AJ co-founded TrendKite in 2012 and oversees all aspects of the organization’s sales operations.
It is hard to underestimate the growing importance of online reputation to brands. The way people buy products, engage with companies and share their experiences has changed so fundamentally in recent years that online reputation management has emerged as a core responsibility for PR professionals and agencies. With customer reviews and star ratings now available to prospects at the moment they make their buying decision, brand reputation has a direct impact on revenue. Brand reputation analytics are essential to making that impact a positive one. Here are a few of the reasons.
83% of Consumers Say Online Reviews Influence Their Perception of a Company
This statistic from eMarketer is startling if you think about it. Unlike earned and owned media, there is no barrier to entry for writing a review. Anyone can do it. Negative reviews, therefore might pose a more threatening prospect for your band than negative sentiment in the press or competitor claims.
8 out of 10 Internet Users Say that Negative Information Online Has Made Them Change Their Minds about a Purchase
This one is depressing. You’ve effectively created awareness of your brand, communicated value and inspired action only to drop the ball on the one yard line. Brand reputation analytics are critical because you can’t fix, mitigate or deflect from what you don’t know is out there.
67% of Customers Read 6 Reviews or Fewer
So, while people are certainly looking for reviews and making decisions based on them, they aren’t necessarily reading every review available. This is actually good news for PR professionals and marketers. If your brand reputation analytics point you to problem websites, there is an opportunity to abate the problem by encouraging happy customers to post positive reviews.
Google is Increasingly Giving Weight to Reviews
Google favors reviews because they are organic and are often directly meaningful to the user’s search term. Google has publically announced their preference for local reviews, but SEO experts in every industry are wisely placing more attention on review sites.
75% of People Don’t Go Past the First Page of Search Results
See above. This means, even if you have great earned media and other compelling content about your brand, most of your prospects will only see what is on the first page of a Google or Bing search and it’s likely that those results will include reviews. This data alone should move brand reputation analytics off the back burner.
Hopefully you’re convinced, if not by us, then through your own experience that brand reputation management has become a PR priority. This blog didn’t address what to do if your analytics reveal a reputation problem, but don’t worry. We’ve covered that here and will continue to talk about this vital issue.