7 pillars of building B2B online reputation
Reputation is one of the cornerstones of any business, especially today when everything that happens to your company immediately becomes known to anybody with a slighter degree of interest. One way to establish a reputation of a trustworthy, serious and value-oriented company is simply to do your job as best you possibly can and survive for a decade or so – the very fact that you’ve been around for a while goes a long way in proving your dependability. But what if you can’t, or don’t want to wait for the things to evolve on their own? Then you have to take a more proactive approach.
1. High-quality content
Content, as it is often noted, is king. Nowadays, one cannot afford to have a formal website existing solely for the purpose of showing that yes, you have some kind of online presence. If you want a website to add any weight to your position, to attract new customers and keep the existing ones, and in time to improve your standing, it should contain valuable content. Preferably, regularly updated valuable content.
2. Social media presence
Again, today nobody is surprised by a company that has a social media account or two. However, having an account and doing any meaningful and systematised work through it are two different things. If you want them to have any influence on your reputation, you should engage your clients and those interested in your company through social media. Promotional campaigns, answering questions, resolving customers’ problems – anything will do as long as it attracts positive attention to you.
3. Tracking company name mentions
You should always be aware of any mentions of your company’s name and the reasons why it is mentioned. Sometimes it can provide you a valuable insight into your client’s mind, but most importantly, it allows you to discover all the mentions that show you in negative light and take steps immediately. For example, if somebody complains about a product bought from you or the quality of service, you may contact them and offer solutions to the problem. In the long run, you may turn even negative experiences to your advantage due to the quirk of human psychology that makes an efficiently resolved problem a more memorable and positive experience than simply good service. Such services as Google Alerts and Sumome are excellent tools for this purpose.
4. Taking part in industry events
The best kind of reputation you can create for yourself and your company is that of an expert in your industry. And the more mentions your name and brand are getting in relation with important industry events, the better. If you can expect any reasonable turnup, arraigning an online Ask-Me-Anything can also go a long way.
5. Promotion of your assets on Google search
And we are talking not only about your company website, but social media accounts, most valuable articles on the blog and suchlike as well. When people see your name and brand coming up a lot in Google Top, it leaves an impression – which means that good old SEO is still a very important part of the game.
6. Case studies
One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise and, what’s more important, its practical implications, is to prepare and publish a case study. The Internet is rife with content recycled over and over again – and a good case study is one of the few ways to make the visitor sure he is reading something that wasn’t rewritten from another resource (he can always check it, after all). It is even better to guest-post them – this way you kill a whole bunch of birds with one stone: reach out to new audiences, increase your influence as an industry expert and create additional backlinks to your website.
7. Individual vs corporate reputation
A whole lot of studies shows that users tend to feel greater trust towards individuals rather than towards companies. Even such a simple addition as names and photos of yourself and your staff to your company website adds enough of personal touch to make visitors perceive you as a group of living, breathing people, and not an abstract corporate entity.
In the long run, creating a positive image and online reputation of your company boils down to one thing: taking action. Don’t make changes and passively wait for them to take effect. Go out of your way to help people, communicate with them, make yourself seen – and the results won’t be long to come.