management is key here. If someone has slid into your DMs with a question, they will likely expect a quick and fast response, so ensure that you either are checking them regularly or you have a plan in place to ensure each person is responded to within 24 hours. 

If you find something bad said about your company or product/service offerings online that doesn't look legitimate (or at least from an unbiased source), report it immediately so that the offending content gets taken down ASAP! 

UGC 

While professional, well-lit photos on your website look the most appealing and enticing, sometimes a raw, authentic photo of a happy customer can increase your brand's reputation even more effectively. 

So encourage your customer to share their content of them interacting with your brand. User-generated content creates social proof of concept and is very positive for your reputation. 

Let Your Reviews Do The Talking! 

Ask customers who have used your product or service before whether they mind leaving reviews online (especially if they are positive). 

It is not only good practice for businesses nowadays, but it helps consumers feel more confident about buying from companies without first seeing how other people react after doing. 

But don't just delete the bad reviews or ignore them. If someone posts a bad review or complaint on a forum, Facebook page or website, you should reply in a timely manner explaining why you think they have the wrong information or how you can help resolve it. Ideally, try not to make it a public back and forth, but if it is already visible, it can sometimes be good to show that you are willing to put things right for an unhappy customer. 

A simple "Sorry to hear this, have sent you a private DM so we can get to the bottom of this" message can help change the narrative of that initial negative comment. 

Invest In Your SEO 

Getting that coveted top spot on Google's results page carries a lot of weight for any brand. Not only does it show you a reputable brand in Google's eyes, but also the consumers. 

Look to invest in your SEO strategy to ensure that you are up there with the best of the best. We understand that the top spot is these days a highly competitive sport, so at the very least, aim for the top 10. 

A quick tip on how to do this is to stay on top of your blog. 

Conclusion

Your business reputation is everything! By following these tips, you should not only build a good reputation, but repair any damage caused to it in no time.

B2B Startup Paid Advertising vs Organic Marketing

when to use paid marketing b2b startup ppc advertising

B2B Branding Introduction

If you run a B2B startup, you are familiar with the challenges that come with it from what decision to make to what action to take. It's not easy to be decisive, but that is what is required as a startup founder, CEO, investor, CMO, or marketing manager. You get paid to make the tough decisions, including whether or not to pay for advertising or marketing campaigns.

B2B companies sell products or services to other businesses (and sometimes to consumers, too). Paid marketing at a B2B startup can be more tricky than a B2C startup given end users are usually buying on behalf of the organization. And it gets even more confusing if we are talking branding, marketing, and advertising for a B2B2C organization.

Meaningful Marketing Metrics

B2Bs use a lot of metrics that analyze their target audience before pitching and selling a product to them. B2Bs can attract both inbound (when the customer comes to you) and outbound (when you contact the potential customer lead) by: 

• Defining its target customer 
• Using the appropriate communication channels 
• Maintaining communication  

paid marketing b2b startup campaign roi

B2Bs (business to business companies) first consider the size of their audience before they start marketing and pitching them. They filter by SMB / SME small and medium businesses (0-100 employees), mid-market businesses (100-1000 employees), to enterprise businesses (1,000 employees and above). 

Effective business-to-business marketing depends on the size of the audience as marketing is not a one-size fits all process;  it is not possible to design a strategy that works for every size audience. Without understanding your target audience, marketing strategies will be ineffective. 

All You Need To Know About B2B Marketing 

To make the most of any B2B marketing strategy, it is important to consider the goal you wish to achieve. Is the strategy designed to just create visibility? Is it to drive partnerships and collaborations with other businesses? Or is it just simply to maximize profits? 

B2B startups unlike B2Cs (business to consumer models) focus on strategies that help them to pitch their products and services to businesses that need them. The end goal of doing this is so that they can gain visibility and make profits. 

The primary goal of every business is to maximize revenue and profits. Marketing strategies are used to reach your target market and drive awareness of your brand, product, and service. Strategies used differ from one business to another and are dependent on some basic factors. 

Factors that cause marketing strategies to differ include goals, purchase motivation, purchase purpose, purchase process, content, and the people involved in the purchase. 

Factors Impacting B2B Marketing

1. Marketing Goal

The marketing goal of B2Bs is to acquire and retain (high-value customers) which are other companies. Customers will typically be focused on understanding the business case of using your product, the ROI, efficiency, and expertise. Ensure that your marketing strategies communicate these values to your prospective customers. 

2. Purchase Motivation

Customers are not primarily influenced by emotion in B2B marketing. Instead, they are affected by reason, costs, and ROI - i.e. how companies can make more (financial) gains through their products and services. 

3. Purchase Purpose 

B2Bs tend to retain customers longer than B2Cs. Most times, the engagement with their customers is often long-term because of purchase purpose. Once customers have found what they are looking for, they won’t leave unless they are enticed by a better deal or better value elsewhere. In addition, switching costs in B2B solutions are usually higher than B2C solutions. Constant contact, feedback, and service with your customers is important to ensure client loyalty. 

4. Purchase Process 

Unlike B2Cs, purchases are not made directly. Specific employees in the company may be buyers for different types of B2B products. For instance, a Procurement Manager may negotiate deals for enterprise-wide software whereas a Design Manager may buy design software for their specific team. This way, relationships are enhanced and intensified between both parties. 

5. Content

Creating quality content (that informs and convinces) for B2B marketing is very important. Like direct consumers, the customers also need to be educated about new products and solve their problems. 

6. People Involved

B2B customers are not the sole decision-makers. They are often representatives taking instructions from the decision-makers. Make sure you understand the buying process and the key influencers and decision makers in the process to drive effective marketing and sales. 

Free Forms Of Marketing 

There are many B2B startups on a budget out there as well looking for free advertising avenues. Some top free forms of marketing with potentially no direct costs include: 

• Word of mouth and other referral channels that spread of your brand, products, or services. This is especially important for businesses like restaurants and video games

• Content marketing that leads to organic rank on Google (while “free” this does entail spending time and/or money on building and promoting content. 

• Barter based partnerships with other brands where instead of paying money, you barter on other things like cross-promotions. 

But a lot of these free marketing and advertising options still take time, energy, employees, and maintenance. Remember that time is money, even when it comes to ads and branding.

If you don’t already have such channels set up and working for you, you’ll need to resort to paid marketing to start feeding your top of the sales funnel. 

When B2B Startups Should Resort To Paid Marketing - Pay To Play

There are several strategies that B2B startups can engage to drive sales. While some of these strategies can be free, there will come a time when the need for paid marketing will be very important. Sometime you have to pay to play, and you have to spend money to make money. Some paid marketing strategies that you can engage for your startup include: 

4 Top Paid B2B Marketing Strategies

• Email Marketing:  It was reported by Content Marketing Institute in 2022 that 81% of B2B marketers consider email newsletters as their most used form of content marketing. This means they are tapping into the 3.9 billion daily email users. Email marketing isn't new or glamorous, but it is one of the most dependable channels for scaling and ROI.

• Digital Marketing (SEM):  This is about having a digital presence. Without one, people will wonder what your business is since everyone is present online. Don't be that business that is still stuck in 1999 saying that they don't need a website or online presence in 2022. Get a website and ensure it is SEO-optimized. Search engine optimization is one of the best organic marketing tactics you can use for your business website and brands on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex, YouTube, and DuckDuckGo. Define your audience and run PPC campaigns if you want to take the paid advertising route. You may want to bid on high volume, high purchase intent keywords that will help your potential users become aware of your service when they are searching for a solution. 

• Social Media Marketing (SMM):  This form of marketing is not quite emphatic for B2Bs as it is for B2Cs. Yet, social media is a powerful tool for creating brand awareness and management. The followers you have might be the key to connecting you with businesses in need of your services. You can focus your paid ad spend on channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest, Snapchat, and of course Facebook to some extent with expert digital marketing guidance from Appetite Creative

• Content Marketing:  Content available to B2Bs includes blogging, podcasting, newsletters, and even vlogging. Content marketing can drive traffic and convert leads when backed up by analytics. Once you have content ready, promote the content through sponsored channels such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Medium, Blogger, WordPress, Soundcloud, Mailchimp, and Google. Leverage social media for further business content growth.

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Paid Marketing Potential

You could also pay freelancers to carry out these duties or to use their own digital cache to promote your company online. That is a separate or supplemental option of paid marketing and advertising for B2B startups.

Paid marketing is essential for you if speed to market matters to you and leaving things to organic or word-of-mouth growth may drive things too slowly for you to realize the potential of your business. Also, if you have a short timeline of products and services with specific goals and benefits a big paid push may be necessary to maximize exposure to consumers. 

To Pay Or Not To Pay? That Is The Question For B2B Startup Businesses

But before you dive into paid marketing methods, you need to be familiar with your customers' interests and previous interactions. While paid marketing would allow you to target new customers, the old ones might be as new as gold. Again, communication with your clients is key to success. Also ensure that your applications are working correctly for paid and unpaid marketing.

Relying on paid marketing as your sole channel can be dangerous and give you a false sense of achieving product-market fit. Ultimately, you need to track your conversions from these paid channels and ensure that the customers you acquire give you an ROI that more than crosses your cost of acquisition. You also want customers that are a good fit and advocate your brand. 

With paid marketing, you should be concerned about customer retention as much as customer acquisition for your B2B statup business. The right marketing strategies will keep your customers well informed of their needs that your company can meet and profit from. 

B2B Paid Marketing For Startups Conclusion 

Marketing is fundamental to all businesses, be it small or large. Visibility and productivity are largely determined by the quality of marketing strategy that is engaged. B2Bs can make use of paid marketing strategies like email and content marketing to be sure they are reaching their target audience. Keep these tips in mind to determine whether your specific B2B business situation calls for paid marketing or organic marketing strategies. And make sure to read more B2B startup insights right here on Marketing Masterminds!

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