How Your IT Business Can Use Reputation Marketing to Get an Edge Over Your Competition
When you get a great review, you feel like you want to yell it from the rooftops. That’s pretty much what reputation marketing is all about.
Where reputation management is about addressing negative reviews and working to earn more positive ones, reputation marketing is about using your positive reviews to drive leads and sales.
Your reviews are a powerful thing, they’re like the torque in your tech marketing engine. Used correctly they can earn your business trust and make you stand out over your competition.
What is Reputation Marketing?
It’s easy to get reputation management and reputation marketing confused. They actually work together to help your business establish a positive brand reputation, which can lead to more sales and MSP customers.
Here are a few things that set the two apart.
- Monitor online reviews
- Address negative reviews
- Build more positive reviews by requesting them from customers
- Curate positive reviews and customer comments
- Promote your positive reviews in your marketing
- Establish positive brand presence
Reputation marketing is about taking the good reviews that you’ve worked hard to build and deploying those to “yell it from the rooftops” how great your company is.
Reputation marketing combines reputation management, branding, and content marketing. It zeros in on the good things people have said about your company and makes use of them in a strategic way to build your brand image.
Each of these areas is one leg of a stool. They all work together to make you stand out from other IT businesses. Here’s how these areas come together for reputation marketing.
Your reputation is being built online, with or without your input. It’s better to have some control by knowing what’s being said about your company on online review sites. Actively managing your reputation and building your reviews with a system, helps you get more positive reviews.
These positive reviews are the content you’re going to use in reputation marketing.
Your IT business branding is about that first impression people get when they interact with you either online or in your shop. It involves everything from your logo to your slogan to how you present your company personality on your website.
Your reviews are part of your branding – that impression people have of you before they even know you. When you promote positive reviews that focus on “fast, excellent, friendly service” those attributes become part of your brand.
The third leg of the stool is how you get your positive accolades and reviews out there so they can build your brand and earn trust for your company.
Content marketing includes things like your blogs, social media posts, videos, website, online ads, LinkedIn articles, infographics, and more.
Strategically using content marketing to promote the nice things people say about your business is the heart of reputation marketing.
What Are the Benefits of Reputation Marketing?
How reputation marketing differs from regular content marketing is that it’s all about building a positive reputation for your company based not on what you say about yourself, but what others say about you.
That’s often more compelling to people.
You can tell potential customers how great your company and that you provide fast service. But when someone that’s used your services (someone just like them) says the same thing, it carries much more weight.
Here are a few customer statistics that show just how important reputation marketing can be:
- 88% of customers trust what they read in online reviews
- 75% of people don’t believe advertisements
- Word of mouth (including online) brings in 5x more sales than paid advertising
By deploying reputation marketing alongside your other types of marketing, you have a much better chance of capturing sales from valuable word of mouth, because people believe reviews from others much more than they do a company’s advertisements.
There are also long-term benefits to using positive customer comments to brand your company.
For example, say that you begin to see a pattern in your customer reviews where people are remarking on the fact that you responded fast during an IT emergency. You can highlight that in your marketing and brand your company as “THE IT team to call in an emergency.”
Hearing that fact from people that have used your services will earn you instant trust and you can capitalize on that for years.
81% of consumers say that they make purchases based on their trust of a company.
Tips to Deploy a Reputation Marketing Strategy
How do you get started with reputation marketing? It’s going to be similar to the strategy to take for content marketing, only the focus is on highlighting your positive online reviews and testimonials in a deliberate way.
That means, not just saying, “Hey, here’s a new review!”, but rather painting a picture for someone and using those positive reviews to build brand perception.
Here’s an example of painting a picture using reputation marketing:
At ACME Tech Your Productivity is our Passion.
“Acme helped us solve a big productivity problem” -Joe Smith
“Our firm was running at half speed before we started working with Acme” -XYZ Law Office
“Acme completely transformed our work, we’re so much more productive now.” – John’s Security
Let us help you improve your bottom line, like we have so many others!
In the example, ACME Tech is using the mention of improved efficiency and productivity to brand their company as a productivity-improvement provider. The three quotes pulled from customer reviews drive that message home.
Here are some ways that you can get started with reputation marketing at your MSP business.
Review Your Reviews for Key Phrases
Look for patterns in your positive reviews, like in the ACME example. You want to connect the dots in your reputation marketing to pull out various key points about your business.
If you see several people mentioning how friendly your technicians are, use that to make your brand the “friendly” neighborhood computer shop.
Does the fact that you respond the same day keep coming up in reviews? Then use that to your benefit and do a reputation marketing campaign about your “fast, same day service.”
The goal is to find commonalities that you can use to enhance the perception of your company’s brand.
Track Social Conversations About Your Company
What people say about you on social media is also part of your brand reputation, so you want to use that to your advantage. You want to track online sentiment, which tells you how people feel about your business. Do people use “love,” “awesome,” and similar keywords?
Then use those in a graphic to boost trust and branding. Put your logo or an image from your website in the middle, around that put comment balloons with snippets from those positive social conversations.
Then push it out on social media, by email, etc.
Add Customer Stories into Your Content Marketing Rotation
If you do four blogs a month in your content marketing strategy, try making one of them a customer story. Regularly discussing how you helped customers achieve a positive outcome makes the products and services you advertise on your website relatable to people in a powerful way.
92% of people trust their peers over a traditional advertisement, so let your customer reviews and testimonials help you tell your story and inject more positivity into your brand perception.
Actively Manage Your Online Reviews
If you’re not already doing it, it’s important to manage your reviews, which has a direct impact on your reputation.
This means doing things like
- Monitoring review sites (Google, Yelp, etc.)
- Automate your review acquisition
- Intercept negative reviews
- Respond to reviews
- Publish reviews on your site
When you have a good handle on your reviews it makes it easy to deploy them in your reputation marketing.
Create a Reviews Page on Your Website
Another way to get positive reviews more traction is to create an SEO optimized page where you list your reviews. Depending upon how many you have and the clients you serve, you may want to separate out residential from business.
Use SEO techniques using a keyword like: “your company name” reviews
Make sure that keyword is in the title, headers, any alt image tags, and used naturally throughout the page along with companion keywords. This SEO keyword strategy would look something like this:
- Main keyword:
- ACME computer reviews
- Companion keywords:
- Reviews of acme computer
- Acme computer review denver
- Acme computer review
Beyond the SEO optimization, this page will make it easy for potential customers to read multiple reviews about your company in a single place.
PS: Don’t forget to put a call-to-action on the page!
Use Video for Reputation Marketing
Video has become a very popular way to reach people, and a way that they often prefer. 66% of consumers would rather watch a video instead of reading about a product.
Here’s an example of how you can use video for reputation marketing.
- Choose an attribute from customer reviews you want to highlight – Like helping companies be more productive
- Create a video where you answer the question, “Why have we gotten a reputation for helping companies boost productivity?
- Include slides with customer quotes about your help with productivity
Doing a video like this is another way of painting a picture with your online reviews.
You’re branding yourself by noting that you “have a reputation for X” – so in a customer’s mind that “X” is now attached to your brand. The review quotes back up that statement, and you’ve successfully used positive reputation marketing to improve your brand perception!
Your Earned Those Accolades, So Use Them!
Reputation marketing can help you earn more trust, become known for a particular positive attribute, and help you drive more leads and sales.
Do you have an example of how you’ve used reputation marketing to boost your brand? Share your story in the comments!