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Why These Six Factors Determine Your Online Reputation – Here’s Why #186

HAL 9000 won’t let Dave back in the spacecraft. What’s gone wrong? Was it something Dave said? Your brand’s online reputation can also determine whether customers will let you into their wallets or not.
In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Mark Traphagen reveals the six factors that work together to determine the online reputation of a brand, and gives tips on how marketers can make use of them.

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Eric: Mark, do people really take note of a brand and its reputation online when they’re browsing or using social media?
Mark: Eric, they sure do. Think of the last time that you were on Facebook and a post came up from a business. We know at that point a real battle begins as people have developed a resistance to brand content, but an interesting visual, video, or post title will get your attention. Now, where do you look next to decide if reading or watching this is worth your time?
Eric: I get it. I look at the brand and what business it’s from.
Mark: Yes. And what information is that giving you?
Eric: I’m probably asking myself if I trust the brand name, whether I think it’s likely that what they’re going to share is going to be helpful to me some way.
Mark: Right. So understanding what influences your online reputation is critical for your digital marketing success.
Eric: Sure. But can you share the details of that with us?
Mark: Sure. The people who developed the Harris Poll created what they call the Reputation Quotient, or RQ. Their RQ project conducts regular surveys to determine the brands that most stick in the minds of consumers. They then evaluate each of those brands according to six dimensions of reputation:
Image Shows RQ 6 Dimenstions
Eric: I know in your Marketing Land column you’ve written about each of those in detail, but since this is a brief video, why don’t you pick the three you think are the most important for social media marketers and SEOs?
Mark: Sounds good. I’d put products and services at the top of the list. Which is kind of funny since it’s one of the factors marketers have little control over. But it’s undeniably true that if your company has a reputation for crappy products or bad service, all the marketing in the world isn’t going to overcome that. Now, where marketers can be an influence on that process is providing timely feedback from customers, especially from social media. That can help improve products or services more quickly.
Second, I think marketers need to think about emotional appeal. Study after study shows that emotions play a bigger role than rational thought in human choices including purchasing decisions.
A great example of that was REI’s Mirnavator video.
REI's Mirnavator Image
It’s an inspiring and heartwarming story of a woman overcoming multiple challenges, including online bullying, to pursue her passion for running. Mirna’s story made a strong emotional connection with REI’s customers, fitness enthusiasts who also tend to be socially conscious.
REI’s strong connection with the values of environmental conservation along with the strength of the human spirit, have made loyal customers out of me and millions like me.
Eric: What’s the third dimension then of online reputation that marketers should pay attention to?
Mark: That would be, I think, vision and leadership. Now, as with products and services, vision and leadership at first glance would seem like an area marketing has little control over. However, marketing can do a lot to amplify the vision and leadership of a company, provided that company clearly has both of those.
If the company has a visionary, charismatic CEO, or industry respected thought leaders, marketing should be creating opportunities for them to be seen and heard. I only have to mention names like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs to evoke the powerful effect such leaders can have on a brand when they’re made public.
Eric: Thanks, Mark.

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Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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