If your reputation precedes you, then reputation marketing would precede that.  

Reputation marketing is an excellent business strategy for entrepreneurs. It leverages your customer reviews and marketing content to build a positive perception of your brand. 

In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about reputation marketing, including what it is, why it’s important, and ways to adopt it into your small business. 

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What is reputation marketing?

Reputation marketing is the practice of building a positive perception of your brand. It’s what you do to highlight the positive parts of your company and how you maintain your relationships with customers. 

Reputation marketing is not to be confused with reputation management. While reputation marketing creates a perception of your brand, management maintains that reputation over time. Reputation marketing is proactive, whereas management is more reactive. 

There are also different types of reputation marketing: online and local. Let’s review each in the sections below. 

What is online reputation marketing? 

Online reputation marketing is what you do on the Internet to promote your brand. Think social media, local listings, and your company’s website — these are digital platforms where you can actively promote different parts of your business.  

Social media allows you to publish content like videos, pictures, and even advertisements for your company. Local listings let you share customer reviews and specific information about your business. Your website is (literally) your domain, where you can tell the world about your products and services. 

If you need a little help with improving your online reputation, check out these tips from Thryv’s Gabe Vasquez: 

What is local reputation marketing? 

Local reputation marketing is managing your business’s reputation within its local community. While that might include online channels like social media, it also includes marketing within any brick-and-mortar locations you have, events that you sponsor, and other actions taken in person to improve your reputation with customers. 

For example, Saranac Brewery in upstate New York sponsors the annual local Boilermaker race. They organize the event and throw a massive party at the finish line. The race always sells out, and it creates a ton of brand awareness for Saranac. 

But how does that awareness affect your company’s bottom line? Sure, it builds goodwill with your customers, but does reputation marketing translate to sales?  

Short answer: Yes – and here’s why. 

Why does reputation marketing matter? 

Reputation marketing builds trust with customers, and trust leads to sales. Customers who trust your business are 88% more likely to buy from you again, and trustworthy businesses outperform their competitors in market value by up to 400%. 

Reputation marketing demonstrates how trustworthy your company is. It highlights things like outstanding customer reviews and glowing testimonials. This assurance makes people more willing to buy from a business. 

The good news is that you don’t have to throw a block party to build a trustworthy reputation — though, that is a pretty sweet way to do it.  

There are plenty of steps your business can take to build a positive reputation for your company. Let’s explore a few of these methods below. 

The Guide to Winning More Business Online

The Guide to Winning
More Business Online

Want customers to find you online? A website is not enough.

How to Create a Reputation Marketing Strategy 

Here are five ways to add reputation marketing to your small business strategy. 

1. Update your local listings.

Local business listings are the blocks of information search engines and directories display for your business. Think: Google Maps or Yelp. When you search for a business on these sites, you get something like this on the SERP (search engine results page):  

SERP page - reputation marketing local listing - reputation marketing

Notice the information shown here. Customers can see your location, phone number, website, and, most important, your customer reviews. If you have a lot of positive reviews, this is a great way to build trust with new customers (more on this in a bit).  

If your business hasn’t added or updated its local listings to Google or a directory site, you’re passing up a valuable chance to enhance your online reputation.  

Pro Tip: Local listing software can help you manage all your listings from one place.

2. Post on social media.

Social media is an excellent tool for sharing your brand’s personality. 91% of small businesses use social media, and 63% of small business owners said social media marketing was effective for their company. 

Social media doesn’t have to be a hassle, either. Social media expert, Nicole Philip, recommends being patient and taking an open-minded approach:  

Figuring out what will work for you takes time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and experiment until you find your niche.”Nicole Philip

3. Sponsor an event.

Sponsoring events will get you more involved in your local community. It will also build brand awareness and allow you to shake hands with potential customers.  

If you don’t have time to attend events, you could sponsor your town’s little league or raise money for a local charity. Not only does this do a little good, but it also gives customers another opportunity to be exposed to your business.

4. Share your customer reviews.

Good customer reviews are an asset for small businesses. They’re more trustworthy than any of your marketing content, because they’re from real people who are happy with your business. The more positive reviews you have, the more trustworthy you look to potential customers. 

Try to share these reviews with people who are interested in your company. Most people will check your social media account or review sites like Yelp before making a purchase, and they are more likely to trust these endorsements over your marketing content. 

5. Create customer testimonials.

Customer testimonials are videos or case studies that showcase a real customer journey from start to finish. This marketing strategy shows how your product or service works, and what people can expect when working with your company.  

Here’s a customer testimonial we created for Thryv: 

Notice how our video addresses the customer’s problem and how our product provides a direct solution. This message is effective because it’s endorsed by a real customer. 

Get the Most Out of Your Business’s Reputation  

As a small business owner, your reputation means everything to your company. Word travels quickly in local communities – and even faster online. Use that to your advantage by utilizing these tips to attract and retain new customers. 

The Guide to Winning More Business Online

The Guide to Winning
More Business Online

Want customers to find you online? A website is not enough.