"Reputation marketing is more than just managing reputation. It's about establishing, guarding, and marketing that reputation to become more competitive and profitable." That is the opening statement in part one of the small but wonderful book Reputation Marketing by Daniel Vivarelli. It's a short (86 pages) and visually engaging book on how smaller brands need to step up to the plate and get serious about building a good reputation with word-of-mouth and online reviews, and then using that reputation to build profit and top-of-mind.
The bottom line is that your business is online everywhere whether you like it or not. Yelp, Trip Advisor, Reddit, Google reviews, Yahoo reviews, Amazon reviews, and the list goes on and on. Add to that word-of-mouth and social media and you've got a cocktail for powerful marketing-good or bad.
The author's point is that you need to be proactive to build that five-star reputation online and strategic in how you use it to market your brand. And, unless you're tracking this reputation activity, it puts you in the dark and at a massive disadvantage, according to Vivarelli.
The book is loaded with tons of statistics presented by engaging little stick people. But why should you care? Because 80 percent of customers have changed their mind about buying a product or service that was recommended to them after reading negative reviews online (Cone, Inc, 2011).
So how can this book help? It will walk you step-by-step through the process of navigating the online review jungle and teach you how to use it to your advantage. There is the usual batch of advice on how to work your SEO, how to deal with negative reviews, and more. I do like the idea in this book that having zero reputation (crickets) is almost as bad as having a bad one. I really like the simplicity of this book-using cartoons, color coded systems-it makes it all easier to digest.
The author also talks about the fact that some business sectors are more affected by negative online reviews than others, but does touch on the idea that reputation reviews don't just come in the one-to-five-star variety. Word of mouth is also key. People want to associate with winners, and there is more than one way of winning. It applies to you whether you own a restaurant or you market a sports team.
I highly recommend the book-Amazon Prime members can pick the electronic version up for only $2.99.