Reputation Management Strategy
A great image of your brand among customers is vital if you want to keep your business up and running. Read on to figure out how to manage your reputation and gain loyal clients.
Reputation Management Strategy
So, your brand-new product is ready to be released. You think you have covered all the bases: clear branding, an engaged niche, a sharp marketing strategy, immaculate packaging and a sizable gap in the market. What if it is still not good enough? What makes even the most innovative product underperform? The harsh truth is that your product is only as good as your customers think it is. Learn how to boost your company’s image with a perfect Reputation Management Strategy!
What Is Reputation Management Strategy?
In the marketing world, reputation is the name of the game. Reputation needs to be carefully constructed and built through testimonials, reviews, and online comments. That is where reputation management strategy comes in. This strategy encompasses all efforts to control and improve a business’ online image. In an increasingly interconnected world, a reputation management strategy is essential for any business, but it’s especially needed for new industries such as the cannabis business. Fundamentally, there are two key aspects to managing business reputation: monitoring and responding. We will expand on these two aspects shortly with a brief overlook of what you will need to create your own strategy.
Why Does Your Cannabis Business Need A Reputation Strategy?
The cannabis and CBD industry has experienced a dramatic boom in recent years. Despite the legalization of cannabis becoming more and more prevalent worldwide, opposition is still robust, both online and offline. Building a business around a controversial subject such as cannabis is bound to be a difficult task, especially as the industry is just starting to really take form. That is the reason why your cannabis business, just like any other business operating online, needs a reputation strategy. For example, Seabedee highlights that with a serious attitude to building a great reputation among their existing as well as prospective clients, the brand got some important advantages:
- Increased visibility in search engines;
- Growth of traffic from various sources;
- Increased trust from the target audience and potential customers;
- The word of mouth effect was triggered, stimulating repeat orders from existing customers;
- There is an opportunity to quickly respond to reputation attacks from competitors;
- Growth of brand confidence, which ultimately led to increased profits.
How to Create A Reputation Strategy?
So, how can you create a reputation strategy that works?
Truth be told, a business cannot completely control what people think of it. However, you can influence online opinion and manage what users see instead. Here’s how:
- Monitor reputation
As it was mentioned previously, monitoring is the first key step to creating a successful reputation management strategy. To monitor is to research, so this step requires you to scan where and how your business is mentioned. Social media conversations, review websites, blog posts, and forum entries are the most important spaces you should monitor. If it sounds like a tedious task, don’t worry – we’ll share some great tools that can cover the work for you at the end of this article.
- Improve your search engine results
Once you have identified the vulnerabilities and negative feedback of your cannabis business, you will have to start responding in order to balance user opinion. You might want to start by improving search engine results, as Google results are the first opinions potential customers will see. This includes responding to Google and Yelp reviews or any other negative sentiment appearing on the first page of your cannabis business search engine results.
- Handle comments
Whether it’s a social media comment or an angry blog post, you will have to make sure negative comments are replied to promptly and delicately. Don’t attack the user but listen to their queries and answer to complaints with a friendly and professional tone. If needed, you can direct the user to your customer service email address or your social media DMs.
- Stress the positives
Responding to positive reviews and comments is just as important as acknowledging the negative ones. Positive interactions are what actively improve your business reputation. Thanking a user for a favorable review can influence them to share your response with friends, effortlessly enhancing your business reputation. Alternatively, you can also ask customers for a review if you know they are satisfied. The right amount of positive feedback will counteract negative interactions, working to actively improve your cannabis business reputation.
Of course, you should also be keeping a record of interactions and results, so that you can effectively measure your strategy’s success at the end of the process.
Efficient Reputation Management Strategies
Reputation management is not a one-size-fits-all process. Depending on the size of your cannabis business or the severity of your feedback, you will find that different approaches might all make for efficient reputation management strategies. Here are a few examples:
- Suppression strategy
This reputation management strategy focuses on search results, developing new content in order to suppress negative feedback. SEO strategies can be employed in order to make negative sentiments virtually disappear.
- SMM + SEO
The strategy of SMM + SEO is to effectively manage your reputation with SEO tools. At this stage, semantic cores that promote information about your company in search engines are added to positive reviews and articles. This leads to the replacement of negative and incorrect information.
- Protection strategy
This strategy is more preemptive, focusing on publishing high-quality content on relevant publications and collaborating with Influencers. The strength of these results will protect your business against negativity bias.
- Review management
This strategy focuses on encouraging and incentivizing satisfied customers to submit positive reviews. At the same time, negative reviews are handled in a way that would persuade the user to change their mind. Once again, the key to a good response is being prompt, polite and friendly.
The Best Tools for Reputation Management
What are the best reputation management tools you can use? We have put together a quick list with some of our favorites detailing what they can do for your cannabis business:
- The Brand Grader
This is a free tool that allows you to get a quick insight into your business reputation. It’s not designed to be comprehensive, but it’s a great place to start that is free of charge.
This is a popular monitoring tool that allows you to easily scan business reviews all over the web. You can even respond to them without leaving the platform.
This tool will alert you as any mention of your business comes in, in real-time. You can also compare your reputation with your competitors’ thanks to their handy analytics tool.
- Get Five Stars
Review management made easy! This tool encourages reviews from your customers through automated surveys. If users choose to share their feedback, it will become a 5-star review on high-value sites.
If a company has a positive reputation, and the vast majority of users are loyal to its products or services, this leads to increased profits and better brand recognition. In addition, the process of attracting new customers and business partners is greatly simplified. It is logical that the presence of negative information about your cannabis brand on the Internet might provoke an outflow of existing and potential customers or scare away potential business partners or investors.
Reputation management strategy is essential to really master your business’ reputation and in turn, sales. So why not explore the options with one of these amazing online tools? It might just be the marketing plan you never knew you needed.
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