Ever wonder why certain companies have such an easy time generating B2B leads? Sure you do. Everybody in sales probably does.
The answer is simple. It's not in high-converting landing pages but in their online reputation. Part of establishing a powerful lead generation machine is having "authority". When you have authority, people automatically listen to what you have to say. People seen as authorities have no need to persuade leads because they already know that they can trust an authority.
So how do you become an authority?
It all comes down to creating a solid online reputation for your company. Build up your company's reputation as a trusted resource and you'll dramatically boost the numbers coming out of your predictive sales analytics programs.
What is Your Online Reputation?
Online reputation is a concept that scares many B2B companies. That's because it’s something they feel they have practically no control over. It's one of the harsh realities entrepreneurs have to contend with.
Search for your brand name and you will receive lots of results regarding how your company is doing and what it offers. The bigger you are the more results you'll generate.
Taken together, the impression created by what these companies say is your online reputation. Remember that most people have already made a purchasing decision before they ever contact you.
Your online reputation generates world-of-mouth marketing. That is immensely powerful, with 74% citing it as a key influencer.Your online reputation has a huge impact on your ability to sell.
So how do you check up on your online reputation?
There are no real metrics you can judge to gauge your online reputation. It’s something you have to determine by looking at what people say about you. Google Alerts can help. It's a tool that automatically alerts you whenever someone mentions your brand name. It's a free service. Once you've signed up, you can input your brand names and products and see what people are saying.
How Do You Start Building Your Online Reputation?
Like many companies, you need to learn how to build a solid online reputation—one that establishes you in your industry or industries.
No special tricks exist for building up your online reputation. Using tricks implies you're trying to convince people that you are something you’re not. To build up an online reputation, show people that you're a company that can be trusted.
To do that, you need to generate a product or service people actually like and use faithfully. Getting people to like and use your product faithfully starts at the conception of the product or service.
But first, you need to think like an entrepreneur and find out what your customers want and what they think about your product's or service's performance. Take into account what customers say about them. From there you can start making changes. If you give your target audiences what they want, they'll become brand ambassadors.
That's ideal. Brand ambassadors can transform your company by marketing your products and services for you.
Apple Computers is a good example of the cloud brand ambassadors have. People who love and use Apple's products are not shy about touting it.
Brand ambassadors will recommend you to their friends and relatives. It’s why some businesses constantly bring in new customers even when they’re not running a large marketing campaign. They have raving brand ambassadors who love what they do.
Be Proactive Not Reactive
You can build up an online reputation by doing what's best for your B2B customers. But your online reputation works both ways. Your online reputation can be destroyed within a matter of minutes. Say the wrong thing on your social media feed or experience a bad interaction with a customer and you are going to see a major backlash. So be careful with it.
Of course, you'll get some bad feedback. It's just the nature of running a business. The reason why successful companies survive is because these complaints are in the extreme minority. Most feedback is positive, and that’s what dominates the search engines when people look for these brands.
So if you are only focusing on what people are saying about you after something bad has happened, you are going to run into problems.
Conclusion – How to Use Online Reputation to Your Advantage
Once you start to concentrate on your online reputation, you can begin using it to your advantage. For example, you can get your customers to market your brand for you. You can even start to include them in your marketing materials in the form of case studies.
There’s nothing more powerful than a recommendation from a customer. The B2B industry is no different than any other industry in that most people generally don’t trust brands. Everything you say is bound to be taken with a pinch of salt.
So create a reputation as a trusted resource and you'll boost the number of leads you'll generate.
What do you think your online reputation can do for your B2B selling efforts?